These few days I’ve laboured much on four words; Propitiation, Substitution, Atonement, and Redemption. These are which point us to the cross of Christ. Another four of these are (Election, Predestination, Calling, and Adoption) further tell us about God’s work in saving us.
We’ve already talked about Adoption, and now let’s discuss the remaining three;
“For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” Romans 8:29-30
Those whom God predestined, them He also called, them he also justified…
Calling is, God’s way of bringing sinners back to Himself. No man can come to Christ except the Father draws him. All that the Father gives to Christ will come. Jesus says, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:44). And again he says, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” John 6:37
First is the calling, and election, then you got to be chosen to serve. “For many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14).
I like the story, the parable of the wedding feast. The king said to his servants;
“The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.’ So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests. “But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ “For many are called, but few are chosen.” Matthew 22:8-14
Those who were invited were not worthy, and Paul says, “But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man’s person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me.” Galatians 2:6
Church is like a wedding hall, it’s a place where you find all sorts, both the bad and the good. As a preacher, my task is to invite everyone regardless – it’s to make sure the wedding hall is full of guests. It doesn’t matter is the devil, Job 1:6-7 says, “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them. And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.”
When you’ve come, in order for you to be distinguished from the devil, and that you go to the next level, make sure that you wear a wedding garment. These are presented free of charge. “Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11). You don’t want to be cast away when you’ve come this far. The next level is only for those chosen.
Now, first is the calling, then election, at this stage you’re presented with the correct garments, and when chosen you enter in with the armour of righteousness. Election took place long ago before any man was called. However many more are called than have been elected.
To some the gospel seems foolish; to others who believe it shows plainly the love of God, the gospel stage is it that makes you put on righteousness.
To predestinate means to mark out ahead of time.
God knew long ago those who would be chosen, 1 Peter 1:2. Those whom God knew before, He predestinated to be like His Son, Romans 8:29.
According to the purpose of God we are predestinated to be declared to be sons of God, Ephesians 1.5,11.
Do election and predestination mean that men no longer have to give account to God for what they do? No. All men must give account.
The Gospel must be preached, it must go out to all as purposed, and whoever believes shall be saved. But it is good to see that God knew all about us, loved us even when we did not love Him, and He planned great blessings for us in Christ. Election and predestination show very plainly God’s greatness, His love and power.
Election does not mean that God chooses certain people and all others should be lost. Every man must choose salvation for himself, that’s the agreed way between the Father and the Son.