Charles Pinkney

A People Chosen by God
God's Elect, the Ekklesia (Called Out Ones)

The 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.

"Many 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 persue theology have a propensity to label belief systems of the various "reformers" who followed Luther and the Reformation.

What we must realize is that Luther and Calvin and others were all a product of the long held doctrines of priesthood and the precepts that prevaled from the earliest days of the Roman church. They held since the days of Luther, and continue to hold, that that the church represents the final 'Kingdom of God' a doctrine clarified by St. Augustine. This is a non biblical, heretical teaching. The fact of scripture is that the Kingdom is yet to be ushered in, not with any existing institutional religious denomination, but by the future return of Christ the Messiah.

The reformers departed only slightly from their predecessors, holding to the view that Israel and Judaism had been replaced by the church.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 same error.

What Calvinists Believe

Theology 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 were 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 and that we are known of God will continue in his Grace. We will continue to be watchful, prayerful and repentant. And yes, this perseverence is by the Power of God working in us.

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/

There 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)

Faith That 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, before this regeneration by the power of God, were like sleepers and dreamers who followed blindly, the course of this world. Now if we look at the world from a Biblical view we 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 in our coming to God. Some derives from the prayers of others. Some derives from the life experience that molds us.

In the Bible references that I will show you, we will find that it is by God's power and desire we are selected out of this fallen world of darkness into the God's Kingdom of light that bears 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 encounter with the Power of God 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.

SCRIPTURAL FOUNDATION for GOD'S ELECTION

MATTHEW 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 hates you.
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 and sustained.)
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 for glory,
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 will,
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 you,
LUKE 18:7 7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them
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 the days.
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 other.
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, longsuffering;
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 godliness;
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 my son
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 thee. Amen.

EC-CLES-SI'A =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.
Does Election Mean That We Have No Responsibility to Preach and Share the Gospel?

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.

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":
( A Message 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.