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161. Appointed to eternal life.

While addressing the crowds that had gathered in front of the synagogue at Pisidian Antioch, to hear the word of the Lord, Paul and Barnabas said to the Jews who were there: '"We had to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles ..." When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honoured the word of the Lord and all who were appointed to eternal life believed.' (Acts 13:47-48) It seems that only those who were 'appointed to eternal life' could believe and the rest couldn't believe, even if they wanted to believe, because they didn't have the faith to believe, but those who were predestined for salvation had the faith to believe. If faith was of our own making, then it would have been to our credit but Scripture says: 'It is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast.' (Ephesians 2:8-9) Then why didn't God give those who were not appointed to eternal life, the faith to believe so that they might also be saved? What then is the criteria for predestination? Definitely not our morality! 'There is no difference for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God! (Romans 3:23) Even our faith in the existence of a God doesn't seem to be the criteria. If it was, then almost all Gentiles should have been predestined for salvation because they believe in the existence of God, but they aren't! And for that matter, not all Jews are predestined for salvation, though they believe in the one true God. "Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea, only a remnant will be saved." ( Romans 9:27 / Isaiah 10:22) The criteria for predestination is not therefore just our belief in the existence of a God but also a heart for truth! Many who are religious and even those whom we consider as good human beings, do not have a heart for truth. They don't seek to know the truth nor like to be told the truth and if they happen to hear the truth, they are not able to discern it either! Pilate couldn't, inspite of being told the truth by Jesus himself. "I came into the world to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me." "What is truth?" Pilate asked. With this he went out again to the Jews and said, "I find no basis for a charge against him ..." (John 18:37-38) Are you on the side of truth? Is their room in your heart for him who is 'the Truth' (John 14:6)? Remember, truth is always singular in its existence. There are no many versions to the truth, but one! Are you able to discern it when you hear it? If you do, then be assured you are predestined for salvation and appointed to eternal life. He has set you apart from birth because he foreknew that you will respond to the truth. Therefore he gives you the faith to believe the Gospel and calls you by his grace in his time. Amen.

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