Today’s text (Acts 13:42-52) contains a challenging statement.
“…And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.” Acts 13:48a
Are we saved because we are “appointed by God” to be saved?
Or are we saved because we receive the Gospel and embrace Christ as our Savior? Are we saved because God choose and predestined us or are we saved because we chose to put our faith in Christ as Savior & Lord?
Theologians have argued this question from every angle. And the reason so many thinking Christians struggle with this question is that the scriptures make a good solid case for both.
Predestination and election are undeniable doctrines of scripture – Ephesians 1:3-6 & 11; Romans 8:29,30; 1Peter 1:1-2 (and many more) Yet, the bible also consistently treats us as if we have responsibility to choose and consequences for our choices and action – Jeremiah 18:5-10; Ezekiel 18:20-24; John 3:15-21; Hebrews 3:12-15 (and many more)
So … Are we saved because God choose and predestined us or are we saved because we freely put our faith in Christ as Savior & Lord?
The answer: YES! Free will and predestination are not opposites.
I love how Charles Spurgeon responded when a church member asked him how he reconciles man’s free will with God’s sovereignty. Spurgeon said, “I never try to reconcile good friends” Both the free will of man and the sovereignty of God are biblical truths.
I love the simple illustration I heard as a new Christian. – At the entrance of heaven is a welcome gate that says, “Whosoever will”…. “Come unto me all ye who are weary and heavy laden”… then when you go through the gate and turn around to read the sign above the gate from the inside it says, “You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you”.
Take some time to look up and ponder the verses above. You will discover the tension of truths on which the drama of God is played out.