Month: September 2014

Not a Matter of Choice

Not a Matter of Choice

Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you – John 15:16

SlanderI’ve been told that my belief in universal reconciliation devalues the work of Christ. Actually, it is the Arminianistic teaching of free will that devalues the work of Christ. Orthodox teaching makes Christ out to be nothing more that a potential savior.  By traditional teaching, all Christ did on the cross was to make it possible for people to save themselves, which, they teach,  most will fail to do.  This teaching makes Christ powerless to save those he desires to save, those he died to save.

The truth found in Scripture is altogether different than orthodox teaching.

Salvation is for all mankind.  Reconciliation is for all creation. Those that God chooses, are the first fruits.  They are chosen for service, not for their own salvation, but the means that God uses to help accomplish the reconciliation of all creation.  All things on earth, and all things in heaven.  Those who are chosen will be used to bring in all of the rest of creation, the latter fruits. All creation will be reconciled back to God, through Christ.    That is truth you can rest in!

I like what A. E. Knock has to say about this:

Too often is salvation made a matter of the sinner’s choice. This sadly mars the full and clear apprehension of God’s love which it is intended to reveal. All active effort in redemption is the outflow of divine love, and is entirely on God’s side. All the sinner’s activity is a hindrance, He would choose anyone but God. His part is a passive or a negative one. This basic truth is much more forcibly revealed later on in connection with the call of the nations. We were chosen by God in Christ before the disruption. Sin itself was subsequent to His choice of us. Hence, sin, either past or present, cannot affect God’s purpose for us, or our acceptance of His grace. He chooses, He calls, He glorifies. He does not give man his choice or a chance. He has the wisdom and the power to impel men to fall into line with His purpose no matter what their natural inclination may be. All human experience confirms the divine declaration that He it is Who is operating in us to will as well as to work for the sake of His delight (Php_2:13). Man can carry out his own will only so far as it accords with the purpose of God. When men rage against God, He uses their wrath as far as it is useful to His plans. The remainder of their wrath He restrains.

A. E. Knoch,

Concordant Commentary on John 5:16

 

 

Human Relations

Human Relations

856133674_b0ee520d3dA believer can hardly be considered qualified in human relations as long as he harbors a distorted idea of God’s plan for all mankind. Since divine truth is safeguarded by means of repetition, continuous thanksgiving for universal reconciliation will become a daily reminder to us of God’s eonian purpose. Such praise and prayer will help us toward a more objective outlook toward all men and events around us. We may be leading a mild and quiet life, not because God will remove wicked men and false brethren and turbulences, but because we will begin to look at them the way He does.

It is God’s irrevocable will that everyone be saved and come into a realization of the truth about God and himself. Though this will not happen in our lifetime, we can look on everyone as a friend and as a potential believer. For we know that he or she will be in the consummation. Hence we may rejoice in always including, all mankind in our pleadings, with thanksgiving not forgetting kings or presidents and others in a superior station, in this country and elsewhere. Thus, lenience toward all men will become part of our spiritual attitude.

 

– Herman H. Rocke
Unsearchable Riches Magazine

I Suffer, Ergo I Live

I Suffer, Ergo I Live

suffer2God is sharp. Everything He does is with a higher goal in mind, higher than we can even imagine from our perspective below cloud level, including trials. Trials are purposeful little buggers—annoyances at best and fiascos at the other end of the woe chart. Designed to break our dependency on earthly treasure, all of the ordeals sent our way faithfully nudge our gaze ever upward and onto the roused, glorified Christ (Colossians 3:1-3). We endure evil down here in Temporalville so that we can be conformed to the image of Dad’s Boy (Romans 8:29) so that, ultimately, God will become All in all (1 Corinthians 15:28). You see what I’m saying? Sharp! And how else would this be accomplished but through our shared struggles, day in and day out? If we were not battered and bruised and chiseled and hewn by the trench warfare of life, there would be no need to look to God. If we always had it easy, what good is faith in the things to come?

Like everyone reading this, I know hardship. I have been dismembered—bit by bit, piece by piece. At first a hand here, a growth and a foot there, then an entire limb at a time—right arm with shoulder, and scapula to boot. Like kind-hearted barbarians they only did what God raised them up to do—eradicate the disease with the hope of saving a life. They are the orthopedic oncologist surgeons enlisted to treat skin cancers run amok. I am the tenacious survivor laid helpless on their operating table time after time. And now that time looms again as a distinct possibility. How much of me is going to the butcher’s block before my Creator hollers: Enough! Even though “Why me?” flew out the window a dozen or so procedures back, I still cannot fathom going through the motions again. I do not know what is worse—the prospect of living one more minute in this pain-riddled, decaying bag of bones or facing the muffled sounds of the buzz saw hacking away my flesh and bone as I drift in and out of consciousness because the anesthesiologist went a touch too light on the Propofol?

My tenacity worn thin, I am fresh out of courage—all bravery tokens cashed in. Yet where courage ends, faith begins. Whereas I used to be the epitome of relentless optimism and staying power, I am now the poster girl for: I can do nothing apart from God. This is the precise point a broken vessel begins to apprehend the wisdom of the stupid, ignoble and contemptible things Father chooses (1 Corinthians 1:27-30). This is where life after suffering is all that’s left (Romans 8:11, 17-18, 23-24; 2 Corinthians 5:1-2). When a spouse walks away, when every other relationship crumbles or disappoints, when the body relied upon for energy enough to be the least bit productive chronically manufactures wounds and sprouts tumors—when one is well acquainted with a Job-like existence—only then does raw hope in a future transcendent weight of glory burgeon wings.

To be continued…

 

~ Sheryl Crow