There seems to be a growing number of people studying the "Doctrines of Grace" again. Don't believe it, check out this Time magazine article included in the 2009 10 Ideas Changing the World Right Now - #3 The New Calvanism. Available to read here: http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1884779_1884782_1884760,00.html
It's been years since the church fully embraced these sacred truths once set forth by Calvin and Luther in the days of the Protestant Reformation. I am posting this, prompted by this article, Smelling the Tulip available here, http://junkerjorge1.blogspot.com/2009/03/smelling-tulip.html#comment-form
And, because of this comment posted by one of his readers,
"I am having a bit of trouble with this post, mainly because it suggests that we have no free will! What do you do with these verses??? John 3:16 "...WHOSOEVER believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." What about Romans 10:11? "...WHOSOEVER believeth on him shall not be ashamed." Romans 10:13? "For WHOSOEVER shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Isn't whosoever whosoever??? If you believe that God has chosen only "the elect" to be saved - I have some questions:1)how do you know you are one of the elect?2)What does that say about our free-will as mankind?3)Why then should you even bother to evangelize?It is really hard for me to believe that I am just a robot, that I have no choice in the matter whether I believe in Jesus or not, that God has chosen me and forced me to believe, but he is going to let my grandpa and grandma go to hell because He didn't pick them. I strongly believe that WHOSOEVER believes will be saved."
Here is my response:
I just wanted to say to Adam, I was right there with you brother!!! Been there, and felt that! When the Lord first began to reveal these truths to me in the Word, my flesh screamed out, "Wait a minute, but what about me???? I want to be in charge of this thing. It should be my choice! What about my children??!!??"
Well, I was in charge alright, bound to my flesh and to my true nature to sin. Without divine intervention, which some like to call irresistable grace, I was not looking for God, but praise be to our God and Father, He was looking for me!
How do we know we are truly the elect? Make no doubt, you will know. That is the true promise and seal of the Holy Spirit. Once he comes calling, and draws you unto the Father, you will never be the same again. And, if THAT has happened in your life, and you are indeed a "new creation" with the old having passed away (2 Corinthians 5:17), you can likely put to rest any worries you might have.
An old friend of our ours (in his late 70's) once told me, (I'm paraphrasing)... If you're really worried about it, you probably don't have anything to be worried about, but just in case, now would be a good time to get alone with your God.
Indeed, "whosoever will" may come, but we're all born "whosoever wont's" until the Lord with His precious Word and the work of the Holy Spirit reveals Himself to us through Christ.
Now, as for evangelism, God, acting fully within His Sovereignty, CHOSE that man would come - by hearing the Word, and having faith (Romans 10:17). A faith, by the way, which is a gift of God (Ephesians 2:4-9). It is through preaching, Titus 1:2-3, that the Lord has chosen to spread that Word.
Amazing how He has chosen to use simple, fallible, mistake making, frail human beings to complete such an amazing task! (2 Corinthians 4:6-7; Ephesians 2:10)
Ahhh, "A Rose, by any other name, (in this case TULIP) smells just as sweet!! We like to call them, "The Doctrines Of Grace"!
Abiding in His grace,