17 January 2022
You don't need to understand it; God does. All you need to get are your marching orders.
Fools can argue all they want, and engage in semantic wrangling, but the Apostle Paul laid it down pretty flatly in his letter to the Romans:
[T]he mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so... For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren; and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. (Romans 8:7, 29-30 NASB 1977)
Spiritual birth is not a human choice; it has always been a divine miracle of God. It is totally at His whim, and nothing in Creation can counteract Him. You and I do not need to run around in this panic about "getting people saved". The only thing we can do is help to awaken people in this life to the recognition that God has called them.
We reject Calvin and his rationalism; we reject the cerebral theology of predestination. But we most certainly reject the humanist theology of Arminius. Have you never noticed that the TULIP outline is nothing more than Calvinist theologians buying into the structure and reasoning of the Arminians? TULIP is a direct reaction to Arminian assertions; it was "five points Arminianism" before it was Calvinism. Without the Arminians, Calvinists have no ground to stand on. The whole thing is an artificial dispute arising from a Western mythology. Neither side addresses the fundamental assertion Paul makes.
God does not subject Himself to human reasoning. The biblical teaching of predestination makes no sense at all. It is a naked assertion of God's sovereignty, and we are left with struggling to discover what God intends for us to do about it. This crazy evangelical urgency about "getting people saved" is very nearly the opposite of what Paul was trying to get across: The only way you can have peace with God is if He chooses to have peace with you. The initiative is His alone.
The only element of human will involved is whether you remain faithful to that peace. If you are Elect, it's there; it stands ready to receive you. Without His Holy Spirit residing in your soul -- He is there only because He invaded by His own will and breathed life into your dead spirit -- you could not possibly be at peace with Him. That part was decided before the Garden of Eden was made. God knew you, or didn't, before any part of the universe came into being. Your only choice is to appropriate what comes with that, or not, after you recognize His election of your soul.
So, you can go through life content that all you really need to do is shine His glory by how you walk in the Covenant boundaries. Those whom He has appointed to salvation will see and respond at His moving. You don't need training and memorized spiels. That sense of urgency about cornering every lost soul with your sales pitch "plan of salvation" is not from God. It's from Satan trying to provoke you into making a fool of yourself and the gospel message. Anyone who responds to such an approach is likely to have made a simple psychological conversion, which is easily the biggest and saddest lie of all. Such conversions convince people they belong to Christ when they do not. Do you wonder why mainstream churches struggle so much with walking in holiness? They are filled with people who were never spiritually reborn, only "converted".
Sure, always be ready to answer questions. But it's not a sales pitch that you can memorize. It is utterly impossible to convince someone to surrender to Christ when He has not called them. All you can do is persuade them to be religious. And Paul makes it plain that there are plenty He has not called, because Jesus made it plain when He walked this earth. Don't try to make it reasonable; that defrauds people of the gospel truth. Explain it knowing that they cannot believe it unless the Lord moves in their hearts. Faith is utterly unreasonable.
The whole cast of Romans 8 includes the idea that you commit yourself to walking in the Covenant, totally at peace knowing that you are not constrained by the details of the law code of Moses (and certainly not the Talmud). You will accomplish what the Law of Moses intended by walking in the Spirit of God. The Spirit speaks in the heart, not in the mind, so it's a matter of moral imperative instead of reason. The only good that reason can do is organize what your heart knows is required of you. Do this, because whom God chooses to touch by this testimony is His business. Relax; you can't fail as long as you have a genuine desire to please the Lord.
And lest you forget, this is that passage where Paul teaches us to call God "Daddy" (v. 15). Being a divine heir of Eternity with the Son means we also walk in the sorrows of the Son. The issue is a matter of handling this sucky life the way He did. That's our testimony; that's our evangelism.
Have you not noticed that everyone you encounter in America has already heard that same old sales pitch evangelism already? Don't waste time with that. Just live the truth. Those whom our Daddy intends to touch will be moved by that alone. Stop the panicked rush to convert everyone you see. Stop looking for "prospects" who respond to marketing surveys. That's not how God works; that's how Satan works.
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