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Daily Devotional with Pastor Jon

August 2

Having predestinated us ...

Ephesians 1:5

Is there a pre-determination concerning salvation? Yes. But guess what? God is never seen anywhere at any time in the Bible predestining someone to go to hell. He only predestines people to go to Heaven.

He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels (Revelation 3:5).

The implication of this passage is enormous, for it seems to suggest that every man’s name is written in the book of life — until he makes it clear that he has no interest in the Lord, that he doesn’t want to walk with the Lord, that he wants to turn his back on the Lord. Only then is his name is blotted out.

Thus, when the book of life is opened at the Great White Throne Judgment, when all of the unbelievers are brought before God and discover their names absent from its pages, it’s not that their names were never in the book. It’s that their names were blotted out because they chose not to accept God’s plan of salvation for their lives.

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 (Romans 8:29).

Before the world was even spoken into existence, God saw the people who would respond to His love — not those who would initiate a search for Him, for none seeks after Him (Romans 3:11) — but those who would be inclined to respond to Him.

Whom He foreknew, He predestinated, saying, ‘I can see that Mitch is going to respond when I make Myself known to him, when the Gospel is shared with him. Therefore, I predestine Mitch to be part of My eternal Kingdom.’

‘Well,’ you say, ‘then why was someone who God knew wouldn’t respond to Him allowed to live in the first place?’

The answer is that if a person was not allowed to play his life out to the fullest extent, he could protest at the Great White Throne.

‘I got rid of you early because I could see that you weren’t going to respond to Me,’ God would say.
‘Oh, but I would have,’ the unbeliever would protest.
‘No, you wouldn’t,’ God would say.
‘Yes, I would have,’ the unbeliever would insist.

And there would be a perpetual argument. So even though it is His desire that none should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9), God lets Joe Schmo live his seventy years to prove that righteous and true are His judgments (Revelation 16:7).

Then why does hell exist? Jesus gave us the singular reason: Hell exists for Satan and his demons (Matthew 25:41). It was never God’s intent to allow anyone on earth to spend eternity in hell. In fact, the only way anyone can get there is over the dead body of His Son.

This Daily Devotional is an excerpt from the book "A Day's Journey" by Pastor Jon. "A Day's Journey" is a collection of 365 short devotions from the New Testament. If you would like your own copy of "A Day's Journey" you can order one from the SearchLight Store.

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