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What You Need to Know About Predestination

The Line of Fire / Dr. Michael Brown
The Truth Network Radio
May 2, 2023 4:40 pm

What You Need to Know About Predestination

The Line of Fire / Dr. Michael Brown

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May 2, 2023 4:40 pm

The Line of Fire Radio Broadcast for 05/02/23.

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The following program is recorded content created by the Truth Network. You know, there's a lot of debate about what the Bible says when it comes to predestination.

I'm going to make it really simple and practical for you today. It's time for The Line of Fire with your host, biblical scholar and cultural commentator, Dr. Michael Brown, your voice for moral sanity and spiritual clarity. Call 866-34-TRUTH to get on the line of fire. And now, here's your host, Dr. Michael Brown. Are you ready to dig into the Word with me, not to have a debate, not to have a fight, but to get edified, built up by truth?

Michael Brown, welcome to The Line of Fire broadcast. We are coming your way daily, five days a week, Monday to Friday. One day we may dig into the Word and theology. Another day, talk about what's happening in the culture around us.

Another day, look at what God's doing in Israel among the Jewish people. Another day, just open the phones to take your questions. But our phone lines are open, and today I'm going to take calls on anything you want to talk to. It's great if you want to interact on the theological issues that we're going to discuss. That's great, and the phone lines are always open. And if you want to take issue and argue one side or another, great in the context of live radio and as we have opportunity.

It's not a full-blown debate, but love to do it. But you just have a question you've been wondering about, wanted to ask and think, wow, Dr. Brown might be able to help me with that, Bible theology, practical, spiritual life, how we relate to something in the culture. By all means, give me a call, 866-3-4-truth, 866-348-7884.

And greetings to all of our brand new listeners. If you want to know who we are, want to know more about my own story from LSD to PhD, want to know more about the three R's of our ministry, revival in the church, gospel-based moral and cultural revolution in society, and redemption in Israel, the best thing to do is to go to my website, askdrbrown.org, askdrbrown.org, and just sign up for the emails. We'll immediately send you a free mini e-book on how to pray for America. You'll find it very helpful and scripturally based.

But then we'll put you on our welcome tour, so share more of my personal testimony with you, share more about the three R's of our ministry and the resources that we have available to be a blessing and a help to you. All right, so I have done debates with my dear friend, Dr. James White. We have debated each other over the years on the subjects of election and predestination, and what does the Bible actually say about that? And today, rather than get into a debate or argue for one position versus another position, I want to be really practical. And it is not to avoid controversy. I live with controversy day and night. There's not a moment of my life that goes by where I'm not in the midst of controversy somewhere because of all the materials we have online and articles posted and books out there, etc. So I'm not trying to avoid controversy, nor am I trying to dance in the middle so I don't offend people on both sides.

You end up offending everybody when you do that, to be candid, right? Well, I don't want to pick a fight. Well, then who are you? Where do you stand? What do you believe?

All right, so I'll make plain what I do believe over the course of this broadcast. But what I want to do is help us as brothers and sisters, part of the same bigger family. If we're saved, if we're washed with the Messiah's blood, if we're God's children, we're going to be together forever. And if God is willing to accept you, who am I to refuse you? All right, if God is willing to accept me, who are you to refuse me? So what I want to help us do is recognize we have differences, we have different emphases, and there's some things we're going to divide.

Sorry, we have to draw a line here. But in many others, we divide needlessly. And Satan loves that. The devil loves it when he can get us divided because he knows the strength of our unity and the importance of our unity and what happens to him when we're divided.

A house divided cannot stand. Satan understands that. So my point is not to say don't have your beliefs. My point is not to say don't be convicted about certain things. My point is to say, well, let's look at it practically and find out what it actually means for today. And maybe we don't have to divide about this as much as we think.

All right, everybody with me? Okay, let me start with scripture starting in Romans, the eighth chapter, Romans chapter eight, as we talk about predestination. Romans eight, verse 28. Paul writes, we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him or other another textual tradition, and all things work for the good of those who love him who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his son, that he might be the first born among many brothers, or brothers and sisters, as someone translated. And those he predestined, he also called. And those he called, he also justified.

Those he justified, he also glorified. Now, here's how a Calvinist would read this, and I was a committee Calvinist from 77 to 82, roughly, so for a five-year period. And I have great respect for my Calvinist brothers and sisters, we have differences over things, I have great respect for former Calvinist leaders in past centuries, great missionaries, evangelists, pastors, teachers, et cetera. So, I'm not giving this position to bash it, I'm giving this position to say this is what a Calvinist says, this is how a Calvinist would read the text. So, those God foreknew, not that he knew something about, not that he knew in advance that you would be a believer, but rather that he foreknew meaning chose you out in advance.

Why? Only God knows. It had nothing to do, let's just be a Calvinist position here, it had nothing to do with us, but before time began, when God decided to create the universe, for reasons known only to him, and not because of anything we deserved, he chose this one, chose that one, passed by others, but chose this one, chose this one, chose this one, right? Those whom he foreknew, he predestined. Calvinists would speak of this as the golden chain of redemption. So, those he predestined, he basically said, all right, you will come to faith at a certain point, and you will serve me and you will be with me forever. So, those he foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the image of a son. What is God's great goal? We could all agree on this, to make us like his son Jesus. That is the great goal of God here, that he, Jesus, might be the firstborn among many brothers or brothers and sisters, and those he predestined, he also called, meaning he now said, I'm going to save you, and now he calls you to himself in salvation.

Many of us would say, boy, I don't know why I came to faith at a certain point, I can't explain it, God just drew me to himself. Those he called, he also justified. He pronounced you clean, righteous, in the sight of God, not guilty because of the blood of Jesus.

Those he justified, he also glorified. So, even though it is still future, it's still future tense, right, that this is something that will happen in the future, will be resurrected and glorified, in God's sight, it is as if it is already done, and then based on this, Paul comes with these words, who can bring any charges against God's people, if God's for us, who can be against us, what can separate us from God's love, so that's a Calvinist way of reading this. An Arminian way of reading this, so let's say Calvinists, you think Charles Spurge, an Arminian, you think John Wesley, okay, famous Christian leaders in the past, extraordinary men of God with amazing lives and impacts for the kingdom, they still speak to us to this day. So, a Wesleyan or Arminian view of reading this, we come at it differently.

Those he foreknew, meaning that he saw before eternity who would believe, right, so it's not that he knew something about us, but he foresaw these things, he foresaw these realities. So, those who would believe, this is now the general path that God puts us on. It doesn't say you can't walk away or fall away willingly, but this is the path, this from here to there. It's like you're going to get on a boat and this boat is going to take you across the Atlantic Ocean and you're going to go from London to New York, and that's the journey, that's the destiny.

Yeah, someone could theoretically jump off the boat if they wanted to, but this is the predestined plan. So, God sees those who will receive the offer of grace by faith. So, it's not by our works, it's all by grace, it's all by mercy. God foresees that and he now puts us on this path, calling us could be either calling us to himself in salvation or designating who we are in the Lord, calling us with a certain title. And then those he called, he justified, so brought us to forgiveness and cleansing. And those he justified, he also glorified, either meaning seeing in advance what our final destiny is or by being born again and filled with the Spirit that we have been glorified in that sense already, that the glory of the Lord is already living in us, Christ in you, the hope of glory. So, one way of reading this would say, before the foundation of the world and having nothing to do with your will whatsoever, God sovereignly chose you for salvation. Another view would say, God before the foundation of the world saw that you would receive his offer of grace because he chose to work with us and give us a choice, right? We can't save ourselves, but we can receive his grace. And this is the path that he puts us on from here to glory.

It's the general path, the general direction. Now, Ephesians chapter 1, Paul also writes this. Ephesians 1, look at what he writes here.

We'll start in verse 3. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus the Messiah, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Messiah and Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ in accordance with the pleasure of his will. And then we scroll down to verse 11, in him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will. So, a Calvinist way of reading that would be that, again, before the foundation of the world, God chooses you, you, you, you, me, this one, this one, this one.

Why? Only his grace. We're indebted to him and him alone. We can't say that we did anything to be saved, even said yes to him. It's all his grace.

It's all his work. He chose us before the foundation of the world to be in Jesus, right, and predestined us to be on this path. And God is working out his plan in the midst of the world. An Arminian way of reading this, or an alternative way of reading this, would be that before the foundation of the world, God predestined a people in his son. In other words, God predestined that he would have a people in his son who would willingly receive his love, love cannot be coerced, who would willingly receive his love, receive the free gift of grace, and what was predestined was not who, okay, you're in, you're out, okay, yes to you, skip you, no to you, yes to you. Not that, but rather that God predestined that he would have a people in his son.

And who are those people? All those who freely receive his grace. And for those in his son, this is the journey, salvation to glory. This is the predestined plan. And in the midst of the chaos and sin of this world, and people rebelling against the will of God, in the midst of that, God is still working out his purpose and his plan. He said, while those are very different views, how can it be that it's really simple? I'm going to make it really, really simple on the other side of the break and just tell you, if you understand this, it all makes sense and we don't have to divide over it.

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Here again is Dr. Michael Brown. A quick shout out to all of our new listeners on K-word, KWRD, 100.7 FM, all over the DFW area. I'm in a DFW airport all the time flying in and out, ministering in the DFW area constantly. Hopefully we'll be able to connect face to face one of these days. You can join me at one of the meetings where I'm speaking or we'll get some get togethers with our new listeners on K-word, but great to have you part of the network and we're able to expand. We have a major open door to another key city in America later this same month with the help of you, our supporters, so thank you, and with the help of TriVita, our co-sponsor. So check them out, 800-771-5584. Check out what's of interest to you, ask your questions, place your order, and 100% of your first order will go to help us reach new people through the Line of Fire. Sounds crazy, but that's the commitment that TriVita has to your wellness and to standing with the Line of Fire.

Again, online, trivita.com, use the code BROWN25. Okay, so let me talk to you really, really practically, alright? There is the old saying about this is the way it's going to be when you walk into eternity, right? That the front, you're wearing a shirt, right? And the front says, whosoever will, let him come, in the Old King James, whosoever will, let him come. That's the gospel invitation, is it not? Whoever, whether you're a Calvinist or a Minian, you preach to everyone, whoever you are, if you'll put your trust in Jesus, you'll be saved. You say, whoa, hang on, hang on. Doesn't the Calvinists believe that some are predestined to salvation, meaning that others are being passed by or predestined to wrath, and that God knows exactly who's going to be saved and who's not going to be saved?

Correct. But the Calvinists would say, we don't know, it's our job to preach the gospel to everyone and say, whoever will, let him come, right? And that's the message, say someone, that's on the front of the shirt, that's what you can see. And when they walk through the door into eternity, they'll see on the back of their shirt, chosen before the foundation of the world.

Alright, so, I tweeted this out the other day. When it comes to the biblical doctrine of predestination, I find these two truths to be self-evident. One, God is working out his predetermined plan. You cannot deny that God had a plan from before eternity and he's working it out in the midst of the world. Whether things look good or bad or up or down or whatever, he is working out his plan. If you're a believer, if you follow the scriptures, if you believe that Jesus is Lord, God is working out his plan. People may rebel and do what they're doing, there may be all kinds of evil taking place, but God is working out his plan in the midst of the earth.

He has a plan, he's working it out, he's getting himself a people. And, two, we are 100% responsible before God for our actions. In other words, no one can say to God, well, you predestined me.

You made me like this. I'm only sinning because you made me to sin. If someone would raise that argument, Paul counters in Romans 9, who are you to talk back to God? Who are you to charge God and accuse God? So, here's the bottom line, alright?

And again, I want to be really simple in this. If you are a staunch Calvinist and you are absolutely convinced that God has predestined a certain group of people to be saved and they will be saved no matter what, and there are other people who are lost who will be lost no matter what, do you still pray for their salvation? You say, yeah, absolutely, because God has established prayer as a means of that. Okay, fine. Do you believe it's important that you pray?

Oh, yeah, absolutely. If you just say, well, it doesn't matter, God's going to do what he does anyway, well, then you're not being true to your belief, because you also believe that the same God has ordained prayer as one of the means to help people come to faith. If you truly believe that whoever's lost is going to be lost, whoever's saved is going to be saved, in other words, whoever God has predestined to salvation will be saved and whoever he passed over will be lost, does that mean you don't preach the gospel? You say, oh, no, no, we still preach the gospel because God has ordained preaching the gospel as the means for doing it. So, you would still say it's important to pray, it's important to fast, it's important to walk in harmony with God, it's important to share the gospel, and you would say to me, that's why some of the greatest missionaries in world history have been Calvinists, in fact, that's what drove them to the ends of the earth, because they knew there was a people from every tongue and they had to go and bring that message. Now, some would say, well, if you're a Calvinist, you say God's going to save who he's going to save, I can just stay home and watch TV all day and God's going to save who he wants to save. Calvinists would say, no, God has ordained the preaching of the gospel to save the lost and it's our sacred duty. Okay, either way, we would all agree, we would all agree, whether Calvinism is true or not, that we have to preach the gospel to everyone, correct? We'd agree with that.

There's no argument on that subject. We would all agree that every one of us, we're Calvinist, Arminian, if we believe people need to hear the gospel to be saved, then it's our sacred obligation and responsibility to preach the gospel. Now, the Calvinists would say, I don't have to try to work anything up, I don't have to try to make it happen, I don't have to strive, I just do my job and I pray and I trust God for the results, right? And the Arminian would say, well yeah, I can't get someone born again by my fleshly efforts, I just know it's critically important that I preach the gospel, I feel a holy obligation that if they don't preach, they could be lost. Okay, but we all agree, we all agree whether God's predestined people or not, we still have to preach to the lost. What about our own salvation? What about our own salvation? Do we also agree when it comes to our own salvation that we cannot simply say, according to the Bible, well I'm saved so I just get in. I'm saved so I can just sit back and I still get in. Where is that written in the Bible? Now, you might argue that if someone falls away, they were not a true convert.

Great argument, we can discuss that. If someone falls away, then they were never truly saved. And if they continue to live and sin, you know, someone claims to be saved and they're a serial rapist and alcoholic and violent person and six months goes by and they're still doing exactly the same things and say, well I'm saved, doesn't matter. Well, obviously you can question whether they've ever been saved. We would all agree, even as saved people, that we still are responsible to do the will of God. We would all agree that God requires certain things of us and says those who practice certain things don't get in.

So, on a practical level, here's what I believe you need to know. You need to have confidence that God is at work, that God is the King, that Jesus is the Lord, that we're not like, oh no, oh no, it's all over, everything's falling apart. No, not as if Jesus is Lord. There may be bad things happening and terrible things happening and painful things happening and there may be real loss, there may be real grief, but we have this confidence God is God and He's working at His plan in the midst of the earth. And for me, the attitude I live with 24-7 is everything Satan means for evil, God can turn for good. And it may be tragic and painful and loss, but God can turn it for good. He can turn obstacles into opportunities.

He can turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones, right? Man's extremity is God's opportunity. We have these little quotes in Satan's birth are true. So, on the one hand, I have an absolute deep confidence that God is at work, right? On the other hand, I know that He's given us a responsibility. I know that He's called you and He's called me and we have a responsibility and we have to live a certain way in order to be called His children, part of His family. And if not, if we're living in open rebellion and say, I don't care what the Bible says, I don't care what Jesus says, well, then you can't call yourself one of His children, no matter how many little prayers you prayed in the past or anything like that.

So, bottom line to me, I don't need to, we don't know who's predestined or not anyway. Even if you're a Calvinist, God knows, right? If you're a Calvinist, you don't have to say God knows and we share the gospel, the good news with everyone the same way.

Some have said, pray like you're a Calvinist, that God is in control and work like you're an Armenian, you've got to go out and do the work. Either way we trust God, either way we know we have responsibility. I do not know why we have to divide over this, why it has to be a battleground, why we can't work together to win the lost and pray together for the lost to be saved and fellowship together. Can someone tell me why we should divide over this? Can someone tell me why that if we hold to these things in a consistent way, meaning that God does what He does, but we have responsibility, why this should be a point of division, separation? To me, we can learn from each other, we can sharpen each other, we can challenge each other's beliefs, but in the end, practically speaking, we still have to live the same way, trusting God and doing what He calls us to do, and I don't think I'm oversimplifying things. Alright, 866-348-7884, you can call the talk about predestination or any other subject you want to touch on.

Hey friends, this is Dr. Michael Brown. I want to invite you to join our support team, make an investment of $1 a day that will absolutely last forever. You know, the Lord has given us a holy mandate to blanket America with the Line of Fire broadcast, and on a regular basis, we hear from folks writing in, Dr. Brown, I used to be a practicing homosexual, I listened to, I heard grace and truth together, I was changed. We hear from pastors who say, thank you for speaking with compassion, but giving us backbone and courage, and we know across America, so many believers are getting healthy and strong through listening to the broadcast, through listening to these messages as we tackle the controversies, the most difficult issues of the day. We even hear from former Muslims who've come to faith, from Jewish people who now believe in Jesus, Yeshua the Messiah, through this broadcast and our resources.

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Click on Donate Monthly Support. It's the line of fire with your host, Dr. Michael Brown. Get on the line of fire by calling 866-34-TRUTH. Here again is Dr. Michael Brown. I saw this testimony on YouTube a couple of days ago. Dr. Brown, I want to thank you for your YouTube podcast. You're one of the first and still one of the only charismatic ministers I found online that I respect and believe speaks truth. I've had the Spirit of God moving my life through prophecy so many times in the last year I cannot even keep up.

I've had to start writing them all down. Your channel has helped me so much with understanding this and being able to hear the still small voice of God. I've had to jump out in faith though to see these workings of God as a lot of times I'll get a word and I'm faced with wondering who's going to think I'm a Looney Tune for saying this, but after saying it I received confirmation from God it was Him speaking through the Word to me or through me.

You know, I'm here to help navigate these kinds of issues. How does Word and Spirit, how do these things work together? How do grace and truth work together? How can we be unified in the body in the midst of our diversity without watering things down? I have often separated over life issues, practice issues, doctrinal issues where things were so deep and so grievous that we could not work side by side.

When do you separate and when do you say, hey, the issues, the larger issues are much more important than the smaller things? And I've unified and to this day worked with a wide range of different people. That's why people in different camps don't like me because I work with a wide range of different people on broader gospel issues and I go onto all kinds of platforms if I can get my message out.

All kinds of platforms. You know, George Whitefield, who was very hostile to the pope as were other Protestants and Evangelicals in centuries past and he said if the pope gave me his pope I'd preach from it, paraphrase his words. So, I go into all kinds of settings to share the gospel and some of the settings I agree with wholeheartedly, some less so, some I don't know at all, some I have differences with but if I can get the message out there I'll do it. And other times it's like, no, I won't work with you.

No, can't cross that line, what you're doing is dangerous. Let's negotiate these things together and let's talk together. In the end our differences may be deeper or we may find out that we both love Jesus, we both love the word, we have different perspectives. 866-348-7884.

I'll be getting to the phones momentarily. I just mentioned during the break the two books that we send out to our new torch bearers, our new monthly supporters, one of them is called Compassionate Father of Consuming Fire, Who is the God of the Old Testament? It's a beautiful little hardcover book that we send out and it is an updated version of the first book ever wrote which was 1985. And I wrote that book because my sister-in-law was going to a Bible school that was a strong faith school and she was learning a lot of good things but then they were teaching certain things about sickness, about healing, about Hebrew, the Hebrew says this and that.

And it struck her as odd so she would call me with her questions so I started writing out by hand, days before I got a typewriter and before computer, I started writing out by hand the answers to the questions and that turned into this book. And then I updated it so what I did is I took years of serious academic study of scripture and study of the Hebrew language and other things but packaged it in a way that was simple and clear. So say okay, you do believe in divine healing but what do you do with the book of Job? You do believe in divine healing but what about God smiting people in the Old Testament? What do we make of that? What about Paul's thorn? Just practical things like that to try to address them. How could there be a good God and call for the extermination of the Canaanites? Is that accurate?

Did he do that? So I unpacked those things so I think you'll find that helpful when you become a monthly supporter. It's one of the tools that we send out to you and then I've got a whole, it's probably over 20 hours of teaching on God the healer. You get access free to that class, many other classes that we have online so thank you for joining with us.

Again, go to AskDrBrown.org. Just click on donate monthly support and you will get in our support team. Make sure you look though at all the ways we pour back into you first before you join our team. Alright, let's go to Luke in Richmond, Virginia.

Welcome to the line of fire. Hey Dr. Brown, I really enjoy your show. Can you hear me okay?

Yeah I can, thanks. Okay good. You know, I think it's pretty simple as far as the predestination thing. People just don't understand, God stands outside of space-time. So he created space and time for us to be able to exist as our lower beings, slightly lower than the angels, and we don't comprehend the way that the prophets and the other Bible writers in the day, when they saw things like that when they were being revealed, they didn't quite understand God has many, many more dimensions than us, so since he sees the beginning from the end, he knows how everything is going to transpire. We don't have that ability to understand that, so I really don't think there's a disconnect at all. I think it's the lack of understanding that God is way beyond space-time.

Yeah, so Luke, it's really interesting. That's my perspective in terms of God inhabiting eternity. For example, Isaiah 57, 15 says that he inhabits eternity, so he does in that sense dwell outside of space-time. He works with us and relates to us within space and time, but he's eternal God, so space and time again, as far as that is to us, those are things he created. I'll use bad words here, there was a time before time, right? So, we can't really call it a time, but there was something before time existed. So, now a Calvinist would say yes, but once God starts interacting in history, once God moves here, now he's having his influence, an Arminian would say yes, but he's also giving us freedom to a certain point. So, he's choosing where he acts and when, but without overriding our freedom to say yes to him or no to him. Then a Calvinist would say, you know, how does he know everything before it happens? I give the same answer you do, he dwells in eternity. Many other people with a more philosophical way of thinking say no, but it has to unfold, so where they then come back and argue that there's mental knowledge, etc. So, I'm really simple about this.

I'm deeper in other areas, but philosophical thinking, I tend to be really simple as well. So, when God intervenes, he doesn't intervene in such a way as to take someone that was genuinely crying out to him and turn that person away, or to take someone who wanted nothing to do with him and kind of zap him and now they're just going to follow him. He still works with our wills. So, yeah, I see it the same way, Luke, I appreciate the call. All right, thanks Dr. Brown. Sure thing. 866-348-7884. Let's go over to Taylor in Virginia. Welcome to the line of fire. Hello, Dr. Brown, it's a great privilege to be speaking to you. Well, thank you.

Well, I'll just try to be as quick as I can with this. I didn't grow up in a house with any religion. There wasn't either a Bible nor any church influences other than my grandfather, who was a Catholic, and he was strict in his religion when he grew up with my dad and his siblings, and my dad ended up presenting, going to church, and so we ended up never getting involved or going with him when we were born. And so, I grew up, and I went to church about randomly, a couple times on my own, with a friend that sometimes was a girlfriend, or I was a friend of a friend, and I went about three times to church, three to five times to church by the time I got to college. And I sat in a truck when I was 28 years old, listening to the radio, because we always listen to talk radio, and I got the privilege to change the channel this time, and a sermon came on, and I didn't know who it was, I didn't know anybody, I didn't know anything about anybody, or about Jesus Christ, and our Lord, and I asked who this guy was, because something felt like something stuck, and I go, have you ever heard of Billy Graham before? And he goes, of course I have, you've never known a Billy Graham?

I said, no, I've never heard of him. I'm 28 years old, I'm 32 years old now, I already got baptized the year after that, and I've been studying the Bible, and to show me also really good examples, I have a twin brother, and every time I keep going into church, I can't stop being convicted by the Holy Spirit, and I tear up, and I didn't know where they were coming from, I didn't understand them, I'm like, I'm not hurt, I'm not that hurt, I feel something, but it just kept flowing, and I couldn't control them whatsoever, and I still can't for a day. And I, so, my brother could come in there and he would make fun of me and joke about it, saying, this is just, you know, I'll completely talk about, you know, just mock it, and, you know, it's like, it, you know, it bothered me that it doesn't, like, influence him as much from the beginning as it did with me, but I know everything takes time, and, you know, it's a journey for everyone, and not everyone has the same journey as they go on, but I felt like there was such a quick impact, and now my desire to spread the word of God, because I served at a lot of restaurants, and I'm sorry, I served at a lot of restaurants, about, like, 20 of them, and every single one of them, multiple people kept saying that they loved my voice, and I wanted to be someone with my voice, so I wanted to get into radio, or do comedy, or something like that, radio, or something, but, and then I ended up making a book full of jokes, so I could maybe, if I did stand up, and then I ended up slowly turning that into gospel, a sermon that I wanted to preach about, and now I find myself memorizing verses, so I prepare myself, I put myself in the battle, and...

Wonderful. Taylor, I love it, yeah, I love the way God has reached out in your life, and worked on your behalf, and brought you to Himself, and that hunger, that thirst, you keep cultivating it, man. You're gonna hit walls along the way, people disappoint you along the way, but think, hey, great, this is an opportunity for me to grow, this is an opportunity for me to become more like Jesus, this is an opportunity for me to become more of a man of God, and God will use you, a whole lot of people need the message that's in your heart, your life, you live it out, keep getting closer to the Lord, learning the word, major on the majors, keep the main thing the main thing, and share the gospel, and you will have great reward in Heaven.

Hey, thank you, Taylor, for sharing that. In fact, let me stop here for a moment and talk about personal testimony and the question of predestination. So, many of us, you say, hey, I don't, God just brought me to Himself, I can't even explain why I came, why I believed, I can't explain it, it's just, He did something, He brought me to Himself, it's like, He just like took over the next thing I believed, and you'd say it felt like predestination, in other words, it felt like He just picked me and chose me, and I don't even know why, and one day I didn't believe, the next day I believed. Right, so on the one hand, some of you would say, yeah, that's my experience, and it feels like predestination is true.

At the same time, we also know that we have responsibility, and that we're accountable to God, and that we can say yes or no, and that He requires certain things of us, and that we've had to conform our will by His grace to His, which then gives you the feeling of the other side, in other words, we can experience both, it feels like on the one hand God just chose man, on the other hand, I knew I had to respond, I knew I had to say yes, I knew God was dealing with me, so once again, it's both and, it's not either or, I'm just doing it on a practical basis, I can know God just grabs hold of people and saves them, and I also know they have decisions to make along the way, all right, we'll be right back. Have you had a setback from an injury, accident, or surgery that left you feeling weaker and a loss of strength, or are you feeling the effects of aging, and just don't feel like you have the stamina or energy you used to? Then MyoHealth might be an answer to your prayers, backed by 24 human clinical studies and over $20 million in government funded research, MyoHealth contains a perfect balance of all nine essential amino acids. With MyoHealth, you can rebuild your strength, improve your balance and mobility, have more energy while restoring your health and vitality, and start building new lean, stronger muscle in as little as 30 days. By combining MyoHealth with a healthy diet and regular exercise, you can feel stronger at any age, have more energy, and live a life with vitality. Put the power of MyoHealth to work for you. I started working out consistently for the first time in years, and I've lost 50 pounds, I've been lifting weights, I've been swimming, and then the muscle mass, that's what really surprises me, I can't believe at my age.

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Here again is Dr. Michael Brown. Welcome back to The Line of Fire. Thanks for joining us, 866-348-7884.

Let's go to our friend, Fail, in Greensboro, North Carolina. Welcome to The Line of Fire. Yes. Hi, Dr. Brown. Hey. Let me see.

Where do I start? First of all, I'm not going to say that I'm a Calvinist. I say I'm more like a Paulinist, like more of what Paul has established, but what I do want to say is that it doesn't have to be a decision between the Arminians and the Calvinists because the goal is to spread the Gospel, and we both agree that this is what God wants to do. But that, however, I truly believe that God has a plan for His world. He has a plan for His, I'm listening, I'm listening to the word H-I-S, Calvinist letters, His world. And I don't think God has to, at the time, at the time, say, well, let me see what Storm Storm's going to say, what Storm Storm's going to do. He has a plan. It's the same thing when He chose Mary to be Jesus' mother and the Holy Spirit to be His Father. The same thing when He chose North to repopulate the world.

He has already, He chose that He comes next to His sovereign. But one thing we have to remember is that God is full of mercy, God is full of grace, and God is full of justice. And some people are saved through God's divine mercy, some people are saved because of God's divine grace, and some people are saved, I mean, some people are not saved because of God's justice.

And I truly believe that. So I think, why would we say when it comes to salvation, God has to see what the person's going to say, and then He's saved, but all the other parts of God's plan, He just chose the people. Something as serious as a person's salvation, I don't think God's going to leave that up to them.

All right, so let me ask you a question. Did you have any say in the matter of your salvation? Did you have the ability to say no to the Lord? I did have the ability. I had the ability. I had the ability. But see, I like to go back to the word may and the word can, because if you go back to the scripture, the verse will always let you know, they use the word can, can means permission, can means you have the ability, yeah, you have the ability. But you're chosen.

Okay, so just ask this. Is it possible God chose Noah? Because he, it's not possible. It says that Noah was righteous, so God spoke to him, and it wasn't a random choice. He was the only one that God found righteous on the whole earth, and therefore he chose Noah. It wasn't arbitrary. It was based on how Noah was living, and Noah's faith, and therefore God chose him. I think Noah was righteous because God made him righteous from the beginning, as the young man said before, there are four times, so God made Noah righteous. I look at Pharaoh, and God used Pharaoh, and I like how you stated, you know, can we say to God, well God, you made me this way, and it goes back to Hebrew when the father said, you know, you can't say to the father, no, because he's the father. It's the same thing, Dr. Brown, suppose you're, Dr. Brown, suppose you're the father.

Let me just ask you a question, though. I mean, when it comes to Pharaoh, he says, he hardens his heart over and over and over and over and over before God does anything, you know, when you read the actual text. But let's go back to Genesis 6. Why was God grieved that human beings were so evil, whereas it was up to him to, he could have made everybody righteous if he wanted to. Why was he so evil? Let's look at the word evil in the Greek and the Hebrew, because sometimes we use that word evil not understanding what it meant in the Hebrew or the Greek. So it doesn't mean like God created evil, because God did not create evil.

No, no, but people are evil, but people are evil, and I know all the Hebrew and Greek words. Well, so. I know. Right, right, right. No, no, I understand that.

And look, we've had, we've chatted before, that's why I'm enjoying the dialogue here. But why, why was God grieved that human beings were so evil in Genesis 6, so much that he was going to wipe out the whole earth, but he found Noah righteous, why didn't God make more people righteous then? Why was he grieved if he could have chosen to make everybody righteous if he wanted to? Because God is God, and he chose to, he chose to do it that way. And why was he grieved then?

Why was he grieved? But my point is, there are some things we would never understand about God, because our minds are finite. And those things that God has revealed, those things that God has revealed, then we use them, and we are, and we, and we worship them. But those things that God has not revealed, then we leave them alone.

So going back to your question, why God made X, Y, Z the way he made X, Y, Z, I may never know the answer, but he did it that way for a reason, and we probably won't know until eternity till we're in heaven with him, and we still might not know. But we know that he's our mission, we know that he is sovereign, and some things we just have to step. The other thing is this, when, if you had a project, and you knew exactly what you needed for that project, you knew, you don't have to go ask somebody else, do you think I should use this?

Because you know what it takes for that project. With God and his plans for his world, he knew, and he knows what he needs, and therefore he creates it the way he wants to, and we just have to step the things that we don't understand. But the main thing is, we do get along in this world. We have different opinions, but the bottom line is we both go out, we both evangelize, we both spread the Gospel, and it's up to the whole Spirit to do what he has to do to bring someone to that place. In the end, we agree.

It's always neat chatting with you. In the end, Deuteronomy 29, 29, the secret things belong to the Lord our God, but that which is open and revealed belongs to us, that we may do all the words of this teaching, of this law. And I'm totally fine with not understanding lots of things and leaving that to God. On a practical level, I would say to everybody, preach with the confidence of a Calvinist, knowing that he has a people and that people will respond. So you don't know how many or what crowd, what setting, but you know he has a people, and therefore the message will bear fruit. So preach with the confidence of a Calvinist and preach with the urgency of an Arminian, that he has ordained that the Gospel come through you, and that you are the watchman on the wall, and that the blood of the lost could be on your hands if you don't warn. So you preach with confidence and you preach with urgency.

And of course, I obviously have responses to each of the points you made as I've done debates on it, but it's a friendly discussion and we'll leave it there. So thank you, thank you for calling in. I appreciate it. Let us go to Paulette in Durham, North Carolina. Thanks for calling the line of fire. Paulette, are you still there?

Yeah, yeah, I didn't hear my name, I'm sorry. No, that's okay. Yeah, I was just thinking over some of the things that I've heard. Now I'm not trained anyway except reading the Bible and listening to teachers, okay? But the way that I always understood predestination myself was everybody was predestined to be saved, and it was your choice if you chose to live the world or if you chose to find Jesus and live with God. That's the way I always felt, I haven't been told one way or the other. Yeah. So let me just say this in the simplest way I can, again trying to be practical, right?

Just trying to be very practical. Same line, whatever you believe about predestination, alright, you're reading the Bible, you're reading the Bible and God says, do this, I'm calling you to do this, you're responsible to do this. If you want my blessing, you have to do this.

If you want my smile, you have to do this. If you reject this, you'll come under judgment. Regardless of whether you think you're predestined or not, what you know for sure is God made as well clear to me, right?

God made as well totally clear to me. Let's say that you really believe that you are the one that's going to be hired for a particular job, right? You have inside information that they're really looking at you. You really believe that. If you don't show up for the job interview, if you're up for the job interview dressed as a slob, if you do really badly in the job interview, they may not hire you.

You got this inside information, you may think a certain thing, but bottom line, you know you got to show up and you have to present yourself a certain way. So if you say, I know that I'm predestined, oh, so you can just throw out all the warnings in scripture? You can throw out all the standards of God? You can throw out Jesus saying that everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only those who do the will of my father, you can just throw that all out?

No. And if you say, I don't know that God choose me or not, well, he says, whoever will come, whoever will, Jesus said, whoever comes to me, I won't refuse, right? Whoever's hungry, come and eat, come and drink, whoever believes. So whether you think you're saved or not, here's the invitation. If you receive it, wonderful, it's all his grace.

If you reject it, it's on you. You think you're predestined, well, here's what he requires, here's what's written. And if you do it, you'll be blessed, and if you don't, you won't be blessed. He said, well, if I do it, that'll prove that I'm predestined. Either way, bottom line is, there's still the responsibility that comes our way. So I live with an overwhelming confidence that God's hand is on my life, that he's chosen me out for his purposes, and that in him, my future is beyond anything I could ask for and imagine, and I walk in holy fear and reverence, recognizing you don't play games with a holy God. In the end, his faith is practicality. What do you think? Back with you tomorrow. Thank you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-02 18:34:02 / 2023-05-02 18:56:14 / 22

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