Sunday, August 30, 2009
THE CALLING OF CHRIST'S CHURCH - PART 2
II Thessalonians 2:13
But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:
II Thessalonians 2:14
Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
"But": this is a big word because if refers to the previous verses concerning those who are in the kingdom of Satan and do not love Christ or His gospel. You can read the whole text for yourself (II Thessalonians 2:1-12); I will just quote the verse before our text:
"That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness". (II Thessalonians 2:11).
All who will never come to believe the gospel will be damned.
"he that believeth not shall be damned."
Our text however, speaks of believers:
"we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord".
If one is a believer, we should never count it a light matter, for we are loved of the Lord.
God's love is found only in Christ!
God does not love everyone:
"The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity."
I hear many times that "God hates the sin, but loves the sinner" - this is not found in the Word of God.
The verse says God hates all WORKERS (people) of iniquity. All who are outside of Christ are workers of iniquity.
"Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated."
This was BEFORE they were born (see Romans 9:11). So God hates some people - and they are called in the Bible the reprobate: those who will be damned. You can read about the reprobate - Esau's posterity, in Malachi 1:1-5.
Others God loves, and He calls them His elect.
To the elect God says:
"Yea, I have loved thee with and everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee."
"I love them that love me."
"He that loveth me (Christ) shall be loved of my Father"
Back to our text - continuing in verse 13:
"because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation":
If you find yourself a believer, and beloved of the Lord, it is because God chose you from eternity:
"According as he hath chosen us in him (Christ) before the foundation of the world." (Ephesians 1:4)
God does the choosing:
"but for the elect's sake whom he (the Lord) hath chosen."
"Ye have not chosen me, but I (Christ) have chosen you."
Next, we read:
"through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth":
Sanctify here means to "set apart", and belief of the truth means to believe the true gospel.
God sets apart His chosen people to hear the gospel - this is sanctification of the Spirit:
"For by one offering he (Christ) hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified." (set apart)
Believing the true gospel:
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth."
Let's now look at verse 14:
"Whereunto he called you by our gospel"
The gospel is the means where God calls His people and in Mark 16:15 we read of Christ's command for believer's to get the gospel out:
"Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."
The rest is up to God. This is the outward call that goes to all who hear the gospel. But God must give the inward call to His elect where they will repent of their sins, and believe on Jesus Christ ALONE for ALL of salvation:
for many be called (the outward call to all who hear), but few chosen. (the inward call to the elect only)
Finishing our text:
"to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Through God choosing His people, and calling His people through the gospel where they believe the true gospel, the elect of God come to realize ("to the obtaining") salvation conditioned on Christ ALONE for them.
So let us review our text: there are those who will not believe on Christ ALONE for ALL of salvation: these people will be eternally damned. "But" is a big word in our text: for all deserve damnation for their sins, but there is good news for believers in the gospel: that Christ has come and made a perfect sacrifice for the sins of His people, and all that look to Him and Him alone for salvation have eternal life.
The true gospel is not: "God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life"; for if you die in unbelief God will damn you:
"..these shall go away into everlasting punishment."
The gospel is God's promise to save His people, and entitle (grant, give) unto them ALL of salvation, including the work of the Holy Spirit in them, and all of heaven's glories to come, ALL based on Jesus Christ, and Him crucified!
If you are a child of God rejoice for Matthew 25:46 also says:
"but the righteous (righteous in Christ) unto life eternal."
Jesus Christ has not yet returned a second time (His second coming). I believe the Bible teaches that God is still calling His elect with the inward (born again) call.
Today is still the day of salvation for the people of God:
"behold, now is the accepted time, behold, now is the day of salvation."
(II Corinthians 6:2)
"Come unto me (Christ) all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest."
By Craig Miklosik