Chosen by God
Zechariah 2:10-12 Luke 2:25-32 Romans 11 2 Peter 3:9
The topic of predestination has caused confusion, argument and division among Christians down through the ages. To explain it simply, extreme Calvinism believes that God uses His Sovereignty to choose certain people for salvation, but not others who are therefore condemned to hell.
On the other side of this coin stands Arminianism, a liberal people who believe that salvation is for all since, “God so loved the world….”
I have no desire to become embroiled in an argument over this because I firmly believe that God is Sovereign in all matters, and I also believe the WHOLE Bible is inspired by Him. It is one story – His story.
Scripture shows us clearly that the Jewish people are His chosen nation. In Zechariah 2:10-12 we read:
“Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion, for behold, I come and I will dwell in your midst, declares the Lord.And many nations shall join themselves to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people. And I will dwell in your midst, and you shall know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you. And the Lord will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem.”
The Jewish people are chosen by election, and chosen for purpose. Many times they let God down and were punished, but always ‘the remnant’ remained. God’s purpose in choosing the Jewish people was twofold. Firstly it was His Sovereign will which we cannot argue against. Secondly, He chose them for purpose – to spread the good news of salvation throughout the world. Let us take a moment to reflect on the story of Simeon when Jesus was presented to him in the temple:
“..behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said:
“Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word; For my eyes have seen Your salvation which you have prepared before the face of all peoples A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.” ( Luke 2:25-32)
The whole plan and purpose of God is threaded through Scripture regarding His chosen ones and is clearly revealed in Romans 11. It is a chapter that shows us the immensity of God’s love, mercy and grace for this lost world. The Apostle Paul writes so beautifully, I would urge you to take a break here to read the whole chapter. It reveals God’s plan for both Jews and Gentiles.
Finally in 2 Peter 3:9 we read these precious words:
“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”
Since God’s thoughts are so much higher than ours it may be that some will still struggle to fully understand exactly what it means to be among His CHOSEN. However, the Bible is explicit when it comes to the offer of salvation to every repentant sinner, and, whenever I look upon our dear Lord dying in agony on the cross and I hear His words, “Father forgive them they know not what they do.” then I see the One and only God whose heart is SO big that in Jesus He CHOSE the world. Sadly, many in the world will never see this wonderful offer of salvation, but we who have become His people are commissioned by our Lord to share the good news and pray that many will turn to Him and come among His chosen as He waits patiently.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I thank You for sending your dearly beloved Son to die for me. In this moment I am so aware of the words of Isaiah in His prophesy when He said You were “Chosen by God and afflicted, a man of sorrows and acquainted by grief” and I fall on my knees, broken and grateful as I gaze upon Your sacrifice – love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all. Amen