“I was out in the front yard the other day,” Stan commented, “and one of the neighborhood children came by and asked me a question about Christmas.”
“What was that?” I asked.
“He wanted to know where I thought I was on Santa’s list,” Stan replied.
“Oh,” I said, “the naughty and nice list! How did you respond?”
“I told him I thought I had made Santa’s ‘nice’ list, but I was going to have to wait for Christmas to see for certain.”
“Did he have anything to say about that?” I asked.
“As he headed on his way,” Stan replied, “he said he thought he had been really nice and he was looking forward to Christmas. That he could hardly wait.”
Continuing, Stan added, “As I was thinking later about that small conversation with the child, I was focusing on what a neighbor had asked me about a list just a few days ago.”
“Was he also asking about Santa’s list?” I asked.
“No,” Stan replied with a smile. “He asked me whether I thought God has a list of those people who are gong to come to faith.”
“You mean like predestination? That only those who are predestined are the ones who God has chosen to be on His list and that’s all that matters?”
“That’s it,” Stan replied. “That’s what my neighbor was wondering.”
“And what did you tell him?”
“Mixed bag,” Stan replied. “I told him I thought there are lots of verses in the Bible that a person can pick to argue either side, but that I like to cover all the bases.”
“Cover all the bases,” I repeated. “What’s that mean?”
“In case God doesn’t have a predetermined list of those who are going to come to Him in faith,” Stan said, “I see it as my role to give everyone an opportunity to know the truth so they can choose to come to Him in faith.”
“So,” I replied, “if a person is already on the list you haven’t lost anything by telling them about God’s provision. But if there is no list, you have given a person the opportunity to choose. Is that it?”
“That’s it, my friend,” Stan replied. “That’s what it seems to me. At one point in my life, someone went out of her way to tell me the truth. I don’t know whether or not it was all predestined, but I’m sure glad she told me!”
Bible verses to consider:
No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. John 6:44.
For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me, unless it has been granted him from the Father. John 6:65.
The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9.
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. James 4:8.
And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” And He answered and said to them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted.” Matthew 13:10-11.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for your free and gracious provision of life eternally with you when it’s time through the finished work of the cross. I do not know whether I was predestined to come to the truth, but I am forever thankful for those who brought the truth to me so I could accept it. I confess that too often I do not present the truth of the gospel to everyone so they, too, can accept it — whether or not there is a predetermined list. Please help me in following every step of your lead to present the truth to each person you bring before me. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Where do you stand on the issue of predestination? If you have come to faith, do you think it was predestined by God? If you have not come to faith, do you think it is because God doesn’t want you to come to faith? If so, spend time talking with God about it and listen to Him say that He does not want any to perish. Respond accordingly. It’s important!