Ephesians 1:4 seems to say that God knew each of us and had determined before the foundation of the world to call each of us into His Family. Can this be true?
Most professing Christians agree that God is sovereign, but there is a wide range of beliefs with regard to just how involved God is in their lives.
In the example of a child summoned by a parent to clean up his room, the child's dawdling and complaining are not predestined nor are they part of God's will.
Mark Schindler, reflecting on a funeral sermon he delivered suggested that the deceased person had displayed spiritual gifts (i.e., designated as Cook County Foster Mother of the Year) long before she had been called into God's church. God evidently has had each of us in His radar scope long before the foundation of the world, …
One aspect of sovereignty that causes some confusion is predestination. God's sovereignty does not remove a person's free moral agency — we must still choose.
The overriding issue of life is to whom we will give ourselves in obedience. Will it be ourselves, society, business, Satan or God?
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on "Heavenly places in Christ", asserts that Christianity is an other-worldly religion, where we walk by faith, not by sight. We are to be "cut out" from the world in order to be a "cut above" through our sanctification, emulating the holiness of God. We find within …
God established permanent patterns, electing Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as well as all of those He has called. This election should be our obsession.
John Ritenbaugh explores several nuances of the term grace, describing a generous, thoughtful action of God, accompanied by love, which accomplishes His will, equipping us with everything we will need to be transformed into the Bride. Even though we, like Jeremiah, may feel timid and underpowered, God is always out in front, …
Consider two end-time, dominant forces: the Beast power of Revelation 13 and God. To whom will we yield to in the coming years?
Those who emphasize one trait of God, or one doctrine, at the expense of the others run the risk of distorting the truth, creating a grotesque caricature.
David Grabbe, unraveling several apparently contradictory scriptures, exposes a fundamental flaw in western thinking—namely the binary (that is, either-or) thinking that leads us to construct false dilemmas. Perhaps the best example of this is the one delineated by Protestant theologians who conceptualize law and grace at …
How involved in man's affairs is God? Is He merely reactive, or does He actively participate—even cause events and circumstances, particularly in the church?
God's calling and predestination can be confusing, especially the verse that 'many are called, but few are chosen'. Why does God not just choose everyone?
Most converted Christians realize that God is sovereign. But sometimes the Bible reveals something about God that makes us uncomfortable. Can we accept it?
John Ritenbaugh emphasizes how intimately God is involved with the intimate details of our life, including our conception and birth, supplying spiritual gifts or abilities to carry out His work. David reflects that God knows us searchingly, even our secret thoughts and desires before we are even aware of them (Psalm 139:2). …
Jesus Christ has full control of the church. Everything of consequence, including the development of our character, is engineered by Him.
God desires far more for us than mere satisfaction: He wants to give us real contentment, a state that comes only through a relationship with Him.
Those who have made a covenant with God can be corrupted unless they make a concerted effort to know God, realizing He has the right to do as He pleases.
God's calling is personal and individual rather than general, opening otherwise closed minds, replacing spiritual blindness with spiritual understanding.
We have been given something far more valuable than the lottery, namely our calling. We are obligated not to squander this valuable opportunity.
No one has any excuse for doubting God's purpose for mankind, whether revealed publicly through His Creation or privately through the Holy Scriptures.
John Ritenbaugh, cuing in Romans 11:26, which states that the calling of God is irrevocable and eventually the vast majority of Israel will be saved, suggests that the conversion of the Gentiles is part of God's plan to bring maximum conversion. As God's called-out ones, having been gifted with special spiritual gifts, we must …
God has a vision for us, a vision He has been planning from the foundation of creation, an awesome plan to bring us into His very family, giving us His mind.
We are royalty, part of the highest Family in all creation. We can take great comfort in knowing who it is we really are and that the Father greatly values us.
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the terrifying events at the close of the age described in Matthew 24:4-13, asks us who really deserves our loyalty ? Several years ago, the intensity of persecution started to mount against Christianity. The Coptic Christians of Egypt have been severely persecuted by the Muslim Brotherhood, with …
Those who believe in the "once saved always saved" doctrine fail to see that God has a more extensive and creative plan for mankind than merely saving him.
The true nature of God differs greatly from the trinitarian concept. Having created us in His form and shape, God desires to develop us into His character image.
The spiritual journey of God's people is more difficult than the physical one of the ancient Israelites, requiring as it does more resources to navigate.
John Ritenbaugh, continuing his exposition on Ecclesiastes 6, appraises the book of Ecclesiastes as the most bluntly profound book in the entire Bible, pointing to our urgent need to develop a relationship with God. We did not create ourselves or give ourselves life. The Psalmist David realized we were made by somebody other …
John Ritenbaugh observes that without our special calling and the gift of God's Holy Spirit, we would be about as clueless as to the purpose of our life as Solomon was throughout Ecclesiastes. Understanding is totally different from knowledge. Some people with ample knowledge are incredibly stupid when discerning the plan of …