Some men were, from all eternity, ordained to continue in their natural blindness, hardness of heart, etc.
OF REPROBATION OR PREDESTINATION AS IT RESPECTS THE UNGODLY.
FROM what has been said in the preceding chapter concerning the election of some, it would unavoidably follow, even supposing the Scriptures had been silent about it, that there must be a rejection of others, as every choice does, most evidently and necessarily, imply a refusal, for where there is no leaving out there can be no choice. But beside the testimony of reason, the Divine Word is full and express to our purpose; it frequently, and in terms too clear to be misunderstood, and too strong to be evaded by any who are not proof against the most cogent evidence, attests this tremendous truth, that some are “of old fore-ordained to condemnation.” I shall, in the discussion of this awful subject, follow the method hitherto observed, and throw what I have to say into several distinct positions supported by Scripture.
POSITION 2. -Some men were, from all eternity, not only negatively excepted from a participation of Christ and His salvation, but positively ordained to continue in their natural blindness, hardness of heart, etc., and that the just judgment of God. (See Exodus 9:1Sa 2:25; 2Sa 17:14; Isa 6:9-11; 2Th 2:11,12.) Nor can these places of Scripture, with many others of like import, be understood of an involuntary permission on the part of God, as if God barely suffered it to be so, quasi invitus, as it were by constraint, and against His will, for He permits nothing which He did not resolve and determine to permit. His permission is a positive, determinate act of His will, as Augustine, Luther and Bucer justly observe. Therefore, if it be the will of God in time to permit such and such men to continue in their natural state of ignorance and corruption, the natural consequence of which is their falling into such and such sins (observe God does not force them into sin, their actual disobedience being only the consequence of their not having that grace which God is not obliged to grant them)-I say, if it be the will of God thus to leave them in time (and we must deny demonstration itself, even known absolute matter of fact, if we deny that some are so left), then it must have been the Divine intention from all eternity so to leave them, since, as we have already had occasion to observe, no new will can possibly arise in the mind of God. We see that evil men actually are suffered to go on adding sin to sin, and if it be not inconsistent with the sacred attributes actually to permit this, it could not possibly be inconsistent with them to decree that permission before the foundations of the world were laid.
Thus God efficaciously permitted (having so decreed) the Jews to be, in effect, the crucifiers of Christ, and Judas to betray Him (Acts 4:27,28; Mat 26:23,24). Hence we find St. Augustine* speaking thus: “Judas was chosen, but it was to do a most execrable deed, that thereby the death of Christ, and the adorable work of redemption by Him, might be accomplished. When therefore we hear our Lord say, ‘Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?’ we must understand it thus, that the eleven were chosen in mercy, but Judas in judgment; they were chosen to partake of Christ’s kingdom; he was chosen and pitched upon to betray Him and be the means of shedding His blood.”
* De Corr. and Grat. cap. 7.
Jerome Zanchius-The Doctrine of Absolute Predestination Stated and Asserted-Translated by Augustus Montague Toplady
Second, to show more plainly the two separate companies which are united in that one Body which constitutes the Church of which Christ is the Head, namely redeemed Jews and redeemed Gentiles.
Arthur W. Pink The Application of Scriptures-A Study of Dispensationalism
But there is further reason, and a pressing one today, why we should write upon our present subject, and that is to expose the modern and pernicious error of Dispensationalism. This is a device of the Enemy, designed to rob the children of no small part of that bread which their heavenly Father has provided for their souls; a device wherein the wily serpent appears as an angel of light, feigning to “make the Bible a new book” by simplifying much in it which perplexes the spiritually unlearned. It is sad to see how widely successful the devil has been by means of this subtle innovation. It is likely that some of our own readers, when perusing the articles upon the interpretation of the Scriptures, felt more than once that we were taking an undue liberty with Holy Writ, that we made use of certain passages in a way altogether unjustifiable, that we appropriated to the saints of this Christian era what does not belong to them but is rather addressed unto those who lived in an entirely different dispensation of the past, or one which is yet future.
Arthur W. Pink The Application of Scriptures-A Study of Dispensationalism
Let us get that very clear. Two scriptures will serve to show that God’s providence is directive with reference to the actions of evil men when it so operates that this evil action shall miss its issue, shall come to another issue neither intended nor desired by the perpetrator.
The first scripture is from the book of Genesis. The wicked brothers of Joseph, who had sold him into Egypt, are now in trouble in that very land. Their consciences accuse them:
“And they said one to another, We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us. And Reuben answered them, saying, Spake I not unto you, saying, Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear? Therefore, behold, also his blood is required.” (Genesis 42:21, 22.)
This was the human side.
On the other hand, hear Joseph: “I am Joseph, your brother, whom ye sold intoEgypt. Now, therefore, be not grieved nor angry with yourselves that ye sold me hither; for God did send me before you to preserve life *** to preserve you a posterity in the earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now, it was not you that sent me hither, but God.” That is, you meant evil. God directed that action so as to change it into an issue that was not foreseen nor purposed by you.
The other scripture is from the fourth chapter of Acts. These two will answer for a thousand. They equal in importance any in the Bible:
“And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, Thou art God, which hast made heaven and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: Who by the mouth of Thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against His Christ. For of a truth against Thy holy child Jesus, whom Thou has anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, for to do whatsoever Thy hand and Thy counsel determined before to be done.” (Acts 4:24-28.)
Now here was an entirely independent purpose and expectation on the part of Herod, on the part of Pilate, on the part of the Jews. They meant death and ruin and yet God’s providence governed their very malice to an issue neither foreseen, desired nor purposed by them, in that it accomplished not only His own predetermined purpose, working not for the ruin but for the salvation of the world.
B. H. Carroll—The Providence of God
The taking possession of Canaan, and the setting up of the true worship of God in it, not only prefigured the kingdom of the Messiah, but were preparatory to it—the foundation of the gospel structure. The carnal Jews, at the coming of our Saviour, it is true, did not enter into these view; and even his own disciples were much in the dark; but the ancient Israelites understood and felt them. God be merciful unto us, said they, and bless us, and cause his face to shine upon us– Wherefore? That they might be a holy and happy people? Doubtless this was a part of their desire; but not the whole. They prayed to be blessed that they might be blessings to the world; that God’s way might be known, through them, upon earth, and his saving health among all nations; that the people might praise him, yea that all the people might praise him, and all the ends of the earth fear before him. Canaan was a country situated in the center of the world, and, therefore, adapted to be the spot on which Jehovah should set up his standard for the subjugation of the world to himself. From hence, the little leaven should diffuse its influence through the earth, till the whole were leavened. Such appears to have been the design of God, in bestowing it upon the posterity of Abraham, and such are the effects which have been actually, though gradually, produced. Out of Zion has gone forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
Rev. Andrew Fuller-God’s Approbation of our Labours Necessary to the Hope of Success-PreachedMay 6, 1801
The Pedobaptists Claim that the Covenant Now is the Same as in the Old Times
The first Arguments lies thus; If the Covenant now under Christ, be the same that was before Christ, with Abraham and his posterity in the flesh; then as Infants were partakers of the Covenant then, and received the seal there of Circumcision, so are infants now partakers of the Covenant, and ought to receive the seal there of Baptism. But the Covenant now under Christ, is the same that was before Christ with Abraham and his posterity in the flesh. Therefore, as Infants were then in the Covenant and received the seal thereof; even so are Infants now in the Covenant, and ought to receive the seal thereof. Three things are to be cleared in this Argument.
First, That the Covenant made with Abraham and his posterity in the flesh before Christ, and that now are under Christ, is the same.
Secondly, As Infants were in that Covenant, so are Infants now.
Thirdly, As Infants were sealed then, so they ought to be now. Now for the proving of these aforesaid, there are three other grounds laid down as follow:
First, The Gospel is the doctrine of the Covenant, but this being one, was preached to Abraham, as Gal. 3:8, 17, 18, Rom. 4:11, and so to the end, and to the Jews, in the Wilderness, Hebrews 4:1, 2; and so in David’s time, Hebrews 4:7, &c. Therefore the Covenant is the same.
Secondly, If Abraham be the father of the Jews and Gentiles, and equally as he believed the righteousness of faith, and they his children equally as so believing, and no otherwise, then the Covenant is the same. But Abraham is the father of the Jews and Gentiles, and equally as he believed, Rom. 4:11, 12, 16, 17, 23, 24. Gal. 3:3, 9, 26, 29. Therefore the Covenant is the same.
Thirdly, The standing of the Jews in the Grace of God was the same with Abraham; as is clear from God’s often expressing of himself to be the God of Abraham and His seed, and praying to God for to remember the Covenant He made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and acknowledging the accomplishing of the same to them, as Luke 1:73, 74; Luke 1:54, 55. And ours is the same with the Jews, as is clear from Matt. 21:41, 43, and 22:1.
Thus lies the Argument, and the grounds to back it, and all to prove the Covenant God made with Abraham and his seed, to be the same now to the believing Gentiles and their seed, and Infants to be in this now, as they were in that then.
It is the effectual believing of the Gospel that proves what persons are in the Covenant.
In answer to which, I shall only touch at the three last grounds, briefly in a word, as I come to the Covenant itself.
The first is, because the Gospel is the doctrine of the Covenant, and was preached to Abraham, and to the Jews, &c. therefore the Covenant is the same. For the first, if the preaching of the Gospel, being the doctrine of the Covenant, can prove the Covenant to be the same to them as to us, then all to whom the Gospel was and is preached, are in the same Covenant. But I think it is the effectual believing of that which the Gospel holds forth in the doctrine of it, because many have the Gospel preached among them, and yet not be in the Covenant. And for the second, that Abraham is the equal father both of the Jews and Gentiles, only as he did believe, and they his children only so believing as their father Abraham did, and not else.
John Spilsbery A Treatise concerning the lawful subject of Baptism (1652)
Have you ever wondered how the Qur’an differs from the teachings of scripture? Have you ever found yourself witnessing to a Muslim and did not know how to counter their arguments because you were not acquainted with their supposedly holy book and beliefs?
Well if you have ever wondered these things and would like to learn more about the Muslim holy book and it’s views on characters from the Bible, Jews, Christians, Jesus, Grace and Judgment, Paradise and Hell, etc….. then here is a neat little article from one who is very familiar with these things.
L. M. Abdallah takes you through the Qur’an and gives you insight into this book and the belief of Muslims. He does this from a Christian point of view. To read L. M. Abdallah’s interpretations of the Qur’an then click this link here.
Be prepared the next time you witness to a Muslim.
The wisdom of the Greeks, when compared to that of the Jews, is absolutely bestial; for apart from God there can be no wisdom, not any understanding and insight.
No man is excluded from calling upon God; the gate of salvation is set open unto all men: neither is there any other thing which keepeth us back from entering in, save only our own unbelief.
John Calvin Commentary on Acts 2:21
There is a scripture in Ephesians that sums up the condition of the Gentiles before Christ came. Let’s read this scripture:
Eph 2:12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
In this scripture I see five negatives against the Gentiles before Christ came. These are not trivial points, but sum up the whole condition of the Gentiles.
The first point is that we were without Christ. In other words there was no gospel message being given to the Gentiles. The Jews had the laws, the covenants, the promises, and were looking forwards to a mediator like unto Moses. The types, shadows, sacrifices, and rituals all pointed to Christ. Yet the Gentiles had none of these things and so they were without Christ or without any signs, rituals, or promises of his coming.
The second point is that the Gentiles were aliens from the commonwealth of Israel. The Gentiles could not eat with the Jews, fellowship with them in their rituals, or keep their festival days. Unless the Gentile was converted and became a Jew, then he was shut out of all the privileges of the Jews; namely to whom pertained the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; etc……
The third point against the Gentiles was that they were strangers from the covenants of promise. They were strangers to the covenants that promised land, eternal blessings, the Messiah, God being their people, etc… All these promises and many more were given through the covenants, but in order to obtain the promise, one must be part of the covenants.
The fourth part against the Gentiles is that they had no hope. They had no hope of the Messiah, salvation by him, the resurrection of the dead, a future state, eternal life, etc… The Gentiles had no way to escape eternal damnation.
The fifth and last point that Paul makes is that the Gentiles were without God in this world. They were without the knowledge of God in Christ, without communion with him, and worship of him. They had no access to the throne of God.
It looked pretty bad for the Gentiles before Christ came, but Paul does not end there. He uses a conjunction that is the most blessed conjunction in the New Testament. This conjunction is the word ‘but.’
Paul says, “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.” It is because of Christ that those who were far off, namely Gentiles, are now brought near to God. Christ has taken both Jews and Gentiles and combined them into one body called ‘The Church of God.’
This is good news to all those who are not Jews by nature. We can rejoice at the preaching of the gospel because we are now grafted into the promises.
Written by Hershel Lee Harvell Jr.