Showing posts from September, 2018

Prepared For Destruction/Hard Hearts? A look at Romans 9

(Part of the "Predestination vs. Free-Will" series)
Romans 9:22-23: “What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath – prepared for destruction?What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory . . .”

Ah, the big chapter!(Read it all if you want to.)The one that really does make it sound like God decides whom to make for heaven and whom to make for hell.  If you're a Calvinist, that is.

But I don’t believe this passage is talking about individuals being specifically, deliberately created for destruction.

Predestined For Salvation? Or For Something Else?

(Part of the "Predestination vs. Free-Will" series.  And I covered this in the previous post in this series, but it deserves its own post too.)

1 Peter 1:1-2:“To God’s elect . . . who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood.”

Let's look again at this verse (because it is a verse that predestination hinges on), but let’s dig even deeper.
As I sought to understand 1 Peter 1:1-2 more accurately, I learned that the Revised Standard Version of this verse says this:“. . . To the exiles of the dispersion . . . chosen and destined by God the Father and sanctified by the Spirit for obedience to Jesus Christ and for the sprinkling of his blood . . .”

The NIV's "elect" is simply translated "exiles of the dispersion" in the RSV.
Maybe you won’t see it this way, but to me it sounds like Peter is not writing to the “elect,” as in “those pr…

The Elect - Foreknown By God

(Part of the "Predestination vs. Free-Will" series)
1 Peter 1:1-2:“To God’s elect . . . who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood.”

People who believe in predestination (Calvinists) define the “elect” (the “chosen” ones) as those whom God has pre-chosen for salvation.And everyone else is destined for hell, with no chance of being saved.They would say that this verse confirms it.That we are chosen by God to be believers or unbelievers.

For starters, I don’t think “elect” means "specific people chosen by God to be saved."  And I don't think this verse is saying that God has prechosen people for salvation.  I think this verse means that God foreknows who will choose to believe in Him and that He has pre-decided to help them grow in obedience to Jesus Christ, through the work of the Spirit.  Not that He has planned to save certain people.


Simple "War Room" Daily Plan

There's a lot of different ideas out there for how to do a War Journal or War Room.  Here's an idea for a simplified daily plan (can be done in any order really):

1.  Quiet your mind.  Remind yourself that God is already there with you, that you are meeting with our great, holy, powerful, good God.  (You're in His presence all the time, but now you're consciously "meeting" with Him.)  Maybe start by playing a worship song that touches your heart, and singing along.  Worshipping God makes the devil crazy!  And it gets your heart and mind into the right place. 
2.  Pray that God speaks to you this morning.  Tell Him to open your ears to what He wants to tell you.
3.  Read the Bible, either following your normal daily reading plan, or praying about what God wants you to read that day.  Read until the Holy Spirit speaks to you about what you're reading or gives you some sort of insight.  Journal it.
4.  Write down verses you need to dwell on today, maybe related …

Are We Forced To Be Obedient or Disobedient?

(Part of the "Predestination vs. Free-Will" series)
Does God cause us to be obedient or disobedient?
If you believe in predestination – that God has predetermined that some people will go to heaven but that most people will go to hell and there is nothing they can do to get to heaven – then you have to say that God ultimately causes us to either be obedient or disobedient.    
But I strongly believe that we have the responsibility to decide if we will obey or disobey.And I think the whole Bible attests to this, from the Fall . . . to the fact that God lays out “the blessings path” and “the curses path” for the Israelites to choose between . . . to the many calls to “obey” and “choose whom we will serve.”