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Why one person is…, but not another?

23-12-2013 - Posted by Andre Piet

image3 “Faith is a gift of God,” Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:8. This is why Scripture always places faith as being the opposite to works. It is God who inspires us to believe by us hearing the Word. After all, faith is by hearing His Word (Rom.10:17). Nevertheless, we have to conclude that one person is persuaded, while another is not. Well, not yet; because in the end no one will escape receiving faith to believe. For Scripture tells us that every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God (Phil.2:10,11). But the question remains: why at this time, one person does and another does not believe? This is something we do not need to philosophize or theologize about, for Scripture, itself, gives us the answer. When in Acts 13, the Word of God is preached to the nations, we read:

… and they believe, whoever were set [designated; appointed] for life eonian. -Acts 13:48-

God sets or designates for… . And those whom He beforehand designates, He also calls (Rom.8:29). In Romans 9:11, Paul writes about Jacob and Esau:

For [the children], not as yet being born, nor putting into practice anything good or bad, that the purpose of God may be remaining as a choice, not out of acts…

GOD chooses beforehand in accord with His intention, long before our birth. Ephesians 1:4 and 5 even mentions “before the disruption of the world”. It is, therefore, also GOD who opens eyes and ears. Of course, at His time.

The hearing ear and the seeing eye–YAHWEH has made them both. -Proverbs 20:12-

The other side of the coin is that GOD also is the One, who keeps eyes and ears closed. This, too, Scripture states explicitly, is of God. So, it was not intended that Israel, at the beginning of our era, would come to repentance as a whole, and for that reason, GOD kept their eyes and ears closed, as we read, time and time again (Isa.6:10; Matt.13:14,15; Acts 28:25-27). John says: “Therefore they could not believe” (John 12:39). The same we read of Israel, with respect to the present time:

God gives them a spirit of stupor, eyes not to be observing, and ears not to be hearing, till this very day. -Rom11:8- (a citation from Deut.29:4)

GOD makes the seeing, but also the blind, was said to Moses (Ex. 4:11). And He hardens whom He will, explains Paul (Rom.9:18). What it comes down to is that GOD has the control of everything in His hands, including that of faith and unbelief. Those who can see and understand, ought not to boast about themselves to others, who are not given this favor. To speak with Paul:

Consequently, then, it is not of him who is willing, nor of him who is racing, but of GOD, the Merciful. -Romans 9:16-

And since GOD, eventually, will be merciful to all, the happy ending is assured, without even one being excepted.

For God locks up all together in stubbornness, that He should be merciful to all. -Romans 11:32-