Are any of us predestined for hell?
What can somebody say? Let's take a short focus. If you have your Bible, turn now to Romans chapter 9, as Adrian Rogers begins part 1 of Predestined for Hell, Absolutely Not.
Absolutely not. We're going to learn some things about the character of God and about the sovereignty of God and the God who predestines and the God who elects. But we're going to learn that God wants everybody saved. We're going to learn that today and I want you to take God's word and look here in Romans chapter 9 verses 1 through 3. Paul says, I say the truth in Christ.
I lie not. But conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost that I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen, according to the flesh. Now here you have the heartbeat of the apostle Paul. And it's the heartbeat of an evangelist.
It's the heartbeat of one who wants souls saved. And he had a sincere concern for the lost. He said, I say the truth in Christ. I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness. Wasn't telling a lie. He was sincere. Paul said, my conscience bears me witness.
I am telling you the truth. Not only was he sincere in his concern, he was steadfast in it. In verse 2 he says, I have continual sorrow.
That is, he didn't blow hot and blow cold. Night and day, everywhere, the thing that drove him and impelled him and gave him no rest was his concern for the lost. And he even had a sacrificial concern. He says in verse 3, I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ. If I read this correctly and most commentators agree that what Paul is saying is that I would be willing to go to hell if they could be saved.
That was impossible. Jesus had already died for them. Jesus had already baptized his soul in hell. But this is the spirit of Christ that was in this man.
He's concerned. And what he is primarily concerned about are his brothers and sisters in the flesh. Paul was a Jew.
I believe the greatest Christian to ever live. And Paul is concerned about fleshly Israelites. Not spiritual Israel, there is a spiritual Israel. But here he's talking about natural Israel, my brothers, my sisters. According to the flesh, Paul said, I want them saved.
Now what brought this up was this. That Paul had been talking about the gospel, how Jew and Gentile could be saved. Some Jews were saying, now wait a minute.
Wait a minute, Paul. We're the chosen people. God's made some promises to us. Has God gone south on his promise? I mean, isn't God going to keep his promise to us? Aren't we the chosen people? Where's all this about the Gentiles?
Where does that come in? Now, the three things I want you to learn today as we think about this is man predestined for hell. And all three deal really with the character of God. Because until you understand the character of God, you don't know really anything about salvation or anything else. And I didn't say understand God. None of us understand God. But we understand some things that God has chosen to reveal to us about his character. Now here are the three things I want you to notice, and it's going to help to solve the problem because, very frankly, folks, the ninth chapter of Romans is one of the hardest chapters in all of the Bible.
And you can get letters straight very easily. And there's some who read this and say God has just chosen some when they're little children, little babies, just to go to hell. There's nothing they can do about it. And God has chosen others to go to heaven and there's nothing they can do to keep it from happening. And there's a lot of theology that believes that. I don't believe it. I don't accept it for a moment.
And I want you to see three reasons why. Now, the first thing I want you to see is what I'm going to call God's sovereign choice. God's sovereign choice. Paul is reminding these people that God is a sovereign God and he can choose whom he will, for what he will. Now, begin again in verse 3.
He says, For I could wish that myself were cursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh. Now, he mentions now fleshly Jews and he talks about nine prerogatives, nine blessings, nine privileges that God gave to these, his chosen people. He calls them Israelites. What a glorious name is Israel.
It means prince. And so they have a great heritage. And then he says, To them pertaineth the adoption. God said, Israel is my son. God adopted a whole nation and the glory. That means the Shekinah glory of God that led them out of Egypt and led them into Canaan that rested in the tabernacle and in the temple. The glory and the covenants.
What is this? The solemn promises that God has made agreements with his people. We talk about the Abrahamic covenant. We talk about the Davidic covenant. And these are covenants that God has made that are unbreakable and the giving of the law. He's talking now about the Ten Commandments and the law that God gave on Sinai, which is the basis of all true law in the world today. God's Ten Holy Commandments, God gave them through the Jew and the service of God. He's talking about all of the types and sacrifices and all of the wonderful ways that the Jews worshiped God, the Levitical offerings and all of this.
All of them pointed to the Lord Jesus, but God gave them through the Jew and the promises. God made a promise to Israel. And, friend, God is not finished with the Jew. God loves Israel.
Never forget it. The Jews are people of destiny. They're people of promise. They are a God-ordained, God-decreed, God-raised-up, God-protected nation. And if you want to know what God is doing in the world, just look at Israel.
And it is the center point of all world history. It all revolves around Israel, and God has made these promises, and not one of God's promises will fail. And then he talks about whose are the fathers. The fathers now he's talking about are the patriarchs. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David.
What a lineage. These stars in the Hebrew heaven, he's talking about them. And then he saves the best for the last, and of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ came, Messiah came, who is over all God-blessed forever. That is God came. Messiah was God.
He's over all. He is Lord. He is blessed forever.
He is the eternal God. He comes from the Jew. I was speaking to some Jewish rabbis, and they said, now, you Baptists ought not to be trying to win Jews to Christ.
That's not right. I said, listen, you proselytize me. I serve a Jewish Messiah. All that I believe is rooted in that Old Testament. He is the Messiah. And so God is talking here about his sovereign choices. God chose the Jewish nation.
Now, watch this. All of Israel is Israel, though. Look in verse 6. God is saying, I haven't failed to keep my word.
You might think I have. Not as though the Word of God hath taken none effect, for they are not all Israel which are of Israel. That is, not every Jew is a part of the spiritual promise. Neither because are they the seed of Abraham are they all the children. It's not necessarily according to parentage or lineage, but in Isaac shall thy seed be called. Abraham had two sons, Ishmael and Isaac.
God did not choose Ishmael. God chose Isaac. And Isaac had two sons, Jacob and Esau. Look down to verse 13 as it is written, Jacob have I loved and Esau have I hated. Now, there were two sons.
They were twins. But God made a sovereign choice. And God said, I choose Jacob. Now, this is God's plan. Don't argue with it.
You may not like it. You might say, as one man said, how out of God to choose the Jews, but he did. He chose Abraham out of all the people and then Abraham's son Isaac and then he chose Isaac's son Jacob. And so what God is showing here is just simply his sovereign promise. Now, right now we start to get into some deep water.
Okay, don't check out on me now. This is important. You need to listen to this very carefully. Because in this verse where God says, look at it in verse 13, Jacob have I loved and Esau have I hated, God says, how could God ever hate a little baby? Well, actually it says that even before the children were born, look in verse 11, for the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God, according to election, might stand not of works, but of him that calleth. Why did God call Jacob and not Esau? Was it anything that Jacob had done? No, he hadn't even been born. It is God's sovereign choice.
Now, be very careful. God here is not talking about two little babies, one born for heaven and one born for hell. That's not what he's talking about at all.
This is national and not personal. Let me give you a verse that'll help clear this up. Genesis 25 and verse 33. Put that down in your margin. Now, speaking to the mother of these two little twins, and the Lord said unto her, two nations are in thy womb.
She might have said, it feels like it. Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels, and the one people shall be stronger than the other people, and the elders shall serve the younger. He's not talking about one particular baby and another particular baby, one born for blessing and one born for bane. He's talking now about two nations. God, in his providence, said, I'm going to use the Jews.
My choice is for the Jewish nation. Number two, God here is not talking about salvation at all. Look, if you will, in verse 12.
And it was said unto her, the elder shall serve the younger. He's not talking about salvation. He's just simply saying that Israel is going to be my choice, and the descendants of Jacob are going to be my spiritual leaders in the world, and the elder, that is Esau, will serve the younger. Nothing is said here about one twin going to heaven and another twin going to hell.
You don't spell save, S-E-R-V-I-C-E. And also, here's something you need to be very careful about. When it says that, verse 13, Jacob have I loved and Esau have I hated, it doesn't mean that God despised Esau. It doesn't mean that God had vehemence toward Esau.
He may have had later on because of what Esau did, but not before Esau was born. It wasn't God said, all right, you don't have any choice about it. Before you're born, I hate you.
You're going to die and go to hell because I hate you. Friend, anybody who can read the Bible knows that God doesn't despise little unborn babies. He's not talking about despite. What he's talking about here is preference. Now, this, you have to understand the way this word is used in the Bible here. We're talking about preference, not abhorrence. The Bible uses the word hatred differently than we do. For example, the Bible says, no man can serve two masters. He'll love the one and hate the other. That doesn't mean he said, well, I really love this boss I despise.
It just means he prefers one. You can't have two lords in your life. Turn in your Bibles or write down Luke 14, verse 26. Now, our Lord is talking to all of us.
Now, listen to me. If any man come unto me and hate not his father and mother and wife and children and brethren and sisters, yea, in his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. Now, do you think in order to be a Christian you've got to despise your father and your mother? Do you think in order to be a Christian you have to despise your brother and your sister? You think in order to be a Christian you have to despise your own precious children? Do you think because I gave my heart to Jesus Christ I hate the girl named Joyce? I love her all the more.
She knows that she gets far more love out of me being second in my life than she'd ever get being first because Jesus Christ is first. The word here does not mean to despise. It does not mean to abhor, not in Bible terms.
He's only speaking of preference. Jesus is saying, I must come first. And back in those days, God said, Jacob will be first. I have chosen, I have preferred Jacob. Now, God just makes his sovereign choices.
That's all there is to it. God chooses whomever he wants to choose. Now, God loves lost sinners. We're in the book of Romans. Put down Romans chapter 5 and verse 8. If you think that God hates you, let me tell you, God doesn't hate you. You say, well, I'm a sinner.
He still loves you. Romans chapter 5 verse 8, but God commended his love, his love toward us and that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. God loves the lost. God loves sinners. Don't get the idea that God predestined Esau to go to hell and God predestined Jacob to go to heaven. Now, Esau may have gone to hell, but he wasn't predestined to go to hell.
But you can be sure that God is a God who makes sovereign choices. The choice that God made was to service, not to salvation. God called me to preach.
I have two brothers. God called me to preach. He didn't call either of my brothers to preach that I know of. Now, because God chose me to preach, does that mean that God consigned both my brothers to hell? No. Because God chose Jacob to lead for a spiritual blessing, does that mean that God consigned Esau to hell?
Not at all. So the very first thing I want you to do is that you need to recognize God's sovereign choice. God chooses whom he will, when he will, for what he will. He's God. You might as well admit it. He's God.
All right? It's God's sovereign choice, and God is working in the nations of the world, and here God is talking about nations. God is talking about service, and God is talking about preference.
Now, here's the second thing I want you to see. Not only God's sovereign choice, but I want you to notice God's spotless character. God's spotless character. There are some who might want to argue with God and say, Well, God, you don't have a right to do it that way. Maybe you're a little unrighteous if you just choose one person above another. Look in verse 14.
What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy. Now, who decides whether or not God's going to have mercy?
You want to know? God. God. God says, I will have mercy upon whom I will have mercy. Well, does that mean God won't have mercy upon you?
No. If you want mercy, you may have it. The Bible says in Titus 3, 5, It's not by works of righteousness that we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us. The Bible says, He that covereth his sins shall not prosper, but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.
God does as he pleases, but he always pleases to do right, and there's no unrighteousness with God. And I'm telling you that anybody who will call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved, and any mother's child who says, God, have mercy upon me. God says, I will have mercy on him. God will have mercy upon whom he will have mercy, and he will have mercy upon him who uncovers his sin that God might cover it. He will have mercy upon the man that comes unto him in faith, not by works of righteousness that we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us by the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost.
Yes, listen to me, folks. Pardon, pardon is according to God's sovereign will. God always wants to be merciful, but punishment, punishment is according to man's sinful wickedness. You have God's sovereign will.
You have man's sinful wickedness. Look at the illustration he gives here beginning in verse 17 of this chapter. For the Scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up. Now, who was Pharaoh? Well, Pharaoh was the high muckety-muck of Egypt.
Pharaoh was the king, the most powerful man upon the face of the earth. And he was raised up to sit upon that throne. Now, here it's not talking about God raising him up for childhood. It's talking about God raising him up in power and authority. Sometimes we get all upset when we see powerful people in high places who are not doing right.
Isn't that right? Let me tell you something. God is sovereign. This is one of the great verses in the Bible right now, and you need to pay attention to it.
He says, For this purpose have I raised thee up, that I might show my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy upon whom he will have mercy, now watch this, and whom he will he hardeneth. Now, God hardened Pharaoh's heart, and then God judged Pharaoh, and God made Pharaoh an example. Now, the reason that God hardened Pharaoh's heart is very simple. Pharaoh first hardened his own heart. Now, you read about 17 to 20 times in the Exodus passage where Pharaoh's heart was hardened. About half of those times, Pharaoh's heart was hardened by Pharaoh before it was ever hardened by God. God did not take a little tender child and say, Now, from childhood, I'm going to make your heart hard, and you're going to get harder and harder and harder and harder, and then I'm going to cast you into hell.
No. First of all, Pharaoh first hardened his own heart. Exodus chapter 8 and verse 15. But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart. And the Bible speaks of those whose hearts are hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
First of all, Pharaoh hardened his own heart, and as a righteous judgment, and in order to make an example of this man whose will was already set against God, God crystallized the thing, God brought him to judgment, and God used him as an example. And coming up tomorrow, we'll hear part two of this important message. But maybe today you have questions about who Jesus is or what he means to you, how to begin a relationship with God through Christ. Go to our Discover Jesus page at lwf.org slash radio. There you'll find resources and materials that can answer questions you may have about your faith. If you'd like a copy of my book, or if you'd like a copy of today's message in its entirety, you can call us at 1-877-LOVEGOD and mention the provocative title, Predestined for Hell, Absolutely Not. This message is also part of the insightful series, Foundations for Our Faith, volume two. For the complete collection, all 27 powerful messages, call that number 1-877-LOVEGOD, or go online to order at lwf.org slash radio.
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Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-30 10:26:37 / 2023-07-30 10:36:14 / 10