Election At Salvation
by Pastor Jack Hyles (1926-2001)
(Loyal Pastor of First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana for over 42 years)
I Peter 1:2, "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through
sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of
Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied." Ephesians 1:3, "Blessed
be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who hath blessed us with all
spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ." Ephesians 1:11, "In Whom also
we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of
Him Who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will."
Let it be understood from the beginning of this chapter that the author is not endorsing hyper-Calvinism and other errors such as irresistible grace, limited atonement, etc. I believe that Christ died for all men and that one's eternal destiny is in his own hands and his choice for Heaven or Hell is made by his own will. This preface statement is made because it may appear otherwise as we are approaching our destination in this chapter.
It is true that saved people were elected from the beginning. 2nd Thessalonians 2:13, "But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth." In order to understand that, however, we must first define what was "the beginning." 2nd Timothy 1:9, "Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began." Ephesians 1:4, "According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love." So we are talking about "before the world began."
Then, the Scriptures teach that the believer should make sure of his own election. 2nd Peter 1:10, "Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall." We are admonished to make our own election sure. God does not make our election sure. That is up to man. God did not decide who would be elected. Man makes that decision.
Now notice Romans 8:29-30, "For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified."
1. God was able to elect the saved according to His foreknowledge. Knowing, because of His foreknowledge who would accept the Saviour, God then elected them to several things. This does not mean that He chose who would be saved--that some were chosen to Heaven and some were chosen to Hell. It was simply His foreknowledge that enabled Him to elect and because of His foreknowledge He did elect.
2. God knows no time. This is very important! It is hard for man to comprehend the absence of time, but God knows no time. A day with God is as a thousand years and a thousand years is as a day, so says the Scripture. To us Jesus was slain 2,000 years ago, but to God He was the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world. Revelation 13:8, "And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship Him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."
The Scriptures also teach us that we were chosen in Him before the foundation of the world. Ephesians 1:4, "According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love." Let it be stressed again that this is not God before the foundation of the world electing who would be saved. It is God, Who knows no time, before the foundation of the world knowing who would be saved and electing them to much more than just salvation. He looked down through His foreknowledge and saw me being saved. He did not elect me TO salvation. He elected me AT salvation.
When Moses was commissioned to go to Pharaoh to seek liberation for the people of God, he asked God what he should say to Pharaoh concerning Who sent him. God responded with the answer, "Tell Pharaoh that the I AM hath sent thee" (Exodus 3:13-14). God is a present-tense God.
In the mind of God it happened all at one time. Christ was the Lamb stain before the foundation of the world, I trusted Jesus before the foundation of the world, my name was written in Heaven before the foundation of the world, and Christ came in me to live before the foundation of the world. In the mind of God, it was all one transaction. That is extremely difficult for man, with his limitations, to understand.
Now this new nature that is in me is Christ in me. Colossians 1:27, "To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." Since this new nature is Christ, and Christ knows no time, then my new nature also knows no time. This means that in the mind of God I was crucified with Christ. Galatians 2:20, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me." How then would it be possible for one who is born again to lose his salvation when before the foundation of the world, God, Who knows no time, knew according to His foreknowledge that I would trust Him and settled the transaction in eternity!
This certainly also takes away one working for his salvation. In the mind of God I was a sinner, Christ died for my sins, I trusted Christ as my Saviour and was chosen before the foundation of the world before I ever did a deed-good or bad! My faith was counted for righteousness. Romans 4:5, "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness." Let 'it be really understood that all of this was predicated upon my acceptance of Christ as my Saviour and upon God's knowing that I would.
Notice now Romans 8:29, 30, "For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified." It says that whom God predestinated He called and justified. Both of these verbs are in the past tense. When God predestinated me, because His foreknowledge allowed Him to know that I would trust Him, at that time he called me. Bear in mind, God is not limited by time and at that time He justified me I was already declared righteous in the sight of God before the foundation of the world. In the mind of God Jesus had already died for me, He had already called me, I had already trusted Him, and He had already justified me in eternity. 'Tis true that no man can totally comprehend this, but all saved men can rejoice in it.
Then notice also it says, "Whom He justified, them He also glorified." The glorification of a Christian takes place at the rapture when he receives a body like that of Jesus. I John 3:2, "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is." Here in these verses God tells me that when He predestinated me because of His foreknowledge, He also called me, justified me, and praise His name, even glorified me! He set aside a glorified body for me before the foundation of the world simply because He knew that I would trust Him as a little lad almost 11 years old in August of 1937. He looked through His telescope of foreknowledge and saw me just outside the back door of the Fernwood Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, as a little barefoot, ghetto-bound boy receiving His Son as my Saviour, and when God looking through foreknowledge saw that, at the same time He saw Jesus dying for my sins, so He called me, justified me and glorified me. He went ahead and got my body ready that I'll need at the rapture, and in the mind of God I am already raptured, glorified and with Him. It Is just as good as being done!
Recently I was traveling with my good friend Dr. Russell Anderson. He was reading the Wall Street Journal, and the part that he was reading was not understandable to me. I asked him what it was. He said it was the futures market. After he explained it to me, suddenly it dawned on me-that's what God did for me. He invested in me and saved me in the futures market!
My mother used to say to me, "Son, I loved you before you were ever born. I had already planned the place for you to sleep. I had some clothes already prepared for you. I read books while I was pregnant hoping that it would affect your little mind. I prayed that God would make you a preacher, and I loved you before I ever set my eyes on you."
God in His wisdom, mercy, love and foreknowledge, looks at me today and says, "Jack, I loved you before you were ever born. Knowing that you would be born, I loved you before there was a world. I loved you in eternity with a mind of eternity Knowing that you were going to trust Me, I got ready for you. I went ahead and justified you, called you, even got your glorified body ready, and because I knew you would trust Me, I went ahead and wrote your name in Heaven in the Lamb's Book of Life. Now, Jack, you didn't know all of this, and it probably wouldn't have helped you if you had because you couldn't have understood it, and even now you can't fully comprehend it, but I just wanted you to know that My foreknowledge let Me enjoy your salvation a long time before you ever enjoyed it. Knowing what you were going to do made Me love you even more and even before."
What a salvation! What a Saviour! What a God! What assurance! What security! Praise the Lord! Glory to God! Hallelujah! Amen!
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"I am an old-fashioned preacher of the old-time religion, that has warmed this cold world's heart for two thousand years." óBilly SUNDAY