Friday, November 21, 2014


Below is an image I found which gives a humorous flowchart for picking a religion.

Do you see that box in the bottom right corner?  If it read “Be a pseudo-Christian,” this flowchart would be 100% accurate.  What the creator may not have realized is that none of these leads to the God of the Bible, sovereign creator of heaven and earth.  This is because every attempt we make to choose Him, we fail and end up with something far less.  God chooses us.  How that happens is a mystery, but that is what scripture says:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.  (Eph 1:3-4)

For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction.  (1 Thess 1:4-5)

But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. (2 Thess 2:13)
I bring this up because our lives demonstrate who makes the choice—God or me.  Chad Bird has a post that explores an interesting comparison concerning God’s election, which can be summed up in his words:
It is simply this: everyone who’s in heaven is there because God chose them to be, and everyone who’s in hell is there because they chose to be.
Those who choose their own way have a worldview at complete odds with what the Lord requires of a holy people.  King David provided in Psalm 5 a definite dichotomy of worldview as he compared conduct  giving a direct relation to the one (or One) who has chosen the path for the individual.

God chose me I chose me
1-3 Give ear to my words, O Lᴏʀᴅ;
    consider my groaning.
Give attention to the sound of my cry,
    my King and my God,
    for to you do I pray.
O Lᴏʀᴅ, in the morning you hear my voice;
    in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.
4-6 For you are not a God who delights in wickedness;
    evil may not dwell with you.
The boastful shall not stand before your eyes;
    you hate all evildoers.
You destroy those who speak lies;
    the Lᴏʀᴅ abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.
7-8 But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love,
    will enter your house.
I will bow down toward your holy temple
    in the fear of you.
Lead me, O Lᴏʀᴅ, in your righteousness
    because of my enemies;
    make your way straight before me.
9-10 For there is no truth in their mouth;
    their inmost self is destruction;
their throat is an open grave;
    they flatter with their tongue.
Make them bear their guilt, O God;
    let them fall by their own counsels;
because of the abundance of their transgressions cast them out,
    for they have rebelled against you.
11-12 But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
    let them ever sing for joy,
and spread your protection over them,
    that those who love your name may exult in you.
For you bless the righteous, O Lᴏʀᴅ;
    you cover him with favor as with a shield.

Notice the tremendous difference.  David places himself fully within a class of individuals who realize that all they have is derived from God.  Family, life, vocation, position, abilities, etc. are all gifts from the Almighty.  As a result of this realization, the response is a longing to engage in prayer, thanksgiving, rejoicing, exaltation, and every good thing offered in return as appreciation for the Lord’s goodness demonstrated through His wondrous promises and deeds.

On the other end of the spectrum are those who have chosen to remain as they are and go on in willful determination to take what they feel is due while cursing the One who was supplying the good things they did receive.  Convinced they are “getting by just fine” or are bending the system their way through whatever means, these people boast in their achievements either not realizing or not caring it will vanish quickly away and be for naught before God.

At this point, someone will complain that he or she is more in the middle.  They are not “sold out for God” but neither are they as bad as those wicked ones who David mentions.  The ugly truth is that there is no middle.  Those not believing in the Lord of glory are unrighteous, worthless, deceitful, bitter, bloodthirsty, and ruinous (Rom 3:10-18).  For them, this becomes a matter of what manner and to what degree the wickedness manifests itself.

How do we know or can be assured that we are chosen or elect?  Believe on the Lord: there is none else:
Turn to me and be saved,
    all the ends of the earth!
    For I am God, and there is no other.  (Isa 45:22)
You are included in that number “all the ends of the earth.”  Lay hold of the sure promise of God’s Word that Jesus died for your sin (Rom 3:21-25).  Come to the water and be buried with Christ into death by baptism and walk in newness of life (Rom 6:4), receiving the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matt 28:19).

Election is strange: we do not realize that God chose us until after we “chose” Him.  We look back and rest in the assurance of a wondrous plan of salvation that began in our favor before the worlds were laid.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.  For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.  And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.  (Rom 8:28-30)
The work of redemption is done in Christ.  We rest in that.

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