Thursday, June 21, 2007


Imagine that I am the keeper of a lighthouse where a cruise ship went down and that I saved 55 of the passengers. I might be heralded as a hero because I saved anyone.

No one would blame me for those who were not saved.

Unless, I could have saved more people but chose not to. What if I had the opportunity and resources to save everyone on board, but I chose to save only 55?

  • It was purely by my choice how many were saved.
  • It was purely by my choice who was saved.

I would be vilified worse than Mike Brown from FEMA.

In effect, I would be morally, if not legally, to blame for all those who died in the shipwreck. I could have saved them, but I simply decided not to.

But what if it was discovered that I had caused the ship to sink in the first place?

Let's say that I planted a sizeable bomb below the waterline and detonated it when the ship was in deep water. After the ship started sinking, I arrived and saved the lucky 55.

Would anyone care that I had saved the lives of 55 people?

All they would think about are the hundreds of people that I killed.

But what if I had a good reason for sinking the ship?

What if I knew that it would be hijacked by terrorists and used to blow up a bridge? It is conceivable that I could convince a jury that there was a greater good to be accomplished by sinking the ship.

But remember, I could have saved everyone.

I could have stopped the ship and still saved the life of every single person on board. The only reason I didn't save everyone is because I decided not to.

Most of you have already seen the theological implications of this analogy.

Some people claim that God has already chosen who he will save.

  • Not because of any intrinsic value that they might have
  • Not because of any choice that they might make
  • Not because of anything that distinguishes them from all others
  • Only because of God's sovereign choice

Furthermore, they say that God "caused" sin in the first place. He determined that humans would rebel against him and orchestrated the circumstances to ensure that this happened.

And from the very beginning, he decided some would be saved and some would not.

He could have saved everyone if he wanted.

But for some reason that we cannot comprehend, he decreed that some would have no opportunity to be saved, that they would be cut off from his mercy and grace, for no other reason than because he decided that it would be that way.

Yet they claim that this God is a good God.

But the Bible seems to tell another story.

  • It says that God wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4).
  • It says that God does not want anyone to perish, but wants all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).
  • It says that God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked and wants everyone to repent and live (Ezekiel 18:32).

The Bible tells of a God who went to great lengths to make it possible for anyone to be saved.

Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life" (John 5:24).

The final chapter of the Bible rings with this call:

Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life (Revelation 22:17).

The only ones who will not be saved are the ones who will not be saved, who refuse to get in the lifeboat.

Pastor Rod

"Helping You Become the Person God Created You to Be"

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