Does predestination have any part to play in encouraging one another?
The topic of predestination brings about a lot of discussion but never resolution. Some people go as far as to insist it is best to leave it in God's hands. The problem with this is twofold: first, if God has told us that we have been predestined we are not at liberty to reject it, second, predestination has important pastoral implications that we choose to ignore at our own peril.
In almost every church there is an elderly lady who provides the children sat closest to her with boiled sweets. The young girl would remove the wrapper without making a sound and then resist crunching, making it last to the end of the sermon. One such lady went on to send a small package, once in a while, to a student who had left to go to university. When the packages stopped she was concerned and enquired after the lady. Her mum explained she had succumbed to Alzheimer's. Visiting home one week the student kept hearing someone swear during the service. While getting her coffee she noticed the noise had been coming from the elderly lady. Keen to say hello she rushed up to the lady. The old lady looked at her with anger and confusion. A gentleman quickly ushered the student away he explained that the students friend no longer recognises anyone. She had once prayed each week for the children, teenagers and students from the congregation that they would both know the Lord and persevere to the end despite the temptations and pressures of growing up in this age. Now she had no memory of them. The student heard many stories of how others had been encouraged by the lady to persevere on when tempted to leave the Lord. But now the elderly lady had lost all memory, what hope was there that she would persevere till the end? Not only could she not remember those she had prayed for so faithfully, she had no memory of her Saviour.
Fortunately our assurance is not placed in what we do and not even in what we can remember. The reason our place with the Father is certain is because he chose us before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4-5). Since he predestines us we cannot be lost.
I may well forget him as my memory fades but he will never forget me. Instead he will welcome me into his kingdom to dwell with him for eternity. Not only that, but when he gives me my resurrected body, it will not be diseased or decay. It will be perfect. And so will my memory and knowledge of him.
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