Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Doctrine of Election Is Our Only Hope in Evangelism

"Then the Lord spoke to Paul during the night in a vision, "Don't be afraid. Continue to speak of Me, and don't go quiet; for I am with you, and no one will be able to stop you or harm you, for I have many people in this city" (Acts 18:9-10)

Paul is in Corinth, a magnificent Grecian city known for its wealth. The Corinthians loved their luxuries, and were renowned for their 'anything goes' lifestyles.  Paul seems to have been the first person to tell the Corinthians about Jesus. The response to Paul's message seemed favorable at first,  but it wasn't long before Paul became the target of violent opposition. He appears to have become greatly discouraged by the Jews hatred and the Gentiles' vice; both of which he was seemingly unable to effect. He was almost ready to give up his evangelism efforts and move to another city.

Then God, who brings comfort in times of discouragement, appeared to Paul in a vision, and promised that though the days were dark and discouraging, his evangelism in Corinth would be met with stunning success. God told him,
"I have many people in this city!"
Encouraged by these words, Paul continued in Corinth another year and six months, at the end of which a large and flourishing group of people called themselves followers of Jesus Christ.

In what sense did God have 'many people' in Corinth? When God said this to Paul, very few people had actually embraced faith in Christ. Most Corinthians were still addicted to their pleasurable vices and could not care less about God or repentance of their sins. But God had many people in that city whose names were 'written in the book of life,' whom He had purposed to make 'trophies of grace,' whom He had given to Christ to redeem, and whom He'd predestined to become His children.

But if God gave these 'many people' in Corinth to Christ to save and He had already predestined them to eternal life, why was it necessary for Paul to stay in Corinth and preach the gospel? Will not those whom God has chosen to salvation be saved?

The reason God gave for Paul staying in Corinth and continuing in evangelism was that He had 'many people.' God's declaration became Paul's chief source of encouragement to stay. Paul knew the Corinthians were 'dead in their sins.' He understood that he had no power to change their lives. He realized they would perish in their sins unless God intervened in their lives.

It was incredibly cheerful news to Paul when he heard God say, "I have many people in Corinth." These words energized and sustained the Apostle. He kept going, not only in Corinth, but in other places of ministry where he faced similar discouragements. "I endure all things," he would later write, "for the elect's sake" (II Timothy 2:10). The fact that God has chosen 'many people' is our only hope in evangelism and missions.

It is a mistake for anyone to consider the doctrine of election a discouragement. God intends election to be the ground of hope to all who share the good news. Declaring the gospel is the appointed means through which God saves His people. He will send the gospel to those He intends to save, and since God had 'many people' in Corinth, He sent Paul to that city and both sustained him and encouraged him with the promise of election.

Wherever God in His providence causes His gospel to be faithfully preached, we have reason to believe He has there a chosen people. His Word will not return void, but will accomplish that which He pleases. And what is God's purpose in sending Paul to Corinth, or any other evangelist to preach the good news? "To open their eyes, and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive the forgiveness of sins and the inheritance of all those whom He has set aside for deliverance." (Acts 26:18)

God has many people in this world. Let this thought encourage us. Let us be steadfast, immoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that our labor is not in vain.

Post Adapted from a Sermon by:
Dr. Bennet Tyler (1753-1858)
President, Dartmouth College


Beth Duncan said...

I am not a Calvinist, but have become more interested in the Doctrines of Grace lately. This post is a perfect answer to those who claim there is no reason for Calvinists to evangelize!

Christiane said...

there are two viewpoints that I get from those who are Calvinists . . .

one is that God is all-knowing and is the One Who makes the first move in extending help in the form of grace to those who receive it . . .
(a corollary of this is that some believe God offers this grace to all mankind;
another corollary of this is that when God chooses to offer grace to someone, that individual cannot resist the 'call' and is not capable of refusing said grace)

another viewpoint is that God pre-ordains who will be 'saved' and who will go to hell,
and there is no 'free will' involved on the part of any soul
(a corollary here is, of course, that Christ only died for those who were 'chosen' and not for the rest of mankind who before their birth were doomed to hell by God)

My question is this:
so Calvinists feel that God's position in eternity (all-knowing) also CONTROLS the outcome of events?
Or not?

an example: a mom buys a triple-decker ice-cream cone for her five-year old . . . she sees him run with it across a playground and from the angle the child is holding the cone, she knows ahead of time that the top portion is going to fall to the ground . . .

does her fore-knowledge cause the event when it happens?

Does God's role in fore-knowledge of events in time mean that He causes those events to occur,
or not?

sorry for length . . . still trying to sort out 'Calvinism' . . . still finding that I am confused by the variances in its thought systems

this post seems to say that there is no choice on the part of who is 'elected' . . . did I get that right?

Anonymous said...

If election is not true, then we are left hopelessly lost in our sins.

Bill M

Matt 28:18-20

Chris Riley said...

Wow! Good stuff. It should be required reading for every pastor to read something outside of the current historic era. What a great reflection on election!

Wade Burleson said...


It has always been my view that God's foreknowledge is never considered 'the cause' of evil, but rather, His foreknowledge considers the evil freely chosen by men, and will orchestrate all things (even evil actions) for the ultimate good of His people and the eternal glory of His name. He will judge the unrighteous with righteousness for THEIR actions, for anybody who attributes sin to God is a 'liar' (according to the Apostle John).

Unknown said...

Good article Wade

The will is not struggling in the sea in need of a lifesaver to grab on to. It is a dead corpse, floating face down in the water, in need of divine resuscitation back from death to life.

I don’t believe there’s even an element of human “free will” involved in accepting an “offer” or responding to “altar call.” Before regeneration, the will is in bondage. It cannot respond. It is God’s grace that unleashes the bound will so that it can be free to embrace Christ in faith; and when the Spirit frees the bound will, that will will inevitably embrace Christ in faith.

Men/Women don’t have a free will by which they can choose to come to Christ. They have a God who frees them to come to Christ, and once freed, they will. There is no “free will,” only a “freed will.”

7 reasons to preach the gospel

1) Because God has commanded it. The gospel is to preached to every creature (Mark 16:15)

2) Because we believe that God has ordained the means of bringing many sons to glory as well as the end.

3) Evangelism gives Calvinists the glorious opportunity to praise the God whom they believe unconditionally elected them to salvation

4) Evangelism gives us the opportunity to unburden our souls for the lost. We cannot be silent while souls around us are bound for hell. We believe the gospel ourselves and therefore we speak (2 Corinthians 4:13)

5) Evangelism gives us an opportunity to serve God.

6) Evangelism gives us an opportunity to bear reproach for the name of Christ. Paul witnessed to the gospel with much contention (1 Thessalonians 2:2).

7) The doctrine of predestination is the only grounds of evangelism. If God did not predestine folk out of their sins to be saved, then no one would be saved. The non-Calvinist says that if there were no faith, then there would be no predestination because the latter (which is God’s work) is totally and absolutely dependent on the former which is due ultimately to man’s decision. The Calvinist says that if there were no predestination, then there would be no faith because the latter (which is man’s responsibility) flows from the former. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17) and the word of God comes to sinners through gospel preachers (Romans 10;13-16).

pest control nj said...
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A. Amos Love said...


Seems, Jesus, has “elected,” predistined some,
To believe in “Free Will.”

And, Jesus, has given some, “Free Will,”
To choose, and believe in, “Election,” Predestination.

Anonymous said...

I would think that Romans 9:15-16 and John 1:12-13 would settle it for anyone, but obviously not.

Grace and peace

Bill again

Kristen said...

With regards to Romans 9, Arminians interpret it in terms of nations and their earthly destinies, not individuals and their salvation. Please note that Arminians are not against the idea of "election," and we believe that no one can come to God apart from God's drawing them. But we believe that God draws all people, that grace is resistible, and that God elects those He foreknows will respond to Him. The idea that God chooses not to draw some people, that He deliberately leaves them "dead" when He could revive them and they have no power to resist either way, is morally repugnant to Arminians.

Thus, the idea in Wade's opening post works just as well for Arminians and evangelism.

Aussie John said...


Thankfully the title says it all.

No one has to be a salesman selling a product,which is what much evangelism has become, but simply to offer the precious treasure of the Good News of the Gospel,with no strings attached, and continue to love the one we shared with.

The rest is in God's hands as His Holy Spirit works in the one we shared with.

Anonymous said...


What about the lost man in the Amazon who never hears the Gospel of Jesus Christ?


Kristen said...

Dave, before I answer that-- are you a Calvinist? If so, I believe that since this is a Calvinist blog and the opening post is from the Calvinist perspective, you should go first. What do you think happens to the lost man in the Amazon who never hears the gospel? Is he simply not elect? Why? Did God in the days of Paul decide only to elect people in the Roman Empire? Did He decide He just didn't care about the people He had created in the Amazon basin?

Wade Burleson said...


I have never called myself a 'Calvinist.' That means so much to so many people. In point of fact, I DESPISE the word "Calvinist." :)

Taint one!

I much prefer 'Christian' or follower of Christ, and if you wish to tag my theology, I always prefer 'Biblicist.'

Five things I would say about the person in the Amazon who never hears of Christ.

(1). Men and women are judged by their Creator based upon good works, or 'lack' of good works. Nobody will be judged unfairly or unrighteously by God. The idea that a human being, created in the image of God, is 'dead' spiritually seems to mean something to you that it doesn't mean in Scripture (for example, Paul in Ephesians who writes, 'But you were 'dead' IN your trespasses and sins'). Spiritually dead people are VERY ACTIVE - very, very active in doing things contrary to the character of desires within their Creator, the very image within them. The person in the Amazon who never hears of Christ is judged for his wrongdoing against his fellow man and his Creator - not because he didn't hear of Christ.

(2). The judgment of God is a prison sentence that is righteous, just and appropriate to the sins committed on earth. Therefore, 'hell' is not some sadomasochistic place of torture (Dante's version), but a righteous, personal place of isolation and confinement where the 'sinner' is kept separate from fellowship with either God or man. Since only God has 'immortality,' whether the wicked 'live forever' in the place of their confinement will be up to God. It seems Scripture indicates that there are varying degrees of rewards and punishments in hell - "I say to you people of Tyre and Sidon," Jesus said, "that it will be more tolerable 'in the judgment' for the people of Sodom and Gomorrah than it will be for you.' Therefore, it would seem that the person in the Amazon will experience a sentence commiserate with his wrongs done against his fellow man and His Creator - a sentence far more tolerable than a Hitler, Pol Pot, rapist, etc....

(3). For the righteous Judge of the universe to deliver anyone from the rightful sentence due their sins is mind-boggling to me, particularly since (a). God never forces anyone to sin, (b). God created 'man' upright (this one thing I do know! says Solomon), and (c). The fault of our sin lies at our feet, not God's.

(4). God has "many people" among the Amazon people. That's why we have missionaries there. But if He chooses to not take away the rightful, just and appropriate sentence of a sinner through the Person and work of His Son, "who are we to complain?" God will be praised both for His grace and His justice.

(5). The love of God for my soul is only ENHANCED when I think of GRACE, so if the incredible and immeasurable love of God for your soul seems DIMINISHED by what I'm saying, I don't think you understand (yet) what I'm attempting to say (it could by my inabilities, not yours). My point is this: God is love, and the doctrine of election only magnifies His unconditional, eternal love for His people.

Kristen said...

Thank you, Wade, for your perspective. As far as my use of the term "dead," I was merely using it as the other commentors so far have appeared to be using it ("they are not struggling in the water, but floating face down," etc), and this doesn't really reflect my view of the state of the unregenerated person-- because I believe they are able to accept or resist God's grace in drawing them towards Himself.

With regards to the rest-- I pretty much agree with you (I'm an annihilationist regarding Hell), particularly on the point that condemnation comes for sin, not for what we hear or believe. Belief (meaning trust in God and God's salvation) is how we open ourselves to receive mercy for our sins.

The place I differ with you is "If He chooses to not take away the sentence of a sinner. . . who are we to complain"? Abraham complained when it seemed to him God might be doing something less than righteous, and that was fine with God-- in fact, it looks like God expected him to do it. So I will complain if He Who said He is no respecter of persons and does not show favoritism, then appears (according to this doctrine) to be showing favoritism. In other words, He has no requirement (other than love) to offer to take away anyone's sin. But if He's going to take away one person's sin through Christ, then "no favoritism" requires Him to do the same for all. If grace is resistible-- then fine, those who resist will not be able to receive. But if resistance is impossible, then if one is saved, all must be saved-- or He is a respecter of persons.

Christiane said...

Thanks for that explanation, WADE.
I appreciate the help, and I am becoming more understanding that there are a lot of variances in how people view the different facets of Calvinism.
It's complicated!

there seems to be a 'continuum' between 'free will' and 'determinism' and people sign on to places on that line where it makes sense to them to do it
. . . for this reason, the term 'Calvinism' is not sufficient to locate a person's place on that line, so it helps if they are more specific in order to be correctly understood (my opinion)

my Church doesn't buy the 'God creates evil' thing either, but most certainly believes that good overcomes evil, and that God is the Author of all that is good

thanks again,
I do feel that I am trying to comprehend a very complicated subject (determinism versus freewill) and I do sincerely appreciate all help :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Kristen,

No I'm not a Calvanist, I'm a bible believing Christian. I believe that the lost man in the Amazon will spend eternity separated from God in hell. Just as any other "lost" soul
All scripture points to this, especially Romans 1 thru Romans 11.


Wade Burleson said...

"But if He's going to take away one person's sin through Christ, then "no favoritism" requires Him to do the same for all."


Thank you for your kind and articulate response.

Where I get confused with what you seem to be saying is in the area of 'God's obligation.'

"If He's going to do it to one, "no favoritism" requires Him to do it to all."

Where does the Bible ever say there is no 'favoritism' with God? Why did He choose the Jews and not the Babylonians? Why did He choose Jacob, and not Esau?

Listen to the words of Jesus in His first recorded sermon (Luke 4), when the people of His hometown requested that He perform the same miracles He did in Capernaum in Nazareth.

"But I say to you in truth, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the sky was shut up for three years and six months, when a great famine came over all the land; and yet Elijah was sent to none of them, but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” And all the people in the synagogue were filled with rage as they heard these things...

My confusion arises because it seems the Bible (and Jesus) teach the very opposite of 'no favoritism' requires Him to do the same for all.

If He chooses not to lift the righteous sentence of a sinner and issue a sentence of punishment that is commiserate to the crime, righteous in dispensation, and completely holy in remuneration, would not (and cannot) God be praised for His glorious justice? And, if He chooses to save many from (every tribe, race, kindred and tongue -- not just the Jews; for God is no 'respecter' of persons -- literally 'face'), would that not be an act to the praise of His grace?

I guess what I'm saying is I have no problem if a Judge chooses to dispense grace or display righteousness according to His will. Both sides of His character deserve grace, and I'm definitely worthy of His justice, but extremely grateful for His grace.

Wade Burleson said...

My last sentence above should say, .... "both sides of His character deserve praise."

Christiane said...

for me, what trumps the issue of 'favoritism' versus what is sometimes called 'common grace' is the event of the Incarnation.

The Incarnation is not examined theologically in Western Christianity in the same light that it is seen in Eastern Christianity

evangelicalism does not focus on the Incarnation as it relates to the a relationship of God to all mankind through Christ,
which, in eastern Christianity (Orthodox) is not the same thing as 'universalism' . . .

it might benefit evangelical people to pursue a greater in-depth study of the mystery of the Incarnation of Our Lord as the new Adam

Kristen said...

Wade, I believe that it's the earthly destinies of nations or cities, and God's plans for the earthly lives of individuals within them, that are what Jesus was talking about when He spoke of Elijah, Sidon, etc. However, after Peter had the vision of unclean beasts, and God had revealed to him that He was calling the Gentiles to Himself, Peter said, "God is no respecter of persons (otherwise translated, "God does not show favoritism)." In other words, when it comes to eternal salvation, we are all the same before God no matter what our destinies on earth.

As for the "not a Calvinist, but a Bible-believing Christian" thing-- I hope you can all agree that those who do not subscribe to all of the TULIP "Doctrines of Grace" can also be "Bible believing Christians." In short, there should be no implication made that because I identify as an Arminian when it comes to predestination, election and free will, I am therefore not a Bible-believing Christian. (Quite frankly, I also prefer just "Christian" over "Bible-believing Christian," because I believe my focus should be on trusting Christ more than on the Bible, because it's all to easy to get into spiritual pride about our interpretations of scripture). I don't mind identifying as an Arminian, because I am not therefore saying I follow Arminius rather than Christ. "Arminian" is simply a category that helps place where my beliefs fall with regards to particular doctrines, that's all.

Anonymous said...


I am a bible believing Christian. I didn't say that you were wrong, I just suggested some scripture.
How then do you reconcile Romans 9:11-15 ?


Kristen said...

Dan, I already answered that question. I believe the whole context of Romans 9 is the earthly destinies of nations, not individual eternal salvation. "Jacob I loved but Esau I hated" means "I chose the people of Jacob (Israel) not the people of Esau (Edom) to fulfill My plans." It doesn't mean God hated the man Esau. He didn't.

Wade Burleson said...


"I hope you can all agree that those who do not subscribe to all of the TULIP "Doctrines of Grace" can also be "Bible believing Christians."

Of course! I would hope that would go without saying. Any person who would say differently is not the kind of Jesus follower that I enjoy being around. :)

Anonymous said...


I've never heard that particular translation before. I still believe it would not conform to Romans 9:11 "that the purpose of God according to election might stand"

I do believe that God hated Esau, the bible tells us so, all for the Glory of God.

Good point.


Kristen said...

Wade-- thank you! Same here!

Dave, what if Esau had been your own brother, or that unnamed Amazon native had been your own son? Would you be wrong for loving someone made in the image of God, whom God (according to you) hates and consigns to darkness without hope?

If that's who you think God is-- if you yourself could easily be kinder and more loving than God-- then I want no part of such a God. The God I worship is good, not evil.

Anonymous said...


Obviously this "comments" is not a good way to discuss this but, when Samuel said "thus says The Lord of hosts" in 1Sam 15:2-3 and told King Saul what to do on the battle field, how do you "feel" about the women, infant, and nursing child mentioned there?
I just rely on this, in this case: Romans 11:33-36 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgements and His ways past finding out!
"For who has known the mind of The Lord?
Or who has become His counselor?
Or who has first given to Him
And it shall be repaid to Him?
For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever, Amen


Kristen said...


You're right; this is not a good way to discuss this. Going into the genocide passages in the Old Testament opens a whole other can of worms. Let's just agree to disagree.

Anonymous said...

If God chose to only save 1 person throughout the entire annuls of human history, He is still a kind, and loving God

Grace and peace

Bill -3times now

Romans 5:1

Anonymous said...

Wade said, "Men and women are judged by their Creator based upon good works, or 'lack' of good works."

True, we all will be "judged" for what we have done, good or bad. But nobody will be "saved" from their sins for their good works. I'm presuming that was the basis of this comment.

Wade also said, "But God had many people in that city whose names were written in the book of life whom he had purposed to make trophies of grace whom He had given to Christ to redeem, and whom He'd predestined to become His children."

Sorry for my slowness, but I still fail to understand why Paul or any other person would go to the trouble of entering other places to proclaim the Gospel if God was going to save or condemn the people whether the missionary went or stayed at home.

If I was Paul and God told me that "I've already saved the people in Corinth that I have determined are to live in heaven" my response would be, "Well, Lord, what in the world am I doing here?!"

In my estimation, dealing with the lofty and confounding proposition that God in His boundlessness can "1. know in advance what is going to happen and still somehow 2. NOT control the "free will"- decision of an individual to accept or reject Him" by concluding instead that God controls their decision is an effort to dumb-down God and to box Him within the realms of our ability to understand His nature given our limits as "the yet to be glorified" created.

Relating to the status of the spiritual security of those Amazonians who haven't heard, I believe they're in the same category as those living in the "pre-crucified Christ" ages; i.e., "their faithfulness would be considered unto righteousness." But I'm guessing that if they acknowledged through the testimony of the "creation" around them that there was a Creator to whom they owe their devotion and worship and decided to do that, they would be "saved from eternal damnation" but would not have an indwelling of God's Holy Spirit. They would be like the pre-Messiah "righteous", Abraham for instance, who did not have the indwelling of The Holy Spirit but were "saved" and considered "righteous".

My thoughts given with the recognition that others could be right and I could be wrong. I don't believe we will know for sure until we are glorified but then we probably will laugh at our earthly attempts to explain God. God is BIG!

Christiane said...

If we attempt to comprehend God's character from our own understanding, we will fail . . . but we can know much about God by looking at what we know about Christ.

take just two examples:

when Our Lord looked out on the crowds and felt compassion for them, rather than judgment, He noticed something about the results of their shepherdless existence:
'lost', 'helpless', 'confused', 'discouraged', 'weary', 'worn out', 'harassed', 'bewildered', 'wandering', 'scattered', 'fainting'

HE notices and understands, and
HE feels a great compassion for them

the second example: Our Lord looks out from the Cross and prays 'Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do'

from these two examples, I can know much about the God Who is not a 'duality' of wrath versus loving-kindness,
but Who is able to see beyond the presenting behaviors of our sins and look deeper into our fragile and broken state which MOVES HIM to compassion and forgiveness, a grace he seems ready to give freely to the broken, humble ones of the Earth.

The 'wrath',
there we learn about God's sense of justice when Our Lord encounters those who are proud and have distain for others 'beneath them' whom they have judged to be 'sinners unlike themselves'.
And we learn about God's sense of justice when we are told how Our Lord will confront 'the goats' who have cried 'Lord, Lord', but who have no hearts for those who suffer and needed their care and concern.
For the arrogant and the smug, and for those who prey on the weak, we do not see Our Lord finding in Himself the same compassion that He reserves for the humble.

We can know a lot about God,
because our greatest revelation of Him is in the Person of Christ Who came among us. No assumptions on our part that conflict with the Christ Who was revealed to us could possibly be accurate, no.

Rex Ray said...


I believe in some of your ‘five things’.

It’s been said about the steps ahead of a person is above his fellow man. But if he’s too far ahead, he becomes a martyr. I don’t know if this fits you or not.

Some add to John 3:16: “For God so loved the world so much, he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone [God chose] who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” (NLT)

I thought there was an agreement on your post some time ago that ONLY a lost person was “judged” on judgment day…that the sins of a saved person God “remembered no more”.

If Jesus did not die for all, was he a hypocrite when he said, “…How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but YOU wouldn’t let me.” (Matthew 23:37 Luke 23:37 NLT)

What will be pondered in Hell?

1. Why didn’t I believe in Jesus?
2. Why didn’t God choose me’?

Wade Burleson said...

Rex Ray,

I think what will be pondered in hell will be "Why did I live my life so selfishly, and why didn't I love God and love people?"

Just my opinion.

Kristen said...

Wade-- if they could ponder that in hell, then God's grace would still be on them, right? But if people in Hell are completely unregenerate, they would only curse God.

Personally, I don't know. I don't think the Bible gives us enough unambiguous details to be fully certain what happens after death and before the Resurrection.

Christiane, I like what you said very much. I think you're right-- it's important to remember that not only is Jesus God, but God is Jesus.

Anonymous said...

Kristen, what did you mean when you wrote, "Personally, I don't know. I don't think the Bible gives us enough unambiguous details to be fully certain what happens after death and before the Resurrection."??

It sounds like it could be interesting but I can't figure the angle.

Kristen said...

RRR, I simply meant that the NT says there will be a bodily Resurrection when Christ returns. What is the state of people who have died since Christ was raised, but before the final Resurrection? I think a number of different positions are possible. That's all I meant.

Anonymous said...


Thank you for taking the time to clarify your thoughts to me.

I have my own thoughts about it but they do not discount other alternatives being possible. I have always thought that those who are covered by the redemptive blood of Christ and who die prior to His return are in heaven in a spiritual state and will have a new, eternal, physical body, as Christ does, when He returns.

One of the primary sources that leads me to this conclusion is the description (1 Thessolonians 4:16) of Christ's return when it says that Christ will bring with Him those who have died in Christ and they will be raised first and then all of those believers living in the world at that time will meet them in the air and receive their eternal, resurrected bodies with them.

Another thing that leads me to this conclusion that I'm going to heaven in a spirit form until the Rapture is the model of Christ. He died and His Spirit was alive and active until His resurrection.

At the same time there is mention of some being resurrected at the time of the death of Christ in Matthew 27:52 which is a puzzler for me. I'm presuming that they were resurrected as Lazarus, with a temporal, carnal body that died again since there is reference to Christ being the "first" to be resurrected.

The exceptions that I'm aware of are Elijah, Enoch and perhaps Moses who Scripture gives reason to believe that they have received their eternal bodies but I'm not aware of any others.

I know you didn't ask my opinion but I'm intrigued by it all and love discussing it.

Anonymous said...

Calvinism just seems to be so fatalistic. Men, especially, are so fatalistic already that I hate to see it become an aspect of something God intends for us to do. But, I've been wrong before. Steve A in Hoptown

Mrs. Webfoot said...

Amen! Great post. God's word to the Apostle Paul have encouraged me on more than one occasion. Thank you.

Sopwith said...


William Tyndale:  "But as meny as receaved him to them he gave power to be the sonnes of God in yt they beleved on his name... ~ Apostle John

William Tyndale: "Verely verely I saye vnto you: He that heareth my wordes and beleveth on him that sent me hath everlastinge lyfe and shall not come into damnacion: but is scaped fro deth vnto lyfe." ~Jesus

William Tyndale: "For God so loveth the worlde yt he hath geven his only sonne that none that beleve in him shuld perisshe: but shuld have everlastinge lyfe." ~ Jesus