When times are hard it is sometimes difficult to remember how blessed we are. We are living through a time of an unprecedented pandemic in recent history. There is political unrest seen in countries that are looked to as the pillars of democracy. The world seems to be going crazy! Yet in the midst of all of this turmoil we need to remember who we are because of Jesus. As Paul began his letter to the Christians in Ephesus he reminded them – and those who read it today – that we have every spiritual blessing if we are in Christ. Continue reading “We are a blessed people”
As is the case on most mornings, today I cruised down the freeway to behold a beautiful blue sky abruptly encountering a line of green trees in the distance. This boundary delineating sky and earth was sharp and decisive. Understanding horizons can also aid us in comprehending predestination.
Continue reading “Creating horizons & making sense of predestination”
Paul’s words in Ephesians 1 are clear. Nevertheless, a story about a letter can perhaps provide a fresh appreciation for his message and what it means for us.
Although I certainly did not graduate with a degree in chemistry and chances are you have not either, let’s pretend we did. Now imagine receiving a letter from our alma mater’s chemistry chairperson: “The president of our university chose us in chemistry before our chemistry program ever began to be educated and prepared for employment.” Continue reading “The chosen in Christ”
Calvinism is the teaching that God sovereignly chooses those whom he wanted to be saved, and those who were destined to die in a state of eternal punishment. If predestined to be saved, once saved, he was always saved. If destined to be lost, no matter how strongly he desired to serve God, he would inevitably die in a lost condition. Calvinism suggests that we have no choice, God sovereignly determines our fate.
I think of the sign on a politician’s desk: “My decision is maybe – and that’s final!” Continue reading ““Choose” this day”
“Raccoon” John Smith, one of the most colorful characters in the early Restoration Movement (how could anyone nicknamed “Raccoon” not be colorful?) was originally a denominational preacher who was expected to preach the major tenants of Calvinism, a doctrine known as predestination. It is a doctrine that suggests God sovereignly chooses, or does not choose, those who will be saved. Regardless of how a person believes or acts, he is predestined to be saved or lost.
Smith struggled with this partly because he had lost two infant children in a horrific fire. Could God have “sovereignly” chosen to take these children away, he wondered? Continue reading “To choose or not to choose”