“Repeat these basic essentials over and over to God’s people. Warn them before God against pious nitpicking, which chips away at the faith. It just wears everyone out. Concentrate on doing your best for God, work you won’t be ashamed of, laying out the truth plain and simple. Stay clear of pious talk that is only talk. Words are not mere words, you know. If they’re not backed by a godly life, they accumulate as poison in the soul.” ~ 2 Timothy 2:14-17
I know what I believe. Do you?
One local church in Houston has this on their website under “who we are” and “what we believe”. They are not discreet at all in claiming a belief in the elect, as a matter of fact they broadcast it (which I appreciate, knowing that I don’t believe the same)! However, this is contradictory:
We support a world-wide outreach effort, sharing the good news that God loves us through His Son’s death and resurrection, saving ALL who acknowledge their sins and turn to Him in faith
(emphasis added by me)
And then this:
We believe that, in eternity past, God, in His sovereign good pleasure, and not based upon any foreseen merit in them, chose certain people (the elect) to be recipients of eternal salvation. God ensures that the elect come to believe in Christ and their salvation is secure for eternity.
(emphasis added by me)
THIS IS TRUTH:
Romans 3:22 says this:
“The righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction” (ESV)
We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. (NLT)
“Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. Don’t just say to each other, ‘We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’ That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones.”
But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, “Why does he eat with such scum?”When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” (NLT)
Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us. So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family.
Here Paul says, “With the Lord’s authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity.” [Ephesians 4:17-19}
This is AFTER he said, “God’s purpose was that we Jews who were the first to trust in Christ would bring praise and glory to God. And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.” [Ephesians 1:12-14]
Is the Apostle Paul contradicting himself?!?!? ABSOLUTELY NOT! He is illustrating my point perfectly…God wants none to perish and He did not “choose” some for salvation and some not. “The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.” [2 Peter 3:9] He gives us FREE WILL, as displayed in that the Gentiles eagerly (willfully) practiced their sin yet when they believed [a willful act] he saves them. To believe is to accept as true. We must RESPOND and ACCEPT as true that Jesus died for our sins, was resurrected to give us eternal life. They believed FIRST, and then He seals them with the Holy Spirit. Believed FIRST and then seals them with the Holy Spirit. Once they believe, Jesus saves their soul and their dead spirit is revived by His breath.
But if wicked people turn away from all their sins and begin to obey my decrees and do what is just and right, they will surely live and not die. All their past sins will be forgotten, and they will live because of the righteous things they have done. “Do you think that I like to see wicked people die? says the Sovereign Lord. Of course not! I want them to turn from their wicked ways and live.” ~ Ezekiel 18:21-23
Let us not forget everyone’s favorite, which truly illustrates what I believe, simply and directly:
For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
Thank God that He doesn’t exclude but includes! I would have so easily been disqualified…what about you?
I would love to hear what you have to say…leave me a comment!