7 Responses to “Who Do You Want to Lead This Nation? What Is the Gospel, Anyhow?”

  1. Jim Butler says:

    Excellent post, John.

    Three points that most in the Church of God have probably never considered regarding the concept of “many are called.” God DOES consider each person very carefully before he calls someone. That is not to say he (God) knows that the people he calls will qualify (not earn-there is a big difference). If he knew, then all those he calls would be chosen. Only the few are chosen–to be first fruits.

    The second point is each person has a big part to play as to whether God calls them. God does not call anyone randomly, or again, carelessly. There are many characteristics God looks at in each person before he calls the person. If all people had the right characteristics to be called then God could conceivably call everyone the first 6000 years. God knew that would not be the case.

    The last point is, just because someone is called and does not qualify to be a first fruit does not mean that person has lost out on salvation. That person will not be a first fruit but will have another chance after he is resurrected. God is not into giving people just one chance. That is a silly assumption people have made, and has no scriptural support.

    God’s focus is on choosing first fruits at this time. He is choosing leaders for all eternity. He will focus on people being saved, salvation, later. Our paradigms can either help or hinder our understanding.

  2. Big Red Big Red says:

    I like your post. And while I basically agree with Jim Butler’s comment, I have a minor sticking point with one of his comments. He said that called people will have a second chance.

    Well, no. You only get one chance, period. But that doesn’t apply to those who were called but not chosen. Why? Just because a person is called, it doesn’t mean that he received the Holy Spirit. Only the chosen ones received it.

    t

  3. John D says:

    Well, I don’t like to quibble between “first chance”, “second chance”, etc. To me, “another chance” can mean, depending upon context, another period of time in which an opportunity presents itself.

    Bottom line: I don’t believe anyone will miss out on salvation by accident. It will have to be a conscious determined decision to not follow God. Even “indecision” can really be a cloaked determined reluctance to do the right thing after a while, and in itself is a decision. I fear we sometimes harp so much on God’s justice and Law that we neglect the fact that He is also merciful.

    When it says He is unwilling that “any should perish”, we need to take heed of how many times in the Bible that He picked people up, dusted them off, gave them a swift kick and told them to get back out there and do the right thing (Jonah, anyone?). Hasn’t He done the same for you and I? Will He do anything less except for the very reprobate?

  4. Big Red Big Red says:

    Agree absolutely, John. And the very reprobate would be those who deliberately repudiate the Holy Spirit once given to them. Backsliding isn’t the same thing, of course. It just means that we’re messing up, out of human weakness and so on. It’s the willful rejection of God that a person can’t come back from.

    In that context, I think Jim Butler is right. Maybe a lot people who joined the church were never truly converted. Does that mean they lost their only opportunity for salvation? No, I don’t think so.

  5. Big Red Big Red says:

    I like to think of it in terms of jury duty. You get a summons for jury duty, so you show up and sit there in a big room full of people. Being called for jury duty doesn’t mean that you will actually be selected to sit on one, however. There’s a big difference between being called and being chosen.

    All analogies break down after awhile, but you get my drift.

    • John D says:

      Yeah, well, what about an airplane trip? Sometimes, people buy the tickets but are no-shows. Sometimes, the flight is overbooked, so people get bumped off. That doesn’t mean they cannot take a later flight.

  6. Big Red Big Red says:

    Agreed!