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Monday, March 20, 2006

Grace Revealed: Unconditional Election

Unconditional Election

Because men are under the condition of total depravity, we are faced with a decidedly unpleasant future. The God of All has declared that perfection is necessary to enter the kingdom of heaven, and we are incapable of perfection. Our only future should be eternal damnation.

However, for His greater glory God provided a way in which we can be saved from eternal punishment. The death of Death in the death of Christ, and the salvation available through His resurrection, established a narrow gate through which men can enter heaven. All was not lost…but in fact, if Christ had merely died and risen again, and the work of God ended there, redemption would still be beyond us. Why?

If Christ died merely so that we might choose Him, we would not choose Him. Out depraved state makes us incapable of choosing Him! The very same situation that makes us depraved makes us in opposition to God, no matter what he has done for us.

Consider this – if there is nothing we do that is not corrupted, how can we make a single wholly good decision to choose Christ? As all of us, to one degree or another, seek to get the greatest gain for the least cost, what would be our justification to choose Christ now? There are many reasons to choose Christ based upon what we would gain and/or what we would avoid. However, choosing Him based upon any of those would make the choice corrupt, and would not be good in the sight of God.

“And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.” (Mark 10:18, Luke 18:19)

Thus, to complete the work of redemption, the choice had to be made by the only one who can do good – God Himself. He had to choose us, because we would never choose Him. And , because God is not a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34), he chooses a small number of us (Mt. 7:14, 20:16, 22:14, Lk. 13:23-25) to be redeemed for His glory.

This is neatly summarized in the first chapter of Ephesians as such:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

For those who are uncertain of the role of God in the selection of the elect, a perusal of Romans chapter 9 will clarify the position. For me, it was and remains the definitive section of Scripture that made it abundantly clear that God chooses his followers, and we do not choose him instead. Like any important gospel truth, it is backed up in many areas of the Bible, including those I have already mentioned. Jesus called his disciples, they did not choose him. Furthermore, those who attempted to choose him were all sent away (Lk. 9:57-62, Mk 10:17-22).

[God] hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began” 2 Tim 1:9

I am familiar with the rebuttals to this position – since I once held them – and look forward to meeting them. I recognize that true Christians (including the great John Wesley) do not agree with me in every point. One of the wonderful faces of Grace is that it is bigger than our ignorance, and I do not hold that one must fully grasp and attest to the Doctrines of Grace in order to be among the elect.

To be continued...

14 Comments:

  • "The death of Death in the death of Christ, and the salvation available through His resurrection"

    I don't think that one can split the work of Christ up quite this simply. Quite apart from the fact that this ignores the rather important years he spent alive, the death and resurrection of Christ aren't two separate things. The death of Death surely requires Christ's victory over death - His resurrection. And if salvation requires a substitionary act (as I think it does, and I'm pretty sure you do :-) ) then our salvation was (at least partially) effected by His death.

    My main problem with the main part of what you wrote, though, is that you are making God's choice of the Elect entirely arbitrary. If God chooses only a few, and that choice is not affected at all by the nature of the people chosen, there can be no other outcome than arbitrary and effectively random choice.

    I cannot go that far, because I read in the Bible that God loves all human beings, that God wants us all to come to redemption, that Christ died so that all might be forgiven, that all will bow before Him. This doesn't mean that Universalism is the way to go, but it does mean that we have to set these things alongside the equally strong things you quoted. To say that God's choice is entirely unconditional means that it is random (choosing between identical objects). To say that we can earn our forgiveness means that we have no need of Christ. Somewhere between these extremes must be the truth, I believe, in the difficult territory where we cannot lay out logical boundaries but have to think in terms of greys and levels of relationship.

    Part of the problem might, I think, be trying to see the "moment of salvation" too much as just a moment, a binary "either/or" decision, rather than as a journey. God reaches out to us and we are incapable of responding fully and properly. But that doesn't mean that we must totally reject those advances. God works with us, slowly winning us over. I'm not suggesting that we control the process, nor that we can choose God in our own strength - I am suggesting that God's inexorable love for us does not generally work instantaneously, dragging us kicking and screaming into the Kingdom. For some, that is what happens. For others (even for most), it's not at all like that.

    Because we are sinful, broken creatures, we cannot choose God. But when God chooses to walk alongside us, we can get to know that God - partly because He doesn't abandon us but persists in the face of our rejections and failures. Even after we become Christians.

    pax et bonum

    By Blogger John, at 3/20/2006 11:57:00 AM  

  • I’ll try not to hog the comments on this one, Hammer; mostly because the post speaks for itself…well done. However, I will respond to a couple of things.

    ”I cannot go that far, because I read in the Bible that God loves all human beings, that God wants us all to come to redemption, that Christ died so that all might be forgiven, that all will bow before Him.”

    John, your reading is just short of the mark. In context, “the world” mentioned in John 3:16 necessarily means “a diversity of humans”, e.g. not just genetic Jews (Romans 9:7). Moreover, Romans 9:13 clearly demonstrates that God loved Jacob more than Esau. Therefore, God doesn’t love everyone equally. Additionally, your comment alludes to 2 Peter 3:9; but again, context is crucial. If you read it carefully, you’ll notice an important, though small word: “us”.

    2 Peter 3:9 reads (plus exegesis): The Lord is not slack (i.e. slow or procrastinating) concerning His promise, as some count slackness, (What promise? The promise made to Abraham, which makes a distinction between Isaac and Ishmael, between Jacob and Esau, between the elect and the non-elect…Romans 9:9-13) but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any (i.e. any of “us”, the elect) should perish, but that all (i.e. all of “us”) should come to repentance.

    So you see, all of the elect will, in fact, come to repentance, while the non-elect will remain in sin and ignorance. This is what the Bible has taught for thousands of years. It is therefore incumbent upon “us”, the elect, to align our thinking with God’s word, even though certain portions seem esoteric and incomprehensible.

    The Truth is eternal, immutable and relevant; our minds need to bend, because the Truth will not.

    By Blogger Robert, at 3/20/2006 02:34:00 PM  

  • Robert,
    I don't agree with you about that intepretation of 2 Peter 3:9 - it is not clear that the subject is "the Elect". Nor, for that matter, do I accept your assertion that we can take every appearance of inclusive language as referring only to "the Elect" - to do so does serious abuse to many passages in the OT and NT.

    It's also not true that the Bible has consistently been understood in the absolute fatalistic sense you seem to be advocating. Indeed, the early Church was for several centuries largely of the opinion that we could decide for ourselves. The extreme versions of predestination didn't arise until a scant few centuries ago.

    pax et bonum

    By Blogger John, at 3/20/2006 03:05:00 PM  

  • Bad news in this exchange, John - in second Peter 3:9, the Greek (which I am now able to read and parse with fat fingers, but which are small enough for this) makes it clear. In english, us is always "us" and every is always "every". That is because word order drives syntax and grammar in English - but in Greek declensions and conjugations do the work of telling us what words relate to what.

    In this case, the word "us" translates phonetically as "hay-mas". That is the Accusative form of the noun "hay-mays". In order to figure out what "every/all" refers to in the verse, we must examine its declension as well.

    If it were "All" in the sense of establishing an object that is its own and not mentioned already and therefore merely "All", it would be in the nominative form (especially since it is a substantival use of the adjective as part of independent clause, "all should come to repentance"), which would be the adjective "pas". Instead, it is the accusative "pantas", which points back to the accusative "hay-mas".

    The "all" is indeed, "all of us".

    Thus, your interpretation of 2 Peter 3:9 is incorrect. That does not make your point invalid - you simply cannot use that as support.

    Furthermore, the doctrine of election was established long before a scant few centuries ago - St. Augustine's "Grant what Thou commandest, and command what Thou dost desire" is a famous example of the doctrine of unconditional election. Furthermore, I'm not sure what you find "fatalistic" about an unconditional election. I find it exhilirating. God chose me because he wanted to, not because I did anything to deserve it. That means there is hope for us all! Could you expound a bit further please?

    Oh, I didn't mean to separate the salvific work of Christ - it was mostly my desire to work the title of a John Owen book into my presentation!

    I will comment on the "arbitrary" portion tomorrow.

    By Blogger Hammertime, at 3/20/2006 04:17:00 PM  

  • Hammer,
    I'll defer to the knowledge of those who know Greek! But there are a couple of points I'd make nonetheless. First, the issue isn't necessarily where "all" points, but who "we" are in the passage. If we follow the KJV, it's not (AFAICS) clear who "us" is from the context. Certainly, the context of the passage isn't talking about "us the Elect", nor about "us Christians" or even "us who know each other". Rather, there is a tension between

    Interestingly, some other versions (e.g. NIV - an evangelical translation, be it noted!) use "you" instead of "us" - making it clearer that this is a particular group rather than a universal - but then to couple this with "anyone" and "everyone", rather than a limited version. It seems to me that the Greek isn't as cut and dried as you suggested.

    Second, I'm not suggesting that UE itself is necessarily fatalistic - just that it's arbitrary. My comments about fatalism were directed rather at Robert's theology, which is much more extreme in this direction than yours seems to be! Augustine indeed seems to have introduced these ideas to the Church - which means that, before him, the Church had a different opinion. And even after Augustine, his opinions were by no means universal in the Church.

    pax et bonum

    By Blogger John, at 3/21/2006 01:41:00 PM  

  • I'm not sure that Robert's theology differs so much from mine, as it is he is certain about things that I am currently content to be uncertain. Essentially, I am not prepared to say that God made me a New York Yankees fan!

    In considering my baseball fanhood, I think that it may be a case where I stand neither with you nor with Robert - yet. Robert, as I understand him, is certain that God directs every action of ours. You hold that we direct our own actions. I am certain that God directs our salvations exclusively, but am not convinced that everything in our lives is important enough for him to direct. That is, I see us as on a boat, with God at the tiller. I can go wherever I want on the boat, but both the destination and the route of travel are set by the Almighty.

    By Blogger Hammertime, at 3/21/2006 04:06:00 PM  

  • ...furthermore, while I see some differences in Robert's theology and mine own, I cannot see how his is fatalistic. It may be humbling to think that God does all and I am just a chess piece, but as we live in skin, and not in eternity, we do not "feel" or cognitively "know" that God chooses.

    Every decision feels new and fresh to me, and feels like I am making the choice. Thus, I am fully able to admit that I am not in control, yet act as if I am fully in control, for that is the only way in which we can act.

    A claim that, "God is making me rreject him" is downright silly. There simply is no application to the vast majority of my decisions because of the world that God has placed us in. Moreover, we will be held responsible for our actions, so we had better live like we are making them ourselves.

    By Blogger Hammertime, at 3/21/2006 04:11:00 PM  

  • John,
    I think a basic rule of textual interpretation is to look at what is the most likely antecedent in proximity and declension. Since we don't decline in English, the most likley antecedent for the pronoun, "us".

    The first plural noun case prior to the use of "us" is the "beloved", to whom Peter is writing.

    Furthermore, Peter's epistle is written "to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ" (v. 1).

    Honestly, there can be no other "us" except the elect who have obtained such faith.

    By Blogger Hammertime, at 3/21/2006 04:24:00 PM  

  • "Arbitrary".

    The word has a negsative ring to it. "You mean God just chooses arbitrarily?" It sounds as if God looked at all of the names that would ever live, then threw darts at the names to choose which ones would be written in the Book of Life.

    However, negative as that sounds, I believe that God did just that (sans the darts, of course).

    Consider the following:

    Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began. 2 Tim 1:9

    For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Eph 2:8-10

    and repeated from the post, one of the most clear descriptions of his selection of the elect "for his pleasure"

    According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. Eph 1:4-6

    and continued in the same chapter:

    Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. Eph 1:9-12

    God chose us for his glory, his pleasure, and by his will. If our salvation is not of works, how can we have done anything which "qualifies" us to be chosen? If God "chose" me based upon my life or my decision, then I could have rejected his choice, or made myself chosen.

    Furthermore, consider that the elect that we know of span the entire spectrum of human depravity. From Nicky Cruz, gang leader, to Saul of Tarsus, persecutor of Christian, to Augustine, captialistic whoremonger, to the three of us, liars, idolaters and fornicators all (well, at least me). Teh spread of humanity that God has chosen demonstrates that, to us, his selection is arbitrary, at least as far as we can see.

    There are those of us who chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love
    and those who were before of old ordained to this condemnation Jude 1:4

    The predestination of the saints is a mystery - we cannot discern what His selection criteria is, and thus, we must assume it is, in fact arbitrary. This spurs us to evangelism, for anyone may be among the elect, and needs to hear the good news of Christ Jesus.

    By Blogger Hammertime, at 3/21/2006 04:44:00 PM  

  • While God certainly has predetermined the fate and outcome of whatever He chooses to determine, I am not quite resigned to the notion that I am one of a few that are chosen, regardless of my will. I have completely accepted Jesus, try to live according to what I believe His plan is for me, and I know Him in my heart; yet it seems that you are calling all of that into question for many who know Jesus.

    While I am quite possibly misunderstanding your assertions, I fail to see how God's promise of a free-will choice to follow Him, is somehow not that at all. If you are saying that all that have and will be saved have been predetermined and that anyone who has repented and accepted Christ is actually saved, then there is something to work with. Otherwise, how do you know that you are not simply being mislead into thinking you are one of the chosen? Do you believe that all people who have accepted Christ are indeed saved? The argument of unconditional election leaves me to answer it with a "no".

    If God hadn't intended me to be one of the saved, yet I was compelled by the inerrant Word of God to repent and accept Jesus, then my acceptance of Christ was hollow and false. The work of bringing my children up to know Christ could also be hollow, as their free will to choose Christ as the Bible says is not actually free will at all. I refuse to believe that an open acceptance of Christ, based on my understanding of your definition that some may not be the unconditionally elected, can result in eternal damnation despite the teaching of Jesus to Nicodemus, "You are Israel's teacher," said Jesus, "and do you not understand these things? I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.

    For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."

    It seems to me that Christ guaranteed a place in heaven for all who believe in Him. It isn't a choice that is easy for many, yet many come to know Him. Is that all for naught? Does evangelism have no purpose because the arbitrary few are already predetermined? I like to believe that my crappy decisions were influenced by my crappy nature. I can work to be more like Jesus, and that is the path I should take, all while understanding that inside I am evil and humble before God. I don't feel special enough to have been one of the few selected, so my selection is either false, or my salvation is.

    By Blogger Rightthinker, at 3/21/2006 05:37:00 PM  

  • Hammer,
    "The predestination of the saints is a mystery - we cannot discern what His selection criteria is, and thus, we must assume it is, in fact arbitrary."

    We're certainly in agreement that this is a mystery! And this is one of the reasons that I have a problem with trying to state absolutely that we are chosen arbitrarily (you've got my connotations right, by the way - it's a random process the way you present it). How can a choice be for God's pleasure if any other choice would have been equally good? How can there be pleasure in the selection if there is no distinction between the objects? Do we feel pleasure at choosing one Mars bar in the shop rather than another identical bar? Or do we simply grab whichever one is handy?

    I believe that God's choice is neither arbitrary nor dependent on any foregoing choice or merit of our own. Instead, I think that we need to think a little more closely about the nature of the salvation process. Some of the best metaphors I know for this process are to talk in terms of relationship or journey. In either case, God first reaches out to us to invite us along. This is God's initiative - the invitation that I believe is extended to everyone who hears the Gospel (and that I profoundly hope is extended to everyone whether they've heard it or not). However, not everyone responds. God knows those who respond and those who don't - but doesn't control the response. That is ours to make. And, indeed, we may get several chances to respond over the years.

    That is, the process of "choice" by God is not arbitrary. First, because God invites everyone (there's plenty of biblical evidence that God wants everyone to be saved, that God loves all His creatures). Second, because the outcome of the process depends partly on us - I believe that we have the power to reject God. Now, I know that you don't agree (and that this will crop up in a later post) but I believe that this is an important aspect of the Christian faith; it has been a major strand of Christian thought from the earliest days of the Church (indeed, it was originally the only strand). To remove from us any power either to accept or to reject God also removes from us the power truly to love God. And an arbitrary choice by God between equally objectionable objects means that God cannot truly love us. Not unless love means less than we think it does.

    pax et bonum

    By Blogger John, at 3/22/2006 04:36:00 AM  

  • Andrea,
    Allow me to allay your fears - but first, we must address the humility we all desire to express.

    Your point that you do not "feel special enough" is both true and false. It is true, in that none of us is special enough to be chosen - we are special because we are chosen. That is what grace means.

    It is false because if you do not "feel special" to be a part of the kingdom of heaven, to have died to self and crucified with Him, to be made righteous through Christ himself, then you simply are not!

    The issue of "feeling special" is a straw man. False converts who claim Arminianism feel special because they were "smart enough" to choose God. False converts who claim Calvinism feel special because "God chose me".

    However, if God chose us, and he did it arbitrarily, there is no feeling special as a result of His choice. Because it is arbitrary, we have no right to feel like we were singled out for our personality, deeds, or choice. He chose me and that makes me special. However, the "feel special" I have is not a result of my adherence to the Doctrines of Grace, but because of Christ in my life. That is why Robert, John, you and I all actually DO feel special - because the Holy Spirit, witnessing to Christ in us, lets us know that we are NOW special.

    “I have completely accepted Jesus, try to live according to what I believe His plan is for me, and I know Him in my heart; yet it seems that you are calling all of that into question for many who know Jesus.”

    All you say is true. You have accepted him (a phrase I dislike for evangelism purposes, but good enough for our discussion today), you do try to live according to his plan, and you know him in your heart. All that Unconditional Election states is that all these things are true because he chose you. Thus, none of that should be undermined in the least bit.

    “I fail to see how God's promise of a free-will choice to follow Him…” I am glad you used that phrase. Please find for me the biblical promise of a “free-will choice to follow him”. In fact, the notion of “free-will” is no where found in the Scriptures. The Scriptures that John has selected (conveniently the pillars of Arminianism :) ) do not state that we have free will. You must agree, as would I, that free will seems to be implied. However, in the case of all of the Scriptures I have cited, and three times as many more, election, predestination, and God choosing us are EXPLICIT. This is why Robert, in his discussion with John in the Total Depravity post, “brushes over” John’s citations. They do not say “you can thwart the choice of God”. Of course, John also never says it, and in fact agrees with me that we cannot – but somehow still holds to the idea that we have free will to choose or not choose God. The two ideas are contradictory – either he chooses us, or we somehow “helped” and chose Him.

    “If you are saying that all that have and will be saved have been predetermined and that anyone who has repented and accepted Christ is actually saved, then there is something to work with.”

    Of course I am. We are saved by grace, but through faith. True faith is the hallmark of the elect. Paul knew that the Christians in Thessalonica were among the elect, not because Paul somehow knew ahead of time, but because it was demonstrated through their reception of the Gospel and subsequent demonstration of their faith in action (1 Thess 1:4-10)

    “Otherwise, how do you know that you are not simply being mislead into thinking you are one of the chosen?”

    Our faith is evident not only in our mind, but in our lives. Unconditional election provides assurance – but that is post #5.

    Do you believe that all people who have accepted Christ are indeed saved? The argument of unconditional election leaves me to answer it with a "no"

    This is why I dislike the term “accepted Christ”. What does that mean? You certainly don’t mean to tell me that you believe that everyone who walks down the aisle, or says a “sinners prayer”, or says they believe that Jesus Christ is God’s son has taken up their cross and is following Him do you? Election is evident in true faith – a faith which never fails, because even when we stumble, he is faithful (2 Tim 2:13)


    You quoted a long section of John 3, but prior to those verses was verse 3 “Ye must be born again”. Nicodemus asks a deep question – can a man enter his mother’s womb again? Of course not. In fact, a baby has absolutely no part in being born. The entire process, from conception to birth, is conducted by others. Does that make the baby less alive? Similarly, the metaphors used for our salvation are equally indicative of our inability to contribute even a bit. We are “dead in our sins”. Can we rise again of our own voltion? We are “slaves to sin”. Can a slave make himself not a slave? We are made “joint-heirs with Christ.” Can anyone make themselves an heir?

    And just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whomever He wishes. (John 5:21)

    And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; (Col 2:13)

    Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) (Eph 2:5)

    Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. (Romans 8:21)

    As far as a place being set aside for all who believe, it remains true. As far as the purpose of evangelism, I will cover that in a post already planned..and as far as you live your life – like I stated above, we live in the world of the flesh, and must live our lives as if the choices are ours – but we can be secure on our eternal salvation because He chose us.

    By Blogger Hammertime, at 3/23/2006 10:35:00 AM  

  • John,
    Great thoughts. Let’s start with some clarity:

    “I believe that God's choice is neither arbitrary nor dependent on any foregoing choice or merit of our own…However, not everyone responds. God knows those who respond and those who don't - but doesn't control the response. That is ours to make. And, indeed, we may get several chances to respond over the years.”

    This is a contradiction. You either believe that we choose him on our own, or we do not. No one in this thread is an Open Theist, so no one is arguing that God has no part. However, you are explicitly stating a contradiction: “[salvation is not] dependent on any foregoing choice” and “That [choice] is ours to make.” We must have clarity to continue here. Which is it?

    “Some of the best metaphors I know for this process are to talk in terms of relationship or journey.”

    Actually, this would best be stated as “the metaphors I like the most”, because I find those metaphors completely misleading. They indicate that men choose to follow, not that God chooses, predestines, or elects. You cannot turn this into a “shade of grey”, despite the level of mystery inherent in election. Man chooses or man does not choose.

    You are correct on the direction of the next posts. The Gospel is offered to all men as we see it, but God selects who will receive it. As the Scriptures say, he desires that all men would be saved (1 Tim 2:4), so that must be addressed.

    For many are called, but few are chosen. (Matt 22:14)

    Additionally, I disagree that Pelagianism/Arminianism has historically been the hallmark of the church. Augustine did not introduce it – he clarified it. The church declared Pelagianism and semi-Pelagianism to be heretical.

    Who started the doctrine of unconditional election? Jesus Christ:

    And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect's sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days. (Mark 13:20)

    If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. (John 15:19)

    By Blogger Hammertime, at 3/23/2006 10:36:00 AM  

  • (sorry if anyone was denied from posting due to problems with the Word verification system. I have temporarily disabled it.)

    By Blogger Hammertime, at 3/23/2006 10:37:00 AM  

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