Items posted on 16 January 2012
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Revelation 19.1-7 – Salvation, Predestination, and God’s Glory
Posted: 16 January 2012 in Revelation

And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. And again they said, Alleluia And her smoke rose up for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia. And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

Amongst other things, these verses give us a reason for salvation not being universal. Namely that God’s victory over his enemies will be part of both motive and substance for the worship of God in heaven. Of course, that might give rise to the perennial complaint that predestination is unfair. But that misses the point that we were not created for our own sake, but in order to serve God’s purposes, and it also misses the point that predestination does not negate human responsibility – when we are judged we will not be able to claim that responsibility for sin is not ours. The universe was created so that God could be thereby glorified, and it is governed with that end in view. All men, all women, and all things, will serve that purpose.

Irrespective of our eternal destiny we all have an unconditional obligation to worship our creator. A refusal to do that, possibly as the result of pride, could be said to function as an indicator of whether or not somebody is amongst God’s elect. If somebody is resentful of God, who is their Lord and reigns over them, and if they steadfastly refuse him their worship, they are hardly fitted to live eternally in his presence. Although what necessarily follows is sometimes described as eternal punishment, it is really something which they will have brought upon themselves – even though it is also something preordained by God for his own glory.

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