People Chosen by God
God's Elect, the Ekklesia (Called Out Ones)
question being examined should, I hope, bring clarity
to the question, "Does God choose men and nations?
or is it a result of human will and action? We shall
look at a number of Bible texts.
are called but few are chosen." What can we understand
about those who God calls? Some of us consider ourselves
to be among the chosen. We have been converted, through
various life circumstances. We have come to be followers
of the Messiah, Jesus. Others it seems can't be persuaded
to believe. They do not believe in any kind of transformative
power that God (a god) provides to make us into something
called "a new creation." The doctrine of the Election
of God is a doctrine of interest to Biblical scholars,
theologians are quick to slap a label on it and to
argue for or against it. The question has been debated
for centuries since the time of Augustine and before.
The label of "Calvinism" seems to carry a stigma with
it that boils down to whether or not a human being
has any measure of free will or not.
I have personally
never considered myself a Calvinist. Those who pursue theology have a
propensity to label those various "reformers" who followed Luther
and the Reformation and Calvin as part of this doctinal class.
What we must realize
is that Luther and Calvin and others after the Reformation, carried the
legacy of long held doctrine of the priesthood and the precepts the practices
of the Roman church. They have held since the days of Luther the amillenial
view that that the church with its heirarchy of leadership represents
the final 'Kingdom of God' a doctrine clarified by St. Augustine. This
is a non-biblical teaching. The scripture reveals contrary to church traditions,
that the Kingdom is yet to be ushered in, not with any existing
institutional religious denomination, but by the future return of Christ
reformers departed only slightly from their predecessors,
holding to the view that Israel and Judaism had been
replaced by the church. The church denominations that
followed the reformation had, to our deep shame and
misfortune, thoroughly purged anything Judaic from
their eschatology so that the hundreds of prophetic
promises given concerning Israel and to the Messianic
kingdom to come, were twisted. This has resulted in
a metaphorical, allegorical rendering of Old Testament
prophecy, Jesus, the apostles, and "The Revelation"
of John. This erroneous rendering of scripture also
cost thousands of souls to be slaughtered by the church
in the crusades, by the Calvinists themselves, and
later by the anti-Jewish, Nazi holocaust. It was through
religious priestcraft that guaranteed a promise of
heaven, through infant baptism, and sacramentalism,
another dangerous error. Even today in depictions
of the Life of Jesus or the gospel we see Jesus and
the apostles as not really Jewish. A recent
movie, The Son of God, fell into this
What Calvinists Believe
and scholastic dogma is persistant. So today thousands
of mainline churches remain in the grip of the tradition
called "Calvinism." Calvinism has
certain tenets, some of which I believe are valid
and some not. There is a mnemonic given to
summarize the principles:
TULIP: (T) Total depravity. Yes,
though often not apparent, man is NOT essentially
good (a humanistic, Universalist view) nor can he
be called a "child of God."
(U) Unmerited favor. Yes, I believe
this is a valid principle. We recognize that scripturally,
salvation is a divine action. Christ died for the
sins of all! The power of God availed through Jesus'
resurrection, makes us into a regenerated being. Salvation
is not the result of mere ascent to a kind of doctrine.
On the other hand, we must believe in our hearts
unto righteousness and confess that Jesus is Savior
and Lord. This comes from a depth of belief that God
plants within us.
(L) Limited atonement. Calvinists hold
that Jesus did not die for all since some are objects
of wrath. Did Jesus die for all? My answer
is "Yes, Christ died for all who will believe,
not just for some." As many who will come he
gives the right to become "children of God."
Redemption is free and for all. Yet, and this is a
mystery to me, few receive this free gift! The Father
in heaven does not force anyone to believe. Calvinists
may say that He has not made salvation available to
all. I can not support that notion as God is Loving
and Fare. For whatever reason, some who are told the
story of the Good News still choose darkness over
light. That is their FREELY CHOSEN WILL. Part of this
mystery may be explained by the fact that God has
foreknowledge of those who did choose and those who
prayerfully persevere from day to day until their
days on earth are fulfilled. This is what God has
already perceived from outside of time.
(I) Irresistible Grace. According to this tenet no one who
is God's elect can resist His call no matter how defiled in sin he/she
may be. Yet, all must hear the Word of Truth that is preached. "For
how will they hear unless someone is sent to preach that word." When
the gospel is preached there are some who will receive the word and others
that may not. (The parable of the sower and the seed. Mark 4:14)
If grace is inevitable then evangelism is really nothing to be valued.
Thus, this is a tenet of Calvinism that is flawed.
(P) Persistency of God's grace upon the believer. Those who are
saved are preserved and guaranteed not to depart from God's love and ultimate
destiny. This writer believes that we as believers who know God are known
of God will continue in his Grace. We were saved, are being saved and
will be saved hereafter. We will continue to be watchful, prayerful and
repentant. And yes, this perseverence is enabled by the Power of God working
in us. Any person who assents to the gospel and who may be a church attender
is not automatically a regenerated believer, or saved and born of the
ARMENIAN DOCTRINE SAYS: "I owe my election to my faith."
CALVINIST DOCTRINE says, I owe my faith to my election. (J I Packer) Packer,
John Piper and R.C. Sproul are notable spokesmen for Calvinistm. http://nickvoss.wordpress.com/2012/05/23/and-as-many-as-were-appointed-to-eternal-life-believed/
are believers and and there are unbelievers. Many
unbelievers are not just pagans or people who belong
to non-Christian religions. Unbelievers populate the
churches that abound in every community. There are
conditions that affect our being among "the called".
Some may call these believers, "authentic Christians."
An authentic Christian has been Spiritually created
and transformed by the supernatural Power of God.
(2Cor.5:17) Remember this, "The Gospel of the power
of God." (Romans 1:16; Romans 15:10)(1Cor.2:4)
A Measure of God's
Faith Is Needed to Come to God
If we are spiritually dead in our natural state, then it
is impossible for anyone to take the first step of faith to believe. We
were like sleepers and dreamers who followed blindly, the course of this
world before regeneration by the power of God, . Now if we look
at the world from a Biblical view, are told that it is characterized by
lust, greed, selfishness, evil desires and every evil work. Yes, the Bible
is clear that there is "evil." The secularist avoids any reference to
the notion of evil. It becomes simply "a choice." There is a spiritual
chronology for those who come to God. Some derives from the prayers of
others. Some derives from the life experience that molds us. God works
both in our thoughts and in our circumstances.
In the Bible references
that I will show you, we will find that it is by God's power and desire
we are selected (elected) out of this
fallen world of darkness into the God's Kingdom of light and the knowledge
of "Truth." (The link above is a graphic of the fallen world contrasted
with God's Kingdom which is to be restored. (- a pdf file)
There is far too
much proof that God's hand of grace is at work in the transforming work
of salvation as well as in maturing believers to godliness to be anticipated
as the fruit of a believing child of God. Why are so many failing to persue
God or turn aside from the allurements of this present evil world? It
is likely that they have not actually had the necessary encounter that
is necessary to make them an authentic believer. A question may now remains
to ponder. Are those who have a form of godliness or those who
seem to be only superficial religious Christians, destined to have a home
in heaven and the glorious kingdom to come? I don't know but God knows.
FOUNDATION for GOD'S ELECTION
20:16-20 "So the last will be first, and the first
last. For many are called, but few chosen."
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 remain,
JOHN 15:19 "If you were of the world, the world would
love its own. Yet because you are not of the world,
but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world
JOHN 17:2 "as You (Heavenly Father) have given Him
(Jesus) authority over all flesh, that He should give
eternal life to as many as You have given Him.
JOHN 17:9 "I pray for them. I do not pray for the
world but for those whom You (Heavenly Father) have
given Me, for they are Yours.
JOHN 6:37 "All that the Father gives Me will come
to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means
cast out. (Truly chosen believers will be established
JOHN 10:27 "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them,
and they follow Me.
JOHN 10:26 "You do not believe because you are not
my sheep" (children of the Evil One)
LUKE 10:21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit
and said, "I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and
earth, that You have hidden these things (heavenly
Truth) from the wise and prudent and revealed
them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good
in Your sight.
MARK 13: 27 And then shall he send his angels, and
shall gather together his elect (the chosen children
of God) from the four winds, from the uttermost part
of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven...
ACTS 13:48 Now when the Gentiles heard this, they
were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And
as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.
ROMANS 8:29 For whom He foreknew, (this does not
mean that the foreknown lived in a previous earth
age as some teach.) He also predestined to be
conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be
the firstborn among many brethren. (He knew us
before we were born as he sees to the end of time
from the beginning.)
ROMANS 30- - Moreover whom He predestined, these He
also called; whom He called, these He also justified;
and whom He justified, these He also glorified. What
then shall we say to these things? If God is for us,
who can be against us?
ROMANS 8:38-9 - - For I am persuaded that neither
death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor
powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor
height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall
be able to separate us from the love of God which
is in Christ Jesus our Lord. ROMANS 9:22 What if God,
wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known,
endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath
prepared for destruction, (whaaat!) and that
He might make known the riches of His glory on the
vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand
ROMANS 9:24 even us whom He called, not of the Jews
only, but also of the Gentiles? ROMANS 11:29 For the
gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable
EPHESIANS 1:4-5 "He chose us in him before the foundation
of the world - - " and predestined us to adoption
of sons - -"
EPHESIANS 1:11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance,
being predestined according to the purpose of Him
who works all things according to the counsel of His
2THESSALONIAS 2:13 "God has from the beginning, chosen
you to salvation"
ROMANS 11:7-8 " Israel has not obtained what it seeks
but the elect have obtained it; the rest were blinded."
1PETER 1:2 elect according to the foreknowledge of
God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for
obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ:
1PETER 1:4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled
and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for
LUKE 18:7 7 And shall not God avenge his own elect,
which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long
JOHN 15:16 16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen
you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring
forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that
whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name,
he may give it you.
MARK 13:20 20 And except that the Lord had shortened
those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the
elect's sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened
MATTHEW 24:22, 22 And except those days should be
shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for
the elect's sake those days shall be shortened 24:
31 31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound
of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect
from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the
ROMANS 8:29 - "For those he foreknew he predestined
to be conformed to the image of his son-" ROMANS 8:33
33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's
elect? It is God that justifieth COLOSSIANS 3:12 12
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved,
bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness,
2TIMOTHY 2:10 10 Therefore I endure all things for
the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation
which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
TITUS 1:1 1 Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle
of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect,
and the acknowledging of the truth which is after
1PETER 1:2 2 Elect according to the foreknowledge
of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit,
unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus
Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
1PETER 5:13 13 The church that is at Babylon, elected
together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus
2JOHN 1:1 1 That which was from the beginning, which
we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which
we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of
the Word of life;
2JOHN 1:13 13 The children of thy elect sister greet
= Called ones The Church consists of those who are called out.
ARMENIAN DOCTRINE SAYS: "I owe my election to my faith."
CALVINIST DOCTRINE says, I owe my faith to my election.
(J I Packer)
Do We Have Free Choice?
Yes. Do We Have to Seek God Untiringly? Yes.
We can have more
and more of God. If we draw near to Him with fervent desire and sincerity
he will reward our asking, seeking and knocking. He will meet us as we
desire to know the Lord better. The enemy however, will be always at hand
and his desire is to side-track us from gaining a deeper and more profound
experience in Christ Jesus the Messiah.
Does Election Mean That We Have No Responsibility to Preach and Share
Certainly not! Living
the Christian life is a matter of choosing each day who we should serve.
It does not mean that we must struggle to keep from falling into the snares
of the evil one. We must persevere and pray for Grace to guide us in this
pilgrim quest. How many of us like myself, rejected the gospel and the
story of salvation that was proclaimed to us and later came to faith?
We all, in
times past, have had our life style among the unsaved
and the unredeemed. It is in God's own time and circumstance
that we are given that "measure of faith"
to believe and then to be drawn into his presence.
Unless the Spirit draws us we can't come to God. We
reject the gospel presentation for years and then
in God's time we receive that which was before foolishness.
FOUR KINDS OF
'CHRISTIANS from "FALSE ASSURANCE": ( From R. C. Sproul )
Those who are:
1. UNSAVED AND KNOW THEY ARE UNSAVED
2. SAVED AND KNOW THAT THEY ARE SAVED - - FULL ASSURANCE
3. SAVED BUT WHO DO NOT KNOW IT No one is half regenerate. It is fully
complete at conversion. The
conversion experience of individuals vary greatly. One should not determine
their theology by their experience but by the Word of God.
4. MANY ARE
NOT SAVED BUT HAVE "FALSE ASSURANCE" THAT THEY ARE SAVED.
REASONS FOR FALSE ASSURANCE:
FALSE THEOLOGY, leads people to be of the mistaken belief that
WHAT THEY BELIEVE qualifies them to be saved.
UNIVERSALISM: Doctrine of Universalism (all are saved) Justification
simply by dying. All who die will go to heaven. UNIVERSALISM HOLDS THAT:
There will be NO JUDGMENT or divine punishment. (Remember, Jesus taught
more about hell than about heaven.)
LEGALISM or some accounting an accumulation of WORKS RIGHTEOUSNESS.
90% of people surveyed believe that: "I did this or that." Righteous self
interest of righteous heart
SACERDOTALISM (Following the doctrines the sacraments and ordinances
of the church)
The Roman Catholic church upholds the power of the priesthood to adjudicate
another's entrance into heaven or hell. They, through ritual and ordinances
affect God's destiny of an individual.
Following any of a number of prescribed religious practices: Baptism,
Joining a particular denomination; Faithful church attendance.