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“Does the Bible really teach election?”

“Does the Bible really teach election?”

FEBRUARY 4, 2022

/ Programs / Key Life / “Does the Bible really teach election?”

Steve Brown:
Does the Bible really teach election? The answer to that and other questions, on Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
This is Key Life dedicated to the message that the only people who get any better are those who know that if they don’t get any better, God will still love them, anyway. That teaching raises a lot of questions. So, here’s author and seminary professor Steve Brown, along with Pete Alwinson from ForgeBibleStudy.com with answers to the Bible that’ll make you free.

Steve Brown:
Thank you Matthew. Hi Pete.

Pete Alwinson:
Hey man. How are ya?

Steve Brown:
I’m doing really good. I mean, people don’t know this, but we are finishing a fairly long recording session.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. It’s been a long day for you too already.

Steve Brown:
It’s better than drugs. I’ve never been on drugs. You know, whenever you finish preaching, even if it was a bad sermon and you can walk away, it’s better than drugs. And when we finish all of these recordings and we walk away. That’s better than drugs. I can’t, I’ve never been on drugs, but I can’t imagine a high being better than that.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s because you’re a J on the Myers Briggs. Got to get it done, check off the list and then you’re happy.

Steve Brown:
Move on to the next thing.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right. That’s right.

Steve Brown:
That’s Pete Alwinson, by the way, be sure and go to ForgeTruth.com and if you haven’t picked up a copy of Like Father Like Son, that book will change your life. Check it out the next time you’re in a bookstore. Or you’re on Amazon or Barnes & Noble or any place where they sell good books. Pete comes in as you know, on Fridays and we answer questions for the entire broadcast and we love your questions. You can e-mail your question to Steve@keylife.org. If you live in Canada, you can send your question to

Key Life Canada
P.O. Box 28060
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6J8

in the States, it’s

Key Life Network
P.O. Box 5000
Maitland, Florida 32794

or you can call us at 1-800-KEY-LIFE. And you can do that anytime and record your question. And sometimes we put your voice on the air. And we love your questions and we respect you and honor you, you’ll never be put down or laughed at except good naturedly. And if you can help us financially, please do. We, only about 10% of the people who benefit by this ministry and it is an expensive one are able to help us financially. So, if you can help, that means you help your brothers and sisters in Christ. And if you can’t, we understand, a prayer will help your brothers and sisters in Christ and us too. So, say a prayer for this ministry, Pete, why don’t you pray for us? And then we’ll get to some of these questions.

Pete Alwinson:
Alright. Sounds good. Father, it’s Friday and we exhale deeply and who he realize that it’s been a long road. But we love you. And we made it, we made it here because you’re in charge, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And you have upheld us and you’ve let us, as you said, you would lead us to guide us in the way we should go. You’d counsel us with your eye upon us. You’ll never let us go. So, thank you for that great truth and that great reality. And we praise you, Lord, we need you. We have bills to pay. We’ve got friends and relationships that have been a little bit of hurt, relationships at home that need to be deepened. We need guidance about health and jobs and churches. And Lord, we do ask for your leading every step of our life in every area of our life. Father, you know, our temptations and we give those to you as well. And so, right now, Father, we come and we ask that you would speak to our mind and then to our hearts, that will affect the way we live our lives. And we pray for our pastors and teachers who’ve prepared to do the same thing this week-end. And we ask that you would be with them in a powerful way, focus them and Holy Spirit fill them to speak to us in your name and for your glory. So, we commit this time of Q&A to you now. In Jesus’ strong name. Amen.

Steve Brown:
Amen. This is an e-mail. What does the Bible teach about election or does the Bible teach election?

Pete Alwinson:
You know, it does, it does.

Steve Brown:
Yeah. It’s on every other page.

Pete Alwinson:
It really is a major idea.

Steve Brown:
You know, I went around the world with Sam Rowan. This has been years and years ago, we visited mission organizations in a number of countries and he was a cross cultural professor. And so, he was a good guy to have along. Three of us did it. And, some people had been very generous because they wanted me to get a vision for world missions, which I did. But I said to him, one time, I said, does the Bible, the same question, does the Bible teach election? And he said, I want you to read the Acts twice and then we’ll sit down and we’ll talk. And he, and I did that. I, you know, we were spending a lot of hours on airplanes and in hotels and huts and tents and wherever we were. And I came back to him and I said, never mind.

Pete Alwinson:
Never mind.

Steve Brown:
Actually, it teaches it. It teaches it, so clear, but I don’t have to like it. Okay? But afterwards, I do like it because it’s a family secret of great comfort.

Pete Alwinson:
You’re right, I like how you put that, you know, in Acts 13:48 after a sermon.

Those who were appointed to eternal life, believed.

So, we don’t know how the working of God is, we know he has the elect, we just don’t know who they are. So, we share the gospel with everybody.

Steve Brown:
And the Scripture also on the other side of that issue really does teach responsibility and freedom that your prayers count.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
That while God is sovereign, we have trouble putting those things together because God’s ways are not our ways. And his thoughts are not our thoughts. When we get home, we’re going to see, and we’re going to see that God was kind, he was merciful, he was loving, he was just and he was forgiving.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right. All that.

Steve Brown:
All of that. I don’t know how you put all that together, certainly freedom. I would recommend it and I think we’ve done that on this broadcast, is Dr. J.I. Packer’s book on evangelism and the sovereignty of God. I don’t think he answers all the questions, in fact, you’ll probably have more questions after you read his book, but your questions will be far more sophisticated and Biblical questions. I just don’t know. I can’t put this together. I really don’t understand, but I love the thought that I’m held and I’ve been held from the foundation of the earth. I love the thought that I’m not a puppet, that I have freedom and responsibility and my freedom and responsibility count. I just can’t put those together.

Pete Alwinson:
I know it’s, it’s really, that’s why the antinomy, the railroad track lines go side by side, but we don’t know how they come together, but you know, we are told that in Matthew 24, Jesus says.

That the difficult times of the end times will be cut short for the sake of the elect.

Steve Brown:
True. So, you find this everywhere.

Pete Alwinson:
Jesus himself calls us the elect.

Steve Brown:
Yeah, that’s true. And from the very beginning, you know, the people of, the covenant people of God were the elect.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
You know, Israel was not an accident that just happened. And so, you find it everywhere. Along with the same themes of freedom and responsibility. I mean, God addresses his people in Ezekiel, as if it were important, why won’t you change? Why won’t you repent? Why won’t you return to me? And God said that, which at least says something about our freedom and our decisions. So, we have talked for about four minutes with the bottom line, we’re not sure, we’re sure that the Bible teaches it, but that’s about all.

Pete Alwinson:
And so, worship him and rest in that and rejoice, and really, it really, election points to the centrality of God in our salvation, not us in our salvation. And that leads to worship, that leads to worship.

Steve Brown:
And by the way, Spurgeon said.

If you’re worried about it, you are, if you’re not elect, you won’t even ask the question.

You won’t care a dink about it, probably

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah, good point.

Steve Brown:
And I don’t even understand what I just said. Here’s a question I can understand better. I have a friend who told me that the best advice he ever got was do whatever makes you happy. How to do, to dispel that advice? Do something, like, are you a fruitcake?

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. I mean, if you, again, because we do have a sin nature because we are, even as Christians, we are pulled by that old nature, Paul says. And so, we, we have to realize that, but Jesus, in the Beatitudes, tells us how to be happy.

Steve Brown:
Yeah, he really does.

Pete Alwinson:
And so, Matthew 5, read the first eight verses that, 10 verses.

Steve Brown:
And our desire to be happy isn’t all bad and sinful.

Pete Alwinson:
No.

Steve Brown:
You can go so far in the other direction, you know, there’s some people would say, if you enjoyed it, it was a sin. And if you didn’t enjoy it, it couldn’t have been a sin. And that’s silly too.

Pete Alwinson:
It’s silly theologically, even from the beginning because you think of Genesis, everything created, looked at it and it was good. Can you imagine God saying, Hey, I’ve created this perfect world for you and you’re perfect people now. I hope you’re not happy.

Steve Brown:
Right. Exactly.

Pete Alwinson:
Crazy.

Steve Brown:
So, you’ve gotta be careful. And when somebody says that to you, just say, I hope that works for you. That doesn’t, it doesn’t work for anybody that I know, but if you’re going to make that the goal of your life, you’re probably going to be the most miserable person that you know.

Pete Alwinson:
Absolutely. Absolutely.

Steve Brown:
Alright. Let’s see. Why does, man, we don’t have time to do this. Why does God allow so much pain and suffering? Does he really love us?

Pete Alwinson:
Oh boy, you know, and that’s what you say when you first start going into a period of suffering. God, do you love me? Yes. And of course he does. He, you know, he brings, as Jesus said, he brings the rain and, and feeds even the un-elect, but the reality is, we also experienced the bad things that happened in the world, just like pagans do because we live in a fallen world.

Steve Brown:
That’s true, but it all is working together for good, for those who love God and are called according to his purpose.

Pete Alwinson:
And that’s the hope that we have that a non-believer doesn’t have.

Steve Brown:
I know. And you go back to the previous question on, you know, making your whole self focused on being happy all the time. You know, we’ve created snowflakes in our country, where we really think everything ought to be fair or will be fair. Everything was built around me to make me happy. I will never be disappointed. I’ll never fail a test. I’ll never blow things because I’m me. And me is important. And so, we end up with safe places where there aren’t safe places and teaching about what ought to be, that will never be because we live in a fallen world.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
So there, I’ve said it.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. Yeah. So, so we, along with unbelievers, we experience difficulties

Steve Brown:
Exactly.

Pete Alwinson:
but God redeems them in a unique way for us.

Steve Brown:
He really does. You going to come in next week?

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah man. I’ll see you here.

Steve Brown:
You’re a good man, Charlie Brown. Guys, thank you so much for giving your time to be with us. We love this time and we love that you do too. And by the way, Key Life is a listener supported production of Key Life Network.

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