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Predestination?

Scripture makes it clear that God predestined all who are saved. That may make you feel uncomfortable and uneasy. The more important question should be: does that mean that we have no responsibility for our own choices? Or that some who want to be saved will be turned away? This is a much-maligned subject that is typically sidestepped or watered down. Let’s unpack the meaning behind predestination.

First, to be saved means that we admit that we have sinned against an all loving merciful God and that we agree that His Son has died in our place for our sins. It also means that we believe in Christ’s resurrection from the dead as a victory over death and the devil. The result of our belief is God’s gift of His Spirit to live in us as our counselor and comforter. Finally, only the saved, says the Bible, will enter heaven. (Current society is trying to water that down and say that if you are a good person, you will go to heaven. That is not a biblical statement.)

Romans 8 and Ephesians 1 reveals that only those who are chosen will be saved and will become sons of God. God takes the initiative and we have a choice to yield to His election. Only God can open our eyes. We cannot claim the victory because it was God who chose us, not us who chose Him. This is called the doctrine of “election”. It is a bastion for the souls of Christ.

This certainly brings up numerous questions. Let’s step into the quicksand of interpretation. I believe that we do not choose Jesus, but He chooses us, but I do believe we have to YIELD in order for Him to get through to us. The greatest sin of our generation is pride. The Me movement is poisoning the good sense out of so many young people and many older adults. The Me movement says that we are to honor ourselves so as to feel valuable and worthy. The school system makes it a point to make sure that all the students have a good self-image. The problem is that the method of building the self-image is flawed.

Schools teach students to feel proud of being a human being and that every human being is worthy. Sounds on the surface to be a valuable lesson, but it misses a key ingredient. As trust is earned, so is self-worth. There has been research done that proves that those with the most self-worth are not necessarily the most successful or have meaningful lives. Those with the least self-worth seem to try harder and work harder and achieve more. Which group do you think feels down deep worthier?

God takes a different approach to worthiness than what the schools teach or earning our self-worth. God says that our worthiness is through Jesus. His love for us is the core of our worthiness. It is through our knowledge of His unconditional love that we feel compelled to pursue our dreams and purpose and aspirations. The power of His love is to create a fire in us that will never go out. Thus our self-worth is based on being loved not on anything we could do or based on simply being a human being.

Back to my questions… two caricatures that are simply not true are: 1. If you want to believe, that you will be turned away and 2. If you don’t want to believe but are compelled to believe. That is simply not in the Bible. Whoever comes to Jesus will never be turned away. And those that don’t want to believe cannot be forced to do so. To be in Christ implies that somehow God called us. This is a truth that may be confusing and, in some ways, unfair to us but it is not explainable. Some truths in the Bible are beyond our understanding.

We have no chance to get to heaven on our own no matter how hard we work at or how “good” we think we are!

Society and those pundits that believe they are smarter than the Bible, tell us that we must not believe that a good merciful God would reject us if we are good and generous and kind. That is simply not in the Bible and God tells us that all truth is in the Bible. If you feel that way, then you have not YIELDED to the call of Jesus and His word and His truth. The truth: if we seek Jesus He will answer us. If we seek Jesus, it is implied that we have been called. The rest is a mystery and one I have found hard to understand, but I have accepted it because it is a Biblical truth.

 

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joe-sturnioloBy Joe Sturniolo
Christian Family Legacy and Wealth Planning
Joe believes that stronger families are the vehicle God uses to bring about significant impact for His Kingdom.

One Comment

  1. darlene
    Posted on August 30, 2018 at 11:20 pm

    amen joe..good article!…and true..some things are just beyond our finite understanding….

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