Living in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, I am aware of the spirit of inclusiveness. Many homes and businesses proudly display signs of being inclusive of whatever you think you are or want to be. It is not uncommon for one to be standing in line at a popular ice cream store, behind a hairy, middle-aged man wearing a pink ballerina’s tutu. If one protests in public, to this type of queer behavior, the tolerant inclusiveness is immediately lost. The objection holder is verbally excoriated.
This deceptive mirage of inclusiveness is not shared by the Bible. The Bible is clear and forthright in its exclusive claims to being the Word of God. It is exclusive in its demand for perfect righteousness before a holy God. It judges all men to be unrighteous. All “in Adam” are excluded from life with God and an eternity in heaven (Rom 5:12–21; Eph 2:12).
Adam, the first man, was the federal head, representative of the human race. God attributed Adam’s original sin to all who were biologically in him (Rom 5:12–20). That is absolutely everyone, ever conceived in his or her mother’s womb (Ps 51:5). The one exception was Jesus Christ, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit (Mt 1:20), not by human seed from a biological father.
Jesus Himself claimed to be the exclusive way to God the Father (Jn 14:6). Luke affirmed this for the benefit of Christ’s church, when he wrote, “There is salvation in no one else (Acts 4:12).” Therefore, when Isaiah wrote, “For unto us, a child is born, a son is given…(Is 9:6),” and Paul wrote, “He saved us (Titus 3:5),” the “us” was not universal.
Salvation belongs to God (Ps 3:8; Jon 2:9; Rev 19:1). He is the sole Author of a man’s faith (Heb 12:2), but not all have faith (2 Thess 3:2). Still, it is not as though the Word of God has failed (Rom 9:6). Jesus came to save His people from their sins (Mt 1:21), and He declared, “It is finished (Jn 19:30),” just before He bowed His head and gave up His Spirit, on the cross of Calvary. God approved Jesus’ sacrificial work on the cross, having furnished proof to all men, by raising Him from the dead (Acts 17:31).
God approves those who are in Christ, by faith, for without faith in Christ, it is impossible to please God (Heb 11:6). God declares the guilty, “not guilty” because of the redemptive work of Jesus, in His perfect sinless life (Heb 4:15) and in His substitutionary death (Eph 5:25; 1 Pet 2:24). God’s people are justified by Christ’s blood (Rom 5:9), God’s grace (Rom 3:24), and the faith He gives to them (Rom 3:28; 5:1), when He gives them His Spirit, as a gift (Rom 5:5).
Unbelievers do not have the gift of the Spirit (Acts 2:38; 10:45; Heb 6:4), and if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him (Rom 8:9). This is the reason most people do not believe in Jesus, who said, “But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep (Jn 10:26).” Jesus calls, but they do not come. It is only those who have been appointed to eternal life who believe ( Jn 10:28; Acts 13:48) and follow Him (Jn 10:27).
Jesus calls His own “Little flock” (Lk 12:32), and Paul refers to the saved (Acts 2:47; 1 Cor 1:18; 2 Cor 2:15), as “a remnant according to God’s choice (Rom 11:5),” and Isaiah adds, “Though the number of the Sons of Israel be like the sand of the sea, it is the remnant that will be saved (Is 10:22; Rom 9:27).”
It is falsely taught that anyone, anywhere can be saved, by believing in Jesus. The truth is that, “No one can come to Me (Jesus), unless the Father, who sent Me, draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day (Jn 6:44).” It is falsely taught that God gave men free will to choose to let Jesus save them. The truth is that as many as received Jesus (Jn 1:12), did so, not by their own will, but by the will of God (Jn 1:13).
God wills all things that come to pass, and then, God works all things by His holy will (Eph 1:11). Thus, it is by His doing that one is in Christ Jesus…and another is not (Rom 9:13, 22–23; 1 Cor 1:30). Those who belong to Christ (1 Cor 3:23), were given to Jesus (Jn 6:37), before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4), when their names were written in the Lamb’s book of life (Rev 13:8; 17:8; 21:27).
Those who cannot come to Jesus Christ may or may not hear a Gospel preacher in their lifetime. Regardless, the Word of God will not profit them (Heb 4:2–4), and they will die in their trespasses and sins (Ezek 18:24). A day is appointed for their death (Heb 9:27), and with their condemned status (Jn 3:18), they are sentenced to eternal punishment in the lake of fire (Rev 20:14–15). They do not have ears to hear, because the Word did not open their ears that they might hear and believe the Word preached (Rom 10:17). They cannot see the Light of truth because it does not shine in their hearts (2 Cor 4:6). Many, who are not chosen nor effectually called, are blind guides leading the blind into the pit (Mt 15:14; 22:14).
In conclusion, those without faith are not pleasing to God (Heb 11:6). They do not have faith because it has not been given to them, as a gift of the Holy Spirit (Jn 7:29; Gal 3:22; 5:22; Phil 1:29). The Holy Spirit has not been sent by the Father and the Son (Jn 14:26; 15:26), into their hearts (Rom 5:5; 2 Cor 4:6), because the grace unto salvation was not for them, who are vessels of wrath prepared by God for destruction (Rom 9:22). Just as Esau was hated by God, before he was born (Rom 9:13), so those who do iniquity, apart from Christ (Jn 15:5), are hated by God and cannot come to Him (Ps 5:5; 11:5).
Simply put, the reprobate are not chosen by God for salvation. They were not ordained to eternal life. They have no grace from God, which means there will be no manifestation of faith in them, whether they hear the Word preached or not. God is calling His chosen people, not the reprobate, to Christ (Rom 8:30). He calls them with His Word preached. They hear and they believe because they belong to Christ, and they have the pledge of His eternal love living in them (Jer 31:3; 2 Cor 5:5).
Thus, the preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, like the apostle Paul, suffers for the sake of the elect, not the reprobate (2 Tim 2:10). The Bible makes no excuse for the exclusivity of the election and reprobation of God the Father, nor for the particular extent of the death of God’s only begotten Son, nor for the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the provision of grace, the reality of faith, nor for the salvation that is entirely by God’s will and work (Phil 2:13). You either believe this…or you do not. Either way, your position lines up, perfectly, with what is written in the Bible — God’s exclusive revelation of Himself and His salvation, which is exclusively for His chosen people, who all come to Him, by His exclusive and irresistible grace.
Spokane Valley, Washington
October 20, 2022