And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her: and the highest himself shall establish her. The LORD shall count, when he writeth up the people, that this man was born there. Selah. Psalm 87:5-6
It goes without saying that a man cannot choose the place or the time of his natural birth. Neither can a man “choose” to be born into this spiritual kingdom, nor does he have any power or influence as to “if or when” it may occur. Those who are “born again” confess that their “re-birth” was as John described it, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13) Notice that their “belief” is a result of their birth and not vice versa, even as the LORD told Nicodemus, “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8)
One of the gravest of errors that is found in modern, (so called) gospel preaching is the declaration that natural men can choose to become heirs of a heavenly kingdom by a simple exercise of their free will. It would be easier for a man to re-enter his mother’s womb and be re-born in a natural birth than it would be for a profane and sinful man to become a spiritual man by choosing to do so. The natural man despises the truth of GOD and will not seek HIM, nor can he in any wise receive spiritual knowledge by his own effort nor can mortal flesh be made spiritual. “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1Cor 2:14)
The Psalmist said; “The LORD shall count, when he writeth up the people, that this man was born there.” (Psa 87:6) We might paraphrase that to read “When the LORD appears to number HIS own and receive HIS purchased possession, HE will recognize those whose names HE has written in the LAMB’s book of life, as those who are born into that kingdom by the power of HIS SPIRIT.” They are not strangers to HIM since HE has loved them from before the foundation of the world and they are inheritors of that which HE has prepared for them as those “born out of due time”.
This is the same Kingdom which the LORD JESUS CHRIST was “born into” though HE was the possessor of it from Eternity. They have a possession in it because they have been hidden in HIM from the beginning and they share in HIS birthright as heirs and joint heirs with CHRIST according to the riches of HIS grace. “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” (Rom 8:15-17)
Upon what dear friend does your hope rest? Is it upon the sinking sand of your own free will or upon the power of HIM who raises dead sinners to life? JESUS CHRIST is the HELPER of undeserving beggars and the HOPE of all who are “born again” by HIS power.
--- Mike McInnis
By divine sovereignty we mean God reigns supreme in creation, providence and salvation. This is the clear declaration of Scripture. “Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did He in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places” (Psalm 135:6). “But our God is in the heavens: He hath done whatsoever He hath pleased” (Psalm 115:3). “My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure” (Isaiah 46:10). “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion” (Romans 9:16). How utterly foolish for man to contend with God for exercising His right to do what He wills with His property? Did He not make all things by His power and for His pleasure and glory? Is He not free, therefore, to dispose of all things according to the good pleasure of His will? “Is it not lawful for Me to do what I will with Mine own?” (Matthew 20:15) What arrogance and audacity to deny God the very freedom men hold precious, the privilege to do as He pleases with His own! Let every rebel be warned: to take issue with the Lord over His absolute authority and sovereignty is to put yourself on a collision course with God Almighty. Those who choose to fight against this most basic of Bible truths do so to their everlasting destruction. “Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands?” (Isaiah 45:9). What a glorious doctrine this is to the people of God. We are delighted to know that our heavenly Father has ordained our salvation, our lives, and all things that happen in this world. But, while we rejoice in divine sovereignty, there is no truth against which the enemies of God have sneered at and hated as much as this one, but that changes nothing. It is still written, “He doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth” (Daniel 4:35). He “worketh all things after the counsel of His own will” (Ephesians 1:11).