September 2016 Dear Friends, In today’s world, people are very much concerned with the problems of hunger – providing bread to those who have none. We Christians should also be concerned about hunger, i.e. the spiritual hunger in mankind’s heart. So this year our missions theme is “Giving the Bread of Life”. Jesus, in speaking […]
Here we are in the middle of election season. On the eighth of November, the people of the United States of America will choose another president and a congress to lead our country. The choices for president are not the best I would have hoped for, but one of them will become our next leader.
I trust you have and will continue to pray for the candidates’ safety in these turbulent and troubling times. Also that you are praying as to which candidates you will eventually vote for. This pastor will not tell you who to vote for, that is your responsibility, it is yours to intelligently make up your minds and then to act. I pray you, God’s children, true Christians, will be wise in your choices this election.
Speaking about “election” specifically God’s choosing of people; consider Ryrie’s Study Bible definition of election in his “Synopsis of Bible Doctrine.” He states: “God’s unconditional and pretemporal choice of those individuals whom He would save.”
1 Peter 1:2 states, “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father…” This means that in eternity past, God chose them to belong to Himself. One commentator said that this doctrine “allows God to be God”. God is sovereign and any difficulty in reconciling God’s election and human responsibility “lies in man’s mind, not in God’s”. It is clear from the study of the Bible that the doctrines of God’s election and human responsibility, both should be believed. William MacDonald states, “While there is unutterable mystery in God’s choice, we can be sure there is nothing unjust about it.”
Ryrie’s footnote in 1 Peter 1:2 states: “The idea expressed in this verse is that God in His wisdom has chosen us to salvation through the work of the Holy Spirit…” Look at John 15:16 & 19 and consider your responsibility as Christians. Now look at Ephesians 1:4-5. It should be noted here that “the Bible never teaches that God chooses men to be lost”. Realize that if left alone all men would be lost. God does have the right to show mercy on some. The Bible teaches human responsibility. The message to the unsaved, regardless of the issues with election and human responsibility, is simply “whosoever will, may come”. (See John 1:12; 3:16, 18, 36; 5:24; 11:25-26; 12:44; 20:31; Acts 16:31; 1 John 5:13, etc.)
In this election when you go to the polls to make your choices, consider the words of 2 Peter 1:10: “give diligence to make your calling and election sure.” Ryrie’s footnote states: “i.e. confirm one’s profession of faith by godly living”. Our election took place before the world was made (doesn’t that blow your mind); our calling takes place when we are converted. We can’t make our call surer but we can confirm it by growing in the likeness of the Lord. By manifesting the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22, 23), we can provide unmistakable evidence that we truly belong to the Lord. Dear ones, realize this, a holy life proves the reality of our salvation.
Just one more thing along this line of thinking – our eternal security. The New Testament is replete with verses that teach salvation can never be lost or rejected (by apostasy) and that we can have present assurance of this – look up and ponder these verses – John 5:24; 6:39-40; 10:27-28; 17:12; Heb 10:14; Rom 8:16, 29-30, 37-39; Eph 1:13-14; Phil 1:6; 2 Tim 1:12; 2:13; 1 John 5:13; and one of my favorite passages, Jude 24-25, “Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy…”
Yes, America has an election on November 8th. Our Heavenly Father had an election in eternity past and I am thankful to have been included in that election. Eph 1:4 “…He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy without blame before Him in love.”
Rejoicing in God’s goodness,
Frederick W. Carroll, ThD