Thursday, January 04, 2007
It's the New Year. My mom is 49. She got 49 hats for her birthday. Today is not about hats, but about telling the future.
The New Year brings along thoughts about the future.
"Will I lose 50 lbs? Will I run in that marathon? Will I get that new job? Will I finish school?" Fun questions to be sure. One question I received recently was a question about telling the future. There is only One who can tell the future and knows the future. That would be God...So this leads us into predestination. The topic where God predestines or chooses us to be saved. It is in this discussion of God knowing all that begs the question, "Does God choose or predestine us to Hell?"
Tough question. To answer, we turn to the Bible. This is what it says,
– Isaiah 44:4 For the sake of my servant Jacob, and Israel my chosen, I CALL you by your name, I name you, though you do not know me.
– John 15:16 You did not CHOOSE me, but I CHOSE you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.
– Ephesians 1:4-5 even as he (God) CHOSE us in him (Jesus) before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,
– Acts 2:38-39 And Peter said to them, Â“Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God CALLS to himself.Â”
There are many many more passages that have to do with the election of grace, or the predestination of our being saved. But does God call or predestine those to damnation?
The simple answer is NO.
No man is lost because God has predestined him to eternal damnation. -- Eternal election is a cause why the elect are brought to faith in time, Acts 13:48; but election is not a cause why people remain unbelievers when they hear the Word of God. The reason assigned by Scripture for this sad fact is that these people judge themselves unworthy of everlasting life, putting the Word of God from them, rejecting and resisting the Holy Spirit, whose earnest will it is to bring also them to repentance and faith by means of the Word, Act 13:46; 7:51; Matt. 23:37. It is not God's fault that we are sinners. It only in our nature to reject Him, but it is the Work of the Holy Spirit, (AKA God) that brings us to that eternal paradise.
Luther, the rascal, once was asked what God was doing before He made the world. And he replied, "cutting sticks to beat people who ask that question". That's funny, because it implies Mystery....
Predestination... there is a large sense of mystery to it. And that is why no one will be completely satisfied with an answer. But this is what statifies me to questions about Predestination. I keep it simple...
God wishes all to be saved (1 Timothy 2:3). This is His will. In order to be saved a person must receive GodÂ’s call through the Word of God (John 15:16). It is this call which we either cling to or reject. God knows whether or not we are going to cling to the call or reject. God therefore predestines those whom he calls to be saved. The others reject this call and fall into eternal damnation which God knew was going to happen beforehand.
Happy Birthday Mom! You're a called child of God.