Hebrews 11: 39 All these were approved through their faith, but they did not receive what was promised, 40 since God had provided something better for us, so that they would not be made perfect without us
II Timothy 1: 9 God has saved us and called us
with a holy calling,
not according to our works,
but according to His own purpose and grace,
which was given to us in Christ Jesus
before the ages began.
10 his has now been made evident
through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus,
who has abolished death
and has brought life and immortality to light
through the gospel.
II Timothy 3:14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed. You know those who taught you, 15 and you know that from childhood you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are able to give you wisdom for SALVATION THROUGH FAITH IN Christ Jesus.
II Timothy 4: 18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil work and will bring me safely into His heavenly kingdom
Christ’s sheep have always been sheep but they have not always been “saved”.
There are those who teach that God’s elect were saved and objectively given every blessing before the ages. But in order to explain (away) many Bible texts, they say that elect sinners are always justified before God but simply have not “experienced” it yet. Thus they claim that none of the elect were ever under the wrath of God, but until they become regenerate, these elect in their conscience (but not before God) think by mistake that they are under the wrath of God.
But think about this attempt at a distinction between what’s a fact before God and the psychology of what’s going on in the heads of the sheep. The distinction depends on saying that regeneration is NOT an objective fact before God before the ages began, but that justification IS an objective fact before God before the ages. These folks are saying that some blessings (like the life of new birth) are not in fact given by God before the ages began. They agree that some of the elect don’t merely think they are not born again yet, because they agree that God does not give the new birth to all the elect at the same time. And yet these folks insist that justification before God is something which is a fact for all the elect at the same time, which they say is the time before time.
Yes, justification is before God, justification is God’s legal declaration and not a change inside the elect sinner. Justification is not the regenerating effectual call, because the effectual call changes a totally depraved elect sinner into a sinner who now believes the gospel. But this difference between justification and regeneration does not prove that justification is given to all before time, while effectual calling is given to individual elect sinners one by one, from time to time. Justification and the effectual call are both salvation blessings, but they are not the same blessings. None of those who have placed into Christ’s death are glorified or immortal yet, but all of those who have been justified by Christ’s death are also at the same time effectually called by the gospel. Righteousness demands life (Romans 8:10)
While these confusing preachers may begin by claiming that, if you have one blessing, then you already have all blessings of salvation, these same preachers also argue for a great time lag between God’s imputation of righteousness ( Christ’s death) and the effectual call which results. Yes, the effectual call is something that the sheep experience, and God’s imputation and legal declaration are outside the sinner, but this does not make effectual call an objective fact before God for all time. The sheep are not really effectually called before or without hearing and believing the gospel.
And the sheep are NOT justified before God until God places them into Christ’s death by legal imputation. Even though their specific sins (past and future) were all already imputed to Christ, Christ’s death is imputed to the elect in time, and this legal identity is not an objective fact until God declares it to be so. Abraham was not justified before God before the ages began. Abraham was born ungodly, and under the wrath of God. Abraham was justified before God only when God declared Abraham to be just based only on Christ’s death. Romans 4: 10 “In what way then was righteousness credited to Abraham? —while Abraham was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while Abraham was circumcised, because Abraham was justified while he was uncircumcised.”
So first the preachers add a “then” into II Timothy 1 to make it read “saved, then called, so calling is not the salvation”. But then second the same preachers add the word “experience” into Romans 10:13 to make it read “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved in EXPERIENCE”. And thus they teach that salvation is not an experience, when they want to talk about justification, but then agree that salvation is an experience when they want to talk about calling. But before that they said that calling was not “salvation”. And they don’t use the word “justification” because they want to (sometimes, when it suits them) equate the word “salvation” with “justification”. Thus they don’t much use the word “justification”. So first they say calling is not salvation, but then they also say that all blessings are salvation and that the sheep already have all the blessings before they are born.
We need to define the word “saved”. There are confusing preachers who prefer paradox to explanation and definition. Instead of saying that “salvation” includes election and effectual calling and glorification, they like to say that election is salvation but then also say that we need to be saved by the power of the gospel. In this way, they not only equate election and justification, but they stop talking about justification and begin to talking as if “salvation” was nothing but the effectual calling.
They are willing to say that some of the elect have not yet been effectually called but they are not willing to say that any of the elect are not yet justified. For all practical purposes, this means they stop talking about justification. They say that if God has purposed that an elect person receive all the blessings of salvation, then that means the person now already has all those blessings. Thus they say that all the elect are not only already justified but already glorified. They confuse the legal right to the life of the age to come with already having immortality. But then they contradict themselves by saying that not all the elect have been effectually called yet. Though they claim that all the elect have all blessings, they agree that some of the elect have not been yet received the blessing of effectual calling. .
Thus they say the elect in Christ were “saved” before the ages began, but then they say that the elect are not “saved” until they hear preaching. What they need to do is make a distinction between God’s purpose to obtain and give blessings, and then make a distinction between Christ obtaining the blessings (by His death and resurrection in time) and then God imputing (legally giving) these blessings to the elect, both to Abel and to all the elect who have not been justified. But instead they teach that all the elect have already been justified, and that all the elect were justified before the ages began.
Christ died once for all time does not mean that Christ was actually slain before the ages began. It means that it was God’s purpose before the ages began that Christ would die one time in time once for all time, and in this way obtain the objective righteousness by which God justifies the elect. We need to make a distinction between election in Christ as a blessing of salvation and justification in Christ as a blessing of salvation. None of the elect have yet been glorified, but that blessing of salvation will be given because of God’s purpose for it to be given and because Christ by His death and resurrection has obtained that blessing for all the elect.
II Timothy 1: 9 does not say that God has already saved all the elect. II Timothy 1:9 teaches that God has saved US and called US. Since not all the elect have been called, not all the elect have been saved. All the elect will be called, and all the elect will be saved. Election is not the only salvation. Calling is not the only salvation. II Timothy 1:9 does not say that God has saved some, and THEN called some. Calling is part of salvation, not something different from salvation. Calling is not all of salvation. But neither is election all of salvation. God’s purpose to save is not all of salvation, because it’s Christ’s death and resurrection which obtains salvation. Christ’s death and resurrection is not all of salvation, because God’s legal placing of the elect into Christ’s death is also salvation. God’s imputing the elect with Christ’s obtained righteousness is part of salvation.
It’s not the truth to say that “God saved us before the ages”. It’s not the truth to say that “Christ saved us 2000 years ago”. All those who have been set apart by God’s election will be saved in time all at the same time when they are glorified when Christ comes back again. Glorification is also part of salvation, and therefore it’s true to say that all those who have been saved by election have not yet been saved by glorification. Instead of looking at one isolated text like II Timothy 1:9-10 and then adding words to it (like “then” called) that are not in the text, it would be better to consider other verses in Timothy and see that “salvation” means different blessings in different texts.
I Timothy 4: 14 Do not neglect the gift that is in you; it was given to you through prophecy, with the laying on of hands by the council of elders. 15 Practice these things; be committed to them, so that your progress may be evident to all. 16 Pay close attention to your life and your teaching; persevere in these things, for by doing this you will SAVE both yourself and your hearers.
If all the elect are already saved before the ages, what sense does it make for Timothy to be told to “save” himself and others? Is it true that Timothy needs to believe the gospel? If the elect are justified apart from faith in the gospel, then there is no need for Timothy to believe the gospel and no need for Timothy to continue to believe the gospel. If the elect are justified apart from faith in the gospel, then there is no need for other sinners to hear Timothy teach the gospel. But “salvation” means more than one blessing in the Bible. When these preachers claim that saying that “faith in Christ is a work” (so believe in Christ’s faith instead) they are rejecting the Bible’s own distinction between salvation through faith and salvation through works. Faith is not works. Faith in Christ’s death is not a work. Faith in Christ’s death is not the same thing as faith in Christ’s faith.
The same preachers who teach eternal justification because they claim that “justification is just as eternal as election is eternal” also say that there is no salvation apart from a sinner hearing the gospel from a preacher. But even though justification is permanent once a person is justified, this does not mean that a person has always justified. Yes, those who have been elected in Christ have always been elect, but permanent election is not the same blessing as permanent justification. Instead of confusing contradictions which say that “the saved have not been saved”, we need to learn the different blessings of salvation.
These preachers need to explain what they mean by the “laying on of hands”. Does this having to do with the OT priests laying hands on the animals as a “means of grace” to those depending on these priests for access to God? Does the “laying on of hands” have to do with an apostolic succession in which certain charimastic powers are transferred from preacher to preacher? If you have to hear the gospel from a preacher and not from God giving you an understanding from reading the Bible, then does the preacher you hear the gospel from have to have heard the gospel from a preacher? If you are going for a Roman Catholic/ Landmarker succession thing, what if you go back seven preachers and find out that the seventh preacher only heard a teacher but not a preacher—somebody without hands put on, somebody not adept in soundbites?
We need to consider the context of Timothy and see that “salvation” cannot be reduced to election before the ages, and also to see that justification is not given to the elect before the ages.
I Timothy 6: 14 I charge you to keep the command without fault or failure until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 God will bring this about in His own Time. He is the blessed and only Sovereign,
the King of kings,
and the Lord of lords,
16 the only One who has immortality,
dwelling in unapproachable light;
no one has seen or can see Him,
to Him be honor and eternal might.
Hebrews 9: But now the Messiah has appeared one time, at the end of the ages, for the removal of sin by the sacrifice of Himself. 27 And just as it is appointed for people to die once—and after this, judgment— 28 so also the Messiah, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring SALVATION to those who are waiting for Him.
Instead of claiming that God has no time or that God is timeless, preachers need to submit to what I Timothy 4 teaches about obeying God’s commands until Christ’s second coming. Instead of claiming that we are already immortal (or that all humans are already immortal, bound to live somewhere, in hell or in heaven) , preachers need to submit to what I Timothy 6 teaches about only God being immortal. We sinners did not always exist, and none of us are immortal yet, because not even the elect will be given immortality until Christ “brings salvation” with Him at His second coming and our Resurrection.
Matthew 5: 10 Those who are persecuted for righteousness are blessed,
for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.
11 “You are blessed when they insult and persecute you and falsely say every kind of evil against you because of Me. 12 Be glad and rejoice, because your reward is great in heaven. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Notice that Matthew 5 does not teach that the elect are already in heaven. Nor does it teach that the elect will be in heaven someday. Nor does it teach that some Christians will be rewarded and other Christians will not. Christ is now in heaven, our reward is in Heaven, and Christ is our Reward. Christ is not going to stay in heaven but is coming to dwell with us and to “bring salvation” to us. Matthew 5 does not say we shall be blessed but that we are blessed but this does not eman that Christ has already glorified us or that Christ has already brought us all the blessings of salvation.
II Timothy 2: 12 if we endure, we will also reign with Him;
if we deny Him, He will also deny us
I find it interesting that these very same preachers who are teaching “eternal election is eternal justification” so that “election is salvation” are the very same people who also like to say that “non-election is not condemnation”. But when they say this, they have to change their soundbites so that “election is not salvation but only unto salvation”. They they quote CD Cole—“Election is not the cause of anybody going to hell, for election is unto salvation (2 Thessalonians 2: 13). Neither is non-election responsible for the damnation of sinners. Sin is the thing that sends men to hell, and all men are sinners by nature and practice. Sinners are sinners altogether apart from election or non-election. It does not follow that because election is unto salvation that non-election is unto damnation. Sin is the damning element in human life. Election harms nobody.”
Those who refuse to give explanations like to have their cake and also eat it. On the hand, they like to reduce salvation to God’s sovereignty and equate election with justification ( and don’t talk about justification or Christ obtaining righteousness by being imputed with guilt). But on the other hand, when it comes to explaining the non-salvation of the non-elect, these same preachers don’t want to talk about God’s sovereignty but only about God’s justice.
But guilt is not enough for destruction, because you also have to be non-elect. The elect are also born guilty in sin, under the wrath of God, but all the elect will pass from guilt to justification. But these preachers deny that the elect are ever guilty, and they minimize any idea that Christ was imputed with the guilt of the elect, and in that way obtained justification for the elect. And these same preachers deny that non-election is any factor in some sinners not being saved.
Romans 9: 11 For though her sons had not been born yet or done anything good OR BAD, so that God’s purpose according to election would stand— 12 not from works but from the One who calls
The confusing preachers who teach that non-election is no factor in the destruction of sinners also tend to teach that Adam’s sin imputed is no factor in the condemnation of sinners. They say that the non-elect are condemned only for their own sins, and not for the sin of Adam Thus they teach 1. that the elect are never ever condemned, and never pass from guilt to justification
(the two seed in the spirit idea from primitive baptists, the children of the woman)
And they teach 2. that the non-elect are not born condemned, are not condemned until they themselves sin
If we are saved by Christ’s faith, and not by means of faith in Christ, when did the “faith of Christ” happen—-did Christ have vicarious faith for the elect before time began? In the purpose of God, Christ was slain and crucified before the ages, but it was not until once for all time that Christ obtained permanent redemption for all the elect, both for those who had already been justified and also for those who would be justified.
If those who do not yet believe the gospel are already justified, there is no way to judged saved and lost by the gospel
Romans 4: 23 Now “righteousness was imputed to him” was not written for Abraham alone, 24 but also for us. Righteousness WILL BE IMPUTED TO US WHO BELIEVE in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 The Lord was delivered up because of our trespasses and raised because of our justification.
Henry Mahan—“When did this righteousness Christ brought in come to you? You don’t have this righteousness imputed to you before you believe the God of the gospel.”
There is a difference between the righteousness of Christ’s death, its imputation, and the justification which follows imputation. The righteousness of the death is the value God puts on the death. When that righteousness is legally shared with an elect person, that elect person passes from death to life and is justified. There are no justified persons who do not yet believe the gospel. This does NOT make faith in the gospel to be an “instrumental cause” of God’s imputation.
There is a difference between sin and the guilt of sin and the corruption of sin. The guilt of sin counted against a person causes a person to come under condemnation and the result of that is death.
John 5: 24 “I assure you: Anyone who hears My word and BELIEVES Him who sent Me HAS the lasting life of the age to come and will NOT COME UNDER THE JUDGMENT but HAS passed from death to life.