Does God Only Enable the Elect to Believe and the Rest is Up to Them? (Part 4)Submitted by Pastor Chad Wagner on Sunday, November 1, 2020.
The outline is attached below.
VI. This also goes with Matthew 18:14 that God is not willing that any should be lost. 1. This statement is erroneous on many levels. 2. Firstly, it makes no sense. A. If Mat 18:14 is teaching that God is not willing that any of His elect should be lost eternally, then why would He come up with a scheme that left eternal salvation up to man's decision as I then believed? B. If it is God's will that all the elect be saved eternally, then why did He, in the words of the young, ignorant Chad Wagner, devise a condition that states if "they refuse to believe, they will not be saved"? 3. Secondly, Mat 18:14 was used out of context and is not referring to eternal salvation. A. In Mat 18:14 Jesus was referring to little children who believed in Him (Mat 18:6). i. Believers have eternal life (Joh 6:47). ii. Therefore, these little ones had eternal life. iii. Eternal life is eternal, and those that have it cannot perish (Joh 10:28). iv. Therefore, these little ones were not in danger of perishing eternally. B. Jesus was therefore referring to temporal perishing in this life (ex: Luk 13:4-5; Mat 8:25). C. God is not willing that any of His children should perish temporally, but that they all should come to repentance (2Pe 3:9). VII. His call is irrevocable (Romans 11:29), the offer always stands if you choose to believe in him. 1. It is true that God's calling is without repentance, meaning that God will not change His mind regarding it (Rom 11:29). 2. But what I failed to understand is which calling of God is under consideration in Rom 11:29. A. There are two callings in the Bible (four if you count the resurrection and the ministry). i. There is a call of repentance that God has issued to all mankind (Act 17:30). a. This is a call to repent, believe the gospel, and get baptized (Mar 1:15; Act 2:38). b. The call of repentance is the call to repent of sins which means to feel sorry for them and change our mind and direction in life concerning them (Act 8:22; Act 26:18; 1Ki 8:47; Jer 8:6; Eze 18:30). (i) Repent v. - 1. refl. To affect (oneself) with contrition or regret for something done, etc. (cf. 3.) 3. intr. To feel contrition, compunction, sorrow or regret for something one has done or left undone; to change one's mind with regard to past action or conduct through dissatisfaction with it or its results. (ii) Jesus came to call sinners to repentance (Luk 5:32). (iii) What do sinners repent of? Sin, of course. c. To obey the gospel we must repent of all sin, not just unbelief. (i) This is the repentance that John the Baptist required of his converts (Luk 3:7-9). (ii) Repentance includes turning from sins such as selfishness and covetousness, and instead helping others (Luk 3:10-11). (iii) Repentance includes turning from sins such as theft and fraud (Luk 3:12-13). (iv) Repentance includes turning from sins such as violence, lying, deceit, and covetousness, and instead being content with what one has (Luk 3:14). (v) Repentance includes turning from sins such as uncleanness, fornication, and lasciviousness (2Co 12:21). (vi) Unbelief is just one of the many sins that we are commanded to repent of (Joh 16:9). d. This call is universal. e. This call can also be resisted and disobeyed (Luk 7:29-30; Mat 21:32). ii. There is also an effectual call from spiritual death to spiritual life that is by the sovereign voice of Jesus Christ (Joh 5:25). a. This is the call of regeneration which gives the elect eternal life (Tit 3:5; Eph 2:1). b. This is the call which makes a man born again (Joh 3:3). c. This call is irresistible because it is issued to the spiritually dead who have no more power to resist it than did Lazarus have the power to resist the call by the voice of Christ which raised him from the dead (Joh 11:43-44 c/w Joh 12:17). B. So which of these callings is being referred to in Rom 11:29? i. The calling of God in Rom 11:29 was spoken of in connection with His election (Rom 11:28). ii. God's elect are called "the called" (Rom 8:28). iii. "The called" are foreknown, predestinated, called, justified, and glorified (Rom 8:29-30). iv. Every single person that was foreknown by God and predestinated is called, and every single person that is called is justified by the blood of Christ and will be glorified at the resurrection. v. Thus every single person who is called is one of the elect who will be saved eternally according to Rom 8:29-30. vi. Therefore, this calling of the elect is the effectual call of regeneration. vii. This is the calling in Rom 11:29 which is without repentance because it is effectual to all of the elect, regardless of their acceptance or rejection of it. 3. Eternal salvation is not an offer, but rather a gift. A. Offer n. - 1. a. An act of offering (see offer v. 3, 4); a holding forth or presenting for acceptance; an expression of intention or willingness to give or do something conditionally on the assent of the person addressed; a proposal. B. You will search the scriptures in vain to find a verse that says that eternal salvation is an offer from God to sinners. C. Eternal life is a gift (Rom 6:23; Rom 5:18). i. Gift n. - II. The thing given. 3. a. Something, the possession of which is transferred to another without the expectation or receipt of an equivalent; a donation, present. ii. Unlike an offer, a gift does not have to be accepted. a. If I give you a black eye you don't have to accept it to have it. b. If I transferred ownership of property to you, you do not have to accept it to be the legal owner of it. In fact, if I didn't tell you that I had done so, you would be the legal owner of it without even knowing about it. iii. Eternal life/salvation is likewise a gift that cannot be accepted or rejected because a sinner was dead when it was given to him, and dead people are pretty bad at refusing anything. D. Jesus didn't offer Himself to us or offer to save us, He offered Himself to God for us in order to save us (Eph 5:2; Heb 9:14). VIII. His call is the offer that enables us to believe, but salvation is revocable if we fall away (Romans 11:19-21). 1. His call is the offer that enables us to believe, A. This statement makes no sense. B. The call that I was thinking of was the gospel call to repent and believe on Christ. C. I apparently thought that it was only issued to the elect and that somehow it enabled them to believe. D. How could a call to believe something enable someone to believe something? i. What if I called on all kindergarteners to believe in the theory of special relativity? a. Could my telling them to believe it enable them to understand it? b. Obviously not. I would have to somehow first give them a mature mind capable of understanding it before they could believe it. ii. How could God telling the elect to believe the gospel enable them to understand it? a. Given that the preaching of the cross is foolishness to the natural man (1Co 1:18), just calling on him to believe it will do nothing for him. b. In order for the call to enable us to believe, it would have to be an effectual call that gave us a new spirit capable of understanding and believing it. c. But if it were the effectual call of regeneration then all of the elect would be saved regardless of their belief (which is the truth). iii. What about all of the other non-elect people that hear the same gospel call? a. Are they enabled to believe it simply by hearing it? b. If so, are they elect? c. If not, why not? 2. but salvation is revocable if we fall away (Romans 11:19-21). A. There are a couple of problems with this statement. B. Firstly, it is false. i. Eternal salvation (which is what I was referring to) is not revocable. ii. It is called eternal salvation (Heb 5:9), eternal redemption (Heb 9:12), and eternal life (1Jo 5:11). iii. Eternal adj. - 1. a. Infinite in past and future duration; without beginning or end; that always has existed and always will exist: esp. of the Divine Being. 3. a. Infinite in future duration; that always will exist; everlasting, endless. ¶The New Testament expressions eternal life, death, punishment, etc. are here referred to sense 3, this being the sense in which the adj. in such contexts is ordinarily taken. iv. Eternal life cannot be lost or revoked (Joh 10:28-29). C. Secondly, Rom 11:19-21 is not referring to eternal salvation. i. The branches being broken off the olive tree in this passage refers to the Jews losing their place in the church which was originally theirs. ii. The olive tree is the church which belonged to the Jews for 1,500 years. iii. When Jesus came, He came unto His own (the Jews) and they received Him not (Joh 1:11). iv. The gospel later went to the Gentiles, and when they believed it they were spiritually made citizens of the commonwealth of Israel (Eph 2:12 c/w 19). v. They were the wild branches that were grafted into the olive tree which was the NT church (Rom 11:24). vi. The Jews lost their place in the church because of their unbelief, but those of them who were of the elect didn't lose their eternal salvation (Rom 11:25-29).
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