Predestined to be able to choose.
Acts 13: 48
“When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honoured the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed.”
Happy New Year!!
And what a great start to our year reading of the Gentiles coming to faith in Antioch!
This verse for the last 4 centuries has been used to support the argument of predestination. “Appointed” or “ordained” has been used in its English translation to support the teaching that people are chosen to believe and some are not. I can see how it reads like this. Many have argued over the meaning of the Greek text and I am not going to enlighten today with anything new. I do believe that its meaning shows that the Gentiles were actually coming into the faith which God had pre-ordained everyone to come into which the Jews had just rejected. But this coming into the faith was an action of God. He moved them into the faith. However, he did not pick Tom and Harry but decide not to move upon Sally. All the time they could have rejected this move of God but they did what the Jews refused to do, they accepted the message of Jesus. God was not flipping a coin to see who He would be saving. God was moving there and then at that moment (not from some prescriptive eternal text book) and bringing souls into the kingdom. At the end of the day does He know who will accept Him? YES! Rather confusing perhaps but it does show the immense love God has for people that He is prepared to move upon them even though He knows their free-will is going to reject Him.
This year masses will come to Christ across the world. In your Church you will see people receive the joy of God because of salvation. You can be used to lead people to Christ. You can do this over the next 12 months.
In every salvation lies a miracle of grace. I am thankful that God in His ordained plan for the world, appointed man to be saved. It may not be that you were appointed and your neighbour wasn’t appointed. But you are both appointed, however, at the moment, you are the one to have responded. What does that tell you? It is not the lucky throw of a dice bur rather:
- The emphasis is not on your decision for Christ but the gracious opportunity that was given you because of God’s plan of salvation.
- You can be very thankful for the person who told you about Jesus clearly.
- You can bathe in the beauty of being chosen because that is what you are.