Monthly Archives: February 2017

Q. Why doesn’t everyone respond positively to the Gospel?

A. First, I will recommend our TULIP series of books that explain about man’s depravity and God’s election (click here to go to a page that lists these publications). Quite simply, the Bible always classifies people into two groups: 1) God’s elect who respond to the Gospel with saving faith; and 2) all the rest who either yawn it off, get a bit upset, or even get into a murderous rage.

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Who Are God’s Elect?

by Peter Ditzel

That the Bible uses the words “elect” and “chosen” to refer to some people is indisputable. Sometimes it is referring to certain individuals whom God chose to a certain calling or position, such as that of a priest or a prophet. In the Old Testament, God uses it to refer to the nation of Israel: “For you are a holy people to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his own possession, above all peoples who are on the face of the earth” (Deuteronomy 7:6). But what I want to discuss in this article is the New Testament’s use of “elect” and “chosen” to identify sinners whom God has saved. Theologians hotly debate the precise identity of these people and how they became elect. Let’s look at four teachings concerning the New Testament elect and see how these stand up to Scripture.

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Q. Do you consider Martin Luther a Calvinist, since he believed in loss of salvation?

A. Strictly speaking, Martin Luther (1483–1546) could not be called a Calvinist since he did not follow Calvin. Luther started the Reformation in 1517, while John Calvin (1509–1564) did not write the first edition of his Institutes of the Christian Religion until 1536.

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Q. Does Matthew 23:37 say that Jesus wanted to save all Jerusalem but Jerusalem refused?

A. In Matthew 23:37 Jesus says, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” Many think this is saying that God wanted to give grace to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, but they refused it. But a careful examination of what Jesus said shows that this is not the case.

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Q. Did God deliberately reprobate the non-elect to hell or did He merely pass them by? Also, is the difference really a big deal?

A. I appreciate your good question. What you are asking about is what people often term the difference between predestination and double-predestination. Those who believe only in the predestination of the elect to be saved (for the sake of clarity, I’ll call it single-predestination) say that God in eternity elected some to be saved. They say that God simply passed over the rest of humanity, leaving them in their sins. Thus, they are condemned by their own sinfulness.

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Thanksgiving, 2007–Thanksgiving Quotes

by Peter Ditzel

“O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.”

The words above are found in 1 Chronicles 16:34; Psalm 106:1; 107:1; 118:1, 29; 136:1 and, with some variation, in other passages. Thanksgiving is again upon us, and I find myself with so much to be thankful for that merely listing my blessings seems too trivial to express how much my family and I have been blessed this year, both spiritually and physically. Yet, this does not mean it has been an easy year. Far from it. Trials are also cause for thanksgiving. God calls us His jewels (Malachi 3:17), but gems are made by intense pressure and gold is refined in fire. E.M. Bounds wrote, “Gratitude and thanksgiving forever stand opposed to all murmurings at God’s dealings with us, and all complainings at our lot. Gratitude and murmuring never abide in the same heart at the same time.” I’ve listed a few more quotes that I think might be helpful to get the mind off of the turkey and onto the Creator.

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