. . . fully after the LORD I Kings 11:6 by Steve Flinchum
AS HE IS
In John 5:24, Jesus said:
And, in verse 40, Jesus said:
In the next chapter, in John 6:40, Jesus said:
When those He was speaking to began to murmer in unbelief, Jesus said, in verse 44:
In John 11:26 Jesus said:
In John 12:46 Jesus said:
Verses 37-41 say:
Acts 2:21 says:
Acts 10:43, speaking of Jesus, says:
In Romans 1:16 Paul says:
But, in Romans 3:11 Paul wrote:
Romans 8:7-8 say that:
And, I Corinthians 2:14 says:
Total Depravity or Inability
The case is clearly this--Whosoever will believe on and receive Jesus as He is and for who and what He is shall be saved, BUT, whosoever WON'T unless God gives him a new will-er. The natural man cannot believe (I Corinthians 2:14) because he is "dead in trespasses and sins" (Ephesians 2:1) and his mind "is enmity against God" (Romans 8:7). "No man" (John 6:65) can believe unless he is given a new nature by being "born again" (John 3:3), being given the faith to believe, as a "gift of God" (Ephesians 2:8).
This true and undisputable fact raises many questions. The answers to those questions, if answered in total consistency with the Bible, form the system of doctrine to be presented here. It must be considered as a system because each of the several points either stand together or they all fall together. No one point can be held and proven with consistency while rejecting any of the others. No one point can be rejected without ultimately surrendering and abandoning the rest.
A Just and Merciful God
It is commonly objected that God could not be just in requiring man to repent and believe if man is unable to do so. The same logic would insist that God was unjust in giving the law, knowing that no one would be able to keep it. It further implies that God was unjust in creating man, knowing that he would sin. Those doctrines, if followed, will lead its adherents to the acceptance or approval of some form of belief in works for the obtaining of salvation. That system of belief eventually says that a loving God would not have created a literal hell, and ultimately, that man is his own god, and that every man is free to do whatsoever is right in his own eyes. These false doctrines depend upon the false assumption that salvation is deserved, that since God let things get out of hand, and if by Adam all men have inherited a sinful nature, that God was obligated to provide a plan of salvation. Salvation is not deserved. God did not provide a plan of salvation because of man's merit, but because of His mercy. God was not obligated to save anyone. He is God. He is totally sovereign. He is just. He is merciful. God has said, "I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion" (Romans 9:15). As Romans 9:16 points out, salvation does not come by man's choice, but by God's choice:
The fact of man's total inability and unwillingness to understand or receive God's only plan of salvation being proven from the Bible, we are led to the logical conclusion that if anyone is ever saved, it is by God's choice. In John 6:65 Jesus said:
In John 6:44, Jesus said:
Romans 9:16 says:
Not only did God specifically choose or elect to save those who would be saved, He made His choice "before the foundation of the world" (Ephesians 1:4), proving that God's decision was not because of any merit or goodness that we possess. Romans 9:11, using Jacob and Esau for an example, explains it in these words:
Ephesians 1:4-14 says:
Many, finding these verses incompatible with their preconceived "way which seemeth right" (Proverbs 14:12), have labeled them as "difficult passages that are hard to explain" and, not quite willing to literally tear out those pages or to highlight them with a black "magic marker", have abandoned them. Ignoring the truth of God's Word does not make it any less true. We must lay aside all prejudice in the matter and accept these verses as part of the "all scripture" that "is profitable for doctrine" and as part of the "all scripture" that is "given by inspiration of God" (II Timothy 3:16).
Some, in trying to bypass the truth of the doctrine of election have suggested that since God knows all things, He knew who would believe and who would not, and therefore has elected those He knew would believe. That cannot be correct because it is crediting man with the ability to make the right choice and to make himself acceptable unto God, and pictures God as a powerless "yes man" at the mercy of man's free will. Why would God have wasted His time electing people if He knew they would be saved anyway? God knew that there would be "none that understandeth" and "none that seeketh after God" unless He caused them to do so. Man was created with a free will, and look at what he has done with it. Consider Adam and Eve. There were two people with a perfect chance to make a go of it. There were no neighbors to offend, no enemies to hate, no money to steal or cheat for, no bills to worry over, no one to lust after. They had daily communication with God. They had the best of everything. They had a free will, and look how they used it.
Since "there is none that seeketh after God" (Romans 3:11) as He is, and "none that understandeth" God's simple plan of salvation as it is, "none" would ever be saved unless they be given the ability to seek and understand and the mind to receive God and His plan as is. Since "none" are able to help themselves, we can be sure that "none" can give that ability to another. It must be God that gives that ability, and He does so through the new birth that Jesus was telling Nicodemus about in John 3:3-8. God "hath chosen" some unto salvation "according to the good pleasure of his will."
The reality of the total inability and unwillingness of the natural man to understand or to seek a right relationship with God being proven and accepted, we are forced to conclude that no one would be saved unless God elected some. The fact that God has elected some implies that there are others whom God has not elected. That is exactly the case according to the Bible, both Old and New Testaments. God elected Israel to be His chosen nation of people, but did not elect the Egyptians, Canaanites, Philistines, and others to be His chosen nation of people.
Many are teaching that God does not elect some to salvation, while not electing others, and claim that God would be unfair to do so. We must remember that salvation is not deserved by anyone. Salvation is a free gift of God's mercy, not something that God is obligated to provide. God would be perfectly just in allowing every person that has ever sinned to go to hell, without ever having provided a plan of salvation. God said:
Romans 9:16 says:
On pages 75 and 76 of Abandoned Truth, one of the best and most thorough books available on this subject, Tom Ross says:
In Proverbs 16:4, the Bible says:
The purpose of man is to glorify God, and everyone will sooner or later, willing or not. "Every knee shall bow" and "every tongue shall confess to God" (Romans 14:11). God has created man to glorify Him and God accomplishes the things He wants to do. God uses all people to glorify Himself; He even uses the ungodly. Romans 9:17 uses Pharaoh for an example on the subject of divine election:
We find that message, delivered by Moses, from God to Pharaoh in Exodus 9:16:
Exodus 10:1-2 says:
Exodus 11:9 says:
The example of Jacob and Esau is also presented in the teaching of election in Romans 9:10-13. In Genesis 25:23, God, speaking to Rebekah, the mother of Jacob and Esau, said:
Malachi 1:1-3 says:
In Romans 11:7-8, Paul, speaking of God's grace and quoting from Isaiah 29:10, wrote:
In John 12:37-40, quoting from Isaiah 53:1 and Isaiah 6:1, John wrote:
I Peter 2:8 describes those "which stumble at the word" as "being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed." II Peter 2:12 speaks of some who are "as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed." Jude, verse 4 speaks of false teachers "who were before of old ordained to this condemnation." Romans 9:22 speaks of some as being "vessels of wrath fitted to destruction." Unwilling to submit to a totally sovereign God, many will reject the plain teaching of these simple verses and argue that God could not be just or fair to have mercy on some and not others. Romans 9:14 says:
Romans 9:20-24 says:
Some, unwilling to accept these plain truths, will ask, "Did Christ not die for everyone?" The Bible doctrine known as Particular Redemption teaches that He did not.
Just as some would say that a glass is half empty, when it is actually half full, the doctrine of Particular Redemption is sometimes referred to as "Limited Atonement." The Lord's congregations in England were named "Particular Baptists" in the 17th century, because they faithfully upheld the true teaching of Particular Redemption. The General Baptists in England rejected this doctrine and were called "General Baptist" because they believed in a general atonement.
Jesus, the one who did the redeeming, understood and taught that the redemption was particular. In John 17:1-2 Jesus, just hours before His death, prayed, saying:
And in verse 9 He said:
The reason Jesus died was to pay for sins--not His own--but the sins of others. That being true, we are forced to conclude that either Jesus actually obtained salvation for those He died for, or that He only made a provision for man to obtain his own salvation. In John 6:39, Jesus said that it was the Father's will "that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day." Was Jesus a successful Saviour who accomplished what He came for, or was He a terrible failure, unable to accomplish "the Father's will"?
Romans 5:10 says, "...we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son." Galatians 3:13 says, "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us." Hebrews 9:11-12, speaking of "Christ being come an high priest" says:
Hebrews 10:14 says:
Hebrews 12:2 claims Jesus to be both "the author and finisher of our faith."
It is conclusive that the purpose of Jesus' death was the substitutionary payment for sins and that for those He died, He hath redeemed from the curse of the law and has obtained eternal redemption for them. If Jesus died for everyone, "having obtained eternal redemption" for them, then no one will go to hell to pay for his own sins because they are already paid for. Would God require someone to pay for his sins in hell if Jesus has already "obtained eternal redemption" for that person. Would God have sent His Son to die for "vessels of wrath fitted to destruction" (Romans 9:22), or those appointed unto disobedience (I Peter 2:8), or certain men "who were before of old ordained to . . . condemnation" (Jude 4)? Is Jesus' blood no more precious than that? Jesus did obtain eternal redemption for those who will be saved.
The reality of divine reprobation, or the hardening of those who reject God as He is, and reject Christ as He is, is certain. We need not trouble our minds about anyone going to hell because of divine reprobation. No one will go to hell for being "fitted to destruction" or being "appointed unto disobedience." They will go to hell because they will have rebelled and sinned against God and rejected His plan of salvation. Those who reject Christ as full and only payment for their sin will spend eternity in hell, regardless of their good works, evil deeds, or reprobation.
The truths of the doctrine of Particular Redemption being proven by these scriptures, we are forced to take one of two courses. We must either ignore these clear and indisputable scriptures and build our doctrine around other verses that could be interpreted to contradict these, or, we must lay aside all preconceived ideas and prejudice and seek the interpretation that agrees with the context and with the rest of the Bible. Those who insist that Jesus died to save every person that has ever or will ever be born, and that God is trying to save everyone, must admit that both have failed terribly. They might as well say, "Poor, poor, pitiful God." In Isaiah 46:9-11 God says:
There are some verses that can be made to disprove particular redemption but to do so is to make those verses contradict the rest of the Bible, and certainly those passages such as John 6, John 17, Romans 9, and the others previously discussed. The entire Old Testament describes God as nothing less than TOTALLY SOVEREIGN. It must surely be offensive to the Holy Spirit for someone to try to make one part of the inspired Word of God contradict another part.
These doctrines, because they show the spiritual depravity or inability and helplessness of man, are offensive to our human nature, and therefore, the human part of us resists and opposes such doctrine. I John 2:2 is often employed in disputing Particular Redemption, and as long as the verse is kept isolated from those which accompany it, and if the meaning of the word propitiation is changed or ignored, it may be done so quite convincingly. The chapter and verse divisions were not inspired in the original, but have been added in later times for convenience in reference and location. When we look beyond those divisions and study the verse within its context, it can be seen that there is no contradiction. I John 2:2 says:
The entire epistle of I John was adressed to a congregation or congregations in a certain location or particular area. Those written to are described as "brethren" (I John 2:7), those whose "sins are forgiven" (verse 12), who "have known him that is from the beginning" (verse 13), who "have overcome the wicked one" (verse 13), and "you that believe on the name of the Son of God" (5:13). The purpose of the epistle is given as "that your joy may be full" (1:4), "that ye sin not" (2:1), and "that ye may know that ye have eternal life" (5:13). I John 2:2 declares that Jesus Christ is the propitiation or full payment for their sins and also for the sins of God's elect among all nations, rich or poor. On page 34 of The Bible Doctrine of Election C.D. Cole wrote:
Most agree that the same John, the apostle, wrote I, II, and III John and the gospel according to John. In a verse very similar to I John 2:2, speaking of when Caiaphas, the high priest, unwittingly "prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation" (Israel) in John 11:52, John wrote:
The ones Jesus died for is "the children of God that were scattered abroad." John 1: 29 says:
If "the world" here refers to every single person in the world, why do people continue to go to hell, if the Lamb of God "taketh away" their sin? On pages 260-261 of The Sovereignty of God, A.W. Pink wrote:
In Romans 11, continuing with the subject of election from previous chapters, speaking of Israel, God's chosen people, verse 1 says, ". . . Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. . . ." Verse 2 says, "God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. . . ." Verse 5 says, ". . . there is a remnant according to the election of grace." Verse 7 says, ". . . the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded." Verse 15, speaking to Gentiles, says, "For if the casting away of them [Israel] be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?" "The world" in that verse does not mean every person in the world, because it excludes the nation of Israel.
The "world" in John 3:16 is limited to "whosoever believeth in him" (the elect). Galatians 3:8-9 says:
"All nations" is qualified by "they which be of faith."
Some verses or phrases containing the words all, every, or any are sometimes enlisted in the rejection of election and particular redemption; but they, too, when studied in context, clearly show that it is "all" the elect that is being referred to. II Peter 3:9 says that the Lord is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." The word translated "any" in that verse is the Greek word tis (Strong's #5100), an indefinite pronoun which Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament defines as:
On page 152 of Abandoned Truth, Tom Ross says:
Hebrews 2:9 says:
When kept in context, it is seen that "every man" that Jesus tasted death for is, in verses 12 and 13, by quoting the words of Jesus that were prophesied of in Isaiah 8:18, qualified by, and limited to, Jesus' "brethren" and "the children which God hath given" Him. The Greek word translated "every" in Hebrews 2:9 is pas (Strong's #3956) which is also correctly translated "all" in I Timothy 4:10, and many other places. I Timothy 4:10 says:
The "all men" that the "living God . . . is the Saviour of" is qualified by the phrase, "those that believe" and is limited with the adverb "specially," which Webster's Dictionary defines as "particular; beyond the usual; distinct; intimate; designed for a particular person or purpose." The "all men" there is the same "all" (Strong's #3956) in John 6:37 where Jesus said, "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me." It is the same "all" (Strong's #3956) as that in John 12:32, where Jesus said, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." Notice, also that "men" is not in the original, but has been added in translation, as indicated by its appearing in italics in the KJV. Jesus DID NOT say, "I will try to draw all men toward me"--He said, "I . . . will draw all unto me." "All" and "all men" is used in other places when it clearly does not mean everyone everywhere, without exception. In John 3:26, there were some that said that "all men come to" Jesus, but it is clear that they did not mean every single person. Acts 2:44-45 says:
Verse 45 does not mean that they parted their possessions and goods to every single person everywhere, but "as every man had need" (that they knew of).
I Corinthians 15:22 says:
That verse does not tell us that "all" persons universally shall "be made alive," but that all that shall "be made alive" shall be made alive "in Christ." In Matthew 10:22, Mark 13:13, and Luke 21:17, Jesus said, "Ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake." Surely Jesus did not by "all men" mean that each and every individual person would hate them (or us) for His name's sake. Surely He was not telling them that they would hate each other for His name's sake.
II Peter 2:1 is a verse that, I believe, is often, and can easily be, misunderstood. It says:
That verse is interpreted by some as saying that Jesus redeemed the "false teachers" who "bring upon themselves swift destruction," and therefore proves that Jesus' redemption is universal and not particular. First, let us consider who is being called "Lord" in this verse. The word Lord or Lord's beginning with a capital L is found over 680 times in the King James translation of the New Testament. There are 45 occurrences with a lower case L as lord, lords, and lord's. Additionally, there are 3 occurrences of LORD, using all capital letters, clearly meaning God the Father. Lord with only a capital L, as in this verse, is sometimes used to refer to God the Father and sometimes to refer to God the Son. Distinction is often made by saying, "Lord God" or "Lord Jesus Christ" as in Jude 4.
In all but 11 occurrences, Lord, Lord's, and lords, regardless of capitalization, is translated from the Greek word kurios (Strong's #2962) which Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament defines as:
The word Lord in II Peter 2:1 is one of only four occurrences where Lord is translated from the Greek word despotes (Strong's #1203), defined in Thayer's Lexicon as "a master, lord," and in Strong's Concordance as "(a husband); an absolute ruler ("despot"): -- Lord, master." In each of these four occurrences, I believe, "Lord" is referring to the Lord God, the Father. The first of these four occurrences is found in Luke 2:29, spoken by Simeon. It had been revealed to Simeon by the Holy Ghost, "that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ" (Luke 2:26). When Jesus was six weeks old (Luke 2:22 and Leviticus 12), the parents brought Him to the temple and Simeon "came by the Spirit into the temple." Luke 2:28-29 says:
Despotes clearly refers to God the Father in that verse.
The next occurrence of despotes, translated as "Lord," is in Acts 4:24 which says:
Despotes, translated "Lord" in Acts 4:24 clearly refers to God the Father.
The next occurrence of despotes translated as Lord is in II Peter 2:1, the verse presently under discussion. The fourth and final occurrence is in Revelation 6:10, again, I believe, referring to God the Father. Revelation 6:10 says:
Notice that in each case where despotes is translated "Lord," it is spoken by Jewish persons, and is in referrence to God the Father. Despotes is also found five other times in the New Testament, where it is translated "master's" (with a lower case M) in II Timothy 2:21 and "masters" (with a lower case M) in I Timothy 6:1, 2; Titus 2:9; and I Peter 2:18.
The first word, "But," of II Peter 2:1 unmistakably connects it with the two verses that immediately precede it. That being so, the false prophets referred to in the first part of this verse are those that "were" among the people "in old time" when the "prophecy of the scripture" came by "holy men of God" (such as Moses) who "spake moved by the Holy Ghost." The recipients of the epistle are being reminded (II Peter 1:15) of those false prophets like Korah (Numbers 16:1-35) and warned by "even as there shall be false teachers among you." The phrase, "the Lord that bought them" in the last half of II Peter 2:1 refers to a temporal deliverance by the Lord God and the verse makes an allusion to the deliverence of the Israelites from bondage in Egypt, and to Deuteronomy 32:6. On page 61 of Cause of God and Truth, John Gill commented:
Deuteronomy 32:6 says:
We who have been blessed with the availability of the Bible, with religious freedom, and the presence of Jesus' congregations preaching the gospel, can be said to have been bought by God and delivered from conditions that could be worse, yet all that can save no one. We must be bought by the blood of Jesus to possess eternal life. Although the Israelites were bought by God and delivered from Egypt, some "fell in one day three and twenty thousand," some "were destroyed of serpents," and some "were destroyed of the destroyer" (I Corinthians 10:6-12). Compare II Peter 2:1 with Jude 4-5 which says:
We could continue on and on attempting to answer the objections to the doctrine of particular redemption but the believer who is willing to submit to the God of the Bible as the truly sovereign God that He is, and to the teaching and guidance of the Holy Ghost, can find the answers in God's Word. Those who still object will still object.
Seeing that God has elected to save certain persons, that redemption was actually obtained for those particular persons by the death of Christ, and that God is able to carry out His plans and intentions according to the good pleasure of His will, we may conclude that all whom God has elected, and all for whom Christ has obtained redemption must be ultimately caused to receive salvation and that God's grace is irresistible. That is what the Bible teaches. God has purposed that His elect "should be holy and without blame before him," as Ephesians 1:4-11 says:
The unchanging God says, in Isaiah 46:9-11:
Romans 8:28-30 says:
Jesus taught that the elect shall be saved in John 6:37:
Acts 17:30 tells us that God "commandeth all men every where to repent." A general call goes out from God to all men everywhere. Enough can be seen in creation alone that we are without excuse (Romans 1:20). But, God in His mercy goes much farther--through the inspiration of His Word, the Bible, the preservation of it, and the propagation of it in many languages, the general call is given. Through the preservation of Jesus' congregations throughout all ages, with the orders to "teach all nations" (Matthew 28:19), the general call is given. God has given man a conscience that can be made to feel guilty and condemned, and cause him to shake and tremble and lose sleep at the thought and realization of his impending eternal punishment. Even with all this man will resist that call. Even under the preaching of Paul, Agrippa was only almost persuaded (Acts 26:28). "Almost is but to fail." As was shown earlier from the Bible, the reason man does not respond positively to the general call is that he is unable and unwilling. Some, in opposition to God's sovereignty, have questioned the sincerity and propriety of God in giving a general call to those He knows are unable to believe. Shall we also charge God with insincerity and wrong-doing in giving the ten commandments, knowing that no one could obey them, and knowing that the law would be broken the same day it was given? God forbid. On pages 151 and 152 of The Sovereignty of God, A.W. Pink wrote:
Later, on pages 154 and 155, Pink says:
Yes, the general call is valid, and it is sincere--and it is always resisted. Man is helpless and hopeless except for the grace of God. By His marvelous grace, God gives an effectual call to His elect. The effectual call, being part of God's doing that which He has purposed to do (save His elect), is irresistible. Failing to recognize a distinction between the general call and the effectual call, we may mistakenly perceive that man is able to resist God's effort to do what He has purposed--but that does not change reality. It is not at all uncommon for man to have an exaggerated opinion of himself. Popular opinion does not change the words or plans of the unchanging God. Even though we may have thought that it was within our power to successfully and ultimately resist God and cause Him to fail to accomplish what He had purposed to do, and even though we may have been convinced that we could have refused the last opportunity to receive Jesus as Saviour, that does not give us license to re-invent God. On page 45 of Abandoned Truth Tom Ross wrote:
The unregenerated person always resists God as long as he is left in his natural condition. When given a new nature, a new will-er, a person gladly and freely wills to receive Jesus as Lord and Saviour. In John 3, Nicodemus was puzzled at the requirement that "a man be born again." In verse 4, Nicodemus asked how that a person who had been born (a natural birth) could be born a second time (another natural birth). In verse 5, Jesus explained that "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" (underlining added). In verses 6 and 7, Jesus said, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again." Man, when given a new nature by means of a new birth, no longer resists, but is enabled to see things differently and gladly receives salvation. God elected, Jesus purchased, and the Holy Spirit enables. It must surely be grievous and offensive to the Holy Spirit when we give man the credit for that which is the work of the Holy Spirit. It is by the Holy Spirit that we are "born again" and given the ability to understand and the willingness to receive Jesus as Saviour. We are "sealed" and kept "in Christ" by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is continually active in the persevering and preservation of those "born again." Ephesians 1:13-14, speaking of Christ, says:
In Matthew 12:32, Jesus said:
It is a very, very serious thing to claim that before being "born again" the natural man has the ability to choose God and that it is by man's choice that salvation is obtained. It is a very, very serious thing to claim that our perseverance in the faith is in our own hands--that we are able to keep ourselves saved or able to get ourselves lost. And, God the Holy Ghost should never be spoken of as "it" nor described as "just a kind of feeling that comes over you." To do so is blasphemous.
On page 167 of Abandoned Truth, Tom Ross wrote:
On page 165 of the same book, Tom Ross says:
It is NOT the responsibility of Jesus' congregations to "make disciples." Our job is to glorify God, defend and uphold the truth, and go "into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15). We must faithfully do our part and trust God to do His part. God is not glorified by our giving man credit for God's work. If salvation is obtained in part by man's works then his salvation must be held on to or preserved by man's works. Since salvation is wholly by God's grace we can be assured that we will be kept saved wholly by God's grace. That, too, is what the Bible teaches.
Perseverance and Preservation of All Blood Bought Believers
Would God go this far in saving His elect, in doing that which He has purposed, and then leave the continuation of it to chance, or for man to undo? Philippians 1:6 says:
God, who saves those He has chosen, promises to, is able to, and does preserve or keep each one of them saved--and He can and will preserve throughout all eternity. The blood bought believer, having received a new nature by the new birth, will delight in the law of God. The new creature will desire to know and do God's will, and by the enabling of the Holy Spirit, will persevere. I John 5:4 says that "whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world." Verses 11 and 12 say:
Notice the present tense. God hath given to us eternal life and he that hath the Son of God hath possession of that eternal life right now, and we can know that we possess eternal life--not by how we feel, but by the Word of God. Verse 13 says:
In John 5:24, Jesus said:
In the next chapter, in John 6:38-40, Jesus said:
In John 10:26-29, Jesus taught Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Particular Redemption, Effectual Calling, Preservation, AND Perseverance ("My sheep hear my voice . . . and they follow me"). In those verses, Jesus said:
The blood bought believer will persevere because he is being preserved. God the Father who elected us, God the Son who redeemed us, and God the Holy Spirit by whom we received the new birth and are "sealed" all continue to work together, doing the preserving and persevering. I John 5:4 says:
And, that faith which is the victory is "not of yourselves: it is the gift of God" (Ephesians 2:8).
Being still chained to the old nature, a Christian may fail as David did and as Peter did, but it will not be with joy and it will not be with continuation. Both those men repented, as any true Christian will, because of the possession of the new nature that is received in the new birth, which has the ability and desire to be guided and corrected by God.
Many make a profession of faith in Christ and later return to and continue a sinful and ungodly life. Some will say, "See there, he was saved and then got lost again." Others may say, "No, he is only backslidden," but the scriptural conclusion is that the individual has never experienced the new birth. Like "the sow that was washed," in II Peter 2:22, returns "to her wallowing in the mire," there was only a temporary, outward change. Sincere faith may be placed in an imaginary or false "Jesus," but if that is the case, the preservation will also be false.
The Elected Means
In Isaiah 55:8-11, God said:
On page 18 of The Bible Doctrine of Election, C.D. Cole wrote:
Romans 1:16 tells us that the gospel "is the power of God unto salvation." The gospel must be "according to the scriptures" (I Corinthians 15:3) and it must be "the gospel of the grace of God" (Acts 20:24) or else it is another gospel. Galatians 1:6-9 says:
Romans 10:17 says:
I Corinthians 1:21 says that "it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe." God has not only chosen to save His elect "by the foolishness of preaching" but has also chosen Jesus' true congregations as the agency for the preaching. In Mark 16:15, Jesus commanded His congregations to "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."
The Elected Message
I John 3:2 says that we shall see God "as he is." Every person, believer or unbeliever, will sooner or later face God as He is. In John 4:24, Jesus said that they that worship God must worship "in spirit and in truth." Faith, prayer, and worship that is directed toward God as He is imagined to be or wished to be, if it is not as He is is false faith, false prayer, and false worship. Doctrine and teaching that is contrary to as He is is false doctrine and false teaching. God is sovereign. We must recognize and teach of God as He is.
The doctrines of sovereign grace must be guarded, defended, and taught. Many have abandoned them to compromise with false prophets and counterfeit "Christianity". I believe that much evil has been perpetrated against the doctrines of sovereign grace by so called "gospel singing". Many popular songs sneak their way in upon us with a catchy tune and "religious" sounding words, while denying or perverting the true gospel. I Corinthians 15:33 says:
Too many Baptists have been listening to the radio when they should have been studying the Bible.
Now study Romans 1:18-32 and consider the seriousness of one's having a Bible that describes God and His sovereignty, yet rejecting the doctrines of God's Sovereign Grace. To not regard God as He is is to glorify Him "not as God." Romans 1:21 says:
For illustration, suppose a woman thinks that she loves a man but after learning more about him and finding out what he is really like, she says, "I don't love him any more--I thought things would be different." I think we would have to agree that she never loved him in the first place, but only thought she did. It was an imaginary love. It was a false love. What shall we say of those who claim to love God but reject the Bible's description of Him?
Rejection of the doctrines of Sovereign Grace logically leads to:
A. Doubt of Jesus' ability to preserve His kind of congregation throughout all ages.
B. Doubt of God's Bible as totally infallible and unchanging.
C. Doubt of God's role in creation.
D. Doubt of God's ability to judge and destroy.
E. Doubt of God's existence.