Thursday, January 29, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
- That due to God's sovereignty over his creation, that he must foreordain every action, event and thought within his creation. But this is not taught in scripture and is actually not necessary to the clear definition of "sovereignty" at all. Sovereignty simply means that God is completely beholden to none. He is Lord of His creation and none can say unto him "what doest thou?" or withold his hand. Yet our Sovereign God chose to make his creatures with free will and hold them responsible for their choices.
- That God randomly chose individual sinners from among human history and forcibly applied the blood of Christ to them and saves them apart from any choice they themselves might make...in effect, overriding the free will of certain individuals in order to forcibly redeem them.
- In the same manner of forcibly saving some, that God denies that opportunity of redemption through Jesus Christ by not saving others...in effect choosing to leave them to an eternity of Hell fire.
WHILE MANY BELIEVE THIS, THE BIBLE DOES NOT TEACH IT!! In Contrast, the Bible does teach:
- The Bible clearly teaches that man is a sinner and condemned...however, God has chosen to offer his Son as a sacrifice for the sins of mankind and accept those who believe on Him for Salvation.
- Sinful man is pursued by God, shown his sin and guilt by the light of God's word, offered the free gift of salvation, and given the opportunity and responsibility to respond to God's gracious offer.
- Man is held responsible for his willingness to receive or reject God's one way of Salvation through faith in His son, Jesus Christ.
WELL, THEN WHERE DOES PREDESTINATION FIT INTO THE PICTURE? Predestination, as I've already stated previously, has nothing to do with a sinner believing on Jesus and having their sins cleansed (justification). Neither does it have anything to do with God foreordaining some to Heaven and some to Hell.
Predestination, predestinated or predestinate, only occurs four times in scripture. (Ephesians 1: 5, 11 & Romans 8: 29, 30)
- Ephesians 1: 5 tells us that Believers, for that is who Paul is addressing vs.1, are not only "Justified" (cleansed of guilt and sin) through faith in Jesus, but now being within God's accepted group, He adopts us as children into His family! This is not Salvation, but an added extra to Salvation...something we have because we are "In Christ." God predetermined (predestinated) this extra gift to every believer! WOW!
- Ephesians 1: 11 tells us that not only are we adopted as children, but God also predestinated every believer in Jesus Christ to receive an inheritance...as the bible says, "we shall inherit all things!"
- Romans 8: 29 also tells us that every believer in Jesus Christ has been predestined to be "conformed to the image of His son." The word for this is "Sanctification," and means God will work in the believer's life to make them more like Jesus...transforming our daily lives into something that will glorify God in this world and lead others to saving faith in Jesus. Once again, this is not "Justification," or having our sins cleansed...it is something extra to the Believer in Jesus ONLY! No unbeliever is ever Sanctified, Adopted or given an Inheritance!
- Romans 8: 30 simply tells us that those predestinated already referred to vs.29, are also called, justified and glorified. Only Believers are predestinated to receive these extra gifts from the Father.
Concluding: we find NOT a doctrine of hopeless abandonment for part of humanity, but hope for all who are willing to respond to our Creator's gracious offer of Salvation through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. For those who do, you not only have your sins cleansed away, but adoption into the family, an inheritance in glory and a life in this world set apart unto God as he molds and shapes us into the image of his dear son.
Friday, January 23, 2009
- First, let's consider the Gravity of the situation. Gravity is an attractive force which is responsible for matter remaining bound together into objects like our Sun as well as the planets and moons, etc. It is also responsible for holding the planets in their orbits around the sun and the orbits of moons around planets. A change in the nature of Gravity would literally disperse all matter or crush it together unmercifully. Yet we find that Gravity is under such precise control that everything moves cleanly, efficiently and best of all safely for you and I here on the Earth. Some would argue that Gravity is a natural law...yes, but who established the Law?
- Or consider the sizes of objects in our solar system. Since this solar system and Earth in particular supports life, everything must operate precisely to maintain the exact balance of conditions which support that life. For instance, were the Sun larger or simply hotter than it is, life on Earth would fry! Or were the Sun smaller or simply cooler than it is, we'd all be a bunch of popsicles! Now, what if other planets were smaller or larger in our solar system? This would change their gravity and thus effect orbital paths around the sun and the relation of planets to one another. We might find that the slightest change could lead us on a collision course with one of our planetary neighbors. Or gravity being changed among planetary bodies could alter the course of other objects which pass through our solar system like comets. We've seen in recent years, a comet strike the planet Jupiter. The resulting explosions did nothing to the gas giant, but for Earth it would have devastated the planet...amazing that it doesn't ever happen isn't it?!
- Next consider the simple axis and angle at which Planet Earth rotates--approximately 23 degrees of tilt. This angle is responsible for our weather patterns and the seasonal changes. If this were not precisely in tune the way we find it, then life would cease to exist on this planet. Could we have life without the seasonal cycle of growth, maturation then death and decomposition? Without the basic foundation of our global food chain, vegetation, every creature would die. Or how long would we last in forever winter or forever summer, etc?
"In closing today's segment, we creatures find a finely tuned balance in creation essential for life to exist on this planet. That infinitely accurate balance extends far beyond little ole planet Earth to everything around us in our solar system and beyond. Zillions and Zillions of objects, movements, and complex processes have to work in complete harmony to sustain our fragile existence...it makes me wonder how mere chance and circumstance could ever accomplish the slightest fraction of it."