Today's devotion is far different from anything I have written here before. I received an e-mail from a good friend of mine , which I am including in the devotion, asking me about some teaching going on at his church. I am asked about this subject at least two to three times a week now so I thought I would address it here. First my friends e-mail and then my response. I will color code them so you can tell them apart.
Good morning Jeff I need your opinion. Just finished a bible study on the Attributes of God. Part of this was the predistination and election by God. Having a real problem with this. Always taught and believe Jesus died on the cross for the sins of ALL mankind and John 3:16 plus alot more. I can't believe God elected certain ones to take to Heaven and other to spend eternity in hell. What is your take and if you ever give a sermon on this I would like to be invited. This is as bad as God helps he who helps himself. I need to know the truth. Other than my eternity being at stake how is everything with you?
First, I am really glad to hear from you. I think about you often. How is married life treating you? Where did you go for this Bible Study? This is a very popular movement and has taken root in Wilmington in a very big way. It centers around the idea of predestination verses mans free will. It also goes under the name of doctrine of Election or the Elect. Basically it states that God predetermines the eternal future of each person before they are born. The debate is around Gods predestination or the sovereignty of God. In other words... Does God determine your eternal future or simply know what it is. There is a huge difference between these two positions. This is a growing movement in Wilmington. The people teaching this are for the most part not well versed or educated in Theology they are simply repeating things they have been told and taking a few scriptures out of context. They remind me of the people Paul refers to in Romans 10:2...They have a real zeal for God, but not based on knowledge. They are usually quite loud and emotional and people mistake this for truth. I have recently preached several messages on this subject I am sorry you missed them but I will share a couple of scriptures with you for your consideration. Deuteronomy 30:15-20 please note in verse 19 Moses tells the people to "choose" if that were not a real option would God have inspired him to say that. The other passage is Joshua 24:15. Please note in the passage that Joshua is encouraging the people to "choose" then he claims that he and his family choose to serve God. There are many more scriptures but for now this will give you something to consider. One more thing, and this is important, does it make sense to you that if God had already predetermined where everyone was going before they were born what is the need for Christ's death on the cross? Why would Jesus and the prophets and Paul try to Convince people to Choose God if it were not a possibility . It makes no sense at all. If you buy into this position then you must say when a child is born that God has already sentenced that child to an eternal Hell regardless of their future decisions. This does not square up at all with the God I serve, the God of the Bible. You are welcome to call me anytime to discuss this heresy further. If I were in a church that taught this I would leave today and shake the dust from my feet.
I welcome all of your comments and questions. You can write to me at