The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. Many of them therefore believed, with not a few Greek women of high standing as well as men.
— Acts 17:10-13 (ESV)
I’ve often seen this short passage of scripture used to admonish Christians to take care with the things they believe, and that’s a good thing. Jesus and the Apostles all warned us that false teachers would try to lead us astray. If you really want to know the truth about the gospel of Christ there’s only one guaranteed source and that’s the word of God. Test everything about doctrine or the gospel against scripture, whether it’s the message from your pastor, the words of your favorite spiritual leader, or especially something you read about spiritual matters on the Internet.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth and everything that is in them. Not only this, but He looked at it all and said that it was good. In other words God made a perfect creation.
All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day. – John 6:37-40
Clearly the Father has chosen some to be given eternal life and has given them to the Son. If the Father has given them to the Son, they will come to Him.
No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. – John 6:44
This last statement pretty much declares that unless God draws us we cannot come to Him. This coupled with the earlier statements indicate that the Father chooses who will and will not be saved. We cannot come to Jesus unless the Father draws us, and all whom the Father draws will be saved.
This says nothing about the criteria the Father chooses for whom he will draw to Jesus, but it does appear to indicate that it’s God that chooses, and not us.
(This is a repost from my old blog.)
When people die, it’s not uncommon to hear people say of the deceased “He was a good man.” When they’re not reporting on the latest political infighting, or the most recent scandalous celebrity behavior, the major media like to present stories of how some people work hard to help others – such as Mother Theresa, Doctors Without Borders and the like.