Acts 13:42-52 (English Standard Version)
42 As they went out, the people begged that these things might be told them the next Sabbath. 43 And after the meeting of the synagogue broke up, many Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who, as they spoke with them, urged them to continue in the grace of God. 44 The next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord. 45 But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began to contradict what was spoken by Paul, reviling him. 46 And Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken first to you. Since you thrust it aside and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles. 47 For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, ‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’” 48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed. 49 And the word of the Lord was spreading throughout the whole region. 50 But the Jews incited the devout women of high standing and the leading men of the city, stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their district. 51 But they shook the dust from their feet against them and went to Iconium. 52 And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
The Issues with the Verse
Continue reading “Acts 13:48 – A Calvinist Verse? (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?”
The Calvinist’s Challenge:
Predestination is undeniable! The Bible clearly teaches it, and anyone who denies it has to deny the teaching of the Bible. God predestined who he would choose to save and bring to faith in Jesus Christ. Before the world was created, and before anyone had done anything good or bad, God decided which individuals he would save. He didn’t save them because of the faith they would have in him, or for any goodness that would be in them, but only because he was pleased to save them. This truth is taught so thoroughly throughout scripture that it needs no defense. It only needs humble hearts that will throw away the worldly pride of humanism which tries to deny God’s right to decide who will be saved. Continue reading “Five Questions About Predestination – #1 – When?”