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atpollard

Calvinism: What Have We Been Elected For?

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Can we have an honest conversation.  Most people, including some Calvinists, have a problem accepting the mental image that a good God has elected some to an eternity of life and love and perfect happiness with him, while abandoning everyone else to a fate of eternal torment.  Everything good for a few, and everything bad for the majority.

 

If you will indulge me on a little Bible study, I would like to take a closer look at this election and what we have been elected for.

 

First some general things that the elect are called to:

 

  • [Ephesians 2:10 NASB] 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

 

So the first thing is that we have not been called to nothing.  The elect have been called to do something.  We have been ELECTED from among the population of the Earth to do the specific good works that God has already prepared for us to do.  So, like what?

 

  • [Matthew 28:19-20 NASB] 19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
  • [Acts 1:7-8 NASB] 7 He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; 8 but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth."
  • [Acts 2:38-39 NASB] 38 Peter [said] to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 "For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself."

 

The ELECT are called to be Christ’s witnesses to the world.  When we received the Holy Spirit, we received the commission that went with it to carry word of Him to the world, to make disciples, to teach them to observe all Jesus has commanded.

 

A word of warning for the Prosperity Gospel crowd, being one of the elect is not like winning a lottery ticket to easy-street.  Being one of the ELECT is a lottery ticket to being hated in this life.  Don’t take my word for it, read what Jesus and the Apostles say about it for yourself:

 

  • [John 15:16-20 NASB] 16 "You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and [that] your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. 17 "This I command you, that you love one another. 18 "If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before [it hated] you. 19 "If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. 20 "Remember the word that I said to you, 'A slave is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also.
  • [Acts 5:41 NASB] 41 So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for [His] name.
  • [Acts 9:16 NASB] 16 for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name's sake."
  • [Romans 8:17 NASB] 17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with [Him] so that we may also be glorified with [Him.]
  • [1 Corinthians 12:26 NASB] 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if [one] member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
  • [2 Corinthians 1:6 NASB] 6 But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer;
  • [2 Corinthians 7:9 NASB] 9 I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to [the point of] repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to [the will of] God, so that you might not suffer loss in anything through us.
  • [Galatians 3:4 NASB] 4 Did you suffer so many things in vain--if indeed it was in vain?
  • [Phl 1:29 NASB] 29 For to you it has been granted for Christ's sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,
  • [1 Thessalonians 3:4 NASB] 4 For indeed when we were with you, we [kept] telling you in advance that we were going to suffer affliction; and so it came to pass, as you know.
  • [2 Timothy 1:12 NASB] 12 For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.
  • [2 Timothy 2:3, 9 NASB] 3 Suffer hardship with [me,] as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. ... 9 for which I suffer hardship even to imprisonment as a criminal; but the word of God is not imprisoned.
  • [1 Peter 2:20 NASB] 20 For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer [for it] you patiently endure it, this [finds] favor with God.
  • [1 Peter 3:14, 17 NASB] 14 But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED, ... 17 For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong.
  • [1 Peter 4:19 NASB] 19 Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.
  • [Revelation 2:10 NASB] 10 'Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.

 

So let’s talk about Calvinistic Election.  The ELECT have won a ‘cosmic lottery’ granting them the ‘honor’ of being selected by the great ‘I AM’ to work for Him as His messengers in a world that will hate us.  This honor will include being mocked, discriminated against, and much worse.  Many will be beaten and many more killed.  This is what God has elected us to.

 

We have a promise that those who suffer well to the end, will be rewarded.

 

  • [Matthew 10:22 NASB] 22 "You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.
  • [Matthew 24:13 NASB] 13 "But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.
  • [Matthew 28:20 NASB] 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
  • [Mark 13:13 NASB] 13 "You will be hated by all because of My name, but the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.

 

God has not warned us that the ELECT will be called to endure “health, wealth and happiness” to the end and encouraged us that He will be with us to give us the strength to survive all of the blessings.  We have been elected to be those led at the end of the train of captives.  The slaves.  The beaten and oppressed.  The least in this world.  We have been called to be those who DO for God and who SUFFER for God.

 

There is a story that describes the life of the ELECT both now and later:

 

  • [Luke 16:19-25 NASB] 19 "Now there was a rich man, and he habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, joyously living in splendor every day. 20 "And a poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate, covered with sores, 21 and longing to be fed with the [crumbs] which were falling from the rich man's table; besides, even the dogs were coming and licking his sores. 22 "Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham's bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried. 23 "In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 "And he cried out and said, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.' 25 "But Abraham said, 'Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony.

 

Does it still seem unfair that God does not ELECT everyone to suffer for His name?

 

  • [Matthew 16:24 NASB] 24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.
  • [Mark 8:34 NASB] 34 And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.
  • [Luke 9:23 NASB] 23 And He was saying to [them] all, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.
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This self denial is always what we are called for. If anything in this world becomes more important than our service to God, He can't use us. That could mean a home , a business, a child or even a spouse. Most of us will be tested on this. It means forfeiture of our hope and dreams within this world system. Our eyes must be looking for the kingdom of God.

 

1 Cor. 15:19 "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable." 

 

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