Not Chosen To Salvation
By Dr. Max D. Younce, Pastor
HERITAGE BAPTIST BIBLE CHURCH
P.O. Box 573| Walnut Grove, MN 56180 | Telephone (507) 859-2519
CHAPTER ONE (continued)
“Salute Rufus chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine.”
Very simply, many times when the word “chosen” is used, it is “chosen in the Lord” for service. God chooses us to serve because of our faithfulness. He wants us to serve Him and, in the context here, Paul is saluting those who have been faithful to serve the Lord. Therefore we find out here that Paul does not “salute Rufus chosen by the Lord, and his mother and mine.” Notice, if this portion of Scripture would be referring to salvation it would then read, “chosen by the Lord.” But Paul is commenting upon them here with regard to their faithfulness to Christ. In verse 6 he says:
“Greet many, who bestowed much labor on us.”
And in verse 7:
“Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellow prisoners (they were also in prison), who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.”
They were saved prior to Paul. You will find these commendations all through this chapter, as in verse 3:
“Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my helpers in Christ Jesus: who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.”
He comes on down, greeting each one and makes a statement here in verse 13:
“Salute Rufus chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine.”
As this verse agrees with other Scriptures, I believe Paul is commending them for their service, not concerning their salvation. I do not see him speaking about anyone’s salvation, but complimenting them on their faithfulness after they are saved. I do not know how one could draw any other conclusion than “chosen in the Lord” for service. Rufus was faithful and the Bible does not say, “chosen by the Lord.” This agrees with all other Scripture concerning the free will of man in choosing to serve Christ or not to serve Christ.
“And not that only, but who was also chosen of the churches to travel with us with this grace, which is administered by us to the glory of the same Lord, and declaration of your ready mind.”
2nd Corinthians 8:19
When we back up we find out that Paul was writing to the Corinthians and you will see in verse 16 that the churches chose one to travel as they would support him as a missionary to represent Christ. God did not choose anyone here for salvation. It is hard to believe that this verse is used as a reference in support of election to salvation.
Notice verse 16, if you will:
“But thanks be to God, which put the same earnest care into the heart of Titus for you.”
In other words, God had directed His love into Titus for those in Corinth.
“For indeed he accepted the exhortation; but being more forward, of his own accord he went unto you.”
Verse 17 tells us that Titus also had a desire of his own. Verses 18 and 19 continue:
“And we have sent with him the brother, whose praise is in the gospel throughout all the churches;
And not that only, but who was also chosen of the churches to travel with us with this grace…”
Here we find the churches had chosen a brother to travel with Paul. God had nothing to do here with choosing anyone for salvation. It is hard to understand why one would use this verse to support election to salvation. In fact, the Greek word for “chosen” in 2nd Corinthians 8:19 is a different Greek word than is usually used for “chosen.” It is Greek word “cheirotoneo.” It is a combination of two words. It means to be “hand reacher” or “voter by the raising of the hand.” Literally, it means to “select or appoint.” So he was selected or appointed by a vote in order to represent the churches and to be sent out by the churches. How in the world anyone could use this as a leverage verse to support election to salvation is beyond me! This is the extreme to which men will go with the Bible in order to prove a man-made doctrine.
“No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this file; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”
2nd Timothy 2:4
The verse, itself, is self-explanatory. Paul is simply writing to young Timothy to encourage him to be a good soldier. God has chosen him to be a soldier. It does not say He had chosen him to salvation! In fact, you cannot be a soldier for Christ until you have already received Christ as your personal Saviour. The Bible tells us in John 1:12:
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.”
Here, writing to young Timothy, he simply states that he “hath chosen him to be a soldier,” not to be a Christian as he was already saved. To take 2nd Timothy 2:4 as leverage to convince someone that God has either chosen you to be saved or rejected you and ordained you to be lost is absolutely erroneous! Again, the Greek word for “chosen” is a different Greek word than is usually used. It is “stratologeo,” and according to my Lexicon it literally means “to gather as a warrior.” It is to enlist one into the army, or choose one to be a soldier. It has nothing to do with choosing one for salvation.
We now go to John, chapter 17. In his book Mr. Nettleton quotes portions of John 17:2, 6, 9, 11, 12 and 24. The portions that contain the statements “as many as thou hast given him” or “them which thou hast given me” he uses to endorse his position of election to salvation. Then in his book on page 27, his conclusion after quoting portions of each of the foregoing Scriptures is:
“Christ is the Father’s love gift to us. We are the Father’s love gift to Christ. ‘As many as thou hast given me.’ That speaks seven times over of a special, limited group given by the Father to Christ. He planned it and is executing that plan. It is beyond our comprehension, but precious to believe.”
Nettleton’s position is that only those are going to be saved whom the Father chooses or elects to give to Christ. Of course, the only problem with this interpretation is--it contradicts other portions of God’s Word. For example--in the same Gospel, John, we would have a contradiction if we held to this interpretation. In John 3:17 we are told:
“For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”
How many is the world? That is everyone as it is the Father’s will that no one should perish. He sent Christ into the world that through Him the world might be saved. Again, in John 3:16:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Nettleton’s interpretation of the verses in John 17 contradicts other portion’s of God’s word and, of course, God cannot contradict Himself! As the Bible says:
“…Let God be true, but every man a liar…”
Now, concerning the points that Mr. Nettleton stressed in John 17 regarding his position on election. We shall return to the Gospel of John to get the proper interpretation of the Father giving those chosen to Christ.
“All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”
When we go to John 6:44 and 45 we find out who the Father gives:
“No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him…” (44)
So the ones the Father gives are the ones the Father draws, and how does He draw them? The answer is found in John 6:45:
“It is written in the prophets, and they shall all be taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.”
So the Father draws them by the Word of God--the Word that testifies of the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord. Now they cannot come unless they have heard and we are told in Romans 10:17:
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
As we go to John 12:32 we find out how God draws those He is going to give to Christ. He draws them by the cross. Let us read John 12:32:
“And I, I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.”
This is not all men without exception, because not all men are going to be saved, but rather all men without distinction as to race, creed, color, environment, or circumstances.
When you allow Scripture to interpret Scripture, you get a correct interpretation. But when man takes ones Scripture and does his own interpreting, you come up with a philosophy that makes God out to be a liar. It makes God appear to contradict Himself and you find you have a false doctrine. This is exactly what the pseudo-doctrine of election to salvation does. God is “…not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” God would not contradict Himself in the same Gospel. In John 3:17 He states:
“…but that the world through Him might be saved.”
And in John 3:18:
“He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already…”
God is not willing that any in the world should be lost or God would not have said:
“For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world…”
…because the world was already condemned,
“…but that the world through him might be saved.”
It is God’s will--because He loves the world--to see every individual saved. But only those who exercise their own free will and right in accepting Christ as Saviour will be the ones that the Father presents to the Son. Therefore He draws them by way of the cross. All that respond to the conviction and drawing of the Holy Spirit through the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, believing in Jesus Christ--will the Father give to the Son as His love gift. Remember, it is your choice--your free will to make that decision!
“And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.”
This verse is used by Mr. Nettleton in his book on page 28. We would like to quote Mr. Nettleton who goes in great lengths into Greek about the word “ordained.” He takes the root which is “tasso” and gives the meaning as “to appoint, arrange, order, ordain or decree.” Then he gives the way that the word is used in the New Testament. Now, we have no quarrel with that, whatsoever, and adhere to the definition of the word as being given correctly.
But you will find in a careful study that the translation of the wording of this verse is not properly worded. Let us quote the verse again as the King James translation records it:
“…And as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.”
But if this is the correct order and the wording is correct in the King James Version, then we definitely have a contradiction with other portions of Scripture. But you will find, for example, in 1st John 4:14:
“And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.”
He could not be the Saviour of the world if He ordained only some to believe.
“For therefore we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.”
1st Timothy 4:10
He is the Saviour of all men, but that is put into reality only to those who will believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.
“And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.”
Here the world is included again.
You will find that the Greek word for “ordained” is “tasso.” It is an idiom which means “a commonly used expression meaning to be classified as those possessing eternal life.” Of course, it is the same word translated as “determined” in Acts 15:2 and we find out in “Vine’s Expository Words on the Greek New Testament,” page 68, paragraph 5, along with other translations, that the verse would be properly worded, “as many as believed, were ordained unto eternal life.” Or “…as many as believed were then appointed unto eternal life.” This would be the correct translation as it agrees with every other Scripture God uses concerning eternal life.
“He that is of God heareth God’s words; ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.”
In examining the reasoning of the exponents of election concerning this verse, they assert that because the ones spoken of were “not of God”--that is, not chosen by God to believe--they could not hear God’s Word. In other words, it was impossible for them to believe because they were not elected of God to be saved.
Let us examine John 8. Jesus went into the temple in verse 2 and did not leave the temple until verse 59. This is important to recognize as we find in verse 3 He is addressing the scribes and the Pharisees:
“And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery…”
It is important to recognize that He is addressing the scribes and the Pharisees. These are the self-righteous hypocrites, their character being completely exposed in Matthew 23. Christ revealed to them that He was God in human flesh, their Messiah. Let us notice John 8:24:
“I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.”
If they rejected Him as Saviour they would; therefore, “die in their sins.” Then Christ stated in verse 45:
“And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.”
The reason they “believed not” was that they wanted to justify themselves. We find this substantiated in Luke 16:14,15 where we read:
“And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him (Christ).
And he said unto them, ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but god knoweth your hearts.”
God did not infringe upon their free will. They refused to believe because they were self-righteous and would continue to justify themselves before men. In other words, they were too righteous to need a Saviour. We might also point out that it would have been purposeless for Christ to walk to or waist any time with them if they were already elected to be lost. God’s will is still that:
“All men should honor the Son (Christ), even as they honor the Father.”
All one has to do to find the proper interpretation of John 8:47 is to read the entire eighth chapter of John. Again, may I emphasize the reason they “believed not” was because they wanted to justify themselves. This was their choice, their free will and the reason behind rejecting Christ. No, God did not elect them to be lost and it is false to say it was impossible for them to believe. God gave them the choice as His will is stated in John 5:23:
“That all men should honor the Son…”
They chose to reject God’s will by their own free will.
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Dr. Max D. Younce, Pastor
HERITAGE BAPTIST BIBLE CHURCH
P.O. Box 573
Walnut Grove, MN 56180
Telephone (507) 859-2519
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