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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Sack Lunch, Brownies and Predestination

One evening last week I had occasion to call a friend of mine. At that hour on a week day I'm usually working on my husband's lunch for the next day. She was cleaning up her kitchen after having made brownies for her husband. So, while we both worked on our projects hundreds of miles apart, we were having a kitchen visit at the same time. The kitchen really is a pleasant place to visit with friends. :-)

In the course of our conversation, she was telling me a bit about her parents' and grandparents' situation at this time. (Her parents are caring for her grandparents in their own home.) Now, her father's family has a Mormon background and not surprisingly, there are hereditary genetic problems in the family. The Mormons have been noted in the past for their intermarriage with close family members (and still are in some instances) and the consequences have been quite devastating and long lasting in some cases.  My friend's extended family is one of those.

However, the thing that was remarkably interesting to me was this:  Of all the members of her father's family who left Mormonism, her father was the only one who became a true Christian. He has showed no signs of the genetic problems that are common in his family. None of his children have either. And, so far none of his grandchildren have. This struck me very much.

I know there are some people who think that predestination and the sovereignty of God are exclusively "Calvinist" teachings and that they are, therefore, somehow not correct. I have seen and heard enough to know that God is sovereign and that He does things based on predestination which is according to foreknowledge, just as the Bible says. (NOTE: If John Calvin gets something correct from the Bible it is not "Calvinism" - it is Biblical!)

1Peter 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

Now, I may be mistaken or proven wrong eventually, but as things stand at this time it is interesting to note in this case that God seems to have been keeping this man from before his birth, knowing in His foreknowledge that he would eventually be saved. God does not always work things this way, but in this case He chose to protect this man and his family from the genetic problems that so easily could have troubled them. Why? I do not know. But, the thing that it shows me so clearly is that God does work according to foreknowledge and predestination. He knew when this man was conceived that he would turn from Mormonism and later from the hippy lifestyle and put his faith in Christ Jesus alone for his salvation. God also knew that he would try to train his own children in the ways of the Lord.  And so, in His mercy, God preserved him and them from the very earliest moments of this man's life!

Psalm 139:14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. 15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which incontinuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

The thing is that this man was not a special case for God's special attention. God makes no mistake. He knew us before we were born, and knew who would come to Him in faith through Christ Jesus. For those of us who believe, He prepared us even then to do His will. This is comfort. This is assurance. This should help us to accept whatever He deemed best for us and give us hope that He has a plan, and did have a plan from the start, regardless of what our "disability" may be.

Psalm 139:17 How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! 18 If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.

3 comments:

  1. I was interested to read what you wrote here... I am by no means a "Calvinist", however I do believe in predestination in a way that is not popular in many Christian circles. I do believe that we are predestinated and I believe it works -- not that God chooses some to be cast in hell and to save a few select ones, but rather by the fact that God is eternal, He existed as far back in the past as infinity, and He exists as far into the future as infinity. Therefore, even before the world began He had to have known who would be saved by grace and who wouldn't - else He would not be an infallible, all-knowing, omnipresent, omnipotent God! He knew us in eternity past because He knew we would be born, and He also knew whether or not we would accept Christ as our Saviour and Lord. It's that foreknowledge you talk about that makes us predestinated, if that makes sense! I read somewhere that it is like the choice of salvation is made simultaneously between God's knowledge and our decision, in a way that our minds cannot comprehend. God knew us in eternity past and knew what our decision would be because we were always in His mind... nothing takes Him by surprise!

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  2. Clara, thank you for that really great thought, sis! If we could explain God and all He does, He wouldn't be God! It's a waste of time to try to explain some things. Better to just believe them by faith.

    We read this verse recently in our Bible reading: John 8:58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

    That is an amazing statement!

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  3. yes, I agree! That verse is an incredible statement , and really it completely describes God. He is just eternal, He always is the I AM... It also speaks of the fact that God never changes - He can't change because otherwise He could not be the I AM! How GOOD is the God we serve! So perfect, flawless, dependable, marvelous!

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