Monday, May 29, 2006

19. Those who are Rejected

.... At the end of Predestination Phase 1, God seems to evaluates man’s response to His efforts. Some of us will be accepted and called, and given to Jesus as we have just described; but others will be rejected at this point. Unless God repeats Phase 1 in their lives (Job 33:28-30), no further efforts on His part are shown towards them in the Scriptures. In other words they will remain vessels of wrath, which is man’s natural state (Eph 2:3).
.... It is evident first of all, that God truly did work in their lives at one time (see Rom 1:18-32); They did know the truth, for God has shown it to them: but they have responded by suppressing the truth in unrighteousness (vs 18-19). Instead of responding with humility (as in the case of those who were called), they have responded with an unbowed pride:

.... "because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools . . ."

(Rom 1:21-22)

.... Because they have suppressed the truth as described above, God will give up on them and give them over to uncleanness (Rom 1:24-26); and the wrath of God will be revealed from heaven against them (Rom 1:18-22).

... But if this is true, at what point does God draw the line, and give up on someone? "My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years" (Gen 6:6).
.... By His foreknowledge, God knows if a time will ever come in which a person will believe; and if that day could still come then God, by His own character, would probably be patient and hold out for it: "The dimly burning flax He will not quench" (Matt 12:20).
.... But if He knows that such a day will never come, He either cuts them off at the point when they should have fully know better (Rom 1:18-32), or else He leaves the invitation open throughout their lifetime, until the clock runs out on them (1 Cor 13:7).
But this, in turn, raises another question. Since God knows by His foreknowledge who will believe and who won’t, why even try in the case of those He knows will never believe?
.... According to the true principle of Proverbs 25:21-22, God will be glorified for making these efforts, and justified also, as He rightly condemns them in the judgment. Once again, this is His eternal purpose, that He be glorified on that Day (see Proverbs 16:4).
.... Finally, as we have noted, God may decide to work Predestination Phase 1 in their lives again a second time, and possibly even a third time (Job 33:28-30). Each times He does so it is another hope; but in the sense of two or three occasions, it also combines to confirm their condemnation if they refuse to believe each time (as in 2 Cor 13:1-2)
.... If God does work in their lives again, of course that would be a wonderful opportunity. But in fact, it is sufficient for each person to think back to the first occasion when God worked in their lives, and to finally repent and acknowledge Him, even after all these years (Ps 143:4-8).
... But what about Scriptural references to people like Pharaoh, who’s heart was hardened to disbelieve? (Rom 9:17-23); or false teachers, who are marked out for condemnation? (Jude 4). We will discuss them in the following section.


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