FOR GOD SO LOVED...WHO? (part 26)
None can come to God if God has not loved/chosen them first. If one could choose God first, then it would prove that God did not choose them. If it is man who chooses God, then the Scripture would have to be changed to ‘God loves us, because we first loved Him’. Moreover, the Scriptures which state God chose whom He would save before the foundation of the world, would all have to be removed and replaced by the nonsensical ‘People choose God before He chooses them’. If anything a man does precedes a saving grace-based work of God, then salvation is no longer by God, but by man, no longer by God’s love, but man’s love, no longer by grace, but by works. Salvation would then be an offer, something made available like so many free apples at a fruit stand to whomsoever desires them. The key to understanding salvation—how a man is saved—is that it is not simply made available, but something which is given. Salvation is not offered, but that which is, and can only be, given, for it is of God and comes from God’s elective love. God’s love does not offer, it gives. God does not offer Himself, but He gives Himself, and His Son, to all those whom He has willed to love. Notice the language of John 3:16: God’s love motivated Him to give His Son, not offer His Son. The decision as to who will come to the Son was not left to each individual, for all are dead in sins, but is solely subject to the behest of God, and is in accord with whom He has chosen to love. How can God have offered His Son to all, when He has only given some to His Son? How can His Son have died for all, when the Father has given, entrusted, only some to Him? How can those who have been appointed to Wrath obtain the salvation given only to those for whom Christ died? (see 1 Thess. 5:9,10) No Scripture states that any have given themselves to God’s Son, but that they have been given by God to His Son, because He loved only them, and appointed only them to obtain salvation through Christ’s vicarious death. It is the God of hope Who initiates the first move, and He is the Cause for every resultant move by man. A hope-less man is a mere recipient, and even his receiving is due to God’s Sovereignly making him a vessel of mercy. God makes, He fashions, the ones He loves to receive Him, just as they love Him only because of His love for them. They have been chosen to love the One Who has chosen to love them.
The Sovereign God has no less than total control in all things. It is the simplest thing in the world to see that God is completely Sovereign in all things including the salvation of His people because no one has any chance without Him. Anyone who would argue this fact simply does not know the true God, and is a mind-numbed supporter of Satan’s lie: “…ye shall not surely die” (Gen. 3:4). There is no salvation which can be initiated by a creature who is spiritually dead, who is without hope, and does not even know the Saviour. Not know of the Saviour, but know the Saviour: Who He is, what He has done, and for whom He has done it. To be without hope is to be rendered completely without any ability or capability, any will, or way, to steer oneself toward salvation, to do anything to gain salvation, to even recognise, desire, or seek the true God. This is taught in John 6:44, Jesus said: “No man CAN come unto Me, EXCEPT THE FATHER which hath sent Me DRAW HIM...” If God does not draw a man then none can come to Him. This is what salvation is conditioned on. God drawing a man to His Son. And how does God draw that one? BY HIS LOVE! (see Jer. 31:3). Without God’s love none can be drawn to Him, none can come to Him, for the hopeless man has no will, or way, or desire to seek the true God. All these things come after, and because of God’s antecedent love. It is God’s love which makes the difference, for without it no one would love Him. No one would, or could be, drawn to the true God without God loving the person first. If God loves everyone why has not everyone been drawn to Him? How can love be expressed by not doing anything for the one who is the object of that love? Any who would attempt to bring ‘free will’ into the conversation will notice that there is no free will of hopeless man’s in sight in any of these verses. They all speak about God’s love, God’s loving His people first, no one being able to come to God without His love for them, and none being able to come to the Saviour without God having given them to Him. God’s love coming first shows that the notion of a man loving God first, a man doing anything to attract God to him is a religious myth predicated on the Satanic lie that man is not spiritually dead, and is energized only in, and by, the profoundly imperceptive minds of ignorant, lost men.
The fact that God’s love is not subject to rejection by those He loves is seen in the fact that a man can only love the true God because of God’s love for him, and that all whom God loves—expressed in His giving them to His Son—WILL come to Him, they WILL love Him. God’s love always causes the same reaction in all those He loves, which is: they all love Him. A man loves God by God’s loving the man. God’s love is the reason those He loves love Him. God’s love is different to a man’s love in that God’s love is inseparably connected to His will, and His will is eternally connected to His purpose for those He loves, which is to draw them to Him and save them from their sins. Salvation is by grace, is saying salvation is by love, God’s love. Grace and love are the twin products of God’s will and purpose. Salvation is of the Lord, and awaits no decision on man’s part to ‘get the ball rolling’ as it were in the matter of salvation, for it is God Who is in full control. The Scriptures contain abundant and compelling evidence against the juvenile interpretation of John 3:16. God’s love is a selective love, and has never been a universal, generic, love for all.
God has entrusted His elect to His Son, for He is their Savior, He is their High Priest. Christ willingly became a curse for all those the Father gave to Him, and imputed His Righteousness to them. Those that were not given to Him remain in a cursed state, and shall perish for all eternity, for the only righteousness they have is their own. Natural man protests at this, but it is only because the Light of the glorious Gospel has not shone upon him, and so he does not have a proper Scriptural understanding of the spiritual condition of man after the Fall in the Garden of Eden. The fact that man protests provides irresistible evidence of his lost sinful state. Only a sinful, lost man could possibly accuse God of being unfair, or the way He does things as unjust. The reality of man’s situation is that, by nature, he is fully deserving of God’s Wrath. The fact God has chosen to save some is testament to His love, grace and mercy, and not to any unrighteousness on His part. That God would even think to save such a wretched creature as man is a demonstration of His Goodness, and not of any unlawfulness. Once it is understood that what God warned would happen, if Adam ate of the fruit, actually did happen, the Sovereignty of God, and the fact that it is only by His will, purpose, grace and mercy, that any man could possibly be saved, is a truth which will be rejoiced in rather than rejected. Left to himself, man, even religious man, refuses to view himself as a lost, hopeless creature, and so continues in his vain attempts to appease God by a morally reformed character and conduct. But the vanity of all this reformative lifestyle is evidenced in the fact that man is not merely morally shipwrecked, but also spiritually shipwrecked. Man, by nature, does not know the true God, and does not know the Gospel of God, and so, proceeds to ignorantly follow lies and fables. Spiritual death leads one into a macabre embrace with all that is dead: dead doctrine, dead faith and non-existent gods. As long as one adheres to Satan’s lie that man would not die/is not dead, then one will be forever locked in a religious system that will always have them in bondage to the lie that man must, and, therefore, can come to God of his own volition. Thus a person leaves themselves exposed to the empty lie of salvation being an offer to all, and that God loves all without exception. A salvation that is not solely dependent on the grace of God, but on the will and works of man to any degree, is no salvation at all, but rather bondage to law, i.e., religion.
John 3:16 tells us whosoever believes in Jesus will not perish, but have everlasting life. We have seen that further on in the Gospel of John, in chapter 17 verse 2, Jesus says that He will give eternal life to all those—AND ONLY TO THOSE—whom the Father has given Him. Thus we see, according to the Word of God, that those who will believe are only those whom the Father has given to the Son. Surely if John 3:16 was all about man choosing God, as is the contention of Arminians the world over, John 17:2 was a golden opportunity for the Lord to highlight and confirm such a doctrine. But He did not highlight it at all, in fact He did not even mention it, for it is not a doctrine which is of God. Instead, the Lord emphasized the irrefutable truth that He gives eternal life ONLY to those whom the Father has obviously loved, by giving them to His Son. By this He reveals that the Father’s love, the Father’s act of giving these people to Jesus is the only way they could ever have come into Christ’s possession and believed in Him. It could never have been by an act of the individual, but only by a merciful, grace-based act of God. Never by the will and works of man, but only by the grace of God. It could never have been by the individual’s taking up the ‘offer’, but only by God giving His Son. This is how the saved are determined from the lost, not by their choosing God, but by God’s having elected them before the foundation of the world, and entrusting them to His Son. Obviously then, these are the only ones who will believe in Him, for none shall be saved whom the Father does not love and subsequently gives to the Son in order that He give eternal life to them. None will, none can, come to the Lord Jesus whom the Father has not loved and given to Him (see Jn. 6:37). Many would interject at this point, saying God does love all, but only gives those to His Son whom He knew would choose Him. They attempt to support their blasphemous lie by employing 1 Peter 1:2: “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father…” Such a verse is used to convince the simple that God elected people unto salvation according to His seeing into the future those who would choose/love Him. God does not need to see into the future, for He has planned the future right down to the very last and minutest detail (see Isa. 46:9,10). The word foreknowledge appears only twice in all of Scripture. In the above verse from 1 Peter 1, and also in Acts 2:23 “Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God…” This verse speaks of God not merely foreknowing the crucifixion of His Son, but also determining that it should be. Romans 11:2 speaks of God foreknowing His people whom He did not cast away. These are they who were “chosen by Him from everlasting to be His people” according to the election of grace (see Rom. 11:4-6). The words foreknew (Rom. 11:2), and foreknow (Rom. 8:29) each appear only once in the whole of Scripture, and have to do with God knowing intimately, because of an affinity or kinship with His people, rather than a mere seeing into the future. The word, foresaw, also appears only once in all of Scripture. It appears in Acts 2:25, and is taken from the Messianic Psalm 16:8 which talks of Christ’s “…dependence on the Almighty power of God to support and protect Him”. God seeing into the future who would ‘choose Him’ presupposes His needing to see into the future in order to know those who would be His, which implies that God is just as much in the dark concerning the future as man is. The utter absurdity of all this is highlighted by the fact: God created the future, and needs not look into it in order to know what is to come. The Lord did not need to look into the future, to find out ‘who would choose Him’ for God is Omniscient, and it is He Who chose before the foundation of the world all those whom He wanted as His own. God has known and chosen His people from before the foundation of the world. Again, if God based His choosing upon His foreseeing who would choose Him, then we would have the situation where salvation as well as God’s love, is conditioned on man in that God could ‘elect’ only those He foresaw would love and choose Him first. This is yet another teaching in the Arminian arsenal of blank ammunition which tears at the very heart of the Sovereignty of God. It is a teaching which makes no Biblical sense, and is only seen as logical and fair to the carnal mind of Scripturally illiterate lost men.
The word foreknowledge means “to know beforehand…favorable recognition or consideration beforehand. It is used to denote the foreordained fellowship of God with the objects of His saving power”. The foreknowledge of God speaks of His affectionately knowing and choosing those He willed to love before the foundation of the world. "In the language of Scripture, something foreknown is not simply that which God was aware of prior to a certain point. Rather, it is presented as that which God gave prior consent to, that which received His favorable or special recognition. Hence, this term is reserved for those matters which God favorably, deliberately and freely chose and ordained....Used of persons, to foreknow with approbation, to foreapprove or make a previous choice of, as special people (see Rom. 11:2 cf. 1 Pet. 1:19,20).” God has chosen His people in Christ “…before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love” (Eph. 1:4), not because He saw they would be holy and without blame. “Foreknowledge and foreordination are logically coordinate. The former emphasizes the exercise of God’s wisdom and intelligence in regard to His eternal purpose and the latter emphasizes the exercise of God’s will in regard to it. What He has decreed is what He has decided." God has predestinated those whom He fore-loved to salvation. HE FOREKNEW THEM BECAUSE HE FORELOVED THEM. Therefore, they love Him because He loved them first. God has entrusted a people, whom He chose before the foundation of the world, to His Son. He has done this that His Son should die for them and establish a perfect Righteousness for them. Christ never knew those who only professed to love Him in Matthew 7:23, this does not mean He had no knowledge of them, but that He was not, and never had been, affiliated with them, for He never loved them, which, in turn, shows that they could never have been among those given to Him by the Father. “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are His…” (2 Tim. 2:19 cf. 1 Cor. 8:3). “It is not the foresight of difference but the foreknowledge that makes difference to exist, not a foresight that recognizes existence, but the foreknowledge that determines existence. It is a Sovereign distinguishing love…the foreknowledge mentioned in Romans 8:29 cannot have reference to the foreseen faith, good works, or the sinner’s response to God’s call. ‘Faith cannot be the cause of foreknowledge, because foreknowledge is before predestination, and faith is the effect of predestination’. ‘…as many as were ordained to eternal life believed’ (Acts 13:48). Neither can it be meant of the foreknowledge of good works, because these are the effects of predestination. ‘…we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained (or before prepared) that we should walk in them’ (Eph. 2:10. Neither can it be meant of foreknowledge of our concurrence with the external call, because our effectual calling depends not upon that concurrence, but upon God’s purpose and grace, given us in Christ Jesus before the world began (see 2 Tim. 1:9). By this foreknowledge, then, is meant, as has been observed, the love of God towards those whom He predestinates to be saved through Jesus Christ. All the called of God are foreknown by Him, that is, they are the objects of His eternal love, and their calling comes from this free love. ‘…I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee’ (Jer. 31:3).
“…faith is sealed and ensured to God's elect, by His foreknowledge and predestination of them; so that they certainly have it, and shall never lose it: and their election is according to God's foreknowledge of them; which designs not a foresight of their faith, holiness, and good works, as the motives of His choosing them; nor a bare prescience distinguishing, unchangeable, and everlasting; and this being a seal affixed to all the elect, shows the distinguishing grace of God in their election…” If God’s choice of people was based on His seeing who would choose Him, then we would have a salvation primarily based on man’s will and subsequent actions, and not the determining will and grace of a Sovereign God. Again, such a blasphemous teaching which feebly attempts to explain foreknowledge as God choosing only those who chose Him first, holds to the lie that it is a man’s decision that makes the difference between saved and lost, and not God’s specific and particular love which has ordained the salvation of those whom HE has chosen before the foundation of the world (see Eph. 1:1-4). It takes salvation out of God’s hands and steals the attribute of Absolute Sovereignty away from God, placing it instead in the lap of each individual person. If man chose first, whether God loved all or not, salvation could not be by grace, but at best a combination of grace and works. Only that which is given can rightly be said to be of grace, to be of God. Any prior act performed can only attract a wage, and never a gift. Far from attracting eternal life, the only wages a man’s works can draw is death (see Rom. 6:23). Eternal life is a gift, and only a gift. It cannot be worked for, but only given. A gift is only given by the giver to the one who is loved by the giver. Salvation is the gift of God which comes from His will and love for His people. A gift is given because of the giver’s love. If it was given because of the recipient’s love it would not be a gift, but a reward. A wage, that which is earned, that which an act must precede, is not given out of love, but out of obligation. Salvation is a gift, grace is a gift, faith is a gift, believing is a gift, repentance is a gift, good works are a gift, loving God is a gift, believing the Gospel is a gift, eternal life is a gift, the Son of God is a gift, atonement is a gift, Righteousness is a gift, and so on. A true gift, one which comes from the heart, is not given under any sense of obligation. A gift is: “A voluntary transfer of property or a property interest from one individual to another, made gratuitously to the recipient”. Many may consider something they have given to another as a gift, but if that which is given is given subsequent to an act performed, or a job done, then it is not a gift, but a wage. A true gift is given out of love, and not duty. God has given His Son to all those who shall come to Him. God’s giving is obviously motivated by HIS love, for it is HIS love which precedes any love shown toward Him. This is how God’s love works. God’s love is directed to those whom God has appointed to receive the gift of salvation. God’s love precedes any man’s love for Him, even a foreseen love, for all love toward God is only due to, and always springs from, His love for His people.
Christ provides further evidence which supports the fact that the only ones who come to Him are the ones God has given to Him, in John 10. Speaking to unbelieving Jews, Jesus said: “...ye believe not because ye are not of My sheep...” (Jn. 10:26). It is clearly not a case of these people not believing primarily because they exercised their free will, not to choose, accept, or receive Him, but because they were not of His sheep. They were not His people. It is the Almighty and Sovereign God Who determines who shall be saved, and who shall perish. Those who claim this is outrageously unfair all believe in, are mesmerized by, and feed on the fairytale which Satan spewed forth in the Garden of Eden when he stated that eating from the forbidden tree would not result in spiritual death, but spiritual freedom. As long as a person believes in that heretical, anti-God, lie, they will never know the true God, or believe the only true Gospel of God. Christ says that the truth, and not disobedience to it, will make a man free (see Jn. 8:32). Who are the sheep of Christ? Those whom the Father has given Him. The fact that any are given to the Son by the Father provides the clearest evidence that the Father has willed that person to be saved, for all, and only those, that He has given to the Son SHALL come to Him. GOD’S LOVE EQUALS CERTAIN SALVATION. All those whom the Lord has given to His Son, are they whom He has chosen to love, and His love for those people has been clearly manifested by His Son being given to them, and laying down His life for them which is what John 3:16 is all about. As soon as one talks of God’s love in terms of His giving His Son for the purpose of salvation, one is speaking of an elective love, a covenant love, which is exclusively shown to God’s chosen: those chosen to salvation, chosen to believe. “God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation…” (2 Thess. 2:13 cf. 1 Pet. 1:2). “Ye are My witnesses, saith the Lord, and My servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe Me, and understand that I Am He: before Me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after Me” (Isa. 43:10). God has chosen a people SO THAT they would know, understand and believe HIM. To know and believe God is to know and believe God’s Gospel. To know and believe God is to know and believe the truth about Him. To know and believe God is to have been chosen to know and believe Him. To know and believe God is to truly trust in the true and only God. One cannot know and believe the true God, if one’s trust is in a false gospel which does not reveal Him. Believing in the true Gospel is something which is eternally inseparable from having eternal life. “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life” (1 Jn. 5:12). “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son” (2 Jn. 9 cf. Jn. 3:36; 1 Jn. 1:6,7). “And He said unto them, 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” (Mk. 16:15,16 cf. 1 Pet. 4:17,18).
A man’s coming to the Lord Jesus is no reason to begin celebrating a man’s ‘choice’, or a man’s ‘decision’, but it is a clear case for celebrating Almighty God’s will to love and save that person by His mercy and grace. The rejoicing of the angels in Heaven over one sinner that repents (see Lk. 15:10), is surely not about what a man has done, but over what God has done in saving another elect sinner from their sins, and granting them the gift of repentance. All praise given to God whether in Heaven, or on earth, is due to what He has done, and not what any man has done. All the glory for salvation by grace is given only to God, for the grace that brings salvation to His people comes from, and is wholly because of, Almighty God. Repentance is a gift from God given to the sinner. Without God, no man could ever repent, or even want to repent, for without God man knows not what to repent of. Paul declares that it is “…the goodness of God (that) leadeth thee to repentance” (Rom. 2:4 cf. Acts 5:31), and to Timothy the apostle writes: “In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth” (2 Tim. 2:25 cf. Acts 11:18; 2 Cor. 7:10; Titus 1:1). True repentance always acknowledges the truth of God, the Gospel of God, and no other. Without the gift of salvation no one can be saved; without the gift of faith no one can believe, and without the gift of repentance no one can turn to the true God. Without the grace of God, and the gifts which come by that grace, no one could acknowledge His truth, believe His Gospel, or repent of ever believing a false gospel. Those whom God has appointed to eternal life, will be saved, for it is only they who will believe (see Acts 13:48). Here we have confirmation that those whom Jesus says are not of His sheep are they who do not believe in Him (see Jn. 10). How then can these be among the ones whom the Father has loved and given to Him? God’s love is never without a specific reason, or purpose. Like God’s Word, God’s love does not ever return to Him void. It must be remembered that God’s love is in His Son, and this love was manifested in and through God’s Son having laid down His life for the ones God has loved and given to Him for the express purpose of saving them. Those who love Him do so BECAUSE God loved them first, and those who do not believe in God do so BECAUSE He never loved them, He never knew them. They do not believe because they are not of His sheep, they are not of His loved ones. They are dead in sins and justifiably remain under the curse of death. Those whom God does not love He never loved, and, those whom God does not know He never knew (see Matt. 7:23 cf. Psa. 36:10).
Yes, whosoever believeth in Him will never perish, but the word whosoever does not give anyone license to believe that what John 3:16 teaches is that anyone can come by their own free will and choose Him. I mean, how in the world did man ever come up with such complete and unmitigated rubbish? Interjecting one’s own view, or interpretation, into a Scripture will never make that Scripture say what a person believes it is saying except to those that are gullible and ignorant enough to believe it. How did whosoever believeth in Him ever become anyone can believe in Him by their own free will? How does anyone swallow this utter drivel? The original Greek will not support it, nor does any other Scripture in the entire Bible support this flimsiest of suppositions. Coupled with the fact that no other Scripture even mentions a mythical love of God for all the world, everyone without exception, shows conclusively that such a fable has no Scriptural foundation, but is only supported by the twisting of Scripture, the misrepresentation of Scripture, and that which lies within the religious traditions of lost men whose faith and trust are in false gospels, and who know not God. Many deceivers in the world have started a lie, seasoned it with sincerity and ‘honesty’, and watched it soon become a tradition and eventually an established ‘truth’. There is no phrase in the Bible which says ‘whosoever will believe’. There are only seven instances in God’s Word which do say ‘whosoever believeth’ (see Jn. 3:15,16; 12:46; Acts 10:43; Rom. 9:33; 10:11; 1 Jn. 5:1). As we have learned, the word ‘whosoever’ does not appear in the original Greek text of any of these verses. In each instance the original Greek only uses the phrase ‘every the one believing’. It is a statement which simply proclaims everyone that believes is saved, and can in no way be rightly interpreted to mean that such a thing is within the power and will of any man to do so; that everyone who wants to believe, or everyone who chooses to believe may do so, which further implies the lie that anyone can do so, and, which ultimately leads to the false teaching that conditions salvation upon a man’s act rather than solely on the gift of God’s grace. “‘Whosoever’ seems to imply that everyone can believe—all are able to believe. But that is not at all what the verse proclaims because that is not at all what the underlying Greek text says. Those three Greek words are ‘pas’ ‘ho’ ‘pisteuõn’—‘all the believing’. To assert that John 3:16 teaches, or even implies, that everyone is able to believe in Christ amounts to eisegesis—that is, reading into the text what is not there. John 3:16 does not tell us that everyone can believe. It teaches that everyone who does believe will not perish, but have eternal life.” The best contemporary English rendering of ‘pas’ ‘ho’ and ‘pisteuõn' is ‘everyone who believes’, “…but can still be construed as ‘everyone can believe’ by those who are inclined to read it that way. But even that point is irrelevant since John 3:16 is not a question of interpretation, but rather TRANSLATION, that of accurately reading the original text”. It is always a perilous practice to interpret Scripture according to one’s own sentiments.
A cursory reading of the Scriptures often leaves a person with only a superficial understanding of what God is saying, and not the proper one. To then go off and assume that which one believes the Scriptures are saying is what they are really saying, is sheer folly. Those who refuse to study and dig deeper into a verse or doctrine, betray an attitude of prejudice, and even fear. He who does not properly reason from the Scriptures, reveals a bias against that which he fears will prove what he believes to be wrong. He who will not reason from the Scriptures is a slave to that which he holds to, or rather holds him, which he is not willing to have examined and therefore not permit it to be challenged, even by the Light of God’s Word. He has pre-judged something based on inadequate, insufficient, or false information. He is comfortable with it, and, therefore, refuses to allow himself to view ALL the evidence. Their yearn to learn, if they ever had one, has become dulled, leaving them with the stubborn attitude of staying with what they know come what may. Such a person reveals an unteachable spirit, and an unwillingness to stand corrected and see God’s Truth. They reveal a fear of the truth, and that innate fear that pervades every man’s soul: CHANGE! Such a person is enslaved to the traditions of men and religious institutions of the world, and, in some cases, wilfully ignorant of what God’s Word is really saying. Such a person has become comfortably numb, and is living in a religious comfort zone. All he has is a vain religion, a useless gospel, the god of which cannot save him. "To act without clear understanding; to form habits without investigation; to follow a path all one’s life without knowing where it really leads, SUCH IS THE BEHAVIOR OF THE MULTITUDE." Conversely, the true believer is to "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, RIGHTLY dividing the Word of Truth" (2 Tim. 2:15).
The two questions everyone needs to ask themselves are: who are the ones that believe, and what do they believe. How can John 3:16 possibly be advocating the lie that it is the choice of man which is the deciding factor as to who exactly will be saved, in light of the following Scriptural evidence: The six words: choice (1), choose (1), choosest (0), chooseth (0), choosing (1) and chose (5), appear only a total of 8 times in the whole of the New Testament (see Acts 15:7; Phil. 1:22; Heb. 11:25; Lk. 6:13; 14:7; Acts 6:5; 13:17; 15:40), and in no instance are any of these words used in reference to a man choosing God, or choosing to be saved. This is a highly significant and quite astonishing fact, which doubtless will come as no small surprise to those who believe in man’s free-will decision for Christ, and who wrongly use John 3:16 to support such a gross lie. If the doctrine of free will were true, it would be reasonable to suppose that at least one of these words in at least one verse would be speaking about a man choosing God, but there are none! The Lord Jesus Christ never once told anyone to choose Him, nor did He speak of anyone who had chosen Him. Christ always did the choosing, and then said, "Follow Me". “Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you…” (Jn. 15:16). This is not merely a reference to His choosing the apostles, but the principle of grace revealed. Now it must be pointed out that these 6 words do appear a total of 107 times in the Old Testament, however, as in the New Testament, there is not a single instance of any of them referring to a man choosing God, or choosing to be saved. The only passage from the Old Testament to which an advocate of free will could possibly appeal to as ‘proof’ to support his belief, is that old chestnut found in Joshua 24:14-22. In this passage we see Joshua speaking to the chosen people of God, Israel, saying, "Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve Him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served that were 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" (Josh. 24:14,15). Joshua is commanding all the tribes of Israel (see v. 1) to fear the Lord and serve Him, and to put away false gods. But if they thought it was evil to serve the Lord, Joshua told them to make choice among the false gods, (either those of their fathers, or of the Amorites), as to which they would serve. The people answered, "...God forbid that we should forsake the Lord, to serve other gods....we will serve the Lord" (Josh. 24:16, 21), to which Joshua replied, "...Ye are witnesses against yourselves that ye have chosen you the Lord, to serve Him..." (Josh. 24:22). It is vital that we not lose sight of the fact that THESE PEOPLE WERE ALREADY the people of God. They were not choosing to become the children of God, for God had already chosen them to be His people, thereby, showing His exclusive love for them (see Deut. 7:6-8), in bringing them out of Egypt. The people said "God forbid that we should forsake the Lord", the word forsake in this verse meaning to relinquish, or leave. These were the children of Jacob who are referred to in Scripture, not as those who have chosen God, but as those who had been chosen by God: "...ye children of Jacob, His CHOSEN ones" (1 Chron. 16:13 cf. Psa. 105:6). God’s people, both in the Old and New Testaments, are always referred to as His chosen, My chosen, or the ones whom He has chosen, etc. (see Deut. 14:2; Isa. 43:20, 44:1; Mk. 13:20; Jn. 15:19; Eph. 1:4; 2 Thess. 2:13; 1 Pet. 2:9). The tribes of Israel had sinned, strayed and been disobedient to God, and all Joshua was saying to them was either serve the false gods, or the true God. All these people had done, and all these verses are showing, is that they repented before their God. This whole passage is about repentance by a people who were already God’s people, and not at all about them choosing to become God’s people. All God’s people stray and disobey at times, but all repent and return to the Lord, not based on their free will choice of Him, but on their being HIS CHOSEN ONES (see Psa. 80:3,7,19). “We love Him, because He first loved us” (1 Jn. 4:19). How can the Jews have chosen God, when it is God Who chose them first? God will never leave, or forsake His people, therefore, they will always remain with Him: "For the Lord will not forsake His people for His great name’s sake: because it hath pleased the Lord to make you His people" (1 Sam. 12:22). "...I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee....I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put My fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from Me" (Heb. 13:5 & Jer. 32:40). The Scriptures say that God makes covenant with His chosen, not with those who ‘choose’ Him. “I have made a covenant with My chosen…” (Psa. 89:3).
In contrast to the sporadic use of the words choose, choosest, choosing, etc., in the New Testament, the single word chosen is used a total of 29 times in the New Testament. The word elect is used 13 times. Again, not once is the word chosen used in reference to any man having chosen God. In the Gospel of Matthew it is used 3 times. Once of God choosing Jesus His servant (12:18), and in two passages referring to the many that are called, but few actually chosen (20:16; 22:14). The word chosen appears once in the Gospel of Mark. Verse 20 of chapter 13 reads in part "...for the elect’s sake, whom He hath chosen..." Notice here that the Scripture does not say that the elect have chosen God, that God is the One elected by them, for how then could they rightly be referred to as the elected ones. The apostle Peter refers to the Christians at Babylon as: “The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you…” (1 Pet. 5:13). It is expressly stated that the elect are all the chosen of God. Again, God is the Chooser, for He alone is the One with Free Will, and His people are always referred to as the chosen, or the elect, of God. God is the only one in the position to choose, for He is the only one Who is alive. The word chosen appears twice in the Gospel of Luke. Firstly in 10:42 referring to Mary having chosen that good part (listening to Jesus’ words), and in 23:35 where we see the religious rulers deriding Christ, saying that He should save Himself from the cross if He be the Christ, the chosen of God. The word chosen is used four times in the Gospel of John. All are in reference to Jesus having chosen His apostles (6:70; 13:18; 15:16; 15:19). John 15:16 is where Christ specifically points out to His apostles "Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you..." "The word here translated ‘chosen’ is that from which is derived the word ‘elect’, and means the same thing." The Book of Acts contains the word chosen a total of seven times. Acts 1:2 refers to the apostles whom Jesus had chosen. In 1:24 it is used of the choice God would make as to who would replace Judas. God speaks to Ananias in 9:15 of Paul being a chosen vessel unto Him. Acts 10:41 tells us that God raised Jesus and showed Him openly, not to all but to those witnesses God had before chosen. Acts 15:22 and 25 speak of men chosen by the apostles to go to Antioch. And Acts 22:14 is where the word chosen is used in reference to Paul being chosen by God to know His will etc.: “…The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know His will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of His mouth”. Notice that throughout the Scriptures there is complete and unfathomable silence concerning any man ‘choosing’ God, a silence so distinct, so pronounced, that it cannot be misconstrued, and which must not be ignored.
Further on in the New Testament we see that the word chosen appears once in Paul's Letter to the Romans with reference to Rufus being one "...chosen in the Lord..." (Rom. 16:13). The word chosen appears three times in Paul’s first Letter to the Corinthians. Twice appearing in 1:27 in reference to God having chosen the foolish and weak things of the world. It also appears in 1:28 regarding God having chosen things which are despised by the world. Chosen appears once in the second Letter to the Corinthians regarding one “chosen of the churches” to travel with Paul and others (8:19). In Ephesians, the word chosen also appears only once. Ephesians 1:4 says, "According as HE HATH CHOSEN US in Him before the foundation of the world..." Paul is here speaking of himself and other believers as ones chosen by God in Christ Jesus before the world began. In light of this single Scripture alone, no honest person could find it possible to remain in the corner of free willism, for how can anyone be said to have chosen God when it is God Himself Who bears testimony that HE is the One Who has done the choosing, and that BEFORE the very foundation of the world! This is said so as to make clear that election cannot, and is not, based on what a man has done, or on what he was foreseen would do, but solely on the grace of God, and not on any work of man’s: “(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him that calleth;)” (Rom. 9:11). Election to salvation, and appointment to Wrath, were things settled before the foundation of the world, before any good, or any evil was performed, for there were no humans at all before the foundation of the world. Man’s natural hatred of election, may be traced back to man’s inherent hatred for the true God, for election is inextricably intertwined with the Sovereignty and goodness, and thus the very essence and essential character of the true God Who does whatsoever He pleases, and saves whomsoever He chooses. Even if man could do the choosing, God has beaten him to it, as it were, and chosen men before any had done any good or evil, before they were even created, indeed, before the very foundation of the world. Whatever man believes about conversion, or salvation, these matters cannot be Scripturally referred to in terms of his choosing God, for this would imply an ability to do so which contradicts what we have seen the Scriptures say about man’s spiritual state. Choosing, deciding, who will be among the elect of God, the saved who will enjoy an eternity of bliss with the Lord, lies exclusively within the domain of Almighty God!!
Not only has God made it abundantly clear that HE is the one who does the choosing He has also added, so that no one can rightly claim in light of the Word of God, that they have made choice of Him, that His choosing was done BEFORE the very foundation of the world!! This in itself rules out any idea of free will being the determining, or deciding factor, in a man’s salvation. Salvation is of God and according to what God has done, and so cannot be conditioned on what a man must do. 2 Thessalonians 2:13 shows that "...God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation..." God chooses those who could never have chosen Him. This is why salvation is, and can only be, by grace alone. Again we see God as the one Who does the choosing, from the beginning, and not man. This is to show that man plays no active part in election, in his being elected—that election is in no way conditioned on what man has done, should do, could do, or was foreseen would do, but only upon the will and purpose, grace and mercy of the Almighty and Sovereign God: "Not by works of righteousness which we have done (foreseen or otherwise), but according to His mercy He saved us..." (Titus 3:5). Mercy can only be present when nothing else will suffice. What a man does forms no part of the ground of his salvation. God did not make the elect a certain way so that He would be justified in electing them, for all are children of Wrath by nature with absolutely no redeeming feature. The fact that God is no respecter of persons shows that election was never based on anything to do with man, but everything to do with the will, love, mercy and grace of God. Grace and mercy, by definition, are things given in light of there being no redeeming feature in, or act by, any man which could justify him. Grace is unmerited and mercy undeserved. Anything a saved man does is evidence of his salvation, and so cannot be what his salvation is conditioned upon. The elect are created in Christ Jesus unto good works, and not because of good works (see Eph. 2:10). The chosen of God are elect unto obedience, and not because of obedience (see 1 Pet. 1:2). Mercy and grace do not come in response to a good and deserving work, because of any redeeming feature in man, but DESPITE the complete absence of any meritorious act, or desire. Mercy and grace can only come where these is no prior meritorious act, or deserving work. Mercy and grace come by the goodness of God, and not because of the goodness of man. Mercy and grace are not required where any condition has been met. They are emergency measures, if you will, designed for the hopeless, and helpless. The mercy and grace of God provide confirmatory evidence that nothing has been done by those they are given to, no condition has been met by the recipients of mercy and grace which has played any part in their salvation. Mercy and grace are not invited into a man’s life by anything a man has done, they do not join hands with a man’s works, but are given in place of the absence of anything done by a man which could possibly redeem him.