27 April 2009

Mission Accomplished.

From Shai Linne's album, the Atonement

Mission Accomplished - Shai Linne

I remember sitting in American Survey I a year and a half ago and reading some works by the Puritans. I wasn't sure what to think about this idea of predestination. I hadn't ever thought about universal atonement or election or what it all meant. Shai Linne's song "Mission Accomplished" made it clear to me. Most people have taken a clear stance when it comes to this Calvinistic belief. Take a listen to the song above (you may need to create a free imeem.com

account; it's an awesome site and worth your time)For those of you who have a hard time understanding hip-hop lyrics, you can view them here, or continue down and I'll paraphrase them a little and extend them into an essay-like form:

Mission Accomplished

(a paraphrased essay from Shai Linne's lyrics)

This subject is controversial. Christians have been split over it for years. Now, by the grace of God, I [Shai Linne] will humbly address the issue of predestination.

Here is the question: who did Christ die for? Did He die for everyone in the world? Was His intent to make the entire world His Bride? If people refuse to believe in Jesus, was his work in vain? If you look at the Bible, each of these claims must be false.

This is true: Jesus gave up his life for His Bride. But who is His Bride? His Bride is the elect: those to whom his death is applied. If you can't hide on Judgment Day, God's wrath abides on you because of your sin, and you find yourself spending eternity in hell, it's because your wrath from God hasn't been satisfied. But we believe that Jesus' mission of salvation was accomplished when He died. How does the cross relate to those in hell? Well, they're saying, "God knows He tried."

The Father, Son, and Spirit are three, and yet one. They work as a unit to get things done. Our salvation was being planned out in eternity past. God certainly has to bring all His purpose to pass. There is a triune, eternal bond that no one can ever sever. When it comes to the church, they work together: The Father foreknew first, the Son came to Earth to die, the Holy Spirit gives the new birth. The Father selects them, the Son pays their debt and protects them, the Spirit is the one who resurrects them. The Father chooses them, the Son gets bruised for them, the Spirit renews them and produces fruit in them.

Everybody's not elect. God decides who is elect. The Holy Spirit only resides in the elect. The Father and the Spirit are completely unified in this way. When it comes to Christ and those in hell? Well, they're saying, "God knows He tried."

This is the third (and final verse). Here's the situation (just a couple more things for you to consider): If Christ's goal for coming to earth was to save everyone, since there are so many in hell, we'd have to say He failed miserably. So many people think that Christ died only to make salvation possible. Let's follow this solution to a conclusion that's logical. What about those who were already in the grave? (The Old Testament wicked, condemned, and depraved?) Did He die for them? Be careful, now.

But worst of all, you're saying that the cross by itself doesn't save, that we must do something to give the cross its power. That means, at the end of the day, the glory's ours. That man-centered thinking is not recommended. The cross will save all for whom it was intended. Because for the elect, God's wrath is satisfied. But still, when it comes to those in hell, they are saying, "God knows He tried."


Anna Kristina said...

Interesting thoughts! What about 2 Peter 3:9 - "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance."

I don't pick one side or the other, I think God is bigger than our understanding (not that I don't like discussion!). God doesn't want anyone to perish. Yet it isn't up to us. I think we have to ask (free will) knowing our salvation doesn't come from us asking but from God saying "yes, I'll take you because of the cross." It's a balance, for me, between the sides: too far one way, and God has decided some people will perish no matter what which I think isn't in His character, too far the other and you remove grace and make it about us.

Honestly though, I think when we find out in heaven, we'll all be a little wrong. What breaks my heart is that these (good) discussions sometimes break relationships and hurt God's glory on earth with division and anger in the church and God's purpose to redeem the world.

On another note, thanks for facebooking me, you did great at TOCOAN, and I like your blog!

alyssareeves said...

I agree. I cannot even begin to comprehend how God does what He does or why, but in at least trusting He knows everything, even if it's my free will to choose Christ, God knew a long time ago whether or not I would.

You're right, it's easy to debate unknowns like this. My sister used the example of what happens to babies when they die, do they all go to heaven? This is much debated. But when we get to heaven and we see what God does with babies, no matter what we'll say, "Oh, yeah. That's good." Because God knows what he's doing. :)

I feel like I fool for even trying to think I have him figured out. I don't.

alyssareeves said...

A sermon addressing this issue, by Mark Driscoll.


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