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Total depravity, "Unconditional election to salvation," Limited atonement, Iresistable grace, and Perserverance of the saints (TULIP) are companion doctrines of the Augustinian Cult (Calvinists and Sovereign Grace Baptists). The Unconditional Election doctrine is a misrepresentation of God's sovereign grace. Of course, God is sovereign but not at the expense of His other attributes, i.e., holy, merciful, just, sinless, good, loving, and etc. Still, the question is not whether God is sovereign, for He does exactly what He wants to do as He well pleases; the question, really, is, "What does God want to do?" Calvinists, using interpolations and stretches, try to prove God's unwritten salvation and probation intentions and decrees made out in eternity somewhere.
It is the height of depravity to pretend to know God's unwritten intentions, and it flies in the face of His ways and thoughts, which are even higher than that of the Calvinists, who pretend to know them. God's sovereign intentions are written in His book, namely, to seek and to save sinners and the lost. Anything contrary to that is wrong . . . dead wrong! Saved individuals are always, as Rufus, elected or chosen IN the Lord; no one is ever elected or chosen "OUT of the Lord." You are not "elected" until you are "in Christ." And you are IN CHRIST only after you repent and accept Him as your Lord and Saviour - not a moment before. Once IN Christ, you can now claim eternal life IN HIM from the foundation of the world.
Unconditional Election Versus Conditional Salvation
The "Unconditional" election of cities (1 Kings 8:44,48; 11:36), places (Deut. 12:21,26;16:11), tribes (Deut:5), Israel (Deut. 7:6-8; Ps. 135:4; Isa. 45:4), the Seed of Israel (Deut. 10:15), Jacob (Isa. 44: 1,2; Ps. 105:6; 1 Chron 16:13), nations and peoples (Ps 33:12), churches (1 Pet. 5:13), kings and rulers (1 Sam. 10:24;2 Chron. 6:6), special ministries (Deut. 21:5; 1 Chron. 15:2), apostles (Luke 6:13; John 6:70; Acts 1:2; Mark 3:14), Jesus (Isa 42:1; 1 Pet 2:6), and Angels (1 Tim 5:21) is totally within the confines of scripture.
The unconditional salvation of sinners is not within the confines of scripture, unless Augustine and Calvin wrote certain epistles. Salvation has condition, and belief of the truth is one of them.
Unconditional & Conditional Election Is in Time Not Eternity
And because he loved thy fathers, therefore he CHOSE their seed AFTER them. . . - Deut. 4:37
. . . the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that ARE upon the face of the earth. The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor CHOOSE you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: But because the LORD loved you, and BECAUSE he would keep the oath WHICH HE HAD SWORN TO YOUR FATHERS . . . -- Deut. 7:6,7,8
Only the LORD had a delight in thy fathers to love them, and he CHOSE their seed AFTER them, even you above all people, as it is this day. -- Deut. 10:15
. . . the LORD hath CHOSEN thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that ARE upon the earth. -- Deut. 14:2
Thus saith the Lord GOD; in thee DAY when I CHOSE Israel, and lifted up mine hand unto the seed of the house of Jacob . . . -- Ezek. 20:5
And not only this; but when Rebecca also had CONCIEVED by one, even by our father Isaac; (For the children being NOT YET BORN, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God accord- ing to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. -- Rom. 9:10-12 Salute Andronicus and Junia . . . who also were IN Christ BEFORE me. -- Rom. 16:7
Israel was chosen in time not in eternity, but it had nothing to do with salvation or all Israel would have been saved. The choice in the case of Jacob and Esau was made after the first child was *conceived,* IN TIME not in Eternity! But it had nothing to do with salvation, it had to do with who would serve whom.
If Paul and Adronicus and Junia were elected to salvation before the foundation of the world, Paul could not say that Andronicus and Junia were IN CHRIST BEFORE him for they were both IN HIM before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4). Election to salvation is in time not in eternity.
Eternity Versus Time
All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. - John 6:37
God's decrees and purpose made in eternity, have no order or sequence in eternity. God has no past nor future - only present. He views things all at once.
God's decrees and purpose are carried out in time through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. We understand and view them sequentially in time and in order. He speaks to us on our time level but is not brought down to our time level.
The one way that He could translate eternality into time is by using an mediator, who was the eternal God, who came into time as the God/man and gives *eternal* life, which technically has no beginning nor end, therefore from the foundation of the world IN CHRIST!
God gave the elect to Christ in eternity, Christ procured them and gave them eternal life in time. The Calvinist pretends to operate in God's timeless realm instead of operating at the time level that he can understand. This is the source of his problem and confusion.
Election, predestination, ordination, foreordination, predetermination are all to be understood in time but with the understanding that God's thoughts and ways are so much higher than our ways. Actually, Calvinist TULIPS rather than elevating God, bring Him down to their level by placing Him into their human time frame. They are unable to distinguish between time and eternity.