In the book of Hosea we read of the LORD’s purpose to save a small remnant of the tribes of Israel. “And it shall come to pass at that day, that I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel. --------for I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel; but I will utterly take them away. But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the LORD their God" (Hos 1:5-7) In this HE demonstrates a principle which is manifested throughout the whole of scriptures. “Isaiah also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved.” (Rom 9:27) The LORD illustrated this principle when HE said, “Wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Mat 7:13-14) and also “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Mat 7:21-23)
Though HE speaks here primarily of those who are members of natural Israel, the greater lesson is that this principle is especially and expressly speaking of those who are the true Israel of GOD, that elect people who were chosen by HIM from before the foundation of the world.
There is a people whom the LORD has determined to save out of the mass of humanity. There is no doubt about either the number of those people, the degree of their deliverance, nor of the absolute certainty and duration of their salvation. The number of them is one which is determined solely by HIM. “As many as were ordained to eternal life believed.”(Acts 13:48) “Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts.” (Psa 65:4) This number can neither be increased nor diminished by anything which men have within their power to perform. These are totally dependent upon HIM and are the trophies of HIS sovereign grace with nothing to glory in but that grace.
The degree of their deliverance is complete and total, lacking in nothing nor waiting for any part of their salvation to be completed by any action of their own. This is demonstrated in the revelation given to Joseph just prior to the birth of the LORD JESUS CHRIST. “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” (Mat 1:21) This is neither a partial salvation nor one which depends upon the actions of men, “But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” (Heb 7:24-25) The word “uttermost” simply means, completely, perfectly, and utterly without fail. This salvation which CHRIST has procured for the sons of GOD is described as “eternal” which does not refer primarily to its longevity but rather to the absolute degree of it. Even as there is no shadow of turning with HIM who is the AUTHOR of it who is HIMSELF “eternal”. “And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM.” (Exo 3:14)
The absolute certainty and duration of this salvation of the elect, is that which Peter declares in contrast to those who reject CHRIST, “This is the stone which was set at naught of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.” (Acts 4:11) Religious men will always pay lip service to a form of worship, yet will consistently despise the absolute sovereignty of GOD to do as HE will with HIS own creation, since this overturns their concepts of the freedom of their own wills and ability to approach unto HIM accordingly when and if they desire.
Peter said that “we must be saved”, referring to those whose chief delight is in that ONE who is despised by religious men, most especially the moral majority who have some notion of a form of righteousness which can be discovered in themselves, even if it be but a comparison of their own “righteousness” relative to that of others. GOD’s people “must be saved” by CHRIST, because they despair of salvation through any other means than the glorious substitutionary work of HIM who gave HIMSELF as an exact and compete payment for their sin debt, imputing HIS righteousness to them while taking upon HIMSELF their sin.
They “must be saved” by HIM who has determined to save them. “But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.” (Psa 115:3) “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” (Isa 46:9-10)
They “must be saved” because HE is a mighty SAVIOR. “Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, traveling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save.” (Isa 63:1) This is no pipsqueak deity who must wait upon the decisions of men, but rather ONE who has power to save and uses it according to HIS divine purpose, mercy, and grace. Who could be saved otherwise?
They “must be saved” because HIS love for them is greater than any condemnation, accuser, or enemy. “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom 8:38-39) This love of which he speaks here is either particular to a specific number or of no consequence at all if it be a universal love as some men tell us, when it is clear that some shall be indeed be separated from CHRIST in the final day.
It is an amazing thing to consider that just such a message as I have declared in this article was commonplace just two hundred years ago when the unmistakable strains of GOD’s free and sovereign grace rang from the multitudes of pulpits across this land. Yet this message is, in large part, strangely silent today as the vast majority of those who profess to believe in CHRIST are either strangers to the clear message of the gospel or sit in utter defiance of it, preferring to heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears, desiring to be scratched by humanistic “preaching” which declares neither the utter depravity of men nor the absolute sovereign purpose of GOD to save whom HE will.
GOD has not left HIMSELF without a witness in the earth however as HE is yet awakening HIS people and causing them to fall before HIS feet to seek HIS mercy, while the multitudes of men satisfied with their religious observances, programs, and endeavors go on oblivious and unconcerned that the glory of the Blessed GOD is trampled upon by the purveyors of free-willism.
“For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.---- 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; As it is written, Behold, I lay in Zion a stumblingstone and rock of offense: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” (Rom 9:28-33) They must be saved.mam