Have you ever heard the phrase, you need to “know that you know that you know that you know that you know that you know that you know that you know that you know”? Ok I’m getting dizzy. I’m sorry but I don’t find a bible verse anywhere that says I need to know that I know. Have you ever wondered why?
Isn’t it funny that we base so much of our “eternal security” on things that aren’t found in scripture anywhere?
Here are a few words you might recognize that aren’t in scripture:
Rapture, Trinity, Mission and more…
Now we aren’t saying the teaching isn’t there, we are just saying word or phrase isn’t. I find it so weird that we make such a big deal about words that AREN’T in scripture but OVERLOOK words that ARE. We seem to be so SCARED of things that are so vital to our faith and our understanding of God and his provision for us. Today I would like to talk about the word/doctrine of predestination.
Immediately I know there are some people who are going to push back. But I implore you to hear me out. First let’s look at the verse:
Romans 8:29 (NLT) For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.
Romans 8:29 (NKJV) For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Romans 8:29 (AMP) For those whom He foreknew [and loved and chose beforehand], He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son [and ultimately share in His complete sanctification], so that He would be the firstborn [the most beloved and honored] among many believers.
For a deeper explanation about God knowing things beforehand, check out my other blog post entitled: “Hello! My name is Judas.“. So as we jump into this can of worms let’s start out with the obvious question.
Are you saying that God picked and chose who He would save and who He would not?
My Answer: NO!!!
If we believe that God chose WHO He wanted to offer salvation too then we are calling SEVERAL Bible verses LIES! Matter of fact we are suggesting that Paul, who wrote this verse about Predestination, was contradicting himself when he said “For everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved. Romans 10:13 (NLT)
If Salvation is predetermined then this promise can’t be for everyone and therefore renders John 3:16 useless. “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (KJV)
Some might say that these verses were intended as a promise for ONLY those whom God has chosen. Well the problem is, EVEN IF God, for whatever reason, hand picked who would get to go to heaven, He certainly didn’t divulge any of that information to us. What I mean by this is, if the doctrine of predestination means that I was randomly selected, at what point do I find this out and how will I know how to lead someone to Christ without the this knowledge? Now let me throw a little disclaimer here: IF, and I mean IF, God WANTED to make it where HE picked and chose who went to Heaven or Hell based solely on some unknown criteria, THERE’S NOTHING ME AND YOU COULD DO ABOUT IT!! You might say, well if that’s the case then I am just not gonna worship him. Problem is, there is only ONE sin you can’t get forgiveness for and that’s dying having not accepted the Lord Jesus as personal savior. In reality you don’t have much of a choice. Call on his name and be saved or don’t and be damned. Is that harsh? Yup. Is that how it works? Yup!!
In my opinion, predestination doesn’t really mean God picked and chose who goes to heaven based on some unknown criteria or at random. The key to the doctrine of predestination is the word foreknowledge.
So let’s dig a little deeper here. I believe the Bible gives us ADEQUATE evidence that God has the ability to not only know every detail of the future, but to prophecy every detail. So let’s say that at some point in what i’ll call eternity past (that is to say, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit have no beginning) it became time for the Jesus initiative to begin (enter Genesis 1) and in that moment, before God had created the very first thing, he knew exactly what he was going to do. He knew then that his creation, man, would fall and that they would need a savior. He knew even before he created the first thing, that Jesus, his son, would be the ONLY thing that could help us in our desperate situation. He knew that in order for Jesus to help us that would mean he would have to die on a cross and be buried in a tomb to rise 3 days later. I believe God knew this before he formed the heavens and the earth. But if I am true to form then I am convinced there has never been a time when God didn’t know what must be done. There was never a time when the Father, Son and Holy Spirit played Rock, Paper, Scissors to see who would be the one on the cross. It was ALWAYS Jesus. ALWAYS.
That being said I believe scripture teaches that God also knew EXACTLY when a person would be presented with a choice: Accept the forgiveness by faith through grace, or reject it. And surely if God knew EXACTLY when conviction would come, then he MUST ALSO know EXACTLY who would accept and who would reject.
Now I feel you push back just a little so let me back my point up in scripture. Just pick a prophecy within the bible. Take Jesus and Peter for example. We all know Jesus told Peter he would deny him 3 times before the rooster crowed. We also know that Peter was like, “Naw, J, not in my house”. Ok well maybe he didn’t say it QUITE like that but he did say he would never deny him. I am not sure if Peter gave it much thought but I am here to tell you this: Nothing Peter could have done would stop Jesus’ prophecy about his life from coming true. NOTHING would stop it. So how is it that Jesus was able to prophecy to Peter about something that was going to happen, and even if Peter had sequestered himself within the confines of his own room, Jesus’ prophecy would come true. I know, I know, that sounds ridiculous but TRUST me when God the Father, God the Son or God the Holy Spirit makes a prophecy, no matter the circumstances, 100% of the time it comes true. Now in reality, Jesus was able to make such a bold claim about Peter because, not only did he know the future, but he also knew Peter wasn’t going to be one of the ones who cowered in their home and didn’t come out. He may have followed Jesus from a far off, but Jesus knew he would be there. There was a foreknowledge there that was able to make Jesus so confident in what Peter was going to do.
So how is it that it’s hard to believe God the Father KNOWS exactly whether or not you will accept Jesus? How is it that it’s easier to think God knows how to predict what I am fixing to do but he doesn’t know whether or not I believe in him? Romans 9:21-24 (NLT) says it like this: “When a potter makes jars out of clay, doesn’t he have a right to use the same lump of clay to make one jar for decoration and another to throw garbage into? In the same way, even though God has the right to show his anger and his power, he is very patient with those on whom his anger falls, who are destined for destruction. He does this to make the riches of his glory shine even brighter on those to whom he shows mercy, who were prepared in advance for glory.” What qualifications are there for being “destined for destruction” or “prepared in advance for glory”? JESUS!! It’s all about JESUS. So let’s recap where we are so far.
God knew from the foundation of the world that we would need Jesus.
God’s plan for sin, from the foundation of the world, was always going to be Jesus.
God knew every decision we were ever going to make before he created the first thing.
God knew whether or not we would accept his FREE salvation from the foundation of the world.
If you don’t agree, that’s COMPLETELY FINE, but you need to be able to handle these scriptures and make them make since in light of your beliefs because, in my opinion, you can’t FULLY TRUST JESUS outside of foreknowledge and predestination.
This is a good time to note that God ALWAYS provides a person with at least 1 opportunity to accept Jesus. The bible says that even the very CREATION, that is to say the world around us, declares the glory of God. Everything around us speaks of God and speaks of his glory. There WILL NOT be ONE single person who will be able to say they didn’t have at least ONE opportunity to accept the Lord Jesus. Otherwise the judgment and justice of the Lord wouldn’t be fair.
So what Paul is saying in the earlier verse is this: God, under the influence of his foreknowledge, created some people to be vessels of honor and some to be vessels of dishonor. Please understand, God NEVER makes the choice for us. He COULD, mind you. But it is OUR CHOICE to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior over our lives or not. God looks at that lump of clay (i.e. you and me) and he laid out his plan for that clay, whether we would be made for decoration of made for garbage, BASED on his foreknowledge of whether or not we would accept Jesus. If he looked and saw that we WOULD accept him, then he fashioned our lives to be a vessel of honor. If he looked and saw that we would REJECT him, then he fashioned our lives to be a vessel of dishonor.
Let’s take a look at a passage to help us understand the difference between vessels of honor and vessels of dishonor.
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Pay close attention to this. I will make you seem like God to Pharaoh, and your brother, Aaron, will be your prophet. Tell Aaron everything I command you, and Aaron must command Pharaoh to let the people of Israel leave his country. But I will make Pharaoh’s heart stubborn so I can multiply my miraculous signs and wonders in the land of Egypt. Even then Pharaoh will refuse to listen to you. So I will bring down my fist on Egypt. Then I will rescue my forces—my people, the Israelites—from the land of Egypt with great acts of judgment. When I raise my powerful hand and bring out the Israelites, the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.” So Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord had commanded them. Moses was eighty years old, and Aaron was eighty-three when they made their demands to Pharaoh. Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Pharaoh will demand, ‘Show me a miracle.’ When he does this, say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and throw it down in front of Pharaoh, and it will become a serpent.’” So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did what the Lord had commanded them. Aaron threw down his staff before Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a serpent! Then Pharaoh called in his own wise men and sorcerers, and these Egyptian magicians did the same thing with their magic. They threw down their staffs, which also became serpents! But then Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs. Pharaoh’s heart, however, remained hard. He still refused to listen, just as the Lord had predicted. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh’s heart is stubborn, and he still refuses to let the people go. So go to Pharaoh in the morning as he goes down to the river. Stand on the bank of the Nile and meet him there. Be sure to take along the staff that turned into a snake. Then announce to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to tell you, “Let my people go, so they can worship me in the wilderness.” Until now, you have refused to listen to him. So this is what the Lord says: “I will show you that I am the Lord.” Look! I will strike the water of the Nile with this staff in my hand, and the river will turn to blood. The fish in it will die, and the river will stink. The Egyptians will not be able to drink any water from the Nile.’” Then the Lord said to Moses: “Tell Aaron, ‘Take your staff and raise your hand over the waters of Egypt—all its rivers, canals, ponds, and all the reservoirs. Turn all the water to blood. Everywhere in Egypt the water will turn to blood, even the water stored in wooden bowls and stone pots.’” So Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord commanded them. As Pharaoh and all of his officials watched, Aaron raised his staff and struck the water of the Nile. Suddenly, the whole river turned to blood! The fish in the river died, and the water became so foul that the Egyptians couldn’t drink it. There was blood everywhere throughout the land of Egypt. But again the magicians of Egypt used their magic, and they, too, turned water into blood. So Pharaoh’s heart remained hard. He refused to listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had predicted. Pharaoh returned to his palace and put the whole thing out of his mind. Then all the Egyptians dug along the riverbank to find drinking water, for they couldn’t drink the water from the Nile. Seven days passed from the time the Lord struck the Nile. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go back to Pharaoh and announce to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: Let my people go, so they can worship me. If you refuse to let them go, I will send a plague of frogs across your entire land. The Nile River will swarm with frogs. They will come up out of the river and into your palace, even into your bedroom and onto your bed! They will enter the houses of your officials and your people. They will even jump into your ovens and your kneading bowls. Frogs will jump on you, your people, and all your officials.’” Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Raise the staff in your hand over all the rivers, canals, and ponds of Egypt, and bring up frogs over all the land.’” So Aaron raised his hand over the waters of Egypt, and frogs came up and covered the whole land! But the magicians were able to do the same thing with their magic. They, too, caused frogs to come up on the land of Egypt. Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and begged, “Plead with the Lord to take the frogs away from me and my people. I will let your people go, so they can offer sacrifices to the Lord.” “You set the time!” Moses replied. “Tell me when you want me to pray for you, your officials, and your people. Then you and your houses will be rid of the frogs. They will remain only in the Nile River.” “Do it tomorrow,” Pharaoh said. “All right,” Moses replied, “it will be as you have said. Then you will know that there is no one like the Lord our God. The frogs will leave you and your houses, your officials, and your people. They will remain only in the Nile River.” So Moses and Aaron left Pharaoh’s palace, and Moses cried out to the Lord about the frogs he had inflicted on Pharaoh. The Egyptians piled them into great heaps, and a terrible stench filled the land. But when Pharaoh saw that relief had come, he became stubborn. He refused to listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had predicted. So the Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Raise your staff and strike the ground. The dust will turn into swarms of gnats throughout the land of Egypt.’” So Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord had commanded them. When Aaron raised his hand and struck the ground with his staff, gnats infested the entire land, covering the Egyptians and their animals. All the dust in the land of Egypt turned into gnats. Pharaoh’s magicians tried to do the same thing with their secret arts, but this time they failed. And the gnats covered everyone, people and animals alike. “This is the finger of God!” the magicians exclaimed to Pharaoh. But Pharaoh’s heart remained hard. He wouldn’t listen to them, just as the Lord had predicted. Then the Lord told Moses, “Get up early in the morning and stand in Pharaoh’s way as he goes down to the river. Say to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: Let my people go, so they can worship me. If you refuse, then I will send swarms of flies on you, your officials, your people, and all the houses. The Egyptian homes will be filled with flies, and the ground will be covered with them. But this time I will spare the region of Goshen, where my people live. No flies will be found there. Then you will know that I am the Lord and that I am present even in the heart of your land. I will make a clear distinction between my people and your people. This miraculous sign will happen tomorrow.’” Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron. “All right! Go ahead and offer sacrifices to your God,” he said. “But do it here in this land.” But Moses replied, “That wouldn’t be right. The Egyptians detest the sacrifices that we offer to the Lord our God. Look, if we offer our sacrifices here where the Egyptians can see us, they will stone us. We must take a three-day trip into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the Lord our God, just as he has commanded us.” “All right, go ahead,” Pharaoh replied. “I will let you go into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the Lord your God. But don’t go too far away. Now hurry and pray for me.” Moses answered, “As soon as I leave you, I will pray to the Lord, and tomorrow the swarms of flies will disappear from you and your officials and all your people. But I am warning you, Pharaoh, don’t lie to us again and refuse to let the people go to sacrifice to the Lord .” So Moses left Pharaoh’s palace and pleaded with the Lord to remove all the flies. And the Lord did as Moses asked and caused the swarms of flies to disappear from Pharaoh, his officials, and his people. Not a single fly remained. But Pharaoh again became stubborn and refused to let the people go. “Go back to Pharaoh,” the Lord commanded Moses. “Tell him, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says: Let my people go, so they can worship me. If you continue to hold them and refuse to let them go, But the Lord will again make a distinction between the livestock of the Israelites and that of the Egyptians. Not a single one of Israel’s animals will die! The Lord has already set the time for the plague to begin. He has declared that he will strike the land tomorrow.’” And the Lord did just as he had said. The next morning all the livestock of the Egyptians died, but the Israelites didn’t lose a single animal. Pharaoh sent his officials to investigate, and they discovered that the Israelites had not lost a single animal! But even so, Pharaoh’s heart remained stubborn, and he still refused to let the people go. Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Take handfuls of soot from a brick kiln, and have Moses toss it into the air while Pharaoh watches. The ashes will spread like fine dust over the whole land of Egypt, causing festering boils to break out on people and animals throughout the land.” So they took soot from a brick kiln and went and stood before Pharaoh. As Pharaoh watched, Moses threw the soot into the air, and boils broke out on people and animals alike. Even the magicians were unable to stand before Moses, because the boils had broken out on them and all the Egyptians. But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and just as the Lord had predicted to Moses, Pharaoh refused to listen.
Did you catch that? For the first time in this narrative it is the LORD who hardened Pharaoh’s heart…interesting…
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh. Tell him, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says: Let my people go, so they can worship me. If you don’t, I will send more plagues on you and your officials and your people. Then you will know that there is no one like me in all the earth. By now I could have lifted my hand and struck you and your people with a plague to wipe you off the face of the earth. But I have spared you for a purpose—to show you my power and to spread my fame throughout the earth. But you still lord it over my people and refuse to let them go. So tomorrow at this time I will send a hailstorm more devastating than any in all the history of Egypt. Quick! Order your livestock and servants to come in from the fields to find shelter. Any person or animal left outside will die when the hail falls.’” Some of Pharaoh’s officials were afraid because of what the Lord had said. They quickly brought their servants and livestock in from the fields. But those who paid no attention to the word of the Lord left theirs out in the open. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Lift your hand toward the sky so hail may fall on the people, the livestock, and all the plants throughout the land of Egypt.” So Moses lifted his staff toward the sky, and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and lightning flashed toward the earth.
Job 38: “…Have you visited the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of hail? (I have reserved them as weapons for the time of trouble, for the day of battle and war.) Where is the path to the source of light? Where is the home of the east wind? “Who created a channel for the torrents of rain? Who laid out the path for the lightning?…”
The Lord sent a tremendous hailstorm against all the land of Egypt. Never in all the history of Egypt had there been a storm like that, with such devastating hail and continuous lightning. It left all of Egypt in ruins. The hail struck down everything in the open field—people, animals, and plants alike. Even the trees were destroyed. The only place without hail was the region of Goshen, where the people of Israel lived. Then Pharaoh quickly summoned Moses and Aaron. “This time I have sinned,” he confessed. “The Lord is the righteous one, and my people and I are wrong. Please beg the Lord to end this terrifying thunder and hail. We’ve had enough. I will let you go; you don’t need to stay any longer.” “All right,” Moses replied. “As soon as I leave the city, I will lift my hands and pray to the Lord. Then the thunder and hail will stop, and you will know that the earth belongs to the Lord . But I know that you and your officials still do not fear the Lord God.” (All the flax and barley were ruined by the hail, because the barley had formed heads and the flax was budding. But the wheat and the emmer wheat were spared, because they had not yet sprouted from the ground.) So Moses left Pharaoh’s court and went out of the city. When he lifted his hands to the Lord, the thunder and hail stopped, and the downpour ceased. But when Pharaoh saw that the rain, hail, and thunder had stopped, he and his officials sinned again, and Pharaoh again became stubborn. Because his heart was hard, Pharaoh refused to let the people leave, just as the Lord had predicted through Moses. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Return to Pharaoh and make your demands again. I have made him and his officials stubborn so I can display my miraculous signs among them. I’ve also done it so you can tell your children and grandchildren about how I made a mockery of the Egyptians and about the signs I displayed among them—and so you will know that I am the Lord.” So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, “This is what the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says: How long will you refuse to submit to me? Let my people go, so they can worship me. If you refuse, watch out! For tomorrow I will bring a swarm of locusts on your country. They will cover the land so that you won’t be able to see the ground. They will devour what little is left of your crops after the hailstorm, including all the trees growing in the fields. They will overrun your palaces and the homes of your officials and all the houses in Egypt. Never in the history of Egypt have your ancestors seen a plague like this one!” And with that, Moses turned and left Pharaoh. So Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh. “All right,” he told them, “go and worship the Lord your God. But who exactly will be going with you?” Moses replied, “We will all go—young and old, our sons and daughters, and our flocks and herds. We must all join together in celebrating a festival to the Lord.” Pharaoh retorted, “The Lord will certainly need to be with you if I let you take your little ones! I can see through your evil plan. Never! Only the men may go and worship the Lord, since that is what you requested.” And Pharaoh threw them out of the palace. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Raise your hand over the land of Egypt to bring on the locusts. Let them cover the land and devour every plant that survived the hailstorm.” So Moses raised his staff over Egypt, and the Lord caused an east wind to blow over the land all that day and through the night. When morning arrived, the east wind had brought the locusts. And the locusts swarmed over the whole land of Egypt, settling in dense swarms from one end of the country to the other. It was the worst locust plague in Egyptian history, and there has never been another one like it. For the locusts covered the whole country and darkened the land. They devoured every plant in the fields and all the fruit on the trees that had survived the hailstorm. Not a single leaf was left on the trees and plants throughout the land of Egypt. Pharaoh quickly summoned Moses and Aaron. “I have sinned against the Lord your God and against you,” he confessed. “Forgive my sin, just this once, and plead with the Lord your God to take away this death from me.” So Moses left Pharaoh’s court and pleaded with the Lord. The Lord responded by shifting the wind, and the strong west wind blew the locusts into the Red Sea. Not a single locust remained in all the land of Egypt. But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart again, so he refused to let the people go. So Moses lifted his hand to the sky, and a deep darkness covered the entire land of Egypt for three days. During all that time the people could not see each other, and no one moved. But there was light as usual where the people of Israel lived. Finally, Pharaoh called for Moses. “Go and worship the Lord,” he said. “But leave your flocks and herds here. You may even take your little ones with you.” “No,” Moses said, “you must provide us with animals for sacrifices and burnt offerings to the Lord our God. All our livestock must go with us, too; not a hoof can be left behind. We must choose our sacrifices for the Lord our God from among these animals. And we won’t know how we are to worship the Lord until we get there.” But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart once more, and he would not let them go. “Get out of here!” Pharaoh shouted at Moses. “I’m warning you. Never come back to see me again! The day you see my face, you will die!” “Very well,” Moses replied. “I will never see your face again.” Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will strike Pharaoh and the land of Egypt with one more blow. After that, Pharaoh will let you leave this country. In fact, he will be so eager to get rid of you that he will force you all to leave. Tell all the Israelite men and women to ask their Egyptian neighbors for articles of silver and gold.” (Now the Lord had caused the Egyptians to look favorably on the people of Israel. And Moses was considered a very great man in the land of Egypt, respected by Pharaoh’s officials and the Egyptian people alike.) Moses had announced to Pharaoh, “This is what the Lord says: At midnight tonight I will pass through the heart of Egypt. All the firstborn sons will die in every family in Egypt, from the oldest son of Pharaoh, who sits on his throne, to the oldest son of his lowliest servant girl who grinds the flour. Even the firstborn of all the livestock will die. Then a loud wail will rise throughout the land of Egypt, a wail like no one has heard before or will ever hear again. But among the Israelites it will be so peaceful that not even a dog will bark. Then you will know that the Lord makes a distinction between the Egyptians and the Israelites. All the officials of Egypt will run to me and fall to the ground before me. ‘Please leave!’ they will beg. ‘Hurry! And take all your followers with you.’ Only then will I go!” Then, burning with anger, Moses left Pharaoh. Moses and Aaron performed these miracles in Pharaoh’s presence, but the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he wouldn’t let the Israelites leave the country. While the Israelites were still in the land of Egypt, the Lord gave the following instructions to Moses and Aaron: “From now on, this month will be the first month of the year for you. Announce to the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each family must choose a lamb or a young goat for a sacrifice, one animal for each household. If a family is too small to eat a whole animal, let them share with another family in the neighborhood. Divide the animal according to the size of each family and how much they can eat. The animal you select must be a one-year-old male, either a sheep or a goat, with no defects. “Take special care of this chosen animal until the evening of the fourteenth day of this first month. Then the whole assembly of the community of Israel must slaughter their lamb or young goat at twilight. They are to take some of the blood and smear it on the sides and top of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the animal. That same night they must roast the meat over a fire and eat it along with bitter salad greens and bread made without yeast. Do not eat any of the meat raw or boiled in water. The whole animal—including the head, legs, and internal organs—must be roasted over a fire. Do not leave any of it until the next morning. Burn whatever is not eaten before morning. “These are your instructions for eating this meal: Be fully dressed, wear your sandals, and carry your walking stick in your hand. Eat the meal with urgency, for this is the Lord’s Passover. On that night I will pass through the land of Egypt and strike down every firstborn son and firstborn male animal in the land of Egypt. I will execute judgment against all the gods of Egypt, for I am the Lord! But the blood on your doorposts will serve as a sign, marking the houses where you are staying. When I see the blood, I will pass over you. This plague of death will not touch you when I strike the land of Egypt. “This is a day to remember. Each year, from generation to generation, you must celebrate it as a special festival to the Lord. This is a law for all time. For seven days the bread you eat must be made without yeast. On the first day of the festival, remove every trace of yeast from your homes. Anyone who eats bread made with yeast during the seven days of the festival will be cut off from the community of Israel. On the first day of the festival and again on the seventh day, all the people must observe an official day for holy assembly. No work of any kind may be done on these days except in the preparation of food. “Celebrate this Festival of Unleavened Bread, for it will remind you that I brought your forces out of the land of Egypt on this very day. This festival will be a permanent law for you; celebrate this day from generation to generation. The bread you eat must be made without yeast from the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month until the evening of the twenty-first day of that month. During those seven days, there must be no trace of yeast in your homes. Anyone who eats anything made with yeast during this week will be cut off from the community of Israel. These regulations apply both to the foreigners living among you and to the native-born Israelites. During those days you must not eat anything made with yeast. Wherever you live, eat only bread made without yeast.” Then Moses called all the elders of Israel together and said to them, “Go, pick out a lamb or young goat for each of your families, and slaughter the Passover animal. Drain the blood into a basin. Then take a bundle of hyssop branches and dip it into the blood. Brush the hyssop across the top and sides of the doorframes of your houses. And no one may go out through the door until morning. For the Lord will pass through the land to strike down the Egyptians. But when he sees the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe, the Lord will pass over your home. He will not permit his death angel to enter your house and strike you down. “Remember, these instructions are a permanent law that you and your descendants must observe forever. When you enter the land the Lord has promised to give you, you will continue to observe this ceremony. Then your children will ask, ‘What does this ceremony mean?’ And you will reply, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord, for he passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt. And though he struck the Egyptians, he spared our families.’” When Moses had finished speaking, all the people bowed down to the ground and worshiped. So the people of Israel did just as the Lord had commanded through Moses and Aaron. And that night at midnight, the Lord struck down all the firstborn sons in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sat on his throne, to the firstborn son of the prisoner in the dungeon. Even the firstborn of their livestock were killed. Pharaoh and all his officials and all the people of Egypt woke up during the night, and loud wailing was heard throughout the land of Egypt. There was not a single house where someone had not died.
I know that was a lot of reading but I needed you to see the whole context for our discussion. I know there are many questions and topics we could chase but what I want to bring to your attention is the fact that about halfway through the plagues God started to harden Pharaoh’s heart. Why? Why would he do that? Pharaoh didn’t need any encouragement to not let the people go before, so why now? Is it possible that MAYBE Pharaoh was considering letting them go before the Lord hardened his heart? Well believe it or not, God was try to accomplish something. The other plagues were to prove some points to Pharaoh, Moses and Aaron, Egypt and the Hebrew people. So what was God getting at? You guessed it! JESUS!! The very first Passover was a foreshadowing of the cross. “When I see the blood I will pass, I will pass over you!!” So God hardened Pharaoh’s heart KNOWING he would never fully accept the God of Abraham over the gods of Egypt. He USED Moses as a vessel of honor KNOWING he would believe. God USED Pharaoh because he KNEW he wouldn’t believe. One a vessel of honor, the other a vessel of dishonor ALL to show a foreshadowing picture of Jesus in the Passover event. And because of this event, Israel was DELIVERED out of Egypt. Because of Jesus we are DELIVERED out of the bondage of the eternal penalty of sin.
God has an objective. In the Old Testament it was all about Jesus’ first advent. In our day it’s all about Jesus’ second advent. God knows who will trust him and he has predestined them to either be a vessel of honor or a vessel of dishonor based solely on their choice.
So let me ask you: which are you?
I heard one guy say that if we aren’t careful then we will make people think that they don’t have a choice and that their life doesn’t matter cause it’s all predetermined. To some extent this is true. God is moving ALL of us…ALL OF US…toward one conclusion, the day Jesus breaks through the clouds and every knee bows and every tongue confesses. This is where we are heading. Question is are you a vessel used for honor, based on whether or not you will except the Lord Jesus, or are you a vessel of dishonor? You have that choice. You do. Right now!! Just simply answer this question:
Do you believe that God sacrificed Jesus on the cross for YOUR sins and do you believe he has raised Jesus from the dead as a living sacrifice for YOUR redemption according to the scriptures?
If Jesus is your Lord and savior then you have been prepared as a vessel of honor from the foundation of the world.
If you haven’t accepted him as Lord and Savior then let me give you a warning. God knows whether or not you will accept him in your life. He ISN’T going to make that choice for you but he will give you PLENTY of opportunities to make up your mind. I cannot say whether or not you are going to be used as a vessel of honor or dishonor because I do not know if you will ever accept Jesus but what I CAN tell you is this: you will be used by the Lord to bring about his purposes ONE WAY OR THE OTHER. Of that you have NO choice. The final question is:
Do you want to be used as a Moses or as a Pharaoh? The choice is yours.