We have already seen that the scriptures makes it very clear that both repentance and faith are gifts from God. We have seen that no human being can ever, on their own, decide to repent and place their faith in Jesus Christ. According to the correct reading and interpretation of scripture, that is clearly not possible.
Having said that, as I indicated in my previous message, there are those among Christians ( commonly referred to as Arminians), who say that although both repentance and faith are a gift from God, a human being still has the right to reject or accept the gift. In other words, although God must first give you this gift, the final say rests with A human being on whether to be saved or not. Is this true?
According to Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2:13, God chose believers from the beginning to be saved.
2 Thessalonians 2:13 (NASB)
13 But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.
The question is, when was this “beginning”? For that we read Ephesians 1:4-5:
Ephesians 1:4-5 (ESV Strong’s)
4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,
Paul says in Ephesians that God chose believers before the foundation of the world. From the above verse as well, it is clear that God had a purpose and a plan for choosing believers, and that was so that they can become holy and blameless before Him and to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ. If what Arminians are saying is true, then it is possible for God to fail in His plan and purpose because, it is not up to Him to decide who believes or not. It is possible then, according to Arminians, that some of those that God has chosen, can reject the gift of salvation and choose to go to hell. God does not have any guarantee that His plan and purpose will succeed. This is clearly heretical and must be rejected. God cannot and will never fail. A human being can never cause God’s plans to fail.
We have seen what Paul says, what does Jesus have to say about this?
John 10:27-30 (ESV Strong’s)
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”
Well, it is very clear that Jesus agrees with Paul. Why? Verse 29 above makes it very clear that the believers that God has chosen before the foundation of the world to be saved, once chosen, are given by God the Father to God the Son. Jesus then says, once the Father has given them to Him, look at verse 27, Jesus says, they hear His voice, He knows them and they follow Him. Jesus is not uncertain about this. He doesn’t say maybe they will hear His voice and follow Him, He say they actually do hear His voice and follow Him. Jesus says He gives them eternal life, not maybe He will give them if they agree, He does give them eternal life and even better, they will never perish, as He and God the Father protects them. God the Son and God the Father are one in ensuring that those that have been chosen before the foundation of the world, indeed receive eternal life.
to make this point even more clearer, look at what Jesus says in John 6:
John 6:37 (ESV Strong’s)
37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.
Those that God the Father gives to Jesus, WILL come to Him. Not maybe, not it depends but, they will come to me. If Jesus is so confident about this, where does free will fit in? Where is the right of the human being to choose? What if some of those that have been given to Jesus by God the Father refuse? If they refuse then Jesus lied when He said they will come to Him. Again, this is heretical and must be rejected. Jesus cannot lie.
Lastly, look at this verse:
Acts 13:48 (ESV Strong’s)
48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed.
Those that were appointed to believe, actually did so. When were these appointed? The Greek word translated here as appointed, is in the perfect passive participle tense. (CWSB Dictionary) The perfect participle stresses the state brought about by the finished results of the action. The passive shows that this action was done on them and not by them. These believers were appointed some time in the past to believe (before the foundation of the world), and when the time came, they actually believed. Note that it says all those that were appointed believed. Not a single one rejected the gift.
It is very clear that Arminians are completely incorrect by saying that salvation depends on the acceptance or not of the gift, by a human being. Once God chooses, and then at the appointed time, gives the gift of repentance and salvation, whoever the recipient is of this gift, will accept the gift and follow Jesus Christ and they will receive eternal life.
I hope this short series have clearly exposed the heresy spoken by Arminians in attempting to share the glory of our salvation with God. In Salvation, to God goes all the glory and praise. Amen.