Salvation – Who Chooses Who? 9


  

Salvation…

Who Chooses Who?
 
By Gary Amirault

 

 
Did you know that our minds are actually hard-wired to lie for us and then give us a treat when we accept the lie? Yes, Dr. Westin and his team from Emory University, have discovered we are not as honest with ourselves as we would like to think. (See “Programmed to Lie” by Gary Amirault.) It seems our minds are more concerned about security of our ego, our life rather than truth. Our minds will actually “bend” information to conform it to our belief structure rather than let it in unedited if it is going to cause us discomfort. Twisting the truth is better than the plain truth if it is going to cause us to move from what we are comfortable with. In other words, our minds and emotions like security more than truth, honesty and integrity. It seems the ancient sage, Jeremiah, already knew what scientists are now discovering about our mind and its ability or lack thereof regarding truth: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9)
 
As we look into this issue of salvation, who chooses who, keep in mind the fact that our minds are actually hard-wired to lie to us, especially when it comes to our “comfort zone,” our beliefs on important topics like religion and politics.
 
In his letter to the Galatians, Paul warned that “A little leaven leavens the whole lump.” (Gal. 5:9) It does not take much of a  “works” mentality to fall from grace and come under a law mentality of trusting one’s works for righteousness sake. The desire to exalt ourselves over others by comparing each other is as old as mankind – it is extremely easy to fall back into that kind of mindset. Like I said earlier, our minds are actually wired in such a way to bend the truth to protect the lies we have either inherited from our culture or have concocted to create our “life” that is, who we think we are which is probably a string of carefully crafted lies.
 
There is a tiny piece of leaven that has entered the church which has pretty much adversely affected the entire Church system. Someone has even written a song about this little piece of leaven–this small fox which has spoiled the vine. The song is entitled, “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus.” This little lie says that a person can and must “decide” or "choose" to follow Jesus—that they actually have the ability to do such a thing. Then after they "chose" to bring Jesus into their hearts, they must continue to “choose” to do certain things in order to "stay saved." Theologians use the term “Arminianism” to describe this sort of belief system. It encompasses the majority of the Protestant denominations. This teaching is actually a foundation of most Protestant denominations including Evangelicals, Fundamentalists, Pentecostals and Charismatics.
 
These "things" that one must do or not do vary from denomination to denomination and even from pastor to pastor WITHIN a denomination. The little lie that says one can "choose" God seems like such a little thing – it even has a ring of truth to it – there are scriptures that can be used to support this belief — but it grows up into a great monster–it produces the very spirit which killed Jesus and still continues to kill even today. It is the spirit of the Pharisee and the Church, Judaism and Islam is full of it. This lie causes those who believe it to end up trusting in themselves and their deeds instead of trusting completely in the finished work of Jesus Christ for all mankind. Beware of this little lie–it leads to certain spiritual death (which is not “eternal” separation from God)! Let us look at some Scripture which should make it obvious, no descendant of Adam Jew or Gentile is capable of “choosing” to follow God:
 
Man’s condition before salvation:
 
1. We all love darkness more than light. (John 3:19)
2. We all hate the light because are deeds are evil. (John 3:20)
3. We cannot comprehend (lay hold of) the light. (John 1:5)
4. We have all turned aside, and have all together become filthy. (Psalms 4:31)
5. We are blind. (Psalms 146:8; Zephaniah 1:17; Matthew 15:14; John 9:39-41; II Corinthians 4:3,4)
6. We are deaf. (Psalms 66:18; Matthew 11:15; Matthew 13-17; Romans 11:8; 1 Corinthians 2 -14)
7. The things of God are foolishness to us. (1 Corinthians 2:14)
8. The spirit of man can only understand the things of man. Without the Spirit of God it is impossible to understand the things of the Spirit of God. (1 Corinthians 2:11-14)
9. We are slaves to another–sin is our taskmaster. (1 Corinthians 6:19,20; Romans 8:15; Romans 6:11-17)
10. We call good evil, and evil good.  (Isaiah 5:20)
11. We are unclean –either because of playing in the tombs, or because we have leprosy (spiritually speaking). (Leviticus 11:31-40, Numbers 19:11-20, Haggai 2:13-14. Matthew 23:27,28)
12. We are not in our right minds due to the continual torment that fear has imparted. (1 John 4:18)
13. We are deceived because we are not doing the word of God. (James 1:22-25)
14. We seek our own interests not the Lord’s. (Philippians 2:21)
15. We are spiritually dead. (Romans 7:8-20; Ephesians 2:1-3)
16. We are subject to vanity not willingly but by reason of Him (God) Who subjected us to it. (Roman 8:18-22; Genesis 5:29; Job 12:6-10)
17. Because we cannot hear, we do not have faith. (Romans 10:17)
18. Without faith it is impossible for us to please God. (He 11:6; Ps 78:17-39)
19. We were made to lack by Elohim. (Ps 8:5, literal translation of little lower than the angels)
20. We are all liars. (Romans 3:4)
21. "Not one is just." (Rom.3:11)
22. "Not one is understanding." (Rom.3:11)
23. "Not one is seeking out God." (Rom.3:11)
24. "All avoid Him." (Rom.3:12)
25. Can’t discern our left hand from our right. (Jonah 4:11)
26. Man is incapable of keeping covenant. Israel broke its covenant the first day they made it. (Ex. 32:17-35)
(List prepared by Patrick Strickland)
 
Dear fellow human being, honestly, which of us is capable of making the right decision to “follow Christ” considering the above condition? Which is us is capable of making covenant with God and keeping it?
 
And even after salvation:
 
“I am the Vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing.” (John 15:5, KJV)
 
The Jews were taught by the rich Pharisees and Sadducees that the poor were poor because of sin in their family, while the rich were rich because they and their lineage were righteous thus associating riches to righteous and poverty and sickness to unrighteous and unworthy of favor from God. So when Jesus said it was harder for a rich man to enter heaven than a camel (or rope) to enter the eye of a needle the disciples were shocked and amazed. “Who then can be saved?” was their question. If the rich are no more righteous than the poor and sick obviously, how can anyone become saved? What can man do to be saved? What are the signs that a person is saved? Is “righteous” before God? And Jesus answered, “With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” (Matt. 19:26)
 
Please consider that it is God Who:
 
-is the "author and finisher of our faith." (Heb. 12:2)
-calls us through His grace. (Gal. 1:15).
-draws people to Himself. (John 6:44,65; 12:32; 14:16; 15:16)
-creates a clean heart. (Psalm 51:10)
-His arm brings salvation. (Psalm 98:1,2; (Isa. 51:5,6; Isa. 59:1)
-appoints people to believe. (Acts 13:48)
-works faith in the believer. (John 6:28-29)
-chooses who is to be holy and blameless. (Eph. 1:4)
-chooses us for salvation (2 Thess. 2:13-14).
-grants the act of believing. (Phil. 1:29)
-grants repentance. (2 Tim. 2:24-26)
-calls according to His purpose. (2 Tim. 1:9)
-causes us to be born again. (1 Pet. 1:3)
-predestines us to salvation. (Rom. 8:29-30)
-predestines us to adoption. (Eph. 1:5)
-predestines us according to His purpose. (Eph. 1:11)
*makes us born again not by our will but by His will. (John 1:12-13)
 
 
The Roman Road is Full of Potholes
 
Below is a short version of a classical set of scriptures Protestants have used for many years to “bring someone to Christ,” to “get them saved.”
 
It is quite possible to chain a set of Scriptures together from the Bible to pretty much prove anything one wants to. For example, I could put a few verses together to prove that God supports slavery, but I would need to avoid many other scriptures which would contradict the ones I selected. So, too, with the Roman Road. It is sometimes advertised as “The Four Spiritual Laws.” Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade is usually credited for creating this tract format. It has been copied by tens of thousands of Christian evangelists and pastors. I have no doubt that this tract and others like have helped people connect with God. God can use a jackass if He wants to. But this tract and thousands of others like it who follow this Roman Road approach are full of potholes.
 
Below are the primary Scriptures used in making the Roman Road Gospel Presentation. The Road varies from one group to another. Some presentations add encouragement to attend a local church, to be water baptized, etc. I call it the Protestant Roman Road because the Roman Catholic and the various Orthodox churches and many more law and tradition centered denominations would take exception to this presentation:
 
The Roman Road
 
Romans 3:10 There is none righteous, no, not one.
 
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
 
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death: but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
 
Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
 
Romans 10:9-10 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath 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.
 
Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
 
 
The first major pothole in all the Roman Road tracts I have read begins with the very first verse usually quoted: Romans 3:10. If we look at the context of these verses we find Paul saying MUCH more than the fact that there is none righteous. Paul goes on to say,
 
“There is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside…There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Romans 3:11, 18)
 
These verses make it quite plain that there is NONE who are in a condition to repent on their own. To repent one must have understanding, one must have a fear of God before their eyes. One must have a conscious understanding of their need for salvation AND one must be convinced they must change direction AND one must be convinced that Jesus can and will save them before they would make such a decision. But the Bible says that NONE are in this condition, no, not one.
 
Show me a person who believes they have "decided" to follow Jesus on his or her own and I’ll show you a person on the road to becoming a self-righteous hypocrite—a modern day Pharisee.
 
ALL of mankind was dipped into death—separation from God—and was born as a slave to the “god of this world” who is Satan. (1 Cor. 2:4) None of us “chose” to enter a world of darkness, death and sin. It was “imputed” to us, not of our own will, but by the will of forces outside of ourselves. (Rom. Chapter 5) “In Adam, ALL died.” Why? Because death was “imputed” to all of his off-spring. It’s like a genetic disease which affected all of mankind. Our “choices” were limited to the “Tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” Yes, there was good in that tree, but even the goodness of that tree brought forth death. Spiritual Life does NOT come from a moral code of good and evil; it comes through being joined into the “Tree of Life,” Jesus Christ. “In Adam all died, in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Cor. 15:22)
 
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:38
 
Who does the setting free? And if we were not free before Jesus freed us, what were we? Therefore, if the Bible tells us that we were “slaves to sin” until the Love of God was shed abroad in our hearts, then how can we say we truly had “free will.” We, Christians, toss this idea around as a matter of fact, but the Scriptures speak of no such thing.
 
Does God Have a Right to Redeem His Own Stuff?
 
Jesus told us that Satan comes to “kill, steal and destroy.” Who do human souls truly belong to? Clearly all souls belong to the One Who created them. (Ezek. 18:4) He is the Father of all spirits. (Heb. 12:9) All spirits return to God. (Ec. 12:7) He is the God of the spirits of all flesh. (Num. 16:22) If God the Father sent His Son to plunder Hades and deliver EVERY SINGLE SOUL that Satan stole and put into bondage, where do millions of Christians have the right to say God is unable to do that? That men must choose of their own free will to escape eternal damnation? This is clearly the clay telling God what He can or can’t do. Here is where true pride is – IN THE CHURCH! Jesus came to “save that which is lost” and He will not give up until He finds every single lost sheep. He leaves the 99 to find the one lost sheep. But the church preaches just the opposite. According to traditional theology, Jesus loses the 99 and a handful choose to get saved. They twist scriptures like Matt 7:13 to teach that only a few will be saved which in fact Jesus was teaching that the narrow way was Himself. Salvation is only in the one name under heaven by which all mankind must be saved – the name of Jesus. THAT is the narrow way. And one day every lost sheep in the world will pass under His staff and enter His Life.
 
 
The Deadly Seed Called “Free Will.”
 
The scriptures tells us that salvation comes by grace through faith. Right? Whose grace? Whose faith?
 
I’ll reprint this scripture again because many Christians still do not understand the simplicity and power of this verse:
 
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and not of yourselves; it is a gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should be boast.” (Eph. 2:8, NKJV)
 
Who’s grace?: “But it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through HIS grace, to reveal His Son in me…” (Gal. 1:15)
 
Who’s faith?: “Jesus Christ, author and finisher of our faith.” (Heb. 12:2)
 
"So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy." (Rom 9:16)
 
How does repentance come?:
 
4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? (Rom. 2:4, KJV)
 
So again, the “goodness of God” brings repentance, NOT ourselves.
 
Salvation is all God and NONE of man.
 
Speaking of how difficult it is for rich men to enter heaven, the disciples asked, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus replied:
 
“With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” (Matt. 19:26)
 
It is sad but true that most Christians have been literally brainwashed to believe that they decided of their own free will to follow Jesus. This is simply a lie, a piece of leaven that will destroy one’s witness to the truth found in Jesus Christ.
 
I have heard from pulpits more than one, “minister of the word of God” has said that “man’s will is greater than God’s will.” This is the abominable lie the little leaven of “deciding” to follow Jesus produces. If man’s will is greater than God’s will, how can we ever trust God to bring about peace and harmony? Look at mankind! Look and see the destruction man has created, especially religious man! And according to these ministers man’s will overrides God’s will. If that is so, why would that change on the other side of the grave? It is an absurd idea, yet many ministers are full of nonsense like this.
 
"No one can come to Me, unless the Father Who sent Me draws him. (John 6:44)
"And He was saying, "For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me, unless it has been granted him from the Father." (John 6:65)
"You did not choose Me, but I chose you." (John 15:16)
"So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy." (Rom 9:16)
 
All those scriptures, which speak of man’s ability to choose, should be understood in the light of the above verses.
 
Was Jonah willing to do what God had asked him? No, he didn’t want to do God’s will. Did God go against Jonah’s will to get him to go to Nineveh? At what point did he become willing?
 
Did Saul (Paul) ask Jesus to come into his heart when Jesus revealed himself to him? I don’t think so. Saul was too intent on persecuting the church. His will was to destroy Jesus’ body.
 
"The mind of man plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps." (Prov 16:9)
 
We have been taught in traditional churches that God never goes against a person’s “free will.” This is utter nonsense! And yet most Christians believe it. First of all, man doesn’t have a “free will,” he has a very enslaved will. And even if he did have a free will, God is God. He is the final authority. Is God allowed to do with His creation what He wants to do? What audacity for theologians to come up with idiotic statements like “God will never go against a person’s ‘free will.’” These statements are proof that man, especially religious man, is in gross darkness. Their thinking is perverse!
 
When we add an ounce of our own efforts, just an act as simple as saying that WE “chose” to follow Jesus, we have set ourselves on course to becoming a SELF-righteous Pharisaical Christian who will ultimately boast in themselves while condemning others. Just as Saul, the murderer of Christians did not “choose” to follow Christ, neither does any Christian who is truly “saved.” Salvation is all of God and none of man. It is the arm of the Lord coming down to help man, not man’s help reaching up and taking hold of God’s hand. We are dumb sheep, according to the scriptures who don’t know the way to salvation. If the grace and faith in you is the REAL thing (and that is questionable among many that espouse the name of Christ), then your salvation is ALL GOD, and NOTHING of yourself. Ask the world if the present-day church is arrogant, proud, self-righteous and condemning or if it is humble, meek, forgiving, merciful, non-judgmental and helpful. They know better than we do because they are on the receiving end of our condemnation and judgments.
 
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God (and we love Him because He first loves us), to those who are called according to His purpose. For whom He FOREKNEW, He also PREDESTINED to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these also He glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:28-31)
 
Dear reader, please note who did the calling, predestining, justifying, sanctifying and glorifying. Also please note that it is in the past tense. IT IS FINISHED!!! It was finished from before the foundation of the world!!
 
So why don’t most Christians believe this? The sin/leaven of “free will,” which puts the glory of salvation on man’s efforts instead of Christ’s victory, is the little fox of “I have decided to follow Jesus” which spoils the whole vine and prevents man (for a season) from entering into the promise rest found in the awesome words, “IT IS FINISHED!!” Herein is the rest promised to those who believe in Christ’s work on the cross instead of their thousands of religious works to get and stay saved.
 
“God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were DEAD IN TRESPASSES (dead men can’t “chose” anything), made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness towards us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and NOT of yourselves, it is a gift of God, NOT of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Eph. 2:4-10) “Jesus Christ, author and finisher of OUR faith.” (Heb. 12:2)
 
As the above Scripture makes quite clear, it was GOD who chose us even when we had no ability to chose—we were dead in trespasses and sins. Our “life” was a free gift, NOT based upon anything we did either through good works or good choices so that we wouldn’t boast in “our” salvation or “our” right choice. Look at the church today. Almost ALL of the church is boasting in their decision to follow Jesus as if they are better people than those who didn’t “chose” the concept of Jesus they decided to follow. I say “concepts of Jesus” rather than Jesus because the fact there are tens of thousands of different denominations each with their own concept of Who Jesus really is and how one can remain on the friendly side of Him reveals to me that most Christians are just following a system of beliefs, traditions and rituals rather than actually having a personal, living, vibrant relationship with the Son of God.
 
Look at the FAITH that saves. Is it our faith in Jesus that saves or is it Jesus’ faith put in us which then becomes our faith that saves? “Jesus Christ, author AND finisher of OUR faith.” Again, it’s all Jesus.
 
Look at the works which we are to do as Christians. Are they OUR works? Or are the God’s works which were prepared for us to walk in before we were even born?
 
“For we are HIS workmanship, created in Jesus Christ for good works, which GOD PREPARED BEFOREHAND that we should walk in.” (Eph. 2:10, NKJV)
 
HIS workmanship, He is doing the building IN Christ. And the works that should flow out of us, again, are HIS works, not ours, lest we boast.
 
God, God, God, it’s all God!! And when we, Christians, add just an ounce of our own works, our own will, our own decision to the equation, it totally corrupts because it adds pride which will cause us to glory in our works instead of glory in the finished work of Christ. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. A small fox spoils the entire vine. Pride goes before the fall. The fact of the matter is that the church-at-large is FILLED with the pride of self-righteous dead religious works.
 
I recall a few years back talking with a man who was a prophetic leader in a church I attended in the past. I asked him, “Did you choose Jesus or did Jesus choose you?” Without hesitation, he responded, “Oh, surely I chose Jesus.”
 
I bowed my head in sorrow. You see, I remembered the testimony he shared with me a few years prior–how Jesus had delivered him from Satan worship—how he used to keep a picture of Satan pinned to his ceiling over his bed. Oh, his testimony of how Jesus saved him was wonderful to hear. It brought such wonderful glory to His precious name. After a few years of religious dedication to a church that taught you must choose Jesus AND that you must do various things to stay saved—his testimony went from giving glory to Jesus to glorying in his choice to follow Jesus. He had begun to trust in his own abilities to do the right things to stay saved while beginning to judge and condemn others who didn’t live up to his standards. The little fox had spoiled this vine. A couple hours after our meeting, this precious prophet of God had a serious car accident and died.
 
I met another man more recently who shared an incredible testimony with me of how Jesus saved him. Yet when I heard him preach in church he was already expressing fear of losing his salvation. Having begun in the Spirit, as Paul stated in Galatians chapter 3, this young man was beginning to work out his salvation through works of the flesh instead of continuing to trust in God to work it out through you. This ever-so-subtle detour prevents us from producing a 100 fold return – we end up falling short in producing the fruit of the Spirit by not being solidly grafted into Christ. We waver – sometimes in the Spirit, sometimes in the flesh which is usually religious flesh. We may escape the flesh pots of Egypt, but become entangled in the religious threads of Babylon. Religious works, not street sin, is usually the sin that causes Christians to not bear the fruit of the kingdom of God. It is often religion itself that separates us from being united with Christ in a deep and holy relationship.
 
If you begin to exercise your freedom in Christ–to boldly declare the finished work of the cross– you will be severely attacked by Satan. He wants men to trust in their own works. He wants men to live in pride. He wants men to condemn others while exalting themselves thinking they are more righteous than their neighbor. Oh, we, Christians rarely are bold enough to declare we are better than others – we pretend to give God all the glory saying we are sinners saved by grace. But when we begin to judge those outside the household of faith, we find ourselves falling from grace and not knowing it. As we judge the world, we begin to condemn it and through this condemnation become unfit to bear witness to God’s love. We become unfruitful.
 
Can a Christian Lose Their Salvation?
 
Does that mean we lose our salvation? The answer is yes and no.
 
 
The doctrine of “free will” (a phrase not found in the Bible) brings a host of scriptural problems which the proponents of this system then have to patch up with a bunch of other doctrines not contained in Scripture. If salvation is by man’s choice, then God has to give every single person on this earth the opportunity to choose Jesus or else He is a respecter of persons. Calvinists have no problem with their image of God being a respecter of persons. They are “the elect” and God “foreordained” to damn the rest of the world. Calvinists believe that they are special in the eyes of God and that the rest of the world was just made to be fuel for eternal flames.
 
But most Christians’ concept of God is not this cold and calloused. Most Christians have been taught that Jesus desires to save all mankind but that Satan, free will and sin are forces that His love simply cannot conquer in most people. Most people “chose” to go to hell of their own free will. They’d rather burn forever than to submit to Jesus.  
 
The Bible said that the history of Israel was left for us as signs and shadows of what was to follow. We were to learn from their mistakes. The last generation of Jews under the Mosaic law became the most corrupt generation on the face of the earth. Josephus, the Jewish historian, said it was as if all the demons of the world had entered God’s own people. Satan had totally invaded Israel. That is why John the Baptist preached repentance on the OTHER side of the Jordan, outside of Israel. John was saying “Repent, turn away” from this system; it had become totally corrupt. Several Scriptures tell us that Israel served as a sign for us; that they were types and shadows of the reality to come. If the end of Israel was an evil and totally corrupt generation, could the church follow the very same pattern? The true gospel is all grace. I think any non-biased person can see that almost all denominations have added myriads of works to the simplicity of the cross of Christ.
 
If a little leaven can completely ruin the wonderful testimony of a man delivered from by Jesus from Satanism, what can this leaven do to an entire religious system which has abandoned the message of the finished work of the cross for all mankind?
 
“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, Who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, Who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor. 2:3-6)
 
Yes, it seems that those who follow Paul’s gospel will receive severe persecution from Satan through this age we live in. From whom did Paul receive this persecution—from the world? –From Rome? No, he received it at the hands of those who said they were God’s people! Paul preached pure grace, not mixed with any of man’s efforts. And those who truly understand Paul’s gospel will also receive severe persecution from Satan through some who consider themselves devoted Christians.
 
Yes, those who say that the salvation is NOT by “choice” but is a free gift will suffer much reproach from those who say they are saved by grace, but actually are trusting in their decision to follow Christ and their ability to perform well enough to “stay saved.”
 
In the words of a preacher whose name I don’t recall, “The trouble with the church is too much man, and not enough God.”
 
Gary Amirault
 
“In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that He Who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 1:4-6, NIV)
==========
(Some stuff from Patrick Strickland)
 
Is it not amazing that what God has called impossible, many Christians declare possible. Even more amazing is that what God calls possible and desirable, many Christians declare impossible. Because of man’s “free will,” it is impossible for Him to save all mankind.
 
Matthew 19: 25 When His disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, with men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
 
Jeremiah 32:27 Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?
 
Luke 1:37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.
 
Genesis 18:14 Is any thing too hard for the Lord? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.
 
Numbers 11:23 And the Lord said unto Moses, Is the Lord’s hand waxed short? Thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not.
 
Job 42:2 I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from Thee.
 
Jeremiah 32:27 Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for Me?
 
Romans 4:21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, He was able also to perform.
 
1Ti 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
 
Isaiah 45:22 Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.
 
2 Peter 3 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
 
Habakkuk 2:14 For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.
 
John 1:7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through Him might believe.
 
Romans 5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
 
Romans 11:32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that He might have mercy upon all.
 
1 Timothy 4:10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, Who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.
 
Religious men say:
1. It is possible to choose salvation from the fallen state of Adam nature, flesh.
2. It is impossible for God to save all men, because of men’s ability to choose life or death.
 
Is this not the greatest folly of man calling good evil, and evil good?
 
God says:
1. It is impossible for man to comprehend the things of the Spirit of Life, therefore it is impossible to get saved just by mere human choice.
2. It is possible to save all men because all things are possible to Him.
 
Rom 3:3, 4 For what if some did not believe? Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, that thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.
 
Addendum:
 
The Doctrine of Free Will is really a strong scale over Christians’ eyes. Once indoctrinated, they can’t see the thousands of Scriptures which speak of the sovereignty of God. Below is a list of some of the main ones. May the Lord grant the reader the grace to have any scales removed. Please pray and look up these scriptures during some quiet times. Allow the Holy Spirit to realign your understanding of God. Please understand that we are not advocating blind fatalistic sovereignty in which human beings play no part – we have choices we can make – some of them may produce devastating results in our lives and the lives of others. But there is nothing human beings can do that will thwart God’s plan of mankind. He will restore all that was lost.
 
Sovereignty Scripture References:
 
Matthew 10:29; Matthew 11:25-27; Matthew 13:11; Matthew 15:13; Matthew 18:14; Matthew 19:11; Matthew 19:26; Matthew 20:23; Matthew 22:14; Matthew 24:22; Matthew 26:54; Mark 4:10-12; Mark 13:20; Luke 8:10; Luke 10:21-22; Luke 18:27; Luke 20:38; John 3:27; John 5:21; John 5:25; John 6:37; John 6:39; John 6:44; John 8:36; John 10:16; John 10:27-28 John 11:43; John 12:32; John 12:39-40; John 13:18; John 15:16; John 17:2; John 17:6; John 17:9; Acts 1:16; Acts 2:39; Acts 3:26; Acts 4:28; Acts 5:31 Acts 10:40-41; Acts 11:18; Acts 13:48; Acts 16:14; Acts 17:26-28; Acts 18:27; Acts 22:14; Romans 3:23-24; Romans 4:17; Romans 5:6; Romans 5:8; Romans 5:10 Romans 5:18; Romans 5:20; Romans 8:28; Romans 8:29; Romans 8:30; Romans 8:31; Romans 8:33; Romans 9:11; Romans 9:16; Romans 9:18; Romans 9:19; Romans 9:20; Romans 9:21; Romans 9:22; Romans 9:23; Romans 9:24; Romans 9:27; Romans 11:5; Romans 11:26 Romans 11:27; Romans 11:28; Romans 11:29; Romans 11:32; Romans 11:33; Romans 11:36; Romans 14:4; 1 Corinthians 1:1; 1 Corinthians 1:27; 1 Corinthians 1:29; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 1 Corinthians 4:7; 1 Corinthians 12:11; 1 Corinthians 15:10; 2 Corinthians 1:1; 2 Corinthians 5:17-18; 2 Corinthians 8:5; Galatians 1:4; Galatians 1:15-16; Galatians 4:9; Galatians 5:1; Ephesians 1:1; Ephesians 1:4; Ephesians 1:5-6; Ephesians 1:9-10; Ephesians 1:11; Ephesians 2:4-5; Ephesians 2:8-9; Ephesians 2:10; Ephesians 3:11; Ephesians 4:6; Ephesians 4:10; Philippians 1:6; Philippians 1:29; Philippians 2:9-11; Philippians 2:12-13; Philippians 3:21; Colossians 1:1; Colossians 1:13; Colossians 1:15; Colossians 1:16-18; Colossians 1:19-20; Colossians 2:13; Colossians 3:11; 1 Thessalonians 1:4; 1 Thessalonians 5:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:24; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Timothy 1:1; 1 Timothy 1:13-14; 1 Timothy 2:41; Timothy 4:10; 2 Timothy 1:1; 2 Timothy 1:9; 2 Timothy 2:25; 2 Timothy 2:26; 2 Timothy 4:18; Titus 1:1; Titus 2:11; Titus 3:5; Hebrews 2:8; Hebrews 2:9; Hebrews 6:17; Hebrews 8:8-12; Hebrews 9:26; James 1:18; 1Peter 1:1; 1 Peter 1:3; 1 Peter 2:9; 1 Peter 3:9; 1 Peter 3:18; 1 Peter 4:6; 1 Peter 5:10; 1 Peter 5:12; 2 Peter 1:10; 2 Peter 3:9; 1 John 4:14; Jude 1:1; Jude 1:24 Revelation 5:13 ; Revelation 13:8; Revelation 15:3-4; Revelation 17:17; Revelation 22:13; Genesis 1:1; Genesis 1:31; Genesis 12:3; Genesis 50:20; Exodus 4:11; Exodus 10:1-2; Numbers 14:20-21; Deuteronomy 2:30; Deuteronomy 7:6; Deuteronomy 7:7-8; Deuteronomy 9:6; Deuteronomy 9:24; Deuteronomy 9:29; Deuteronomy 18:5; Deuteronomy 29:4-6l Deuteronomy 30:6; Deuteronomy 32:39; 1 Samuel 2:6-7; 1 Samuel 12:22; 2 Samuel 8:2; 2 Chronicles 18:33; 2 Chronicles 20:6; 2 Chronicles 29:11; Ezra 1:1; Nehemiah 11:1-2 Esther 4:14; Job 1:1 ; Job 23:13-14; Job 42:2; Psalms 16:6; Psalms 22:9-10; Psalms 22:27-28; Psalms 22:29; Psalms 33:12; Psalms 33:15; Psalms 57:2; Psalms 65:2; Psalms 66:4; Psalms 65:4 ; Psalms 67:2,7; Psalms 68:18; Psalms 72:11,19; Psalms 75:7; Psalms 86:9; Psalms 100:3; Psalms 103:9,10; Psalms 103:19; Psalms 115:3; Psalms 127:1; Psalms 130:8; Ps 135:6; Ps 138:4; Psalms 138:8; Psalms 139:7-12; Psalms 139:16; Psalms 145:9; Psalms 145:10 Psalms 145:14; Psalms 145:15; Psalms 145:16; Psalms 145:21; Psalms 148:8; Proverbs 16:1; Proverbs 16;4; Proverbs 16:9; Proverbs 16:33; Proverbs 19:21; Proverbs 20:24; Proverbs 21:1; Proverbs 21:31; Eccl. 3:14; Isaiah 2:2; Isaiah 4:3; Isaiah 9:7; Isaiah 10:5-7; Isaiah 10:15; Isaiah 10:22; Isaiah 11:9; Isaiah 14:24; Isaiah 14:27; Isaiah 19:17; Isaiah 22:11; Isaiah 23:9; Isaiah 25: 7-8; Isaiah 26:9; Isaiah 26:12; Isaiah 27:3; Isaiah 40:5; Isaiah 43:13; Isaiah 45:6; Isaiah 45:17; Isaiah 45:22,23; Isaiah 46:10; Isaiah 46:11; Isaiah 48:11; Isaiah 53:6; Isaiah 54:16; Isaiah 55:11; Isaiah 57:17,18; Isaiah 60:21; Isaiah 60:22; Isaiah 61:11; Isaiah 63:17; Isaiah 65:1; Isaiah 66:18,23; Jeremiah 1:5; Jeremiah 4:28 ; Jeremiah 10:23; Jeremiah 16:21; Jeremiah 18:11; Jeremiah 23:3.; Jeremiah 23:24; Jeremiah 24:7; Jeremiah 27:5; Jeremiah 29:11,12; Jeremiah 31:1,3; Jeremiah 31:33; Jeremiah 31:34; Jeremiah 32:27; Jeremiah 32:40; Jeremiah 46:28; Jeremiah 51:12; Lam. 2:17; Lam. 3:37-39; Ezekiel 7:9; Ezekiel 12:25; Ezekiel 20:44; Ezekiel 24:14; Ezekiel 36:22-27; Ezekiel 36:31-32; Ezekiel 37:5; Ezekiel 37:14; Ezekiel 38:23 ; Daniel 2:44; Daniel 4:3; Daniel 4:35; Daniel 7:13,14; Daniel 7:27; Daniel 11:36; Hosea 13:14; Hosea 14:4; Joel 2:26-28; Amos 3:6-8; Amos 4:13; Micah4:6-7; Micah 5:2; Micah 7:18-20; Habakkuk 2:14; Habakkuk 3:12-13; Habakkuk 3:19; Zephaniah 2:11; Zephaniah 3:8-9; Haggai 2:6-7; Haggai 2:21-22; Zechariah 2:10-11; Zechariah 3:1-4; Zechariah 4:6-7; Zechariah 8:12-13; Zechariah9:10; Zechariah 14:8-9; Malachi 1:11.
 
 
 
 

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9 thoughts on “Salvation – Who Chooses Who?

  • Clark Walker

    I guess I have always believed that God has predestined all of us to be with Him in the end but of course, the Augustinians/Calvinists don’t see it that way. I’ll have to admit that I have had my doubts at times but over the span of 69 years of life and my experiences with God in those years , I cannot imagine God not saving everyone quite frankly. To suggest , as the Old and New Testaments do that we are to be good and do good all of our lives only to find that when it comes to salvation we will just have to keep our fingers crossed is very sad to me and lacks any sense of assurance of any kind .

    How can that be Good News?

    After reading many books and articles on the subject of Christian Universalism( CU ) from Tentmaker.org , The Christian Universalist Association and Savior of All.com, I’ve confirmed my original belief of long ago. My last book that I read on this subject was Thomas Talbot’s “The Inescapable Love of God” which, of course, espouses CU in a theologically argumentative, circular thinking sort of way that I would imagine only theologians writing to theologians could appreciate i.e. it’s not written for the common man in my opinion but once you wade through it there are gems to be found to attest to CU.

    My approach to our salvation when I relate to others about CU is that God has already saved us in the work of the Cross. We are Redeemed and when people come to that realization, i.e. the Light, we are to respond out of gratitude by working out our salvation through good works, otherwise , not our salvation but our faith is dead. God does the saving through grace by faith lest any man should boast and even that faith is a gift from God.

    Praise God that He has chosen us before the creation of everything to be with Him for all time!

  • Craig

    Sent an email. But must not have gone through… perhaps you could email me when you get the chance. Just finished watching the “debate” on Lee Strobel’s… show… I guess you’d call it. Frustrating to watch after reading The Inescapable Love of God. I’ve not yet heard a decent argument for the existence of an everlasting hell since… It’s actually quite disheartening to think that these people are regarded as leaders…

    I’ve ordered a few more books through Amazon but was wondering if you could suggest a few on par with Thomas Talbott’s clarity…

    Blessings!

  • Craig

    About 8 months ago I was given a copy of The Inescapable Love of God by Thomas Talbott… I cannot express the blessing this book was. For the first time in my life things began to make sense. Yet, having been brought up in Church, reading copious amounts of books, searching day and night for real answers to the meaning of our existence and substantial experience of of actually being in a relationship with God and consistently coming up against numerous intellectual stumbling blocks… my worldview is in disarray, in the process of being dismantled… which has been impacting on my daily life severely.

    All of this makes so much sense and yet I feel so… lost. I basically don’t know how to see life. At first, I couldn’t get enough of anything talking about Christian Universalism and yet now I want more, more of an understanding of how to live in light of such revelation… I was hoping that you could point me in the right direction.

    regards,

    Craig

  • dajomaco

    If I’m saved I’m saved and if not I’m not.
    You can only have this attitude if being saved or the expression being saved means everything.
    I mean to say(being saved is something that can effect future events).Some believe that being saved or saying you are saved indentures God. That his position and options toward you has changed .Once saved always saved is not the same as was saved always saved.
    Was saved always saved.
    When I let some one know that they are already saved .I am saying something that God agrees with ,
    with me I am agreeable to God. When the person I tell agrees he also agrees with God and we have the nucleus of the church.

  • Shirley Shumake

    Dear Gary,

    I am so blessed and thrilled by the things you have studied and made available to everyone. Thank you so much. Many hours have been spent reading your articles and books, so at this point I’m now receiving and reading your newsletters – today came the first one – Bible Manna. Can’t wait to devour more of your excellent findings.

  • Gary Post author

    Thanks, by the way, I just dropped it in to see how the text editor would handle it. It’s got typos, etc in it so if you have time and see any errors, pass them along to me so I can correct them, thanks, Gary

  • jeremy

    Great article Gary!!

    I used to be a total ‘arminianist’ in my ‘pente church’ days. In fact i was more of a semi pelagian and was totally obsessed with the teaching of Charles Finney for a number of years….Of course, i got worn out from it eventually – the legalism drove me mad. There is a huge obsession with the ‘self’ with Finney’s teaching and it caused me great fear – cos i was always looking at myself and my ‘ability to believe’ or ‘repent properly’…

    One book that helped me a few years ago is the book ”The Really Bad Thing about Free Will ” by Martin Zender – awesome book! …totally destroys the ‘salvation by free will’ doctrine!

  • Robert Hagedorn

    But what WAS the tree of knowledge of good and evil? Do a search: The First Scandal Adam and Eve.