All Israel Shall Be Saved - Part V
In this series of articles, we’ve endeavored to demonstrate that some biblical doctrines were misinterpreted through synods, councils, and enclaves with discussions on God’s grace, the humanity and deity of Jesus Christ, the free will of man, predestination, and the Lord’s Supper, etc. The various new methods of interpretation and philosophy helped redefine doctrine instead of the Holy Spirit. Many current doctrinal positions of the denominational church world have been shaped by the outcomes of these synods and recognized church leaders.
The next two months, I will briefly deal with the doctrine of predestination. I will not be able to thoroughly cover this vast subject nor the various viewpoints embraced by Roman Catholics, Orthodox, Protestants, or evangelicals. However, it is important to understand what the Bible teaches about predestination.
What Was Predestinated?
From before the foundation of the world, the Godhead foreordained that God would supply the plan of salvation for fallen man.
In I Peter 1:18-23, Peter tells us that the means of our salvation—the Cross—was foreordained by God, and by our faith we can obtain salvation:
“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition of your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed , but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.”
The Cross was the means that God would redeem man. The believing sinner who hears the gospel is given the opportunity to freely accept or reject the foreordained plan of God. God does not predestinate who will or will not be saved.
Revelation 22:17 says, ““And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that hearth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”
Who Can Be Saved?
Romans, Chapter 10, deals with salvation—soteriology. Chapter 9 of Romans deals with God’s selection of whom He wills to be used for the service of carrying out His predestinated foreordained plan of salvation. God does not choose who will be saved and who will be damned. In Romans, Chapter 10, Paul gives us the explanation of how to be saved:
““For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth….But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Rom. 10:4, 8-13).
How Shall They Be Saved?
In the next verses of Chapter 10, Paul tells how people can be saved. He would reveal that it is by hearing the Word of God:
““How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom. 10:14-17).
In John 12:32, Jesus said, ““And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.”
In that context, Jesus would reveal that the Cross is the object of our faith. Just as the disobedient Hebrews were to look at the serpent on the pole to receive life (Num. 21:8-9), so does the sinner who looks to Jesus and what He did at the Cross receives eternal life.
In John 6:44, Jesus would tell the religious leaders, ““No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him” (also referenced in John 6:65). God did not predestinate anyone to be saved or damned before or after the fall (supralapsarianism and infralapsarianism). Men are not regenerated and then saved, as some teach. The Father draws the spiritually dead sinner when he hears the gospel and then repents and receives what God predestinated, Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, who paid the debt that man owed God at the Cross through His death.
Jesus was asked, ““What must we do, that we may work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, That ye believe on him whom he hath sent” (John 6:28-29).
Jesus would remind His audience that His work was to fulfill the will of His Father and that He would not lose any that the Father would give Him. He clearly articulates what the will of the Father is in John 6:40, ““And this is the will of him that sent me, that everyone which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”
Jesus was answering the hard hearts of the religious leaders who sought of Him to give them a sign, like the manna that was given in the wilderness. Jesus would continue by telling them He is the bread that came down from heaven.
John 6:51 says, ““I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
The ministry of Christ was to the whole world. John 3:16 says, ““For God so loved the world; that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
In II Peter 3:9, Peter reminds us, ““The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”