Today’s Million Dollar Question:
Are we chosen for salvation or do we choose it?
In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will… Eph. 1:5
No one comes to the Father unless I draw Him… John 6:44
AND IT SHALL BE THAT EVERYONE WHO CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.’ Acts 2:21
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16
Food for Thought:
Are you ready for more Hebrew perspective? Theologians have been debating this for a few centuries (Calvinism vs. Arminianism), but guess what? They’ve both missed the whole point.
The problem is with the word “chosen.” Hardly anybody understands what that word means these days, but it goes back all the way to Abraham. Through Abraham, (and eventually his physical offspring, Israel), God used a natural world picture to demonstrate a spiritual world truth.
Natural world: Abraham was the start of a “chosen” lineage of people who would bring forth the seed of the Messiah to become a blessing to “all families of the earth.” (unilateral Abrahamic Covenant–God was the only one who had to sign it to make it valid). This was fulfilled through physical descendants all the way from Abraham to Jesus, the Messiah.
Spiritual world: Everything in the natural world (OT) was portrayed to be a picture of a spiritual world truth/teaching.
However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. 1 Cor. 15:46
Paul teaches that a true Jew and a true Israelite, under the New Covenant, are no longer about a physical lineage, but a spiritual lineage of offspring that would fulfill the Abrahamic Covenant in the spiritual realm, bringing to fruition the spiritual seed of Messiah (Romans 2:28-29; Gal. 3:6-8).
The “chosen” are not ALL Christians, but are the ones we discussed yesterday who are faithful/obedient believers (Joshua and Calebs) who are considered overcomers (Revelation makes all kinds of promises about overcomers ruling and reigning with Christ. Clearly, not all Christians are overcomer stock).
“For many are called (believers), but few are chosen (overcomers).” Matt. 22:14
You can also see this principle in the fact that Jesus “chose” 12 disciples to help Him with His work on earth. There were many others who believed, but only a few were chosen for the special work, representing the “chosen” concept for the future Kingdom.
So, the “chosen” are now a spiritual lineage of people to help Jesus with the harvest of His Kingdom. This word has caused great confusion in the masses, but should not be confused with “saved.” It is part of the special reward for the faithful few (Heb. 11 type believers), including those who will reign with Jesus in the soon coming Millennial Kingdom.
I will say that this concept can be hard to pin down without the proper understanding of the Mosaic Covenant and without doing some proper study because several words in the popular English Bible versions have been changed by people who not understand the concept (studyable in the Greek online concordance). But some key concepts that often accompany the chosen verbage in Paul’s and John’s writings are “inheritance, reward, reigning with Christ as kings and priests in the 1,000 year Kingdom).
I hope you’re not too confused, but as we address some of these biblical misconceptions, a new world of understanding opens up for God’s plan for the coming ages (before “everlasting life” sets in). There is actually a lot more to it than what we once thought!
I didn’t exactly answer the question, but I believe that Jesus draws everyone for salvation “in their season” (I Cor. 15:22-23), and each person must respond to that “drawing.” However, we become one of His “chosen” (special forces) by a life of faithful obedience and belief, in response to the work of the Spirit in our lives.