God’s Predestination And Election

God’s Predestination And Election

Pastor Vincent - 22 January 2022

God's Predestination And Election

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Where the sovereignty of God is concerned, the sound minded believer will have to choose between whether God is fully or partly sovereign.

* Rev RC Sproul: In the Reformed view, God from all eternity decrees some to election and positively intervenes in their lives to work regeneration and faith by a monergistic (i.e. one way working) work of grace. To the non-elect, God withholds this monergistic work of grace, passing them by and leaving them to themselves. He does not monergistically work sin or unbelief in their lives.            

 

Two Questions that trouble believers about the reformed view of Predestination and Election. 

1) Did God predestine some to heaven, and some to hell? (Double Predestination)

2) What is the reason that God choose to save some people while pass over others?

 

Read <Ro 9:10-23>

10 Not only that, but Rebekah’s children were conceived at the same time by our father Isaac. 11 Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: 12 not by works but by him who calls—she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” 14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. 17 For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden. 19 One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?” 20 But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?

22 What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory—

 

* We are greatly mistaken when we think God is obligated to save everyone.

* The doctrine of “prevenient grace” is merely developed to make God seems that he is fair in giving equal rights to everyone. But do fallen men still have any rights?

* <Ge 2:17>: … for when you eat from it you will certainly die.

* We agree there is a universal offer of the gospel to all men. But only the elect will be given the saving faith to respond to the gospel.

 

  1. Double predestination – God predestined some to be saved, and some to reprobation.

* In double predestination, there is an equal ultimacy in the decree, but the exercise of that decree is not equal.

* While God actively gives saving faith to the elect, God simply passed over the non-elect and let them choose the sin which they wish to. E.g. Judas.

* <Jn 6:70>: “Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!”

* <Jn 13:27>: Satan entered into him. And Jesus told him, “What you are about to do, do quickly”

* Theologian JI packer: The bible never says that sinners miss heaven because they are not elect, but because they “neglect the great salvation”, and because they will not repent and believe.

 

  1. Reasons for Election

* God wants to retain His right as God, who has the full sovereignty and prerogative to choose who to save.

* In doing so, he choose to show his mercy (to the elects), and justice (to the non-elects).

* God’s fairness? He doesn’t practise favourtism.

* But pertaining to His divine salvation, God has the right to choose His bride.

* Does God have a small heart? No.

* He must be fully sovereign to save us. Unless God intervenes, no one will respond to his saving grace.

 

  1. How about scripture verses that demand man’s perseverance to be saved?

* <Mat 24:13>: But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

* <Mat 24:22>: And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.

* The elect will only preserve to the end by God’s help.

E.g. Jacob, Peter.

** Why did I choose the reformed view over the Arminian’s view?

 

  1. How does doctrine of Predestination and Election help us know God better?

1) God has an unswerving and consistent character ⟹ Firm assurance in Christ

2) God’s salvation is exclusive, and therefore it is not “cheap”.

⟹ Preach a complete gospel, and seek out evidences of a transformed life.

3) God is not only all loving but also all powerful ⟹ View all persons that we meet as possibly being numbered among the elect.

4) God cares about His sheep more than the numbers ⟹ Personally concerned about the wellbeing and sanctification of the sheep.

 

  1. Two great concerns:

1) Would it cause the people of God to take God’s grace for granted?

*  <2 Cor 13:5>: Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?

* <2 Peter 1:5-10>: 5…make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. 10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election.

* <Heb 12:6>: the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.

 

2) Would it result in us not being proactive in evangelizing and ministering to the non-believers?  

* <Acts 18:9-10>: “9…Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. 10 For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.”

* JI Packer: When we pray for unconverted people, we do so in the assumption that it is in God’s power to bring them to faith.

* The Christian prayer is not an attempt to force God’s hand, but a humble acknowledgement of our helplessness and full dependence upon Him.

 

Reflection

  1. Do you agree with the views on Predestination and Election that is taught today?
  2. What is the hardest thing for you to reconcile about these views?
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Pastor Vincent Choo
choochisan@gmail.com

Vincent is the Senior Pastor of The Life Church and Missions (Singapore) and is an ardent missionary to the Chinese World. He currently lives in Singapore with his wife, Qiufen, and has three kids, Mary, David, and Caleb.

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