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The Christian Counter

 

Bible Election

 

The Call, the Crown, and the Condition

 

What does the apostle Paul admonish us to do?

 

“Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fail, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1: 10,11. 

 

Note – This text at once reveals the fact that our salvation, so far as our own individual cases are concerned, is dependant upon our own action. We are elected to be saved; but we are to give diligence to make this election sure. If we do not, it will not meet its purpose in our case, and we shall be lost.

 

What admonition given by Christ teaches the same truth?

 

“I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so no one will take your crown.”

Revelation 3:10.

 

Note – A crown has been prepared for each of the finally redeemed. Every soul is a candidate in the race for eternal life, and hence for a crown. Faith in Jesus and perseverance to the end will make our election sure.

 

Upon what condition is the crown of life promised?

 

“Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.” Revelation 2:10.

 

God’s Call in Christ to Holiness

 

In whom, and from what time, have we been chosen unto holiness and salvation?

 

“For he has chosen us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. Ephesians 1:4.  [Christ]

 

What is the character of those thus chosen before the foundation of the world?

 

Holy and blameless.” Verse 4.

 

To what has God foreordained those who attain to this character?

 

“He predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.” Verse 5.  

 

According to what does God call us?

 

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28.

 

According to what have we been predestined?

 

“In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.” Ephesians 1:11.

 

Enduring Faith and Salvation

 

Upon what condition is salvation offered?

 

“They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved – you and your household.” Acts 16:31.

 

How long must this faith be preserved in order to bring final salvation?

 

But he that stands firm to the end will be saved.” Matthew 24:13. (See James 1:12; Revelation 2:10.)

 

In what fact may every believer in the Word of God rejoice?

 

“However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:20.  

 

Whose names are to be retained in the book of life?

 

“He who overcomes will like them be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before the Father and his angels.” Revelation 3:5.

 

God’s Choice and Man’s Choice

 

What scripture is sometimes cited as evidence that God is arbitrary in His dealing with men?

 

“Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.” Romans 9:18.

 

But what other scripture shows with whom God “wills” to be merciful, and with whom otherwise?

 

“To the faithful, you show yourself faithful, to the blameless you show yourself blameless, to the pure you show yourself to be pure, but to the crooked you show yourself to be shrewd.” Psalm 18:25,26. (See also Isaiah 55:7.)

 

Note – God wills that men shall be saved. He has foreordained the characters that will entitle men to salvation, but He does not compel anyone to receive Christ, possess this character, and be saved. This is the matter of individual choice. By His mighty acts and judgments in Egypt, God “hardened Pharaoh’s heart.” (Exodus 7:3, 13, 22.) But the same manifestations softened the hearts of others. The difference was in the hearts, and in the way God’s message and dealings were received; not in God. The same sun which melts the wax hardens the clay. Exodus 8:32 says that Pharaoh hardened his own heart.

 

How many does God desire to be saved?

 

Who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” 1 Timothy 2:4.

 

What, on man’s part, is essential to salvation?

 

“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose this day whom you will serve.” Joshua 24:15. “If anyone chooses to God’s will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.” John 7:17.  They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved – you and your household.” Acts 16:31. “The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.” Revelation 22:17.

 

Deciding the Election

 

A man once wished to join a certain church, but he could not do so on account of the views this church held on the subject of “election.” The minister to whom he was sent for help and enlightenment failing to make the matter clear, an old colored man, a laymen, came to the rescue and said, “Brother, this is the very easiest thing in the church. You see, it is like this: The votin’ is goin’ on all the time; and God, He is votin’ for you; and the devil, he is votin’ agin you; and whichever way your vote, that is the way the election goes.” Commenting upon this incident, the noted evangelist Wilbur Chapman says, “I have studied theology some myself, and graduated at a theological seminary; but I never got anything quite as good as that.”

 

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