Ephesians 1:3-5: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
In these verses God lays down His program of “election” or “predestination.” You will not hear about this doctrine in other religions. It is a glorious and beautiful doctrine and a wonderful truth of the Word of God that other religions do not want to have anything to do with, even the majority of so-called Christian churches that profess to be followers of the Bible. Yet, it is one of the most beautiful teachings of the Scriptures as it declares that God “predestinated” certain people to salvation before the foundation of the world; before Genesis, chapter 1 when God created the heavens and the earth and everything that is part of this creation, including mankind. Before any of that was created, God knew exactly who He would save and the Lord Jesus Christ had their sins laid upon Him and He died for those sins at the point of the world’s foundation. That is the language of the Bible. It was in eternity past and Christ’s death and resurrection before the foundation of the world proved to be the foundation for this world and the world to come – everything is, and will be, built upon what Jesus did in eternity past. Before time and history started to unfold, God had chosen the exact people He would save. It says in 1Peter 1:1:
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
Notice that five locales are listed, as the #5 points to the atoning work of Jesus Christ. It goes on to say in 1Peter 1:2:
Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
The word “elect” is a translation of the same Greek word as the word “chosen.” They were elect “according to the foreknowledge of God,” and that word “foreknowledge” literally means “to know before.” God knew it before because He made choice, as the Bible tells us in Romans, chapter 9 where God gives us an historical example to help us understand what “election” means. It says in Romans 9:10-11:
And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, *even* by our father Isaac; (For the children being not yet born…
God is referring to the twin sons of Isaac and Rebecaa. Rebecca was with child and they were twins. Again, it says, in Romans 9:11:
(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.
God made this decision, all according to His good pleasure. That is the only reason the Bible gives that God chooses one and not the other; God chose Jacob, but not Esau, according to His good pleasure. Then it goes on to say in Romans 9:13:
As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
They were twin boys and neither had done anything good or anything wrong. They grew together in the womb and they were about as close as two people could be to one another, but God chose Jacob, “the children being not yet born.” God made the choice before they had done good or evil. This is the teaching of the Bible in regard to God’s election program or His predestination program. He chose one over another and the Bible tells us the choice took place before the world began. God “foreknew” those He would elect to salvation.
It is undeniable that this language is in the Bible and, yet, the natural-minded people in the churches and congregations insist upon their doctrine of “free will.” It is an erroneous teaching. It is like a disease that contaminates other doctrines, including this wonderful doctrine of election and predestination. These people grab hold of the word “foreknowledge” and they reason, “God foreknows those that are saved in the sense that He looked down the corridors of time and He saw those people that would accept Him.” Do you see how desperately they demand to see their own “acceptance” and their own “decision” in salvation? And, yet, the Bible says that God chose Jacob over Esau before either had done good or evil and it says nothing about Jacob “choosing” Christ. It is an ugly doctrinal error that perverts the beautiful doctrine of grace. The grace of God is the doctrine the Bible proclaims as it declares that all men are dead in sins and men can do nothing to earn their salvation, nor do they deserve salvation. Man cannot make a choice to receive salvation because they are “dead” in sin and trespasses. In their dead condition, they cannot even raise their little “pinky finger” in any way to accept Christ and become saved.
The picture the Bible uses to illustrate salvation is Lazarus after he had been dead for four days. Then Christ came to Him. Lazarus did not go to Jesus because Lazarus was dead. Christ came to where he was in the grave and Christ spoke to him. Jesus made decision concerning him. The Lord Jesus Christ chose Lazarus to bring to life. That is why Jesus said, in John 15:16:
Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you…
That is the true Gospel, no matter what man may say. Men will “muddy the waters,” especially in our modern church world that is full of the emissaries of Satan. They cannot recognize the true Gospel of the Bible and, yet, it is very simple: “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you.” He also said, “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.” Or, as the Scriptures say in Romans 9:15-16:
For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
Can it be any plainer? “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you,” and “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy.” It is not of him that willeth. To go along with that, let us look at John 1:12-13:
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
It has nothing to do with your family or whether your father was a pastor. It is not “of the will of the flesh,” as we already read in Romans, chapter 9. It is not “of the will of man, but of God.”
How can men that claim to be teachers of the Bible avoid these verses or get around these statements? Somehow they make these verses say what they are not saying. I do not know how they can do this – it can only be accomplished through blindness and delusion. It can only be that God has departed from the churches and congregations of the world and He is no longer opening their eyes of understanding. In that sense, it is expected on this point of doctrine, as well as many other doctrines. They just do not understand it. They lack knowledge and wisdom because God has withheld it from them and, therefore, they maintain their impoverished doctrines devised out of the minds of men.
You know, the doctrines of men are never good and they are certainly never beautiful. They are never healthy, helpful or advantageous in any way. Yes, they have much support for their “easy believism” and “instant pudding” salvation from the people within the churches of the world who “love to have it so,” or it would not be this way. The members of the congregation want their pastors to preach these light things so they can have salvation at their fingertips whenever their own itching feelings desire to make it happen. They are very comfortable with that, but what a pity it is! Of course, we are living at a time when the door is shut, but this was already going on during the day of salvation when the glorious teaching of God’s salvation program was being declared to the world.
It is just extremely sorrowful that so many people preferred the lie over the truth when the lie can get them nothing – it has not provided any salvation for them and it has not protected them from the wrath of God. It cannot give them eternal life and they will die in their sins as a result of believing the promises of “life” that were delivered by men that had no life in themselves.