“His Own Chosen Purpose” ( Philippians 2: 13, Daniel 5: 23; NEB ) by Carley Evans


“You have not given glory to God, in whose charge is your very breath and in whose hands are all your ways.”

 

“You must work out your own salvation in fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, inspiring both the will and the deed, for His own chosen purpose.”

 

Paul assures “it is impossible that the Word of God should prove false.” (Romans 9: 6) God does not lie; He is not the author of evil. Yet, all our ways are in His hands, says Daniel. And, Paul writes that “it is God who works in you…for His own chosen purpose.” Paul explains God’s sovereignty in his letter to the Romans. He writes of Rebekah’s children, Jacob and Esau. Despite having the same father, “in order that God’s selective purpose might stand, based not upon men’s deeds but upon the call of God, [Rebekah] was told, even before they were born, when they had as yet done nothing, good or ill, ‘The elder shall be servant to the younger’; and that accords with the text of Scripture, ‘Jacob I loved and Esau I hated.’ ” (Romans 9: 11-13)

 

“Thus He not only shows mercy as He chooses, but also makes men stubborn as He chooses.” (Romans 9: 18) Paul refers us to Pharaoh — how God hardens this man’s heart repeatedly so that he does not let the Israelites leave Egypt.

 

Paul acknowledges that this does not, on the surface, appear fair. But he answers the objection: “But what if God, desiring to exhibit His retribution at work and to make His power known, tolerates very patiently those vessels which are objects of retribution due for destruction, and does so in order to make known the full wealth of His splendour upon vessels which are objects of mercy, and which from the first are prepared for this splendour?” (Romans 9:22-23)

 

“God’s choice stands.. for the gracious gifts of God and His calling are irrevocable.” (Romans 11: 28, 29)

“In Those Days” (Mark 13: 19, ESV) by Carley Evans


Usually I do not write about “end times,” as I tend to think what is happening right now is so much more important than what is going to happen at the end of the world. Yet, this is not to imply by any means that what is going to happen in the end is not important!

Jesus speaks of “those days” often.

He says, “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.” (Mark 13: 24 – 25)

First, says Jesus, comes tribulation – terrible and final. “For in those days there will be such tribulation as has not been from the beginning of the creation that God created until now, and never will be.” (Mark 13: 19) False prophets and men who claim to be God appear, and deceive many. Nations rise up against each other as do brothers and sisters, parents and children.

In more ways than one, the world is dark when Jesus comes again. He prays that this time will not be in winter. He acknowledges that God, in His mercy, will cut short the tribulation “for the sake of the elect, whom He chose.” (Mark 13: 20)

When Jesus comes, angels will go out into heaven and into the world to “gather His elect.” (Mark 13: 27)

“Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come.” (Mark 13: 33)