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Forgiven In Christ


By H. A. (Buster) Dobbs
I.   Introduction.
     A.  The denominational doctrine of election and reprobation says, 
         "God from all eternity did select or elect certain persons, 
         though as yet unborn, to be saved, and did assign all others 
         to be forever lost, or to be reprobate."
     B.  The confession of faith of the Presbyterian Church says:
         1.  "God from all eternity did by the most wise and holy
             counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably ordain 
             whatsoever comes to pass...By the decree of God, for the 
             manifestation of his glory, some men and angels are 
             predestined unto everlasting life, and others 
             foreordained to everlasting death...their number is so 
             certain and definite that it cannot be either increased 
             or diminished.  Those of mankind that are predestined 
             unto life, God, before the foundation of the world was 
             laid, according to his eternal and immutable purpose, and 
             the secret counsel and good pleasure of his will, hath 
             chosen in Christ unto everlasting glory" (Chapter Three--
             Of God's Eternal Decree).
II.  Election and Reprobation.
     A.  Examples of people selected for a work and later rejected 
         because of unbelief and not allowed to do that which they had 
         been selected to do.
         1.  Moses.
             (b)  Chosen to lead the people from Egypt to a land 
                  flowing with milk and honey (Exodus 3:16-17).
             (a)  Moses sinned and was not permitted to enter the 
                  promised land (Numbers 20:12).
         2.  Saul.
             (a)  Chosen to be king over Israel (1 Sam. 10:24).
             (b)  Because he rejected the word of Jehovah (unbelief), 
                  he was rejected as king (1 Sam. 15:23).
         3.  Israel.
             (a)  The chosen (elect) people of God (Isaiah 44:1).
             (b)  They rejected God by rejecting his law, and God, in 
                  turn, rejected those whom he had selected (Heb. 
     B.  Bible does not teach unconditional election.
     C.  The Bible does teach election, but conditional election.
         1.  The Bible often speaks of the elect.
             (a)  "Make your calling and election sure" (2 Pet. 1:10).
             (b)  "But ye are an elect race" (1 Pet. 2:9).
             (c)  "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's 
                  elect?" (Rom. 8:33)
     D.  God's method for electing (selecting) the saved.
         1.  "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only 
             begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not 
             perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:16).
             (a)  God did not love just those previously selected for 
                  salvation, but he loved the whole world.
         2.  For the grace of God hath appeared, bringing salvation to 
             all men" (Titus 2:11).
             (a)  Salvation is offered to all men, but all men will 
                  not be saved (Matt. 25:31-46; John 5:28-29).
             (b)  The promised salvation therefore must be 
         3.  God's method for selecting soldiers in Gideon's army 
             (Judges 7:2-7).
         4.  "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and 
             preach the gospel to the whole creation.  He that 
             believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that 
             disbelieveth shall be condemned" (Mark 16:15-16).
             (a)  Notice: the gospel is preached to all, but all will 
                  not be saved. Who shall be saved? "He that believeth 
                  and is baptized shall be saved.
             (b)  Everyone has the opportunity of salvation, but only 
                  those who obey the Lord shall have the reality of 
         5.  Peter speaks of the elect according to the foreknowledge 
             of God (1 Pet. 1:2).
             (a)  The plan by which we are saved--by which the saved 
                  are selected--was foreknown of God; those who obey 
                  the plan are elected (chosen) to salvation.
             (b)  The plan was foreknown from before the foundations 
                  of the world, but the individuals who will be saved 
                  by obeying the conditions of the plan were not 
                  personally foreknown.
III.  Conclusion.
      A.  Those elected to salvation may later be rejected.
          1.  The Jews were chosen of God, but because of 
              unfaithfulness, they were rejected. The elected can be 
              rejected if they become faithless (Rom. 11:1-24).
          2.  Notice especially verse 22.
             (a)  "Behold then the goodness and severity of God: 
                   toward them that fell, severity; but toward thee, 
                   God's goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: 
                   otherwise thou also shalt be cut off" (Rom. 11:22).
      B.  Therefore make your calling and election sure.

See also Predestination and Election by Jerry C. Brewer