We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer
Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth. --Basil of Caesarea
Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12

Friday, August 17, 2018

How Can We Choose God?

Response to a question regarding “How can we choose God?”

Matthew:1:21 doesn’t say that Christ will save only His people from their sins—or most of us wouldn’t be saved. “His people” refers to Israel. They were the first to be called God’s elect (Is 45:4; 65:9). Again, it is Israel to whom Christ referred as the elect in Matthew 24:31, which is not describing a post-trib Rapture of the church into heaven but the gathering by angels of all Jews back to Israel at the end of Armageddon. That God loves all, and Christ died for all, obviously doesn’t mean that all are automatically saved. Salvation is for “whosoever believeth” (Jn:2:16, 36; 5:24; 6:35; 7:38; 1 Pt 2:6; 1 Jn:5:10, etc.)  Those who are lost are separated from God eternally, not because God didn’t love them enough or Christ didn’t die to save them but because they refused the salvation He offered freely by His grace.

You insist that “world” refers only to the “elect” in statements such as “God so loved the world” or “sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.” There is no basis for such an interpretation. Furthermore, the meaning of “all men” or “world” is undisputable in other similar verses. For example, “[Christ] is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe” (1 Tm 4:10). Here the “all men” is clearly different from “those that believe” (i.e., the elect). So too with the statement that Christ “is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” “Whole world” can only mean “whole world.” It cannot mean the elect, because it is contrasted to them.

Nor does the fact that God must draw us to Himself by His Spirit negate a genuine response to that drawing on the part of those who are saved. The same is true of Christ’s statement, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you” (Jn:15:16). Every employer could say to his employees, “You didn’t choose me; I chose you.” That would only mean that the employee could not force the employer to hire him. It was the employer’s decision that determined the hiring. But the one hired still had to apply for the job and agree to the conditions of employment.

Likewise, we could not force Christ to save us. God must initiate and only He can consummate the transaction. However, it would be meaningless if we were incapable of responding to God’s offer of salvation and thus didn’t genuinely choose to believe in, receive, and follow Christ in response to the conviction and wooing of the Holy Spirit. That we consented to being saved and believed in Christ is neither a “work” nor anything to our credit. The drowning man who allows his rescuer to pull him to shore has nothing to boast of or take credit for, nor has he played any role in his rescue. He can only be grateful to the one who saved him.

The Berean Call, August 2018


Jesse said...

Calvinism makes me want to gouge my eyes out. How did such nonsense come into being in the first place? No offense or disrespect intended, but I sometimes wonder whether these people preach a false gospel. Also, they always seem to become ornery when you question their theology.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

They always resort to personal attacks when you challenge their illogical theology. A moderated comment is deleted because anonymous (as usual-cowards always remain anonymous) attacked me personally, including the old false canard of "semi-palagian." [sic] and the charge overlying on works for salvation. Lies of course. The funny thing here is he also thinks Dave Hunt was the author just because the citation is from the Berean Call; I guess they don't know Hunt died five years ago.

Of course the "proof texts" he spouted were Romans 8:28-30, which destroyed his case because that passage talks about God predestining due to his foreknowledge (of those who would choose Christ) which they don't seem to understand is not the same as fore-ordained, and then there was the old standby of Romans 9 which is election for service, not salvation.

Anonymous said...

“His people” refers to Israel


This also, one of my favorites for this issue:

He came unto HIS OWN but HIS OWN DID *NOT* RECEIVE HIM. John 1:11 (But to those who did receive Him, He gave them the right to be called sons of God, (roughly quoted, continuing on, in John 1)).

If "His own" means the elect, the church, (as Calvinists mean when they say, "He came to save His people from their sins") then whoops, that verse doesn't make sense. How could "Christ's elect" (as understood by Calvinists) receive Him not?

BUT if "His own" means the elect nation of Israel, as it does through the NT, as TBC pointed out, then voila! John 1:11 makes perfect sense. Context, context, context. And straightforward, literal, grammatical, historical hermeneutics to understand the text. And you will get no contradictions.

TBC is a great ministry.


Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Martha, the evolutionist/Calvinist,

Your comments will not be posted. I tire of your promoting false teachings. Your Calvinist rant has all been responded to in my post: https://watchmansbagpipes.blogspot.com/2013/02/i-am-not-calvinist.html

You know this well because you also tried to comment with another Calvinist rant there, totally ignoring my proof against your eisegesis.

You are no longer welcome here because you are only interested in promoting your false teachings. Troll elsewhere.