11. If the Mighty One does not judge us with mercy, woe unto all of us now born.
1. Remember that in previous times, our forefathers had helpers, prophets and righteous men.
2. And moreover, we were in our own land, and when we sinned, they interceded to our Creator. Since they were righteous men, the Mighty One heard them, and was merciful.
3. But now the prophets are dead, and those righteous have been gathered into Sheol. Therefore, we are removed from the land, and Zion has been devastated.
4. If therefore, we determine in our minds, we shall be restored to what we have lost, and even to better things.
5. For what we lost was corruptible, but what is to come to the righteous in the future is incorruptible.
6. I have likewise informed those in Babylon of the same things.
7. Continue to remind yourselves of these things because we still have freewill.1.
8. Moreover, the Most High is long-suffering towards us, and has shown us things of the future, and what will happen in the last days.
9. Therefore, before such future judgment comes, and truth reveals our sins, let us prepare our soul that we may become possessors of incorruptible things. In that way only do we have hope, and will not come to shame. Rather, we shall abide with our righteous forefathers, and not be tormented with our enemies.
Many have been confused about man's freewill, predestination, foreordination, etc.
"For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover, whom He did predestinate, them He also called: whom He called, them He also justified: whom He justified, them He also glorified."
II Peter 1:1-2
"...elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father."
"to the saints...having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will... in Whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all thing after the counsel of His own will."
Foreknowledge is knowing beforehand certain events that will happen. God knows, and has known all of history since the beginning. He is omniscience, and knows every detail of eternity. Foreknowledge is not causative. Just because God foreknows, does not mean the He causes them to happen. He has allowed mankind the free will to choose.
Predestination means to determine beforehand. God has predestinated certain events to occur in our lives, blessings, and good things (as mentioned in Romans 8:28). Those that He foreknows will accept Him, He works in their lives to bless and protect them from a devil who wants to harm and destroy.
The sovereignty of God is His supreme power and absolute dominion over all creation. Some teach that God chooses to save some, and damn others. As a child will choose some toys to keep and toss away others, they think God does this with sinful mankind.
Yet, the Bible tells us that God is "not willing that any should perish." II Peter 3:8
The Bible also says that "God so loved the WORLD" John 3:16
So if God were to choose to save some, no matter what their free will would say. He would choose to make all of the world choose to be saved. He does not make us robots to do only as made to do, no He has given us a free will so we can choose. He appreciates our love and worship - when He sees it coming from a willing heart. None of us want to come home to a mate that we wind up and it recites "I LOVE YOU!" No, we want a mate who can choose to love us, not a robotic recitation that would mean nothing.
The Doctrine of Election
God chooses to save us:
II Peter 3:8
"not will that any should perish."
"For God so loved the world."
God "is no respecter of persons")
The devil chooses to damn us:
II Peter 5:8
"as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour."
The vote is therefore one to one.
God gives us the tie breaking vote.
We can choose to serve God, and accept His mercy and grace, or we can be damned for our sins.
The Arminian position is too strong in salvation being in man's hands. Salvation by works is too strongly emphasized. Calvinism puts salvation in God's hands alone, and He alone chooses to save some, and damn others. The truth is in the middle. God chooses to save all sinners. All mankind has to do is to accept this offer of mercy. We are not saved by our own works. We are not saved because God predestinated us to be saved. Even the worst of mankind are loved of God. Yet, if the atoning work of Christ on the cross for us is ignored, and we choose to remain in our sins - we will be damned.
God's will can be resisted:
"And ye will not come to Me, that ye might have life."
"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them who are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chicks under her wings, and ye would not."
The Spirit strives with mankind:
"My Spirit will not always strive with man."
But mankind must receive:
I Thess. 1:6, 2:13; Col. 1:5-6; II Corinthians 6:1
"But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name."