PRYOR, OK —
Ryan W. Kepke
Adair Church of Christ
While God wills that all men be saved (1 Timothy 2:4), this is the statement of his ideal will. His ideal will and His conditional will are not the same, however. He created each one of us with free will, and our free will stands between these two. Mohammed gains converts by force. Jesus employs persuasive love—never compulsion. He invites, rather than using force: “Come unto me, …and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
The end of God’s grace is man’s eternal salvation, but only “few” will be saved at last because only few will so choose (Matthew 7:13–14). We therefore correctly conclude that God’s plan of grace is conditional, thereby excluding certain ones. Although millions believe the doctrine of “irresistible grace,” it is fatally false. Since Eve in Eden, all have had the power of choice when confronted with God’s will. Paul begged the Corinthians to “receive not the grace of God in vain” (2 Corinthians 6:1). Those once in the grace of God can fall therefrom (Galatians 5:4). The following passages summarize the bases of exclusion from God’s saving grace:
John 3:5: “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except one be born of water and the Spirit, he can-not enter into the kingdom of God!” Jesus excludes from God’s grace all who are not born of water and the Spirit.
John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life.” Jesus excludes all unbelievers.
Luke 13:3: “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all in like manner perish.” Jesus excludes all who refuse to repent of their sins.
Mathew 10:33: “But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father who is in heaven.” Jesus excludes all who do not confess their faith in Him.
Mark 16:16: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned.” Jesus excludes all who are not baptized in order to be saved.
Luke 9:23: “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” Jesus excludes all who will not live for Him daily.
God’s grace is conditional, depending upon the decisions we make, whether to obey or disobey Him (Matthew 7:21–23). Therefore, God’s grace is exclusive as well as inclusive.
Adair Church of Christ is located on Highway 69 (3 blocks south of the main traffic light) in Adair. Morning service is at 11 a.m. For free Bible course, call 918-253-4897 or e-mail AdairChurchofChrist@Yahoo
PRYOR, OK —
Ryan W. Kepke