Does God make us believe and obey?

Pat

Well-Known Member
WHAT mATTERS? What are we Predestined to?​

We tend to lump certain words and phrases together by association to a subject. I think of words like election, chosen, foreknowledge, predestination, sovereignty, and free will. Some people attempt to associate all these word definitions and concepts together, employing the logic of Job’s three friends to understand God’s salvation plan. But these words may not link together as closely as they might seem to. I am glad that God’s Word encourages me to, “study to show thyself approved unto God…” 2 Timothy 2:15 yet reminds me that I “know nothing as I ought to know.” 1 Corinthians 8:2 So, with that, I enjoy conversing and praying with others about subjects that God gives a measure of light about in the scriptures, but has determined for us not to have full understanding of until we reach the unity of the faith. To understand what light God does give, I first ask God to show me what He means, then listen and look for the simplest and most literal interpretation of scripture possible. Comparing scripture with scripture, I still endeavor to be open to other’s ideas that differ from my own conclusions.

This week I’ve been looking at the significance of the word predestination. Predestine simply means “to decide beforehand.” Many people I’ve discussed this with think that God has decided beforehand whom He will save, and whom He will condemn. I instead think God saves them that freely choose to believe the Gospel, the unbelieving already being condemned in Adam. John 3:18 I also think that predestination possibly refers not to salvation, but rather to the sanctification of them who are already saved. Romans 8:29 emphasizes this idea by saying, “For whom he did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son…” He wants us to become like Jesus and He uses daily divine appointments to do that. He has pre-determined that we should walk in good works, becoming more like Jesus as we do. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10 He doesn’t force us to walk in good works, but He allows us to cooperate with Him by faith, “…both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13; 2 Corinthians 4:7

What matters is that the end of this age prior to God’s wrath upon man’s rebellion is now. “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming?” 2 Peter 3:3-4 Does that sound familiar? Yet God is still abundantly patient, giving man every opportunity to repent and be saved by believing the Gospel. “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 If you are not saved, God is offering you eternal life today, "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” 2 Corinthians 6:2 If you are born again, be alert to the opportunities and good works God has predestined for you to walk in with Him. God’s wrath is soon to fall during the 7-year Great Tribulation period. Daniel; Revelation Time is short. Warn others of the wrath to come. Tell them how to escape. Romans 1:16; 2:4; 10:9-10
 

mattfivefour

Well-Known Member
God lovingly gives ppl free will to choose or reject Him. Ppl consequently choose Heaven or Hell for themselves. No one is forced to choose one way or another.
And no-one is automatically excluded from either. As Pat correctly indicates in the thread starter, everybody has the freedom to choose to believe. If they do not, they are already condemned ... "in Adam."

(Brilliant, @Pat! That "in Adam" statement of yours just opened my eyes to something so obvious that I marvel I had not seen it so plainly before. Thank you.)
 

mattfivefour

Well-Known Member
So true we are not robots we have a free will to choose to accept or reject the gift :fish of salvation.
The thing that got me is that we don't even have to reject the gift to go to Hell; we just need to not accept it. This is why making an active choice is so important. Because of Adam, we are all condemned to Hell from the moment of birth ... actually from the moment of conception. Why? Because we are Adam's descendants and as such bear his penalty. But God has given us a way out. He, Himself, bore the penalty of sin and offers to extend the result of His act --that is to say, He offers to extend the "sin penalty payed in full" stamp-- to us ... IF we choose to accept it by believing His act was real and sufficient. When you look at it this way, it defeats ever argument that "I'm not rejecting Christ; I just don't see the need because I am living a good, living, giving life." That may be true, but it's not the the real issue. It's not just the sins we commit that condemn us to Hell: it's the sin nature that we are born with as children of Adam that condemns us.
 

Pat

Well-Known Member
The thing that got me is that we don't even have to reject the gift to go to Hell; we just need to not accept it. This is why making an active choice is so important. Because of Adam, we are all condemned to Hell from the moment of birth ... actually from the moment of conception. Why? Because we are Adam's descendants and as such bear his penalty. But God has given us a way out. He, Himself, bore the penalty of sin and offers to extend the result of His act --that is to say, He offers to extend the "sin penalty payed in full" stamp-- to us ... IF we choose to accept it by believing His act was real and sufficient. When you look at it this way, it defeats ever argument that "I'm not rejecting Christ; I just don't see the need because I am living a good, living, giving life." That may be true, but it's not the the real issue. It's not just the sins we commit that condemn us to Hell: it's the sin nature that we are born with as children of Adam that condemns us.
This is so true and sorry to say too few of the Christian community understand this. We are sinners not because we commit sins but because we were all conceived in Adam and then inherited Adam's nature and because we did, we do what comes "naturally", sins; the proof of whom we are "in". No one goes to hell for their sins, as Jesus paid the penalty for hell on the cross. They are going to hell for their unbelief in the finished work of the cross. Likewise, as Romans 5 clearly teaches, no one goes to heaven because of their "good works". When we have been born from above (again) we are now "in Christ" and have received a "new nature". Because we have this new nature, we do what comes "naturally" - good works; the result of whom we are "in". I once asked an audience "What do you have to do to go to hell?" After a few moments of silence, an older gentleman shouted out "Nothing!" A shocking answer to most there, but an excellent beginning to explain the truth as you did above. John 3:16-21
 

daygo

Well-Known Member
When we have been born from above (again) we are now "in Christ" and have received a "new nature". Because we have this new nature, we do what comes "naturally" - good works
Excellent, because we are in christ and Gods love is in us, we cannot help but to do and show Gods love to others.
 

lamonte

Well-Known Member
These are my thoughts not necessarily what the Scriptures are saying.

Man is either Dead in Adam or Alive in Christ.


I see election and predestination in terms of "positional in Christ. Because the believer is eternally united to Christ through the baptism of the Holy Spirit (I Cor 12:13; Rom. 6:14) and has thereby become a new creature in Christ, certain blessings related to the person, work and status of Christ are also his. By believer being in Christ, the believer shares Christ's Righteousness and Holiness, and he participates in Christ's Death, Resurrection and Election.

Are Spirituals Blessings are in Christ

Eph 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
Eph 1:4
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Eph 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
Eph 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

Since Christ is the chosen one (elect one) of God, the believer, who is in Christ, shares His election and His destiny. The point is that Christ was "called" or "elected. " Since we are in union with Christ, we share His election; and we were elected "before the foundation of the world." In other words, there never was a time when Christ didn't exist. So, we share His election, and we share His destiny. Therefore, the believer's "election takes place at the moment of salvation (I Thess 1:4; 2 Thess 2:13; 2 Tim 1:9).”
 

Pat

Well-Known Member
2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: I believe that God has chosen through His sovereignty to save (elect) those who believe the truth. No belief, no election. (in your quote above I think you meant Rom. 6:3,4, not 14?)
 

Nemophilist

Well-Known Member
Many seem to think the default destination is heaven and they're going there just by being an ok person. One thing that gives people this idea is going to funerals where the deceased showed absolutely no sign of being born again, but the preacher says things like 'so-and-so is now treading the streets of gold, blah blah blah'. It's a conscious decision we all must make
 

lightofmylife

Blessed Hope-Prepare To Fly!
Many seem to think the default destination is heaven and they're going there just by being an ok person. One thing that gives people this idea is going to funerals where the deceased showed absolutely no sign of being born again, but the preacher says things like 'so-and-so is now treading the streets of gold, blah blah blah'. It's a conscious decision we all must make
I agree we certainly aren't going to heaven by our own works. Accepting the forgiveness that :fish paid all our sin debt in full is how we get there. We do not earn our salvation. Preachers that really do not know if that person was saved are doing this to make the families feel good. They are doing people a disservice by doing this. It is actually false hope, if these people were not truly saved.
 
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