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Predestination is not the Gospel

March 27, 2008

(excerpt from a sermon on Romans 8:32) 

If God has already done the thing of infinite cost, if he’s already sent His Son to shed his blood and die for us so that we can be justified, then it is impossible—having purchased our redemption at such a cost, having already paid the full price—it is impossible that he will change his mind and not bring to completion our glorification.  It’s already paid for and he paid it while we were still enemies and now he has called us friends.  A Savior who shed his blood for his enemies does not break his promise to his friends.

Do you see then how important it is to keep the cross at the center of our theology?  We’ve been considering over the last few weeks the golden chain of verses 29 and 30.  Foreknowledge, Predestination, Calling, Justification and Glorification.  But now I want to warn you that there is a danger that faces you when you come to understand these great doctrines.  When the truth of predestination finally clicks for people, they get very excited about it, and that’s good.  But the danger is that you’ll let election and predestination displace the cross as the center of your theology.  When people neglect the cross and just talk all the time about the decrees of God, bad things happen.  Ironically, their assurance is actually undermined.  Perhaps you have read of some Calvinists who have agonized for years, fearing that they were not among the elect, fearing that they were rejected by God.  This kind of suffering comes from neglecting the cross and making everything about predestination.   If they would just go to the cross and quit trying to inquire into matters too wonderful for them, they could have full assurance.  Let us remember that predestination is not the gospel.  You are not called to believe in your predestination.  You are called to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved.  You are called to believe that Christ died for sins according to the Scriptures.  That’s the gospel.  All those who are appointed for salvation believe that gospel.  Don’t ever even ask the question, “Am I predestined?”  It’s the wrong question.  Just repent and believe the gospel.  If you do that, then the answer is yes, you are predestined.

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