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"And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice -- the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him." Romans 12:1

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Big Question #5: How can a loving God only save some?

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(Note -- I missed a blog on Big Question #4: Who is Jesus and is He the only way?)

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Our Scripture passage for this Sunday is Ephesians 2:1-14.

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If you look back to the first blog post for this series, this question wasn't one of the ones listed. Instead there were two questions: "How many will be saved?" and "Is hell real and necessary?" But in order to answer both of those questions we have to talk about the same thing: Election. So I am combining them in the question, "How can a loving God only save some?"

I was in a Bible study in university where every conversation seemed to always end up back on the question of election, or predestination. It's something that, as a group, we wrestled with. How do we live out our faith if God has already chosen? How does the fact that God chooses some and not others impact how we see God and how we understand Him? Is it even fair? 

At some point in the conversation we would have to, in effect, throw up our hands and admit that the Bible is clear that God does choose (this is clear throughout the Old and the New Testaments) and we cannot fully comprehend how it all works. The Apostle Paul wrestled with this very idea through Romans 9-11 and ends with a doxology proclaiming: 

Oh the depths of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God. How unsearchable his judgments and His paths beyond tracing out! "Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?" "Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?" For from Him and through Him and for Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen. 

(Romans 11:33-36)

This Sunday we will try to answer the question of how a loving God can only save some. To do that we will look at what Scripture teaches, and we will examine what we can prayerfully hope for. And through all this we will hopefully be compelled to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with others because God is the one who adopts, God is the one who saves, God is the one who chooses by His grace; and He even uses us to call all His children to Himself.

To Him be the glory forever! Amen.

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To prepare for Sunday I invite you to read:

Matthew 25:31-46

Romans 9:1-11:36 (in fact all of Romans 1-11 is good reading for a better understanding of election and God's grace)

Exodus 6:28-9:12 (notice the difference between Exodus 7:13, 8:15, 8:32, and Exodus 9:12)

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