Revelation 17:14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.
That we are called is without dispute. God saw us from before he even began the universe. We were not afterthoughts. He called us by name, who were written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. They were not empty spaces left waiting to be filled, for he foreknew us. Of all that were lost, God has graciously chosen to save us unworthy sinners.
Christian pastors should never resist preaching grace for fear that some might respond to it by living profligate and self-destructive lives, saying to themselves that if God wants to save them, He will. But, if He does not save them, their punishment is just, because the sinner heaps judgment upon himself by saying that “God does not see.” Yet, it is just those kinds of rebellious sinners that God often chooses to save.
Indeed many pastors preach salvation by grace freely, indiscriminately, perhaps to even say promiscuously, and God rescues sinners from their sins, even the sin of unbelief. It is a marvel. It is amazing. For the believer, He grants unto us both faith and repentance and all things needed to save us.
For the same reason, neither should pastors be afraid to preach about election. That many are called and few are chosen. That God passes over some and saves others. Of course, preachers should be clear that whosoever calls upon Him and looks to Him in faith will be saved. This is of great comfort to His people.
So while there are many in our day who willingly preach the gospel call and election, I fear that we have neglected the third
earthly promise gifted to His people: faithfulness. As if to echo the warning in Galatians, if not outright violate it, we have begun in the Spirit but continued in the flesh. Rare is the sermon heard today on the promise of God that He WILL sanctify you. He will cause you to be faithful.
When Christians sin, it is easy to give stern warning, and that rightly so. It is Biblical. But as long as they continue the struggle, they must be also given comfort and hope that God loves them and will forgive them, but also that He WILL sanctify them. This promise is just as sure as the one that he will save us.
Did the Father hear His Son’s prayer mentioned in John 17:17?
“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”
Did God keep the promise He made to the Apostle Paul that his preaching was destined
“To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in Me.” (Acts 16:18).
Other relevant Scriptures are:
I Thessalonians 5:23f And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
II Thessalonians 3:3-5 But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep [you] from evil And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you. And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.
God will not only keep you to the end, as many Christians correctly assert, but he will sanctify you in the meantime. You can trust that He has called you, chosen you and He will cause you to be faithful.
David is currently an adjunct instructor of Composition and Speech at Marshalltown Community College in Iowa. His wife and he have also owned a business selling antique and collectible postcards on eBay since 1999. David was an activist with Operation Rescue in the early 1990s. He is a member of Trinity Presbyterian Reformed Church in Johnston, Iowa.
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