Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Reply to blog comment

The following is a comment left on my blog. I decided to post my response as I believe these to be great questions and hope all of us may profit from examining them.

Anonymous said...
Do you believe that people get "saved"? Do you think that God chose those of us who are going to Heaven and the rest who He did not are going to Hell? How do you KNOW you are one of the chosen? How do you KNOW someone else is not?

Question # 1 Do you believe that people get "saved"?

Rom 5:9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.

When salvation comes to the soul of any person, they are saved from the destruction that is coming for all those who have never been justified (a legal term meaning declared “not guilty” before a judge). Mat 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, "Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

Wrath is coming! Act 2:40 And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, "Be saved from this perverse generation."

Question #2 Do you think that God chose those of us who are going to Heaven and the rest who He did not are going to Hell?

Let me first say, that this is an emotional question. Our views toward God must never be influenced by the way that we feel, by what we think is fair, and we must certainly never say, “I could never worship a God like that.” We do not get to choose the type of God that we will worship. We worship the God of the Bible and all that He is and all that He reveals Himself to be. Joh 4:24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."

The Scripture makes it abundantly clear that God chooses all who would be saved and that he makes his choice not based on good works, but on grace.

Deu 7:7 The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples.
Psalms 65:4 Blessed is the man You choose, And cause to approach You, That he may dwell in Your courts. We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, Of Your holy temple.
John 15:16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.
1Jn 4:19 We love Him because He first loved us.
Jer 1:5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations."

Romans 9:11 for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls.

Paul deals with this question extensively in Romans 8-9. Read it and study it for yourself and determine what God is teaching us about salvation.

Question #3 How do you KNOW you are one of the chosen? Mat 7:16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?

Eph 1:13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.

2Pe 1:10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble.

2Co 13:5 Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?--unless indeed you are disqualified.

The Holy Spirit convicted me of my sins, caused me to renounce my former life of sin and self-righteousness. I now have the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit who guides and directs my life, He causes me to hate sin and love righteousness. My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness.

Rom 8:16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.
The entire book of 1 John is written to answer this very question. Don't take my word for it, search the Scriptures for yourself. Let God be true and every man a liar.

Question #4 How do you KNOW someone else is not? I do not truly know if anyone other than myself has been born again. No man can see into another’s heart. And I would caution that we should never trust our own heart, Jer 17:9 "The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? We are told that we shall know people by observing the fruits of the spirit in their lives and that if they claim to be a Christian and continue to walk in sin, that we are not to fellowship with them. Matt. 18, 1 Corinthians 5.


Arthur Sido said...

"We do not get to choose the type of God that we will worship."

Exactly, God's truths and attributes are not laid out before us like a buffet to pick and choose. God is still God whether we believe in Him or not, His wrath and judgment is still coming whether we believe in it or not. Try telling a judge that you won't pay your ticket because you just can't believe in a judge that would find you guilty for speeding.

jwjw376 said...

Good answers, Joe. I would like to add more to the response concerning knowing whether or not one is elect.

In Col. 1:3,4, Paul sites three evidences for salvation, which he heard were present in the Colossians: faith, love, and hope. Paul knew they were saved because of these three evidences.

Paul specifically mentions that he knows the Thessalonians were elected because of their response to the gospel (See 1 Thess. 1).

Peter teaches in 2 Peter 1:3-10 that a person who dilegently works to add to his faith "makes his calling and election sure."

We can know whether we are elect or not.

Pastor Jeremy Lee
Twining Baptist Church