GOD’S SECRET REVEALED

Long before humans existed, God already knew that they would reject him and fall into sin and death, and he graciously planned in exquisite detail how he would rescue them and bring them back to himself. God imagined these details for his own joy and pleasure in contemplation, but he told no one his imaginations in great detail. When the time was right and God actually pulled off this Rescue, it … [Read more...]

FOREKNOWLEDGE AND FREE WILL (2)

A gracEmail subscriber writes: "I have been trying to work out in my mind how God can give us free will to choose salvation and also know beforehand who will be saved. Can you explain this?" * * * God has told us in Scripture that he will finally bring home to himself for all eternity a very great multitude of people, representative of all humankind (Rev. 7:9-10). The eternal blessing of the … [Read more...]

FOREKNOWLEDGE AND FREE WILL (1)

A gracEmail subscriber writes: "I have been trying to work out in my mind how God can give us free will to choose salvation and also know beforehand who will be saved. Can you explain this?" * * * I cannot explain the paradox of sovereign grace and human duty any more than I can explain the Trinity, the Incarnation or the Resurrection. God's thoughts and ways are simply higher than ours, and … [Read more...]

WHY EVANGELIZE IF GOD IS SOVEREIGN?

After I said that God must regenerate one who is "dead" in sin before that person can believe, a subscriber responded, "So, why worry about preaching the good news to them? Why worry about them believing it?" * * * The person who knows that salvation is of God's sovereign initiative doesn't "worry" about any of these things -- the whole process is in very good hands! All those whom the Father … [Read more...]

‘EXTENSIONS’ OF ELECTION

In response to gracEmails about God's choosing us, an outstanding Bible teacher writes: "My question is not about God's ability to save us or eternal security. It's about predestining some regardless of response and, by extension, rejecting others without any response." * * * You agree that God does not, at the End, save those in whose lives, looking back, he sees something good to which he … [Read more...]

CALLING & ELECTION

"Did God choose any person to be lost?" a reader asks, and "did he choose the saved because he knew in advance that they would respond to his calling? * * * The Bible does not require us to believe that God chose anyone to be lost, though it insists that as Creator he has the right to do just that (Rom. 9:19-22). Scripture speaks of two unrelated groups of human beings: (1) those who … [Read more...]

ELECTION AND EVANGELISM

A subscriber in Oklahoma writes, "If God already knows who will finally be saved, why should we even bother to spread the gospel? I would appreciate whatever light you can shed on this issue." * * * Jesus personally spoke of those whom the Father had given to him (John 6:37, 39; 17:2, 24). All those people will come to him, he said. He will lose none of them but will raise them all on the last … [Read more...]

CHOOSING — OURS AND GOD’S

"You do not seem to emphasize the necessity of human choice in salvation," someone writes. "Don't you know that the Bible teaches that we must make a decision for Christ?" * * * Indeed the Bible teaches that we "receive" Christ or "believe on" Christ (John 1:12; Acts 16:31). However, it also makes plain that God chose us long before we chose him (John 15:16; 17:1-3; 2 Thes. 2:13-14), and that he … [Read more...]

GOD’S CHOOSING

A gracEmail subscriber writes: "I can't reconcile the idea of God's arbitrarily choosing some for salvation with the exercise of our will. Didn't God choose a 'class' of people (those who believe) rather than selecting individuals?" * * * God's choice of his people is always consistent with the exercise of their will. God makes his people willing (Ps. 110:3, KJV). He himself energizes them "to … [Read more...]

OUR CHOICE OR GOD’S?

A gracEmail reader asks: "Do we choose God, or does God choose us? Is our will involved? * * * The Bible speaks from the perspective of God and also from the perspective of God's people. Experientially, we choose God (John 1:12), but we learn from Scripture that he chose us first (1 Thes. 1:4-5; Acts 13:48). God energizes his people both to will (choose and decide) and to do (perform, carry out) … [Read more...]