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SALVATION QUESTION 149
Are some people chosen to be saved and other chosen to be lost?
This is a question that comes up quite often and is in the minds of many people. It is commonly associated with the teachings of John Calvin and is termed Calvinism
The two words in the Bible that lead people to believe this are the words, predestination and election. A proper understanding of these words will show that the teaching in question is totally false. The word predestination is only found in two portions of scripture; Romans 8:29, Ephesians 1:5 and Ephesians 1:11. In both these scriptures it has to do with people who are already saved. The word itself means, a predetermined end but the end here does not mean destiny but has to do with the finished product. God is conforming all His saved ones to the very image or likeness of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. When a person is saved God BEGINS A GOOD WORK IN THEM Philippians 1:6, this work will not end until Christ comes for us. It is then that the work of predestination will be complete. Our predetermined end will then have been reached and it will be the conforming to His likeness and the adoption of sons into His family for eternal Ephesians 1:5. Predestination then has to do with the ultimate CHARACTER of God's redeemed people.
Now the word chosen or election which is the same thing, has to do with purposes of God and not the destinies of men. Romans 9:11 makes this clear where it speaks of Jacob and Esau even before they were born THAT THE PURPOSE OF GOD might stand, He chose Jacob and not Esau. Now this is not talking about their eternal destines, but God's purpose for them in time. God needed a nation to bring Christ into the world, so he chose Jacob to be the father of this nation. The word "chosen" does not have to do with being saved or lost. For example, Christ is said to be "the chosen of God" 1 Peter 2:4. How could this word here have to do with salvation? Judas is said to have been "chosen" in John 6:70, and yet in the same chapter it is said by our Lord that he (Judas) was an unbeliever from the beginning John 6:64. Israel of old are said to be the "chosen of God" Deuteronomy 14:2 and yet many of them have died in their sins and will be lost forever.
The matter of salvation and your eternal destiny depends on YOUR CHOICE to receive or not receive Christ as your Saviour from sin. John 1:12. God's choice is clear in 1 Timothy 2:4 "Who will have all men to be saved," again 2 Peter 3:9 "He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."
Make Him your choice today. Tomorrow might be too late.
All comments and questions to: Harold Smith
Updated March 9th, 2014 by Sandra Felix