December 12, 2017

Predestination

George Stiekes

Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you. John 15:16

There have so many disputes, arguments, and even church splits over the issue of predestination. It is sad when brothers and sisters in Christ divide over the issue of free will or election because both are taught in the Bible.

The most important thing to recognize is the fact that salvation begins with God and not man. If it is in any way on the part of man, then we have reason to boast and suddenly salvation becomes a matter of works. I like a statement made by Dr. Warren Wiersbe on the matter – “The mystery of divine sovereignty and human responsibility will never be solved in this life.”

I have often thought that John 6:37 teaches both sides of the matter. Jesus said, All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me, I will in no wise cast out.

In the Old Testament, God chose Abraham from among the pagan people of Ur. Now some would ask, “why Abraham.” For the LORD has chosen Jacob to Himself, and Israel for His peculiar treasure (Psalm 135:4; Note Isaiah 41:8-9). Why Israel? Why not Moab or Syria?

Dr. Steven Davey stirred my mind on this matter on radio station BBN this week. He was teaching from Ephesians 1:1-4. Verse 4 reads – According as HE HATH CHOSEN US IN HIM BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.

God created Israel and said, Fear not for I have redeemed thee, I have CALLED THEE BY THY NAME; THOU ART MINE (Isaiah 43:1). Note also John 10:3 and Romans 9:28-33). Our relationship with God is very personal – He calls us by name – a personal choice.

The issue of predestination or free choice does not cause a problem for me, even though I cannot fully understand it. I am far more concerned about brothers and sisters who think because they have all the answers they can separate from other believers over the issue and lost sinners want nothing to do with Christians who cannot get along with one another.

Prayer and Letter

In 1890, Charles H. Spurgeon prayed with a group of ministers who were praying for their children to be saved. He was so moved that he wrote a letter to each child for whom was prayed. The following is one of those letters.

My Dear Arthur Layzell,

I was a little while ago at a meeting for prayer where a large number of ministers were gathered together. The subject of prayer was ‘our children.” It soon brought the tears to my eyes to hear those good fathers pleading with God for their sons and daughters. As they went on entreating the Lord to save their families, my heart seemed ready to burst with strong desire that it might be even so. Then I thought, I will write to those sons and daughters, and remind them of their parents’ prayers.

Dear Arthur, you are highly privileged in having parents who pray for you. Your name is known in the courts of heaven. Your case has been laid before the throne of God.

Do you not pray for yourself? If you do not do so, why not? If other people value your soul, can it be right for you to neglect it? All the entreaties and wrestlings of your father will not save you if you never seek the Lord yourself. You know this.

You do not intend to cause grief to dear mother and father; but you do. So long as you are not saved. They can never rest. However obedient, and sweet, and kind you may be, they will never feel happy about you until you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and so find everlasting salvation.

Think of this. Remember how much you have already sinned, and none can wash you but Jesus. When you grow up your may become very sinful and none can change your nature and make you holy but the Lord Jesus, through His Spirit.

You need what father and mother seek for you. You need it NOW. Why not seek it at once? I heard a father pray, ‘Lord, save our children; and save them young.’ It is never too soon to be safe; never too soon to be happy; never too soon to be holy. Jesus loves to receive the very young ones.

You cannot save yourself, but the great Lord Jesus can save you. Ask him to do it. ‘He that asks receiveth.’ Then trust in Jesus to save you. He can do it, for He died and rose again that whosoever believeth in Him might not perish, but have everlasting life. Come and tell Jesus you have sinned; seek forgiveness; trust in Him for it, and be sure that you are saved.

Then imitate our Lord. Be at home what Jesus was at Nazareth. Yours will be a happy home, and your dear father and mother will feel that the dearest wish of their hearts has been granted them.

I pray you to think of heaven and hell; for in one of those places you will live forever. Meet me in heaven! Meet me at once at the mercy seat. Run upstairs and pray to the great Father through Jesus Christ.

Yours very lovingly,

C. H. Spurgeon


George Stiekes held successful pastorates in churches in Michigan and Washington among other places. He currently resides in North Carolina and blogs at Reverent Reflections. We recommend his ministry and republish his material by permission.


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