Today’s Thoughts, 2 Timothy 1:8-9

By Pastor Lee Hemen
June 4, 2008

So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time! (2 Timothy 1:8-9)

Freewill? So, we — as mere created beings — can say “NO” to our Creator God? Can we really do that? I wonder? If we say God already knows everything we will do, past, present, and future, then we cannot say we have freewill, can we? It chaffs humans to think that God is in complete control, but He is. He was in the Garden of Eden, when He already knew how Eve would fail and then get her husband to do so as well. He already had a plan in motion. Paul related that our faith and knowledge of God rests “on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time!” (Titus 1:2) Hebrews tells us that “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” (Hebrews 4:13) In fact, the gospel was given to us as the power of God “who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time!” (2 Timothy 1:9) David related that God knew him before he was even formed in his mother’s womb, Jeremiah was told that God “had plans” for him all along, and we are told that God already had it worked out that Pharaoh would harden his heart and not let the Israelites go. (Romans 9:17)

God always has been and is in total control right now as I type this message. We can decide if we will be obedient or not, but God already knows if we will or not. However, we DO NOT know because we are limited in our knowledge. We are linear in our being and God is not, He is eternal. So only in that “sense” do we enjoy a freewill in our limited linear existence.

We want to so desperately be in control and it really bugs us when we discover we are not: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God!” (Ephesians 2:8) In fact, it not dependent up us at all, but upon God alone! Some will object by saying: “People have a choice in coming to Christ. God does not force them to be saved against their will.” However, the real issue is not whether God forces people to believe against their will but whether any would ever be willing to be saved without a prior work of God in their souls! Remember, Jesus related that “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) It is the Holy Spirit’s job to “convict” the world of sin and righteousness. (John 16:8)  “What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says to Moses, ‘I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.’ It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.” (Romans 9:14-16)

Rejoice therefore little one in the Lord that you have been chosen of God! Rejoice and be glad and share the good news to those around you because you do not know whom He has called, but you are to be obedient.

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.

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