“…and as many had been appointed to eternal life believed.” Acts 13:48.
Wow! What a weekend of encouraging, challenging, confronting and dare I say even provocative ministry from the word of God.
For some of us the preaching asserted what we already believe and hold as true interpretations of Scripture. As a result, it has been like music to the soul with which we passionately say, amen! But to some of us, certain aspects of these messages did not line up with what we believe and hold to. And as a result, they were somewhat disconcerting which can leave us feeling very uncomfortable and even resentful.
As your pastor, who has been called to lead and nurture the sheep, no matter where you are in your biblical understanding, I urge you not to let non-essential matters in our salvation cause any rift among us.
As you may know I love and believe in the doctrines of grace and which include God’ sovereign election and predestination of those whom will be saved, but I would not dare call these doctrines as essential to our salvation. I whole-heartedly agree with the esteemed Martyn Lloyd-Jones who has stated:
I believe in election and predestination; but I would not dream of putting it under the heading of essential. I put it under the heading of non-essential… You are not saved by your precise understanding of how this great salvation comes to you. What you must be clear about is that you are lost and damned, hopeless and helpless, and that nothing can save you but the grace of God in Jesus Christ and only Him crucified, bearing the punishment of your sins, dying, rising again, ascending, sending the Spirit, regeneration. Those are the essentials… While I myself hold very definite and strong views on the subject, I will not separate from a man who cannot accept and believe the doctrines of election and predestination, and is Arminian, as long as he tells me that we are all saved by grace, and as long as the Calvinist agrees, as he must, that God calls all men everywhere to repentance. As long as both are prepared to agree about these things I say we must not break fellowship. So I put election into the category of non-essentials. (Grace Quotes)