|Grace Bible Church|
Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The Tree of Life is a weekly teaching summary.
The Tree of Life from the week ending 11/16/08
God never elected anyone to the Lake of Fire.
We are studying Romans 9-11 which contains some of the most advanced and difficult material in the entire Bible. We are heading into a section of the Bible that some say teaches a doctrine called hyper-Calvinism or double pre-destination, which is an attack on the character and nature of our God. Because we are in difficult territory, we need to be properly prepared. The idea is to be sure we are firm in our doctrine, clear about what the Bible says about election and predestination these vital subjects in our spiritual life.
Once we are equipped properly, we can enjoy some of this fantastic journey with Paul in Romans 9.
Both election and predestination pertain to the sovereign will of God concerning believers. God is sovereign. Sovereignty means that God is supreme in rule, and has authority over all things, and that nothing happens without His consent. Both predestination and election relate to the sovereign will of God toward believers. Predestination and election have nothing to do with the unbeliever. It doesn’t mean that God does not love the unbeliever, He does, with impersonal unconditional love. It doesn’t mean that God does not have a plan or a will for the unbeliever, He does. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved [will of God for the unbeliever] and to come to the knowledge of the truth [will of God for the believer](1TI 2:3-4).
Predestinationis the grace provision of the sovereignty of God for each believer in eternity past, providing everything needed to execute God’s will, plan, and purpose for the believer’s life. Predestination is synonymous with the PPOG for the Church-age believer. This is God’s unique plan designed in eternity past for each believer, and includes their personal sense of destiny. God has provided the believer everything needed to execute His plan for their life. Predestination as the unique grace provision for the believer includes the two power options of the filling of the Holy Spirit and Bible doctrine, as well as the believer’s escrow account.
Election is the expression of the sovereign will of God under the principle of equal privilege accomplished for the believer by God in eternity past. Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love (EPH 1:4). Under election, God wills His highest and best for every believer. Each believer has equal privilege and equal opportunity to glorify God in the angelic conflict. Again, election and predestination pertain to believers only. God does not predestine anyone to the Lake of Fire. There is no verse in the Bible that says the unbeliever was elected to hell. The Bible never states that God elects anyone to the Lake of Fire. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (1PE 2:9-10)
We are called to royalty; called to be a people for God’s own possession. We are called to step into God’s marvelous light; called to His kingdom and glory. He call us so that we might proclaim His excellencies and He will be glorified. We are called so that we might gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are called to be objects of maximum grace. He gives, we benefit, He gets the glory. Who [God] has saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel (2TI 1:9-10).
For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
God has called us to freedom.
God has called us to sanctification (1TH 4:7).
God has called us to a great hope (EPH 4:4).
God has called us to join one Body (COL 3:15).
God has called us to suffer and patiently endure it so as to walk in the footsteps of Christ (1PE 2:20-21).
God has called us to inherit a blessing (1PE 3:9).
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; (ROM 8:28-29). Nothing about hell here. This means that the believer was in the mind of God in eternity past! Billions and billions of years ago, God was thought about you. God knows all about you! Under the doctrine of election, He wants you to have the very best of everything! He wants you to have the highest possible happiness! Only you, with your negative volition toward doctrine, can hinder that personal desire from the sovereignty of God! The foreknowledge of God does not make things happen; the foreknowledge of God merely perceives what is certain to occur. And these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified (ROM 8:30).
Election, along with foreknowledge, predestination, justification, and glorification, all belong only to the believer. We also have to note the subject of free will. God decreed in eternity past that every human being shall be a free person. God never tampers with free-will. The results of man's decisions do and will exist! God does not tamper with your decisions or the effects of your decisions but, God does provide for you the doctrine necessary to meet any situation in life when it occurs. God does not coerce your free-will, however, He does influence your volition through circumstances. God knows how you would respond in any situation, and if He desires to bring in a situation which will cause a negative reaction on your part, and then in turn bring glory to Himself, He has the right to do so!
This brings us to the principle of the potter and the clay! This passage refers to the fact that it is the potter's wheel of authority that shapes the life of everyone, apart from being born again and growing in grace. ROM 9:14 What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! For He says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I raised you up, to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth." You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?" On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, "Why did you make me like this," will it? Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use, and another for common use? (ROM 9:14-21).
The point is that the sovereignty of God and free will of man coexist in human history. God has provided His authority and authority He has delegated so that you can steer through life with virtue from humility and have a marvelous life. Whether a person becomes a vessel of honor or dishonor depends upon the function of his own volition with regard to divine authority. God provides a potter's wheel, which is legitimate authority in life, and whether a person becomes a vessel of honor or dishonor depends on the function of his own volition and attitude toward authority. God has delegated authority in life so that the basis of virtue, humility, can be attained.
We need to look at a few more points on election, because they are so important to have at your fingertips when studying Romans 9. The mechanics for the election of the Church is the baptism of the Holy Spirit which occurs at the very moment we believe in Christ. This is one of the forty things we receive at salvation by which each one of us is entered into union with Christ. The election of the Church includes both equal privilege and equal opportunity for every believer. Not only do you have a magnificent destiny under the PPOG, but election says that you have the same privileges and opportunities as all other believers for the execution of that plan. Under election, equal privilege is your Royal priesthood. We all have the privilege of representing ourselves before God. Under election, equal opportunity is logistical grace support and blessing for both winners and losers.
Point 2. There are three elections in history:
- Israel under the ritual plan of God.
- Christ under the incarnation plan of God.
- The church under the pre-designed plan of God.
Israel was elected under the ritual plan of God, “For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has elected you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.” (DEU 7:6).
The Lord Jesus Christ was elected under the incarnation plan of God, “Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold; My elected one in whom My soul delights. I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the nations” (ISA 42:1).
“Behold, My Servant whom I have chosen (elected); My Beloved in whom My soul is well-pleased; I will put My Spirit upon Him, And He shall proclaim justice to the Gentiles.” (MAT 12:18)
Then the Church under the PPOG, And so, as those who have been elected of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; (COL 3:12).
It's very interesting to note that each election brought a new category of species into history: The election of Israel brought in the new racial species, the Jew. This is one of the main reasons why there are problems in Iraq and the Middle East! Then there is the election of Christ which brought in the Hypostatic union (undiminished deity and true humanity in one person forever). Jesus Christ is eternal God and therefore different from humanity. Jesus Christ is true humanity and therefore different from eternal God. He had to become true humanity to be our Savior, our great high priest, and our mediator. The election of the Churchbrought in the new spiritual species, the Church or Royal Family of God. This is called the new creature in the Bible.
Israel was elected under the ritual plan of God. In the Jewish age, the Tribulation, and the Millennium, there is an election of born-again Jews. “And I will give you the treasures of darkness, And hidden wealth of secret places, in order that you may know that it is I, The Lord, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name. For the sake of Jacob My servant, And Israel My elected one, I have also called you by your name; I have given you a title of honor Though you have not known Me” (ISA 45:3-4). The election of Israel, as with all elections, applies only to those who have personally believed in Jesus Christ. This is why the Bible For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel." Jesus Christ was very clearly revealed to the Jews in the Old Testament. Therefore, those who believed in Christ had an election and a plan. Wherever you have an election and a plan, that adds up to having a destiny.
As a believer you need to understand the following: The believer was elected in eternity past for the purpose of inheriting blessing. Election is always related to blessing, not to a violation of human volition or free will! For you were elected for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing (1PE 3:9b). The first thing that is obvious about your blessings being deposited in eternity past is that under the principle of election, you could never work for any divine blessing in time. All divine blessings werewilled for you by God before you were alive to perform any good deed!
Worthy of praise and glorification be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, [He blessed us] just as He elected us in Him before the foundation of the world, (EPH 1:3-4).
Long before you existed, your blessings were designed just for you! This means that we are not blessed by personality improvement, by morality, by self-sacrifice or by Christian service. This wealth was deposited in eternity past for those believers who reach the point of maturity and who are consistent and have proper motivation from metabolized doctrine. It is God’s desire that every one of us will have His highest and best! God is an optimist and He always thinks in terms of the best. Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make His calling and electing you sure [a spiritual reality]; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; (2PE 1:10). Why would we ever have to make His calling us and electing us sure if election meant that God chooses you and your free will has nothing to do with it? What part of election are we to make sure if all that election means is salvation? Are we to try and keep ourselves saved? That's impossible! (JOH 5:24; ROM 8:1).JOH 10:28 says “and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand.”
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling [His electing you], what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, (EPH 1:18)
So the question again: Why would we ever have to make His calling us and electing us sure if election meant that God chooses you and your free will has nothing to do with it? The answer is because election has to do with more than salvation. Election has to do with the believer receiving God's highest and best for their life, all that He has elected them to receive. God has provided equal privilege and equal opportunity for that hope to be fulfilled! That's why you need to get to know what the last part of this verse refers to;
“What are the riches (wealth) of the glory of his inheritance in the saints”
When the believer reaches the different stages of spiritual growth, especially maturity, the escrow account opens up and the believer is able to make some withdrawals. The wealth and the blessings given to the believer who becomes a winner also extends to the future.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus, in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (EPH 2:4-7)
Notice that these riches, these blessings are from God and His grace in His kindness toward us! He could have just given us salvation and saved us from our sins! Instead, He gives us the opportunity to share in the victory of His Son Jesus Christ!