May 6, 2010
The character of human nature is inconsistent with the Nature of God and therefore is forced by that nature to be inconsistent with His Word.
For a very long time the subject of Predestination and Election has been on my mind, but until recently I have not been motivated to write. In recent years the growth of the so-called TULIP theory of salvation by election has caught my attention. With this heightened sense of interest I began to read, study and now write. With every page that I have read in God’s Word and the failure of TULIP to convince me to look any further, I began to write.
God’s message of Salvation by His Grace and one’s faith in Christ is for everyone who believes, Period. God by His Grace provides everyone an opportunity to respond to Him in faith and to repent of their sin through by the convicting work of the Holy Spirit.
“And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.” John 16:8-11.
When the discussion of Predestination surfaces, and is noted, the word appears 4 times in the New Testament, 2 times in Romans and twice in Ephesians. The word Predestination in the Greek means “to decide beforehand”, and the Greek word Elect makes reference to God’s act of choosing. The two words are almost synonymous and therefore, must be discussed with the damnation of the ELECT as well. Those who have been chosen by God to Hell is the obvious negative side of Predestination. Some call this Reprobation.
Predestination in TULIP cannot remove Reprobation from the dogma if it is to be consistent with the Sovereignty of God. Theological consequences of including Reprobation with Predestination is the absolute failure of that doctrine. However, if one is predestined for salvation, another must also be predestined for eternal damnation and the location of that damnation is HELL.
The Apostle Peter tells us that
“But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” 1 Peter 3:7-9.
“Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. 2 Peter 3:14-16.
One of the many statements of the Christ that should bring issue for the TULIP theory of salvation is found in Matthew 28:18-20. There is no indication for the purpose of Election or Predestination in this message from Jesus, “And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
Paul seems to underscore the unlimited bounds of God’s Saving Grace in his short letter to Titus, “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.” Titus 2:11-14.
There are 3 very obvious points made to Titus:
1. God brings salvation to everyone
2. Jesus gave Himself for the Believer’s redemption
3. His Possession are those whom He purifies for Himself.
The Apostle writes quite clearly in Romans 10:8-13, "THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART"--that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, "WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED." For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for "WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED."
THE TULIP THEORY CANNOT HAVE IT BOTH WAYS.
“ 'AND IT SHALL BE THAT EVERYONE WHO CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.' Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know-- this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.” Acts2:21-24.
The Predetermined plan is that everyone who believes and calls upon the name of the Lord Jesus will be saved.”
Take notice of what John the Baptizer said about the One who was to follow after him, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12-13. And then Jesus himself repeats the same thought to Nicodemus in John 3:3-7, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born, can he?" Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'”
AGAIN, THERE IS NO MENTION OF PREDESTINATION OR ELECTION BY THE CHRIST.
Eternal Life or Eternal Damnation is found completely in every person’s man’s response to God’s call to repent,
“Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel." Mark 1:14-15.
Suggesting that God has predestined a select few is ludicrous in light of what Jesus says about himself,
"These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled." Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and He said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.” Luke 24:44-48.
Certainly, those folks who are not yet Believers in the saving Grace of God are on their way to eternal damnation in a place called Hell. These are living on the precipice of eternal separation from the Almighty.
“Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints. For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe.” Jude 3-5.
BEFORE ONE SAYS, “AH HA, HERE IS ELECTION IN V. 4, LOOK FURTHER TO VERSE 5, “DESTROYED THOSE WHO DID NOT BELIEVE.” PAUL, IS SPEAKING ABOUT THOSE WHO DO NOT BELIEVER AS BEING MARKED FOR CONDEMNATION.
In the closing moments of his vision to the Church, John writes in Revelation 22:17, The Spirit and the bride say, "Come " And let the one who hears say, "Come" And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.” There is not a single hint of election uttered here by the Apostle.
Through out Holy Writ we find the freedom to choose or deny the Grace of the Almighty, and those who have fallen into eternal death have rejected God.
"Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, each according to his conduct," declares the Lord GOD. "Repent and turn away from all your transgressions, so that iniquity may not become a stumbling block to you. Cast away from you all your transgressions which you have committed and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! For why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies," declares the Lord GOD. "Therefore, repent and live." Ezekiel 18:30-32.
The doctrine of Predestination and Election for Eternal Life or Death simply does not coincide with the message of the Gospel of God. Simply stated, “All” and “Whosoever” indicate that God’s plan of salvation is for everyone and not for a select few. All are spiritually lost until they receive by faith the Saving Grace of God in Christ. Tragically, the opposite is true, too. That is, all who hear have opportunity to repent and become sons of God and do not are eternally damned at death.
Jesus tells everyone in Matthew 11 28-30, "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
Jesus is the Lord of Freedom to Choose