THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 8-26-12
LESSON TITLE: “PREDESTINATION”
Jesus once commanded, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” Have you denied self for Jesus?
Good morning! Thanks for joining us this morning in this service of God. The Living Word Program is committed to proclaiming the simple truth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ - which is confirmed for us in the Bible. I hope you all have your Bible’s handy and I hope you are ready to worship God together as we sing praises to His name and study from His wondrous word. Now let’s begin by talking to our Father in prayer!
It’s now time to join in our songs of praise as we together sing the first hymn of the morning. Today we will begin with a song that reminds us that God holds the answers to all things! So, won’t you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing together, “Farther Along.”
(SONG # 1)
One of the greatest decisions we ever make is to serve God and to become obedient to His Will! However, I think sometimes people fail to realize the level of commitment we are really making when we do that which God has commanded us to become a Child of His!
To become a Child of God is to become His servant and slave. We must understand that we have been bought and paid for with a hefty price – the very body and blood of Jesus Christ.
We also must accept that as Christians we have a new master to serve under. This includes a new head to guide us and new Savior to protect us. All the while being placed in the body of Christ by the Lord, we are to be obedient to Him, just as we were His own Children.
In connection to these thoughts, consider one of the hardest things we have to do in our new life as followers of God. That is to serve only the one new master. This is the very problem Jesus was addressing in Matthew 6:24. There He said, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” Here we read that serving God requires that we follow only Him. We can not be on the fence and try to serve both.
We also have clarified for us in this verse that there are different kinds of things which we can allow to rule over us. It is not just talking about a certain person, or a boss, or a ruler. Jesus even used the example that we can not serve God and mammon or riches. You see, it is just not possible for someone to serve God completely and still try to hold on to the riches of this world - making them also a priority in life.
So, when we choose God, we must choose Him and Him alone. He must be the only priority and we must seek Him first if we expect His promises and rewards. Have you put on Christ as your Lord and Master? If so, is He the only master you serve today?
This morning we are happy to have brother Chuck Northrop with us as our guest speaker. Brother Chuck is a full time instructor at the Bible Institute of Missouri. We thank him for joining us this day to lead us in our study from God’s Word.
As far as our lesson today we will continue with our series entitled, “Teaching As Doctrine The Commandments Of Men!” Our specific topic today will focus on “Predestination.” So, please continue with us this morning, and after our next song together brother Northrop will return to lead and teach us from God’s Word. The name of our next hymn is, “Footprints Of Jesus!”
(SONG # 2)
By Chuck Northrup
We are so grateful to you for being with us this morning and for being a part of this program. We appreciate you, we appreciate your interest in spiritual matters, and we appreciate your interest in the study of God’s word. In our series of studies we have been looking at and considering the fact that Jesus said that “…in vain do they worship me teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” Matthew 15:9. In that particular passage He is dealing with the idea of worship and sadly the Pharisees and the Sadducees in that day their worship was in vain, it had become empty because they were teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. Now there are numerous examples of this throughout the scriptures but also in our modern time. But join me and think about it that one of the great privileges that’s been afforded to us is the privilege of worship. To be able to worship the father to be able to praise His name and to glorify Him and then to have that worship hindered is a travesty. So we have to be careful that we do not follow the teaching and commandments of men but that we just simply follow the word of God.
One such example that we have in our modern time is that of predestination. Now to be sure that we understand that there is a Bible doctrine of predestination but there is also a humanly doctrine of predestination and we want to contrast the two this morning and to point out the teaching in doctrines of men. As far as the human doctrine of predestination it teaches that God has chosen certain individuals to be saved but He has also chosen certain individuals to be lost. Now really when you think about that that really makes several accusations against God. We know that God is a righteous judge. In Romans 2:11 and also Ephesians 6:9, it says that God is no respecter of persons and because he is no respecter of persons he is a righteous judge and that is found in 2Timothy 4:8. And God as that righteous judge without respect of persons will judge a person based not simply upon a choice that He has made but based upon the choice that man has made as well. Think about it this way, if judgment is simply based upon whether God has chosen me to be lost and someone else to be saved or visa versa then judgment is simply based upon the decision that God has made and no choice on our own, but we know that God has given us a choice. In the very beginning of time when He created Adam and Eve He placed them in the garden, and He commanded them to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the Earth, He also commanded them to keep the garden, and not to eat of the fruit of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The very fact that they could eat of that fruit, the very fact that they could disobey God and not reproduce the very fact that they could disobey God and not keep the garden shows that they had a decision. They had the decision to make whether they were going to follow God or not follow God. So, God has always given man a choice, he will not take away our choice. I’m always reminded the words of Joshua in Joshua 24:15 where Joshua said, “…choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve...” and then Joshua points out at the end of the verse that he has chosen to serve God, “…as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” So it is the case that God has provided us that decision. It is simply not something that God has arbitrated to us but something that we have chosen to do ourselves.
But think also with me for just a moment in this, God has commanded us as Christians to take the Gospel into all the world. Jesus said, ‘Go ye therefore and teach all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.’ (Matthew 28:19). But if God has chosen certain individuals to be lost and certain individuals to be saved then why go into all of the world? It would be an arbitrary act; it would be something that was useless and vain to go into all of the world to teach someone who cannot be saved or someone who cannot be lost. Such would be the ultimate foolishness. But then think about it this way as well. In 2Peter 3:9 the Bible says, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” Now listen again to what he says, the Lord does not want anybody to perish but he wants all men to repent. In 1Timothy 2:4 he says that he would have, “…all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.” Now which is it? If God has chosen certain individuals to be lost then he does not desire all men to be saved. That’s the bottom line and that’s really what we are dealing with. But because he wants all men to be saved then He has paid the price for our salvation. He has sent His Son into this world, He provided His will for us that we might follow it, and therefore because he has provided that will for us we know that He wants us to be saved. But if He has chosen one single individual, if He has chosen someone like Judas Iscariot to be lost then he does not desire all men to be saved.
Well, now that we have an understanding of this human predestination that in vain people do worship God thinking that they are in service to God but in reality they are teaching this humanly doctrine of predestination, we also need to understand the true predestination. In Ephesians 1:3, really beginning with verse 3 and on down through verse 5, Paul writing to the Church at Ephesus talks about all spiritual blessings and where they are found. We know that they are found in Jesus Christ. It says all spiritual blessings are found in Christ then we want to be in Christ but notice that as he talks about those spiritual blessings in the next section he is actually dealing with several different spiritual blessings that have been provided for us. In of those spiritual blessings one is that He has chosen us and predestinated us into the adoption of children verse 5. Now what is this viable doctrine of predestination? Well the viable doctrine of predestination is that God has chosen a plan and he has chosen a way for man to escape from damnation, to escape, to be saved, to have forgiveness of sins, to be the adopted children of God. He has given us that way to escape and if we will follow that way then we can escape from those things, the bondage of sin. But how do we escape? Well, we escape by obedience to His Gospel plan because we have chosen to do what’s right then he has given us that opportunity to be saved. But notice that the predestination is in the idea that He has predestinated a plan and He’s predestinated a group of people who would be saved. Think about it this way, I am an instructor I have been an instructor in a number of different schools over the years and actually an instructor for numeral different schools at the present time and I have predestined a certain group of people to receive “A’s” but sadly I have also predestinated a certain group of people to fail. Now who then have I predestinated individuals, well no, I have never predestinated a single individual but I have always predestinated a group of people to receive “A’s” and a group of people to receive “F’s”. Now who have I predestinated? Well, those that I have predestinated, those that receive ninety percent or above would be upon those that would receive “A’s” and those that would receive below sixty percent then would receive the failing grade. But not an individual but a group, the same thing is true for God. God has predestinated, who He has predestinated, those who have chosen to do His will. He has given us that choice to do so and He has made it possible for us to escape the evil and the things of darkness in this world and those who have chosen then to do those things He has chosen to be His children. Now it’s really that simple, that is Bible predestination.
So God has given us this plan He has provided that way of salvation, and he has provided the Bible for us to follow and if we choose to follow Him then He has chosen to redeem us from all iniquity. Now think about it for a moment this way, it’s really a matter of our choice. God has done everything He needs to do in order for us to be saved and so it’s according to us it’s our choice and we have that choice and the very invitations that are given within the scriptures indicates that it is our choice that we have. Think about this in that great invitation that Jesus gave in Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus said, “Come to Me, al you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” I have a choice, if I follow Jesus then the benefits of following Him are given unto Me but if I do not or refuse to follow Him then I have predestinated myself unto death. But I would rather have life, I appreciate the opportunity that God has provided for me to have that life, I appreciate the opportunity that God has provided me to worship Him, and I don’t want to do anything that would hinder that worship of Him.
So this morning we, each one of us, have a choice. We have a choice to obey the Bible in general, we have a choice to become a Christian, we have a choice to make our lives right if we are Christians. We have a choice and God has provided that choice and He has provided this opportunity to make that choice and the proper choice of those things and so it’s up to us then. Are we going to follow or are we not going to follow? You see we have been predestinated and we have been chosen but we are only chosen, were only predestined, through His plan and it’s up to us as to whether or not we will follow that plan. Are you willing to follow that plan? I hope you are. Are you willing to do what God has commanded us in order to become a Christian that we believe Jesus is the Christ the Son of the living God, repent or our sins, confess Him before men, and to be immersed into Christ raised up to walk in newness of life. You see it’s our choice the plan has already been provided and now it’s simply a matter to us as whether or not we will obey that plan. God wants you to be saved, He does not want you to perish, He wants you to come to salvation, in fact the very sending of His son indicates just how much He wants you to be saved. The sending of His Son to die upon that cross for our salvation, now what will you choose? We appreciate you so very much and we appreciate your interest in spiritual matters, we appreciate your interest in these lessons like this but the bottom line is this, we too like God want you to be saved. We are here today because of our desire for you to be saved. Won’t you choose life rather than death, won’t you choose salvation rather than damnation, won’t you choose Heaven rather than hell the choice is yours. We appreciate your interest in spiritual matters but we appreciate you and want you to make the right decision and if we can help you in any way won’t you please let us know. We can help you to obey the Gospel, let us know, or we can help you to become right then please let us know. Thank you for your attention and we appreciate you so very much.
(SONG # 3 - “Give Me The Bible”)
What a wondrous time we have had together in participating in the things of God. I hope we all have been encouraged through our time spent together. Please remember, you are invited to join us every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this service of God.
Now let me ask if you have any questions or comments about today’s lesson? Maybe, you would like a free transcript or a free cassette tape of this program? Possibly, we could assist you with free Bible materials or free Bible correspondence courses? No matter what your need is, please contact us at the following address:
The Living Word
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As Christians, may we realize that God has predestined His perfect plan unto salvation for all who will believe and obey. The question is, “have you responded to this opportunity for eternal life and are you doing what God requires to remain in His saving grace?”