by Pastor Lee Hemen
April 21, 2008
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died–more than that, who was raised to life–is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. (Romans 8:28-37)
We all like to be picked for the team. Now, do not deny it, we all do! Yes, even you, dear child of the Lord. When you were younger you wanted those of your peers to choose you and in our selfishness we did not truly care if anyone else was picked or not, just so long as we were picked. This is why, sadly, that many schools have felt the need to do away with giving Valentine’s Day cards by classmates, or if they do, everyone must get one in the class. Also, there are many schools now who no longer allow games where “sides” are chosen for fear that some child’s feelings will be hurt. While I can see why there are those among us who still feel the sting of not being chosen for the team that they have to place their childish pain on our progeny in order to make themselves feel better, it teaches our children an totally unrealistic view of the world. There are those who are chosen and those who are not. For jobs, for promotions, for scholarships, for sports, for relationships, and on and on it goes.
I have learned in life that what makes someone mature is not if they reach a certain age, but how they handle life’s circumstances. In these verses of Scripture there are those in the Christian faith that cringe when they read them and immediately think, “That’s not fair!” While they desperately want to profess the portion of Paul’s passage that proclaims that “If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” — they do not want to hear that it is squarely based on God’s foreknowledge and His predestination! They are quick to claim the promise “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?… No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us!” Yet, they pass over that which teaches us that all of this is brought about by God’s choosing those He wants to choose! Oh yes it is. Go back and look again at the passage. This is for those “who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.” God chooses those who are His. In fact, God calls, predestines, and glorifies it all!
In our day and age of political correctness where we think that no one should be turned away or made to feel sad in anyway, we are shocked that a loving God actually chooses those whom He will save. We immediately whine, “Did not God love the whole world!?” However, there is no mistaking the fact that the promises Paul gives are only for those whom God has chosen! No one can separate those whom God has graciously chosen from the love of Christ. While God “so loved the whole world,” He never chose the whole world, and the whole world will not come to God through Jesus! You know this to be true.
What does that mean for you today? Well, if you have been chosen of God you will know it because you will confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the grave and you will be saved. If you do not think so, then you have not been chosen. Jesus said quite succinctly, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:44) God does the choosing, the Holy Spirit does the convicting, and the Son does the saving! So if you are chosen, praise His name from the rooftops and share His gospel to those who do not know if they have been chosen or not. Because here is the truth: You do not know who else has been chosen or not, only God does. This is what we can never judge people for in life. (Matthew 7:1) It is not our job. Sure, if they claim Jesus , then we can inspect their fruit to see if it is of the Lord (Matthew 7:16-23), but eternal salvation is left squarely with Jesus after God chooses. Your responsibility, little one of God, is to obey and tell the good news to all God draws you to or draws to you.
NOTE: This article is copyrighted by Pastor Lee Hemen © 2008 and the property of Pastor Lee Hemen. You are welcome to copy it, email it, or use it but please if you copy it, email it, or use it you must do so in its entirety.