Romans #20 – Predestination Problems: Unfair?

In this sermon from Romans 9:14-29, Pastor Mark addresses two more questions Paul answers about predestination including whether it's unjust or unfair for some to be saved and not others using the case study of Pharaoh and his hard heart.

Predestination Problems: Unfair? (Romans 9:14-29)

  • Story #1 – kids birthday party & younger sibling – unjust/unfair/?
  • Story #2 – test taking dishonesty in school – unjust/unfair/?

= unjust/unfair something we rightly deserve is taken from us SALVATION?

=Paul anticipates 5 questions/objections & answers them. 2-3 today

Question #2: Is God unjust to choose some people for salvation and not others? Romans 9:14-18 14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

  • God’s mercy, not human works – God needs nothing “ex nihilo” (creation/salvation)

Egypt – God creates/Satan counterfeits – 40 yrs most active supernatural in Bible

  1. Kingdom Light vs Kingdom Darkness– religion, politics, entertainment, economic
  2. Worship Son of God vs worship son of the gods
  3. One God vs many gods
  4. Priests vs pagan priests
  5. Miracles vs counterfeit miracles

= War Ex. 5:2, “Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, and moreover, I will not let Israel go.”

1. God chose freedom 2. Pharaoh chose slavery 3. God chose free & use Pharaoh

Pharaoh’s Hard Heart

God hardened Pharaoh’s heart (Exodus 4:21; 7:3; 9:12; 10:1, 20, 27; 11:10; 14:4, 8, 17)

Pharaoh hardened his own heart (Exodus 7:13, 14, 22; 8:15, 19, 32, 9:7, 34, 35; 13:15)

  1. God hardened Pharaoh’s heart
  2. God holds Pharaoh responsible for his hard heart

How??? GOD GOOD – Ex. 34:6–7 #1 in “The Lord…proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful & gracious, slow to anger, & abounding in steadfast love & faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity & transgression & sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty…”

  • Grace. Love. Mercy. Patience. Call to repentance.

            10 visits, 10 warnings, 10 escalating plagues

            GOD AS FATHER’S HEART (440 yrs, 10 warnings, kids crying out)

  • Puritans “the same sun that melts the ice hardens the clay.”

Rom. 12:14,17-20 Bless those who persecute you; bless & do not curse them…Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”  Grace is painful to hard hearted people

How’s your heart?

Rom. 2:5 because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.

  • Are you a Pharaoh? Own Kingdom? Defiant? Judging God?


Question #3: Is God unfair to save some people and not others?

Romans 9:19-29  19 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” 20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? 22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— 24 even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? 25 As indeed he says in Hosea, “Those who were not my people I will call ‘my people,’ and her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved.’ ” 26  “And in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’ ” 27 And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will be saved, 28 for the Lord will carry out his sentence upon the earth fully and without delay.” 29 And as Isaiah predicted, “If the Lord of hosts had not left us offspring, we would have been like Sodom and become like Gomorrah.”

1. God judges people. People have always felt free to judge God instead.

  • Potter-clay – OT of individuals & nations/groups (Isa. 29:16; 45:9–11; Jer. 18:1–6)
  • Election for XN’s, not non-XN’s

2. Hosea 2:23, 1:10 God chose Gentiles which shows great mercy not justice

  • In love, God saves people from all nations.
  • In love, God can save the unborn.
  • In love, God can save the mentally limited.
  • In love, God can reach the unreached.
  • In love, God can save the worst people.
  • In love, God is not obligated to save anyone.

3. Isaiah 10:22–23 – God always promised only some of the Jews would be saved.

  • God not failed by saving only some Jews; Word was perfectly implemented

4. Isaiah 1:9 – w/o God’s mercy & election, no one would be saved from his wrath

Sodom and Gomorrah = JUST & FAIR  (Genesis 19)

·         Sexual sin & many others in 2 towns

·         God sent 2 angels down to investigate as “men”

Gen 19:5 “Where are the men…? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.”

·         Sexual activity/assault                        – Lot offered his daughters

·         God blinded the blind perverts

·         Lot & family still there, escorted out next day, wife looked back

Gen. 19:24 “Then the LORD rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah-from the LORD out of the heavens.”

·         Lot & family not better, but chosen for salvation (daughters impregnated by father)

Jude 7 Sodom & Gomorrah & the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.”

2 Ptr. 2:6,9 “by turning the cities of Sodom & Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly… the Lord knows how to rescue…”

Jesus Christ rescues from Satan, Sin, Death, Hell, Wrath of God!

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Mark Driscoll

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