(This is the 4th and final post in a series on 13:48. To start at the beginning of this series click here)
I concluded the last post by suggesting we understand Acts 13:48b in the following manner:
“…as many as were appointed [according to the foreknowledge of God] to eternal life believed.”
When Luke noted that those who believed had already been appointed to eternal life, the Calvinist imagines that this appointment was done without the consideration of how men would respond to the gospel. By ignoring that salvation is conditioned on a person’s response to the gospel they remain consistent with their belief in divine determinism, but they stray far from the plain teaching of scripture (Mark 16:15, John 3:18).
It seems reasonable to conclude that God is the one doing the appointing in this verse, though some non-Calvinists would argue that the Greek grammar in this verse could imply that the individuals are “appointing” themselves in the sense of “inclining” or “disposing” themselves to eternal life. But in the 2nd post on this topic I showed my reasons for rejecting that argument. In short, I tried to demonstrate that the other four times Luke used the Greek word tasso he never used it in that way.
Continue reading “Acts 13:48 – A Calvinist Verse? (Part 4 – Answering Objections)”
Ephesians 1:4-5, 11, 13-14
Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should e holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will …
In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will …
In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
The first chapter of Ephesians clearly teaches that certain individuals are predestined to eternal life. It further tells us that those who have been predestined are guaranteed that they cannot fall away. Unconditional Election and Perseverance of the Saints are firmly established by this passage.
Continue reading “The Mystery of Predestination Revealed – Ephesians Chapter 1 – Part 1”
Question: Who did God predestine?
Answer: The Church of Jesus Christ
The question of when God predestined is not in dispute between Calvinists and other Christians, but the question of who God predestined is. Due to their misinterpretation of certain passages of scripture Calvinists have concluded that God, before the creation of the world, unilaterally predestined certain individuals to be saved. But this is a misreading of the Bible and a misrepresentation of God’s eternal purpose.
The implications of this error are clear. If God has already decided unilaterally (i.e. without any reference to their choices) which individuals he will save, and his eternal will is unchangeable and irresistible, than everyone’s eternal destiny is sealed before they are even born. This is great news for those lucky enough to be chosen and crushing news for those who were not. But thank God, this is error! God has not determined unilaterally beforehand which individuals will be saved and which will be damned. Instead, “we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe” (1 Tim. 4:10). Jesus came to “taste death for everyone” (Heb. 2:9). And he commanded his disciples to “tell everyone the Good News. Whoever believes… will be saved…” (Mark 16:15-16 – GWT). The truth is that God “is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9 – KJV). Continue reading “Five Questions About Predestination – #2 – Who?”