The Cross and the Sea 6 Tribes and Predestination

Journey - more Christ-like God.


Big Topic tonight.

I've never been more confident that some of you won't agree with what I'm saying.

Too progressive for conservatives and too conservative for progressives. - Kind of a somewhere in the middle kind of guy.

But again, we're committed to dealing with each other with humility, so if this is something that you feel differently about than me, this can be a good opportunity for you to practice humility.

Open/Close Hand

Don't let differences in theology divide.


SECTION A - TRIBES

Bible - God’s tribe - Israel - Tribes = family, bloodline, home, identity, everything.

Everyone belonged to a tribe.

  • Worked for well being of tribe - Everyone did.
  • Fought battles - built things - made alliances - preserve your tribe.

FOR PROTECTION

  • Brutal time
  • W/O protection - Enslaved or killed.

TRIBES HAD GOD’S/GODDESSES WORSHIPPED

  • Protected them - Blessed them - Guided them
  • Battle - your God battling their God

(Think David and Goliath)

…Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” (1 Samuel 17:26)

Not cattle - About their God vs our God

Last Week: Genesis 12 - God called Abraham (Abram) - father of a new tribe.

"and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."

Bible - Abraham’s tribe / journey. - - TRIBE

THE OT ISN’T ABOUT GOD’S RELATIONSHIP WITH A PERSON. W/a tribe.

In OT, when God’s talking: mainly to a tribe - promises, judgements.

This is what the LORD says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. (Jeremiah 29:10)

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

Who’s he talking to? A person? Nope. A tribe.

All tribes? Nope. A specific tribe. Called Israel.


SECTION B - CALVINISM, ARMENIANISM, PREDESTINATION, AND WASTING TIME.

Predestination

One of the most polarizing points in Christianity

IT’S MAINLY RELIGIOUS PEOPLE - THEOLOGICAL ARGUMENTS

Who’s in, who’s out, - elect, predestined. Argue about predestination just like we can argue about fish swallowing guys, giants arks, Missing the part of the bible that can change our hearts.

WHY I’M BRINGING THIS UP

Not to argue with you - Not to help you argue with other people

Predestination is important to understanding bible

Good word - Bible word - Shouldn’t be afraid - Shouldn’t give up


WHAT IS PREDESTINATION?

The idea that: Someone or somethings destination is decided beforehand.


Many people - God has chosen who he will save and who he will NOT save. - Can’t blame them

For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession. (Deuteronomy 7:6)

He chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will…. (Ephesians 1:4–5)

For God said to Moses, “I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose.” (Romans 9:15)

So it is God who decides to show mercy. We can neither choose it nor work for it. (Romans 9:16)

For the Scriptures say that God told Pharaoh, “I have appointed you for the very purpose of displaying my power in you and to spread my fame throughout the earth.” (Romans 9:17)

So you see, God chooses to show mercy to some, and he chooses to harden the hearts of others so they refuse to listen. (Romans 9:18)

Well then, you might say, “Why does God blame people for not responding? Haven’t they simply done what he makes them do?” (Romans 9:19)

No, don’t say that. Who are you, a mere human being, to argue with God? Should the thing that was created say to the one who created it, “Why have you made me like this?” (Romans 9:20)

When a potter makes jars out of clay, doesn’t he have a right to use the same lump of clay to make one jar for decoration and another to throw garbage into? (Romans 9:21)

In the same way, even though God has the right to show his anger and his power, he is very patient with those on whom his anger falls, who are destined for destruction. (Romans 9:22)

“Before you were born or had done anything good or bad God decided whether to save you or not.” John Piper

In a way comforting b/c God's in control.

Other hand, it's horrific, b/c just because you're chosen, doesn't mean you're precious baby son or daughter is. You could be chosen while your loved ones aren't.

“We call predestination God’s eternal decree, by which he compacted with himself what he willed to become of each man. For all are not created in equal condition; rather, eternal life is fore-ordained for some, eternal damnation for others.” (John Calvin - Institutes of the Christian religion)

I'll show my hand. I think pre-destination means something different than that.


Section C - You means ‘yall

TRAINS - Washington DC

If you want to go to the right place, you’ve got to get on that right train.

Trains are predestined

  • Their destination - planned out beforehand.
  • Schedule

Not predestined: wether or not you’ll get on - train.

When you get on the train, what’s predesinted for the train, becomes predestined for you.

OLD TESTAMENT CHOSEN PEOPLE - ISRAEL

Tribe, not individuals.

NEW TESTAMENT CHOSEN PEOPLE - THE CHURCH

God has chosen a “bride”.

Once you’re ‘in’. A lot of things become predestinated for you.

How do you become a part of the new tribe?

But now apart from the law, the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. (Romans 3:21)

This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, (Romans 3:22)

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23)

and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. (Romans 3:24)

God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood —to be received by faith. (Romans 3:25)

Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. (Galatians 3:7)

The train is still predestined

You get on the train by faith

CLASSIC PREDESTINATION SCRIPTURES.

Paul - first century jew - understands - we’re chosen

Romans 9

For God said to Moses, “I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose.” (Romans 9:15)

So it is God who decides to show mercy. We can neither choose it nor work for it. (Romans 9:16)

For the Scriptures say that God told Pharaoh, “I have appointed you for the very purpose of displaying my power in you and to spread my fame throughout the earth.” (Romans 9:17)

So you see, God chooses to show mercy to some, and he chooses to harden the hearts of others so they refuse to listen. (Romans 9:18)

Well then, you might say, “Why does God blame people for not responding? Haven’t they simply done what he makes them do?” (Romans 9:19)

No, don’t say that. Who are you, a mere human being, to argue with God? Should the thing that was created say to the one who created it, “Why have you made me like this?” (Romans 9:20)

When a potter makes jars out of clay, doesn’t he have a right to use the same lump of clay to make one jar for decoration and another to throw garbage into? (Romans 9:21)

In the same way, even though God has the right to show his anger and his power, he is very patient with those on whom his anger falls, who are destined for destruction. (Romans 9:22)

“Look! God chooses to love and save some people and he chooses to not save others!”

Hopefully - you have the tools

If not, give me 2 minutes


Paul’s talking about how God is choosing a new tribe.

Not about nationality, race. - Faith

What does all this mean? Even though the Gentiles were not trying to follow God’s standards, they were made right with God. And it was by faith that this took place. (Romans 9:30)

But the people of Israel, who tried so hard to get right with God by keeping the law, never succeeded. (Romans 9:31)

“Hey jews, it’s not about you anymore. God has a new tribe.”

“That’s so messed up! How could he do that to us?!”

“He made all of us! He has the right to choose whoever he wants!”

“God chooses who to show mercy.


Through faith

Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. (Galatians 3:7)

If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:29)


Interesting:

Even in OT - people becoming a part by choice.

HOW DID YOU BECOME AN ISRAELITE? Born into it

Was that the only way? Nope.

Genesis 17 onwards - God told Abraham ”anytime anyone wants in, let them come in.”

Embracing the jewish faith (Circumcised)

Was there any way out? Anyone can come in, anyone can leave.

Certain laws in Exodus, Numbers, Deuteronomy

Break them - “Cut Off” from the tribe.

Renouncing their faith - “Apostasy”


Both Israelites and the church - opt-in and opt-out


Ephesians 1

He chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will…. (Ephesians 1:4–5)

We shouldn’t read it as these individuals as opposed to these individuals. But tribes.

Notice that Paul doesn’t say that God chose us to be in or not in Christ. He rather says God chose us who are in Christ to be holy and blameless. What God chose from the foundation of the world was that whoever is in Christ will be holy and blameless and adopted into sonship.

Not predestined who gets on the train,

Predestined - all who board the train will be Holy and blameless.


Example: me teaching on Predestination

“When?”

Once you show up, what’s predestined for the group applies to you.

But you’re free to choose.

  • Of course God has to work in us.
  • Awaken our hearts.
  • Tear down the walls of resistance.
  • Breathe life into us.
  • God empowers us to have faith.

But he will not force us to.

Wants everyone to come

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)

And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, (Ephesians 1:13)

This is a picture of a God who wants everyone to come

  • Loves everyone.
  • Do everything possible so that they’ll believe in Him
  • But he will not force them

Breathe a sigh of relief - b/c you know that a God who may or may not choose your precious baby girl to go heaven. He may choose her to glorify him by burning eternally. That that looks a little different than Jesus.


If you are one who’s put your faith in Jesus Christ.

In tribe. On train.

You’re predestined - Holy, Blameless, live eternally through Christ. - Everything that’s in His kingdom is predestined for us.

(Band)


(PROMISES)

“Pre” destination is important, b/c this life can be crazy.

Walking in a NY subway station

Confused - Dizzy - Lost - Discouraged - Afraid - Empty

“What can you really trust?”

World can seem - hopeless, broken, stupid.

If our hope is in: Our goodness - Our government - Religion


Paul: “good news”

1 train - predestined - settled ahead of time.

Ephesians 1 - Things that are predestined for you.

You are predestined to:

3 - be placed in the heavenly realms
3 - be blessed with every spiritual blessing
4 - be holy and blameless
5 - be lovingly adopted into Christ’s own sonship
6 - be one who magnifies God’s glorious grace
7- be completely redeemed and entirely forgiven
8 - have God’s grace lavished on you
9 - receive the revelation of his will in Christ
10 - experience all things brought to harmony under Christ
11 - have God work out everything in your life according to His will.
12 - exist for ‘the praise of his glory’
13 - be marked with the ownership seal of the Holy Spirit
14 - enjoy the guarantee of an inheritance as one who is ‘God’s possession’.

Everything that’s true for Jesus becomes true for you

The fathers perfect love - Every spiritual blessing - The kingdom

Doesn’t make life perfect.

But - harder to stay depressed.

You’re in HIS tribe


We'll close service - Communion

Closing statement - pass out the elements.


CLOSING STATEMENT

To properly understand the bible, we need to remember that God deals with tribes. The bible is the unfolding story of God’s tribe. In the Old Testament, Israel was God’s tribe. But since Jesus, God’s tribe is a community known as the church. You become a part of this new tribe by receiving Jesus through faith. It’s not about nationality, gender, upbringing, skin color, circumcision, or anything else. And when you become a part of the tribe, what’s predestined for the tribe becomes predestined for you. God loves everyone and wants everyone to get on the train. But we know that there will be people who choose to stay off. But don’t let that confuse you about God’s incredible love, patience & kindness towards every single one of us. So when you see your friends and family who are far from God, rest assured that God has his arms open wide for them. There’s space for them on the train. God’s love knows no limits.

(You can serve the people.)


Tonight we talked about a God who welcomes all to come to Him. And this is true in communion. This is a sacred act that is symbolic of receiving Christ. - All are welcome.

Your: past, mistakes, shortcomings, future shortcomings, don't disqualify - communion w/ Christ.

Spend a little time w/ Him,

Spend a little time with Him, say Hi to him, say thank you to Him, receive Him by eating the bread and drinking from the cup.

Invitation:

This is the Table, not of the church, but of the Lord.
It is made ready for those who love Him and for those who want to love Him more.
So come,
You who have much faith and you who have little,
You who have been here often and you who have not been here long,
You who have tried to follow and you who have failed.
Come, because it is the Lord who invites you.
It is His will that those who want Him should meet Him here.
Come to the Table.

Let's take communion together