Invitation to Bible Study

Several current television shows highlight the secondhand retail industry. The stars of the shows shop for bargains in barns, flea markets, and pawn stores. They are looking for treasures among items that most people would deem used up or worthless. Most of the shows save one final purchase for the end of the program, when the star of the show stumbles upon an item of great price, purchases it, and repurposes it to highlight its value to the new owner. These shows highlight the concept of redemption. This week we begin our new study of chapters 1–9 in the Book of Luke. I hope you’ll join us as we discuss how God’s promises point to His redemptive plan for His creation.

This study commences on Sunday, December 6, 2020, at 9:00 A.M. via Zoom. It will last about an hour. Everyone is welcome! If you are interested, please let me know by leaving a comment on this post at Word Press or email me at Feel free to share this with someone that ma in interested.

Start your New Year’s resolutions now as we will learn about the real meaning of Christmas.

Scott Harris

Are You a Member of the Family?

Are you a member of the family of God? During this tumultuous time in our Country where we are staunchly divided into members of the Democrat family or Republican family, only one family makes a difference in the big picture. President Obama famously said, “Elections have consequences.” He was correct. The outcomes of elections here in the USA will determine what type of Country we will be and how it will be run; however, this is a temporary situation. New leaders will inevitably be chosen, and they will have their ideas of how things will be. But one day, it will all end. There will no longer be Democrats or Republicans or even a United States of America. But when this all ends here on Earth, there will still be an eternity. Then, the question will be, “Are you a member of the family of God?” 

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is simple. He left Heaven, was born of a virgin, lived a perfect, sinless life, was tortured, crucified, and killed, paid the penalty of sin, was buried, rose from the dead, and in now sitting at the right hand of God the Father interceding for His family. To become an adopted member of this family, all you have to do is believe that Jesus paid that price for you and believe that He was resurrected from the dead, defeating death, and now intercedes on your behalf. But what about all this election and predestination stuff? Let’s take a look. 

Election and predestination are both biblical teachings. The English “predestination” is translated from the Greek word proorizo, which means 1) to predetermine, decide beforehand; 2) in the NT, of God decreeing from eternity; 3) to foreordain, appoint beforehand. Predestination, then, is the biblical teaching that God predestines certain events and people to accomplish what He so desires. The word proorizo occurs six times in the New Testament, each time demonstrating that God is the one who is foreordaining and bringing about specific events:

  1. Acts 4:28, “to do whatever Your hand and purpose predestined to occur.”
  2. Romans 8:29, “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren; 
  3. Romans 8:30, “and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.”
  4. 1 Corinthians 2:7, “but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom, which God predestined before the ages to our glory.”
  5. Ephesians 1:5, “He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will.”
  6. Ephesians 1:11, “also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will.”

The word “election,” or “elect,” comes from the Greek word eklectos and occurs about 25 times in the New Testament. It signifies “to pick out, choose, to pick or choose out for one’s self, a choosing one out of many.” The one who does the choosing, the electing, is God.

  1. John 13:18, “I do not speak of all of you. I know the ones I have chosen; but it is that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ˜He who eats My bread has lifted up his heel against Me.”
  2. Ephesians 1:4, “He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him.”
  3. 1 Timothy 5:21, “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of His chosen angels, to maintain these principles without bias, doing nothing in a spirit of partiality.”

Again, there is debate within Christianity as to the means and purpose of God’s election. Some say that God elects individuals and others say He only elects nations and/or groups of people. If God elects individuals, this means that God is predestining them, electing them into salvation, and He is not electing others. This does not sit well with many Christians. On the other hand, some Christians state that God elects based upon a foreknowledge of what an individual will do.

Whichever side you believe, remember that predestination and election are biblical concepts. You must also not forget that how you believe in predestination and/or election does not affect your salvation. Therefore, you should be gracious to other Christians who differ from you on this subject.

While there are numerous ideas of precisely what election means regarding salvation, the fact that believers are chosen is indisputable. Simply put, the doctrine of election is that God chooses/determines/elects/predestines who will be saved. Therefore, the question is, “How can I know if I am one of the elect?” The answer is exceedingly simple: believe!

The Bible nowhere instructs us to be concerned regarding our status of elect vs. non-elect. Instead, God calls us to believe, to receive Jesus Christ as Savior, by grace through faith (John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9). If a person truly trusts in Jesus alone for salvation, that person is one of the elect. Whether belief secures election or election causes belief – that is another debate. But what is sure is that belief is evidence of election. No one can receive Jesus as Savior unless God draws him or her (John 6:44). God calls/draws those whom He has predestined/elected (Romans 8:29-30). Saving faith is not possible without divine election. Therefore, saving faith is evidence of election.

The idea of a person wanting to be saved but being unable to do so due to not being one of the elect is foreign to the Bible. No one seeks after God’s plan of salvation on his own accord (Romans 3:10-18). Those without Christ are blind to their need for salvation (2 Corinthians 4:4). This only changes when God begins drawing a person to Himself. It is God who opens eyes and enlightens minds to the need for Jesus Christ as Savior. A person cannot repent (change the mind about sin and the need for salvation) unless God grants repentance (Acts 11:18). Therefore, if you understand God’s plan of salvation, recognize your need for it, and feel compelled to receive Jesus Christ as your Savior, then believe, and you are saved.

If you have received Jesus Christ as your Savior, trusting Him alone for salvation, believing that His sacrifice is the full payment for your sins – congratulations, you are one of the elect.


1We can make our own plans, but the Lord gives the right answer. 2People may be pure in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their motives. 3Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed. 4The Lord has made everything for his own purposes, even the wicked for a day of disaster. 5The Lord detests the proud; they will surely be punished. 6Unfailing love and faithfulness make atonement for sin. By fearing the Lord, people avoid evil. 7When people’s lives please the Lord, even their enemies are at peace with them. 8Better to have little, with godliness, than to be rich and dishonest. 9We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.

Proverbs 16:1-9

Many people fear getting married. Marriage changes everything—for the rest of your life. No one should blame a bride or groom for being nervous. Uncertainty over the future is the most nerve-racking kind of all. How do they know this will work? So many marriages don’t last. Will theirs?

Predicting the future has many hazards. A better approach would be to consider the advice in Proverbs 16 about committing your way (or future) to God.

In this chapter you will also learn about making plans; dealing with pride; being fair in business; using pleasant words; and strengthening the bond between friends.

Proverbs 16:3 says, “Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.” What does this mean? To “commit your work to the Lord” means to dedicate everything you do to God’s purposes through prayer—turning it over to him. It also means doing your best for God’s glory and depending on him for the results.

What work should you commit to God? Any plan, task, or endeavor that you want to succeed: buying a car, starting school, initiating a new church program, getting engaged or married, going on vacation, changing jobs, entering retirement—these all qualify.

Think of a specific effort in which you are involved right now—how might you commit it to the Lord?

Onward Christian Soldiers…

There is a war raging all around us — for our Country, for our morals, and most importantly, our souls. All you have to do is turn on the news, and you see it everywhere. What was once honorable, right, and noble, are now turned upside down. We have people in government who no longer care about running the Country. They are only interested in getting elected and reelected. And, some wish to destroy everything that the USA has accomplished in its history. 

The United States of America was founded on Judeo-Christian principles. These principles are scattered throughout the works of the founding fathers and are the bedrock up which this Country was built. So, what happened? As with many things, the further you get from the beginning, the weaker things become. I believe this has most certainly happened with Christianity. The Reformation in the 1500s reignited the fire that was smoldering. Sadly, I think the flame of Christianity here in the USA is on the verge of being extinguished. We have lost the courage to stand for our beliefs. Weak preaching and teaching have allowed our beautiful Country to fall into chaos. 

I am a member of a church that associates with the Southern Baptist Convention. This once great institution has been infiltrated with wolves in sheep’s clothing. Instead of focusing on the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the principles laid out in His Word, the SBC now teaches about and supports such ideas as Critical Race Theory and Black Lives Matter. Both of these ideologies are based on lies and wish to destroy the USA. There are leaders in the SBC that openly support the Democrat Party — the party that promotes abortion, homosexuality (and all its variations), welfare, and the destruction of the family unit. These are things that other Christian Denominations have already supported and fallen into apostasy. Now the SBC is on the fast track to the same fate. What we need are men who will stand firm in The Word and not compromise.

I am amazed that you are so quickly turning away from him who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— [7] not that there is another gospel, but there are some who are troubling you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. [8] But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, a curse be on him! [9] As we have said before, I now say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, a curse be on him! [10] For am I now trying to persuade people, or God? Or am I striving to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. 

Galatians 1:6-10 CSB

May God raise up men with courage and fortitude to stand for what’s right in the eyes of God Almighty. That is our only hope.