What if?

A sovereign choice.

“What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, even us, whom He called, not from the Jews only, but from among the Gentiles.” (Romans 9:22-24)

Well, He certainly could have. He is God Almighty who formed us in our mothers womb. (Psalm 139:13) He saw our unformed substance and the days of our life were written in His book before there was one. (Psalm 139:16) God creates according to His will. Our problem arises from an incomplete knowledge of His will.

We know for certain that God determines who will receive His mercy and compassion. (Exodus 33:19) “He called” Abraham and made him everlasting promises. He then chose to pass those promises on to Isaac even though Abraham had Ishmael and many other sons. (Genesis 25:1-6) God chose between the brothers, Jacob and Esau, before either were born. (Genesis 25:33) It was a sovereign choice and Jacob was “prepared beforehand for glory.”

We know for certain that the Potter has a right to shape the clay as He choses. The prophet Jeremiah is a perfect example of God’s sovereignty in the creation of man. “Now the word of the LORD came to me saying, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:4-5)  How is it that men are known “before” they are even in the womb? A mystery accepted by faith is better than guessing. He knew us!

From king David to the apostle Paul there are many examples of those God foreknew. “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to he image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;” (Romans 8:29) I have to ask. What did Our Creator know about us that predetermined our destiny?

He knew that when He called us we would come. He called us through the gospel. Like Abraham we believed Him. And because we did we were born again. Our faith could not have happened without first experiencing the grace of God’s revelation. But why not others? “They loved the darkness rather than the light, for their deeds were evil.”  (John 3:19) They would not come to Jesus. But why did we come?

No better than most and worse than some, we came to Christ because the Father sent us to Him. We came to Him because “He who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be shown as having been wrought in Christ.” (John 3:21) Unlike most, we asked God to work His will in us. So we came into His Light and began to discover what His will is. Unlike most, we did not retreat back into the darkness when our sin was exposed to Light. We stayed to abide in Him and practice the truth.

Nothing to brag about. He called, we came. God graciously revealed Himself and  we believed His revelation.  We are saved THROUGH Our FAITH. Salvation is the gift of God. We have no reason to boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9) He sent His Word, we heard Him and like Abraham, believed Him. (Romans 10:17)  Simple as that!

Now some would tell you differently.

They paint a picture of a capricious God who is partial in His dealings with man. They would even change the meaning of God’s words to suit their view of Him. By doing so they refuse to understand the power of the gospel. For them the condemned are destined to their fate and are without remedy. Self satisfied and without compassion, their view of God is the same.

Father, grant us a higher view. Jesus did not come to condemn the world, we were condemned already. All of us were vessels of wrath. He came to save, out of the world, all those who would believe in Him. They would become Your vessels of mercy. Help us to hold fast in faith and clearly preach Your word that says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) In Jesus’ name we pray.

Here I stand.