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By Curtis Pugh

While seldom preached any longer, the following verse is still in the Bible: “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,” (Acts 13:48). This verse refutes both those who think that individuals can be saved without personal faith in Christ and those who think that self-made faith is all that is involved in salvation.

The issue is this: who is given eternal life? Stated another way, who is born again? Many today seem to think that Jesus' statement, “Ye must be born again” (John 3:7) is a command and not a statement as to what God must do to and for the sinner in order for him to be saved. The fact is that there is not a single verse in the Bible that tells you what you can or must do in order to be born again!

The first verse quoted above does not say that believing causes a person to be ordained to eternal life. Faith is not the cause of life! Rather faith is evidence of life. John the apostle's words are: “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life,” (1 John 5:12). John the Baptist's words are: “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him,” (John 3:36). Believing on the Son (Jesus) does not cause life, but is a result of life and evidence of it.

If an individual wants to know whether or not he or she was “ordained to eternal life” they need only examine themselves. Have they savingly believed on the Lord Jesus Christ? Do they have the Son? Have they believe the Son? No man can somehow go back to that time prior to the creation of the world and see what names God wrote there. The Bible is clear. Some names were written then and some were not. Revelation 17:8 speaks of a time when “...they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world.” These shall be deceived by the devil and his crowd in the latter days of this present world.

“Why write about such things?” someone asks. Perhaps a better question would be “Why did God reveal such things in the Bible?” Is not the answer that men might know that He is sovereign: that He is in control of all things? And that He has a plan and the ability to carry out that plan? Should this not cause men to fall upon their unworthy faces before Him and cry out “God be merciful to me a sinner?” Should not these revelations of God's sovereignty cause men to fear Him and seek Him? Should not sinners seek after God and His grace and favor?

Grace Bible Baptist Church
26080 Wax Road
Denham Springs, LA 70726

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