Saturday, July 16, 2011

Bible Truth #78 - Acts 17:26

From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.

Here we have incontrovertible proof that God is the One who determines not only where each and every man will be born, live, and die; but also when it will occur. This necessarily includes whether they will even have the “opportunity” to hear the Gospel!

As I’ve written before, there are people who die every day without hearing the Gospel. They never hear the Good News that:
- Jesus was born of a virgin,
- Jesus lived a perfect life,
- Jesus performed many miracles,
- Jesus was beaten and whipped,
- Jesus shed His blood,
- Jesus was nailed to a cross,
- Jesus died on that cross, was buried and three days later was resurrected,
- Jesus ascended into Heaven 40 days later,
- Jesus WILL come again.
THAT is the Gospel. The Gospel is not in nature. Evidence of God exists in nature so the creature (man) can acknowledge God the Creator, NOT God the Savior! Again, the Gospel is NOT in Nature.

Because of when or where they were born and raised, some men never hear the Gospel. There are millions who HAVE died, and thousands who die every day today in the womb, or in infancy (long before they can even understand language), or in nations closed to Christianity who never have the “opportunity” to hear the Gospel. And where the Gospel isn't preached, people aren't saved.

Now put the shoe on the other foot. Those born in Christian nations, or who have the opportunity through missionaries to hear the Gospel “by chance” is really “by design,” God’s design. How can I write that with certitude? Because God determined the time for every man’s life, and the exact place where we would live. One of the possible reasons God has determined this is because there are relatively few He chose in Christ before the foundation of the world. Most are NOT chosen and hence God determined that they would NOT hear the Gospel by placing them in history with Gentile nations before Christ, or in remote African, South American, or Indonesian jungle villages 1000 years ago, or even in some places today that have never heard the Gospel.

Therefore, according to Acts 17:26, Who determines the times for our lives? Who determines the exact places where all humans (lost, saved, and not saved yet) should be born? Who determines the exact places where all humans will spend their lives? The answer is God.

Whereas there are people who die every day and who have died throughout history without the “opportunity” to hear the Gospel because of when they lived (as in BC - Before Christ) or where they lived (closed societies or cultures where Christianity is not welcome or not known),
Whereas it is God who determines when and where every human being will be born,
Whereas it is God who determines when and where every human being will live,
Therefore, a Sovereign God has chosen whom to save.

We become children of God not by HUMAN decision (John 1:13). It’s God’s decision and He made it before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4).

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