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 will look at a number of
"Many are called but few are chosen."
What do we understand about those who God calls? Many Christians consider
themelves to be among the chosen by virtue of church doctrine. Others
have been converted, through various life circumstances to become
followers of the Messiah, Jesus. Many others it seems, can't be persuaded
to believe. These constitute "unbelievers." They can
not believe that any kind of transformative power from God (a god) can
make us into anything other than the lives into which we were born or
any kind of "new creation."
The doctrine of the Election of God
is a doctrine debated by Biblical scholars. Theologians are quick to label
a viewpoint and to argue for or against it. The question of Election has
been debated for centuries, since the time of Augustine and before. Certainly
the first apostles had an understanding of the supernatural reality of
becoming a Spirit-born creation. After the protestant reformation provided
access to the Bible, new theological understandings were offered. One
of these reformers of the mid 16th century was John Calvin who made an
attempt at systemizing the theology of Protestantism. Today the label
of "Calvinism" boils down to whether or not a human being has any measure
of free will or not. This view is widely debated and carries a stigma
with it. I have personally never
considered myself a Calvinist only a believer. Those "reformers"
who followed Luther and the Reformation and Calvin affirmed this doctine
to some degree.
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 true 'Kingdom of God' a doctrine clarified by St. Augustine. This
is a non-biblical teaching. The scripture refutes a great many of the
Roman church practices. Scripture reveals that the Kingdom although
experienced in part Spiritually, is yet to be ushered in as a worldly
reality. Amillenialists do not look for a literal kingdom ruled by the
Messiah Jesus on earth. Premillenialists as myself look to a future judgment
after the return of Christ the Messiah which is spoken of in the Old Covenant
prophetically as 'the Day of the Lord.'
The reformers departed only slightly
from their predecessors, holding to the view that Israel and Judaism had
been replaced by the church, the doctrine of replacement theology.
Church denominations that followed the reformation, to our deep shame
and misfortune, thoroughly purged anything Judaic from their eschatology
(study of last things) so the hundreds of prophetic promises given concerning
Israel and to the Messianic kingdom to come, were twisted to point to
the Christian world and not to describe the place of Israel at the end
of the age. 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 resulted in centuries of
anti-semitism and thousands of souls being slaughtered by the Roman church
in the crusades, and by the Calvinists themselves. Later it bore the fruit
of the anti-Jewish, Nazi holocaust.
Sacerdotalism, priestly powers, before
and after the reformation, were required to offer any 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:
(T) Total depravity of humankind. Yes, though not
always apparent, man is NOT essentially good (a humanistic, Universalist
view) nor can he be called a "child of God." (See referance
to Who Are God's
(U) Unmerited favor. Yes, I believe this is a valid
principle. We recognize that scripturally, salvation is a free gift
but it is also a divine action. Christ died for the sins of all!
The power of God avails through Jesus' resurrection. It is this power
that can make us into a regenerated being. Salvation is not the result
of mere mental ascent to an idea or kind of doctrine. There is an additional
requirement, that we must believe in our hearts unto righteousness
and confess before others that Jesus is Savior and Lord. It is this action
that comes from a depth of belief that God plants within us a heartfelt
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/
(L) Limited atonement. Calvinists hold that Jesus
did not die for all while some remain objects of wrath.
Did Jesus die for all? My answer is "Yes, Christ died for all.
But oddly, not all can be persuaded to believe. "As many who will
come he gives the right to become "children of God."
- - John 1:12: "But as many as received
him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that
believe on his name." 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.
Our God is Loving and Fare. For whatever reason, some who are told 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, who
sees the end from the beginning, has foreknowledge of those who did choose
to receive the free gift and persevere prayerfully from day to day until
their days on earth are fulfilled.
(I) Irresistible Grace. According to this tenet of
Calvinism 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 I believe to be 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 will continue in his Grace
the provision of his continuous aid. 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 mentally assents to the gospel and who is a regular
church attender is not automatically a regenerated believer, saved
and born of the Spirit. The church today is filled with nominal Christians
who do not reflect the nature of a person transformed by the power of
There are believers and and there
are unbelievers. Unbelievers need not be pagans or people who belong to
non-Christian religions. Unbelievers populate the churches that abound
in every community. There are conditions that determine our being among
"the called". Some may call these believers, "authentic
Christians." An authentic Christian has been Spiritually recreated
and transformed by the supernatural Power of God. (2Cor.5:17) Remember
this text which is powerfully relevant, "The Gospel is 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, as I am
convinced is the case, then it is impossible for anyone to take the first
step of faith and believe. We are like sleepers and dreamers who followed
blindly, the course of this world before we are regenerated by the
power of God. Now if we look at the world through a Biblical lense,
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, chronological process for those
who come to God. It may derive from the prayers of others. For some it
may derive from the life experience that molds us. God works both
in our thoughts and in our circumstances. This is portrayed by the hands
of the potter who molds the clay from pressure of his hands outside and
In the Bible references that I will
show you, we will find clear proof that it is by God's power that we are
selected (elected) and called out 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) The word for
church in Greek is Ekklesia which means called
There is overwhelming proof that God's
hand of grace is at work in our calling and the transforming work of salvation
as well. It also continues as we mature as believers unto godliness, abiding
in the vine and bearing the fruit of a believing child of God. Why do
so many fail to persue God or turn aside from the allurements of this
present evil world? It is likely that they have not actually had the life
changing encounter that is necessary to make them an authentic believer.
A question remains to ponder: Are those who practice a form of godliness
or 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
SCRIPTURAL FOUNDATION PROOF for GOD'S
(While God's foreknowledge and election is clear in scripture, the idea
that some can never be saved is not.)
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
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
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 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
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.
EK-KLE-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.
We can have more and more of God. If we purpose to 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
Does Election Mean That We Have No Responsibility to Preach and Share
Certainly not! All believers will naturally reflect the character
of God that will project and promote the way of Christ. 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 provided with that "measure of faith"
enabling us to believe and 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.
John 6:44: No one can come to Me unless the
Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.
FOUR KINDS OF 'CHRISTIANS from
"FALSE ASSURANCE": ( Teaching 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.
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