A Sovereign Will With A Salvation For Whosoever Will
Romans Chapter 9: Verses 14-24
Our text this afternoon brings us to an interesting place in the Word of God. Interesting for a number of reasons including the subject matter in which it deals with and that is one of the attributes of God, the Sovereignty of God.
The 1828 Edition of Webster’s defines Sovereign as
Supreme in power; possessing supreme dominion; as a sovereign ruler of the universe. Supreme; superior to all others; chief. God is the sovereign good of all who love and obey him. Supremely efficacious; superior to all others; predominant; effectual; as a sovereign remedy.”
Easton’s Bible Dictionary says Sovereignty is God’s
absolute right to do all things according to his own good pleasure.
New Unger’s Bible Dictionary says that regarding the Sovereignty of God, that
He is under no external restraint whatsoever. He is the Supreme Dispenser of all events. All forms of existence are within the scope of His dominion. And yet this is not to be viewed in any such way as to abridge the reality of the moral freedom of God’s responsible creatures or to make men anything else than the arbiters of their own eternal destinies. God has seen fit to create beings with the power of choice between good and evil. He rules over them in justice and wisdom and grace. (Unger, M. F., Harrison, R. K., Vos, H. F., Barber, C. J., & Unger, M. F. The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary. Chicago: Moody Press)
In other words and to make it as simple as possible, God can do whatever He pleases. We as Christians, the created, must not question God, the creator’s, decisions and actions. Whatever He does is right and good. As one man said, “I believe that a whale swallowed Jonah, because the Bible says so, and if the Bible said that Jonah swallowed a whale, I would have believed that too.” There is nothing too hard for God and He never does anything wrong.
And this brings us to the second reason this passage of scripture is interesting and that is because of the question it raises. Does this mean that God arbitrarily chooses some sinners to be saved and some to be lost?
Well, there is a doctrine that exists that teaches this very thing and they use this passage as “proof” that God arbitrarily chooses some sinners to be saved and some to be lost. That false doctrine is the doctrine of Calvinism. They can do this because it is very easy to twist what the Word of God is really saying and make it fit what you want it to say! This is very dangerous to do yet they do it anyway.
And for you and I as Christians, we must know what this world is tossing and throwing our way! We need to be sure we are grounded and rooted in His word so we’re never deceived by every new doctrine and by every new fad that comes our way.
Ephesians Chapter 4: Verse 14: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
The way the Calvinist teaches this passage and really Calvinism as a whole, it distorts an understanding of the Sovereignty and Character of God! Yes, God is Sovereign, can do what He pleases but with that Sovereign Will of God comes a Salvation for Whosoever Will!
Let’s look at this passage a bit closer and see what it is indeed teaching.
Romans Chapter 9: Verses 14-16
These first three verses of our text is dealing with God’s overall plan pertaining to just who He would extend His mercy, grace, and compassion to NOT who He would choose for Heaven or Hell. Remember, it was Israel and the Jewish people who God chose first but because they rejected Him, He opened His wonderful salvation to all, to whosoever will! Nowhere in these verses can you or will you find it to mean election when it comes to personal salvation, one choosing, of their own free will to accept the gift God has provided. The choice is the individuals to make but God has chosen to who He would extend the gift of salvation to, and that who just so happens to be whosoever will! This is very important for us to know when studying these verses.
Romans Chapter 9: Verses 17-21
We can come to Pharaoh here in verses 17-21 and again it would seem as if God has chosen arbitrarily to punish Pharaoh. However, upon further study and examination we see that is not the case and is put here as an illustration of God’s power and glory!
Exodus Chapter 5: Verse 2
And Pharaoh said, Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go.
Here we see that Pharaoh outright rejected God and His Word and because of that God would harden Pharaoh’s heart.
Exodus Chapter 7: Verse 3
And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt.
And after this, we see that twice, Pharaoh would harden his own heart.
Exodus Chapter 8: Verse 15
But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart, and hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.
Exodus Chapter 9: Verse 34
And when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunders were ceased, he sinned yet more, and hardened his heart, he and his servants.
See folks, the Bible teaches that it is always God’s will for men to serve Him, but when they reject Him, He rejects them, judges them, and makes examples of them, but never does He make the choice for them to reject Him! That’s the key and the point I’m trying to get across to you here this afternoon. God provides a whosoever will salvation!
II Thessalonians Chapter 2: Verses 10-12
And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Sinners will be dammed, not because they are not sovereignly elected and not because they are sovereignly reprobate but because of their personal decision in regard to the truth! Words could not be plainer. God did make an example of Pharaoh and God did harden his heart for this purpose, but to go beyond what the Word of God says and to claim that God chose to create Pharaoh for the sole purpose of reprobating him is a great error and is to malign the name of our loving God! It’s a whosoever will salvation!
Romans Chapter 9: Verses 22-23
Now we come to a very interesting phrase found here in verse 22, “vessels of wrath fitted to destruction”. Now to just look at this verse, it would seem to be in a tense that suggests the vessels themselves choose to be made up for destruction. Yet that is not what it means. This phrase means to “fit oneself” or “prepared for destruction”. In other words, God made Israel a vessel for His purposes, yet Israel turned against their own maker. Throughout the Old Testament, the analogy of Israel being the clay and Jehovah God the potter is advanced. God therefore “endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath.” Israel, through their own hardness of heart, had transformed themselves into a vessel for destruction – vessels unto dishonor. They prepared their own destruction.
Likewise, because sinners today refuse to repent of their sins and turn to the Lord for a salvation that is open to whosoever will, it is their choice if they perish, not God’s! God has given us, sinners the life line, it’s up to them, us, you, and me to take it or else we like Israel prepare our own destruction.
Romans Chapter 9: Verse 24
And finally here this afternoon, we come to verse 24 and a verse that the Calvinist claims refers to “effectual calling” but again this is adding to God’s Word. This verse does not mean that God calls only a certain pre chosen elect group to salvation. God in His perfect plan chose to be merciful to all. Though gentiles, you and I, deserved wrath, God chose to offer them, us mercy. “Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?” Israel had their chance at God’s mercy and spurned it.
Now, God in His own prerogative has chosen to turn His mercy to the gentiles. The greater point is that it is God’s prerogative to choose whom He will. Israel had their chance. Now God has elected to offer mercy to the rest of the world. And that is how we come to have a salvation that is open to whosoever will! See; just because God chose to extend salvation to the gentiles, never did He take it back from the Israel, the Jews. It’s still open to them just as it is us!
The Bible plainly states that God has called all who will come to Christ. God calls through the gospel and the gospel is to be preached to every creature.
II Thessalonians Chapter 2: Verse 14
Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Mark Chapter 16: Verse 15
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
God calls whosoever will!
Romans Chapter 10: Verse 13
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Revelation Chapter 22: Verse 17
And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
God calls everyone that believes on Christ.
John Chapter 6: Verse 40
And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
God’s salvation even of the Jews was not arbitrary but was based in faith in His Word!
Romans Chapter 9: Verses 31-32
But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;
Romans Chapter 10 leaves no doubt about the fact that God has provided a salvation that is for whosoever will. The promise of salvation indicates that it is not God’s arbitrary choice.
Romans Chapter 10: Verses 8-13
But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Whosoever! Folks, I have good news here this afternoon. Yes, while we are sinners and apart from Christ our eternal home when we die is the flames of Hell, we have been provided a salvation that is open to whosoever will. And if you are here this afternoon, you qualify as a whosoever will! All that is asked of you is that you believe and thou shalt be saved!
And after, it’s simple, number one, get this wonderful life changing gospel to all you know and even all you don’t know by simply telling others of what Christ has done for you and in turn has done for them. Don’t just get saved and let that be it! Get the whosoever will salvation gospel news to more whosoever wills. And secondly, live a life that is worthy of the one who died for you providing you that whosoever will salvation!
Mark Chapter 16: Verse 15
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
Philippians Chapter 1: Verse 27
Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
Yes, God is Sovereign, can do what He pleases but with that Sovereign Will of God comes a Salvation for Whosoever Will and praise God for it!