MAKE YOUR CALLING AND ELECTION SURE
By John C. Carpenter
Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, wrote to
them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: Grace and peace
be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things
that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto
us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption
that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to
knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly
kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge
of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged
from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things,
ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour
Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:1-11). What does election refer to?
In verse 10, the word election is translated from the Greek wordekloge, which means divine selection, chosen, to select, make a choice, choose out. Strange as it may appear, and as difficult as
it may be to accept, the old and new testament scriptures seem to teach the view that certain individuals are chosen in advance, or
preselected, by God for salvation, whereas others are preselected for damnation and eternal punishment.
By this definition, it
is easy to conclude that one's salvation is solely the work of God the Father, and that man has no or little role to play in the process.
Interestingly, there are other verses in the sciptures which seem to teach just the opposite - that God is not involved in the salvation
of man, and that it is solely man's decision and effort to have faith resulting in salvation. We will examine this idea later in this
article. So, which view is accurate and biblical? Let us review some verses which tend to support each view.
BELOVED, YOUR ELECTION OF GOD
The scriptures contain several verses which seem to support the idea of election, that is, that
God the Father has selected in advance those choseen for salvation. These verses contain such words as election, elect, appointed,
predestined, chose, chosen, ordained, before the world began, forknew, predestinated, predestinate, come, and be willing.
first word which supports the idea of pre-selection or pre-election by God the Father is, of course, the word election. Election occurrs
a total of 6 times in the new testament, including the one instance in our subject verses. In his letter to the believers in Rome,
Paul wrote, Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election [Greek, ekloge, divine selection,
chosen, choose out] of grace. And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works,
then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election
hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded (Romans 11:5-7). Later, Paul adds, As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your
sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance (Romans
11:28-29). In his first letter to the saints in Thessalonica, Paul also mentioned the idea of election: We give thanks to God always
for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience
of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father; Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God ( Thessalonians
We also find the word elect, which also implies that God makes a predetermined divine decision about each individual's
salvation. Elect occurs four times in the old testament. God spoke through the prophet Isaiah these words: I will bring forth a seed
out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains: and mine elect [Hebrew, bachiyr, appointed, select, choose, chosen one]shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there (Isaiah 65:9), and adds later, They shall not build, and another inhabit; they
shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of
their hands (Isaiah 65:22).
The word Elect occurs 16 times in the new testament. Jesus, Himself, mentions the elect. Four of
His disciples asked the Lord when the end of the age would occur and what would be the signs of those times. The Lord answered, For
false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect [Greek,eklektos, select, favorite, chosen, choose out, make choice] (Mark 13:22). Referring to His second coming, Jesus later said to His
disciples, then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect [Greek, eklektos, select, favorite, chosen, choose out,
make choice] from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven (Mark 13:27).
holiness in the saints at Colossae with these instructions: Put on therefore, as the elect [Greek, eklektos, select, favorite, chosen,
choose out, make choice] of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing
one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above
all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also
ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful (Colossians 3:12-15).
In a last example of the use of the word elect as referring
to God's divine selection, we see that in his first letter to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia,
and Bithynia, the apostle Peter wrote, Elect [Greek, eklektos, select, favorite, chosen, choose out, make choice] 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 (1 Peter 1:2).
I APPOINT UNTO YOU A KINGDOM
God's pre-selection of some for salvation
can also be seen in the use of the word appointed. Paul wrote the church in Thessalonica: For God hath not appointed [Greek, tithemi,
to place, commit, lay aside, make, ordain, purpose, or set forth] us to [judgment followed by God's] wrath, but to obtain salvation
by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him (1 Thessalonians 5:9-10).
Some of Christ's disciples ask Him who among themselves should be accounted the greatest. Jesus responded, For whether is greater,
he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth. Ye are they which
have continued with me in my temptations. And I appoint [Greek, diatithemai, to put apart, to dispose by assignment or bequest] unto
you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging
the twelve tribes of Israel (Luke 22:27-30). Clearly, Jesus is referring to His disciples being set apart and assigned to have the
Kingdom of God.
Referring to the fact that those appointed by God the Father to salvation will not experience the wrath of God,
Paul wrote the church in Thessalonica these enlightening words: For God hath not appointed [Greek, tithemi, to place, commit, lay
aside, make, ordain, purpose, or set forth] us to wrath [God's anger and resulting damnation], but to obtain salvation by our Lord
Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him (1 Thessalonians 5:9-10).
HATH CHOSEN US IN HIM BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD
The word Chosen also strongly suggests that God pre-chooses the salvation
of some, and damnation of others. Paul wrote to the saints in Ephesus, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who
hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen [Greek, eklegomai, to select,
make a choise, choose out, chosen, bid, lay or put forth] us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and
without blame before him in love (Ephesians 1:3-4).
Scriptures tell us that Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is
it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? (John 14:22). Jesus answered Judas, Ye are my friends, if ye do
whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you
friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen [Greek,eklegomai, to select, make a choise, choose out, chosen, bid, lay or put forth] you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring
forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you (John 15:14-16).
As we see, the Greek word eklegomai means to pre-select, or make in advance a particular choice.
The English word ordained also
suggests that God makes in advance decisions about both the temporal and eternal worlds. Paul and Barnabus mentioned those who were
ordained in advance to faith and eternal life: Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God
should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn
to the Gentiles. For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be
for salvation unto the ends of the earth. And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and
as many as were ordained [Greek, tasso, to arrange in an orderly fashion, assign, dispose to a certain position or lot, determine,
or set forth] to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region (Acts 13:46-49).
we mentioned above, Jesus suggests a pre-selection by God the Father when He told Judas, Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen
you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of
the Father in my name, he may give it you (John 15:16). Although this chosen refers to bearing fruit, the point remains that Christ
and God the Father do appear to choose and select in advance what will happen.
The word ordained also suggests some type of early
election. Paul seems to support the idea that God the Father is solely responsible for salvation when he wrote the church is Ephesus
these words: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man
should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained [Greek, proetoimazo,
to fit us in advance, ordain before, prepare afore] that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:8-10).
Scriptures also clearly refer
to God making salvation choices about we humans even before the world began. In his second letter to Timothy, whom Paul considered
his dearly beloved son in the faith, Paul instructed Timothy to Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of
me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called
us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesusbefore the world began [Greek, chronos, a space of time, a fixed special occasion, before; and Greek aionios, eternal everlasting,
when the world began], But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought
life and immortality to light through the gospel (2 Timothy 1:8-10).
Regarding those who are chosen by God, even before creation,
for destruction, John's vision in Revelation refers to those whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation [Greek,katabole, a deposition, founding, conception, beginning] of the world [Greek, kosmos, orderly arrangment, decoration, adorning, world
and its inhabitants], when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is (Revelation 17:8).
Also found in the new testament
is the word foreknow [and foreknew], which means to know beforehand or in advance. Paul wrote the saints in Rome, we know that all
things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow [Greek,proginosko, to know beforehand, foresee, or know before], he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he
might be the firstborn among many brethren. 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 (Romans 8:28-30). Referring to Israel and the Jews, Paul later added, I say
then, Hath God cast away his people [Israel]? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew [Greek, proginosko, to know beforehand, foresee, or know before]. Wot ye not what
the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged
down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself
seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according
to the election of grace (Romans 11:1-5).
One of the more weighty examples of God appointing or decreeing in advance the salvation
or damnation of an individual is found in Paul's letter to the church in Ephesus. Writing to the saints in Ephesus, the apostle Paul
referred to their predestination to be adopted as children by Jesus Christ with these words: According as he [God the Father] hath
chosen us in him [Christ] before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having
predestinated [Greek, proorizo, appoint, decree, declare predetermine, determine before, or ordain prior to] us unto the adoption
of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein
he hath made us accepted in the beloved (Ephesians 1:4-6). It clearly appears that God appoints in advance those individuals who are
chosen to be a child of God.
FOR WHOM HE DID FOREKNOW, HE ALSO DID PREDESTINATE
Paul also informed the saints in Rome that
they had been predestined to be conformed into the image of Christ: we know that all things work together for good to them that love
God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate [Greek, proorizo, appoint,
decree, declare predetermine, determine before, or ordain prior to] to be [saved and] conformed to the image of his Son, that he [Christ] might
be the firstborn among many brethren [brothers, including the saints in Rome]. 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 (Romans 8:28-30). Paul added that, as with
the believers in Rome, those who were predestined were also called, justified, and would eventually be glorified.
the revelator, mentioned that is was God and Christ who was responsible for the salvation of a great multitude, which no one could
number, and, for this reason, God and Christ deserved blessing and thanksgiving and honor. John explained, ...I beheld, and, lo, a
great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before
the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to [is from] our God which
sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts,
and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and
honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen (Revelation 7:9-12).
The apostle John taught, He came unto
his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them
that believe on his name: Which were born [spiritually], not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of
God (John 1:13). Apparently, some individuals were born again with a spiritual life only by the express will of God, and not the will
Last of all, some of the verses found in Paul's letter to the Romans seem to present a strong case that it is God alone
who wills and determines the salvation or damnation of each individual on earth. In the context of God's salvation of only those He
chooses, Paul wrote, What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy
on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him [any man] that willeth [to
be saved], nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy [to whom He wills]. For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for
this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the
earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy [unto salvation], and whom he will he hardeneth [unto damnation]. Thou wilt
say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God?
Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter [Christ and God the Father] power
over the clay [creation, including mankind], of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? (Romans
9:14-21). Apparently, according to these verses, the salvation or damnation of the individual is determined only by the will and actions
of God the Father. God says He will have mercy and compassion on whom He wills, and that He also reserves the right to maintain His
power [Greek, exousia, privilege, force, mastery, control, authority, jurisdiction, right] over each man, to make one man into a vessel
unto honour, and another into a vessel of dishonour.
HE THAT BELIEVETH ON HIM IS NOT CONDEMNED
Clearly, many verses in the
scriptures suggest that God the Father elects, pre-selects, and pre-determines those He has chosen for salvation, or damnation, and
that man has nothing at all to do with the process. However, the doctrinal issue becomes complicated by the fact that there are also
quite a few scripture verses which teach that man alone is responsible for his own salvation or damnation, and not God the Father.
example, speaking to Nicodemus, Jesus said, For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth
in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world
through him might be saved. He that believeth [Greek, pisteuo, to have faith in, credit, entrust one's spiritual well being to, commit
to, put in trust with] on him is not condemned [Greek, krino, to distinguish, to decide mentally, to try, condemn, punish, avenge,
judge, ordain, to sentence]: but he that believeth [Greek, pisteuo, to have faith in, credit, entrust one's spiritual well being to,
commit to, put in trust with] not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God (John
3:16-18). According to these words spoken by Christ, man's belief or unbelief determines whether he eternally receives salvation or
When John the baptist was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, and some of John's disciples were confronted by some
Jews who had questions about purification, John responded about the necessity of faith: He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting
life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him (John 3:36). Again, these new testament
scriptures teach that mankind must make a choice as to whether to believe on the Son of God, or to not believe on the Son.
the revelator, heard and wrote these words: the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that
is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely (Revelation 22:17). Obviously, man's effort, that is, his
or her coming to Christ and partaking of the water of life freely will result in salvation and life.
According to the apostle
Matthew, man must take some responsibility for his own salvation: Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess
also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in
heaven (Matthew 10:32-33), as well as For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake
shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange
for his soul? (Matthew 16:25-26).
Jesus also instructed the multitudes He was speaking to, Come unto me, all ye that labour and
are heavy laden, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28). Receiving the Lord's rest requires our coming to Him.
unto eleven disciples as they were having a meal, and upbraided [Greek, oneidezo, to defame, rail at, chide, revile] them because
of their unbelief and hardness of heart because they believed not those witnesses which had seen him after he rose from the dead (Mark
16:14). Christ immediately told His disciples, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth
and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned (Mark 16:15-16). We can ask, if God the Father preselected
all who were to receive salvation, and He alone was responsible for our salvation or damnation, why would Christ command His own disciples,
or anyone else, to go into all the world and preach the gospel, thereby giving those who hear the message of the gospel to accept
and believe it, and therefore be saved from God's wrath? The answer is found in the next verse, which says that belief is necessary
for salvation, and that he who does not believe shall receive damnation. Again, in this example, in order to be saved, man must make
a choice and take action – he must believe.
Additionally, Christ told some Jews who were wanting to kill Him, Verily, verily,
I say unto you, He that heareth my word [words and instructions spoken by Christ including the word of truth, the gospel], and believeth
on him [God the Father] that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that
hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself (John 5:24-26). Within
these verses, Christ teaches that man must not only hear the message of the gospel of Christ, but also believe on God the Father.
Again, some action is required by man to avoid condemnation and pass from death unto life.
To the church in Rome, Paul connected
the necessity for confession and belief with the outcome of salvation. Paul wrote, For Moses describeth the righteousness which is
of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them. But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise,
Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) Or, Who shall descend into the deep?
(that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? The word [Greek, rhema, the movement, working, and speaking
of the Holy Spirit, and not a reference to the bible] is nigh thee, even [specifically] in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the
word [Greek, rhema, the movement, working, and speaking of the Holy Spirit, and not a reference to the bible] of faith , which we
preach; 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.
For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek:
for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans
10:3-13). Paul taught here that salvation was dependent upon the individual confessing the Lord Jesus Christ and believing in his
heart that God raised Christ from the dead through the supernatural power of Holy Spirit, actions only possible by the movement, working,
and speaking of the Holy Spirit within the heart and mind of the individual. Again, though, as we see, action [confessing and believing]
on the part of the individual was necessary for salvation.
Chastening some Jews who had confronted Jesus, the Lord responded,If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why
do ye not understand [have knowledge of, perceive, understand] my speech [words, preaching]? Even [specifically] because ye cannot
hear [Greek, akouo, not hearken or respond to] my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.
He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh
of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not (John 8:42-45). These verses
place significant responsibility on the Jews [and everyone else] for salvation, which they did not fulfill. Christ explained to them
that they did not love Him, they did not understand what He was saying, they did not respond to His speech, but that they responded
only to the lusts of the devil and they did not believe on Christ.
IF THE WICKED TURN FROM HIS WICKEDNESS
Another good example
in which mankind plays a key role in his own salvation can be found in Ezekiel. The old testament prophet wrote, Yet the children
of thy people say, The way of the Lord is not equal: but as for them, their way is not equal. When the righteous turneth from his
righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall even die thereby. But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is
lawful and right, he shall live thereby. Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. O ye house of Israel, I will judge you every
one after his ways (Ezekiel 33:17-20). In these verses, we must recognize that the context of these words are the old testament in
which salvation or damnation was based upon the works of the law, rather than new testament faith, but the point can be made that
this is another example in which salvation or damnation was based upon the efforts of man, and not God. The scriptures are consistent.
old testament verses support the idea that mankind is responsible for determining his own salvation or damnation. Speaking through
Moses, God clarified the choice man must make: Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; A blessing, if ye obey the
commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day: And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your
God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known (Deuteronomy 11:26-28).
God the Father makes it very clear that the two options were obedience unto a blessing, or disobedience unto a curse. God, through
Moses, later repeated the choice Israel had regarding its own salvation or damnation - I call heaven and earth to record this day
against you, that I have set before you [Israel] life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy
seed may live: That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him:
for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham,
to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them (Deuteronomy 30:19-20). God the Father urged Israel to choose life.
Last, God the Father,
through the prophet Joshua, again outlined that Israel (Joshua 24:1-2) was required to make a choice for life or death. Joshua spoke
these words: Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served
on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this
day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites,
in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should
forsake the LORD, to serve other gods (Joshua 24:14-16).
GIVE DILIGENCE TO MAKE YOUR CALLING AND ELECTION SURE
doubt, the scriptures are unclear, if not downright confusing and frustrating, on the issue of election. Is it God who is responsible
for the salvation of the individual, or is it man, or is it even possibly a combination of both the efforts of God and man? Regarding
the meaning, validity, and application of the idea of election, you must decide for yourself!
However, we should again remember
the words of wisdom given to the church in Ephesus by the apostle Paul: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who
hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation
of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by
Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made
us accepted in the beloved (Ephesians 1:3-6). AMEN.