Unto This They Were Appointed

 

 

We Are All Appointed For Something

 

1 Peter 2, verse 8  says that for some people, Jesus Christ has become “a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.  for they stumble at the word, being disobedient;  Wherein also they were appointed.”

We are all appointed by God, for something.  We’re all “called” for a specific purpose.  But I’m not talking about being “called” by God, to do some specific job, or to go to some specific place, in our service to Him.  There’s a lot of people that think that God singles us out, as individual Christians, and directs us, as to what type of work, that we should personally be engaged in, or employed in.  And  lot of people think that God, personally directs us, as to what part of the country we should live in, as we serve Him.  They think that God tells them, to move to this city, or to that city, and here’s the kind of work that you should do when you get there.

But that’s simply not true.  The bible nowhere, says anything of the sort.  As a matter of fact, the bible pretty much directly contradicts that belief.  God says, through His inspired writer James, in  James 4, verses 13 & 14;  “Come now, you that say;  Tomorrow we will go into this city, and spend a year there, and trade there and get gain.  Whereas, you know not, what shall be on the morrow.”   

Now the specific teaching of these verses is spelled out in  verse 15,  which says;  “For you ought to say;  If the Lord wills, we shall both live, and do this or that.”  And so the specific teaching is for us not to rely on our own ability, but to rely on God, because God is the one who is ultimately in charge of everything.  And furthermore,  verse 16  says;  “But now you glory in your vauntings;  All such glorying is evil.”  

 

But consider the idea of God directing your every step, as far as what kind of employment, or wat kind of work you should engage in.  And as far as specifically telling you where to go and live.  It’s a fact that God says;  “..You know NOT, what shall be on the morrow.”   

Let me ask you a question;  If God told you to move to Denver, and to engage yourself in a particular business venture;  Would you go there expecting to fail?  No, you wouldn’t, would you?  Would you go there expecting this move to be the worst move you’ve ever made?  Of course you wouldn’t.  If God directed your steps, you would not only expect to succeed, but if you followed His directions explicitly, you’d pretty much be guaranteed of succeeding, and therefore, you would KNOW, what the outcome would be.

And since that no doubt would be the case,  How on earth could God say, at the same time, that you know NOT, what shall be on the morrow”?  That doesn’t make any sense at all.  The fact is;  God does NOT direct our every step like that.  And that is exactly WHY, we know not what shall be on the morrow!

God simply wants us to do His will.  He wants us to respect His word, and obey His word, as stated in the bible.  And you can do that anywhere in this world that you choose to do it in.  And you can engage in any worthwhile and virtuous means of employment that you choose.  And you will have God’s blessings in doing so, because doing His will, is at the heart of every decision that you make.

 

If you choose to go here, or there, it’s not because the Lord told you to do it.  It’s because that’s what YOU feel would be best.  Nowhere in the bible, does it even hint, that God gives us that kind of direction.  The bible says, in  Hebrews 1, verse 2,  that “In these the last days, God has spoken to us in His Son..”   In other words, God has spoken to us through the bible, the inspired word. 

And here’s something that we can count on, with the word of God.  If God tells us that something occurs in a specific manner, and through a specific means, then that’s how it occurs.  Since God says, that He has spoken to us, (past tense) in His Son, then that’s how He has spoken to us.  And since the bible is silent on any other method, in which God might communicate with us, that then is the only method which He has chosen.

I know that a lot of people don’t want it to be that simple.  People want things to be mysterious, and unknown, and open to almost any and all possibilities.  But it’s simply not that way.  It’s just like the statement in the bible, from  Acts 22, verse 16,  which says;  “Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins..”  

People want there to be other ways to wash away our sins.  Other ways besides through baptism.  But the bible is silent on any other ways to do it.  The bible specifically says;  “Arise, and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.”  That’s very specific.  And since there is absolutely no other statement, in the entire new testament, telling us of ANOTHER way, to wash away our sins, baptism therefore is the ONLY way!  If there was another way, God would have told us about it.  But He hasn’t.  And I’m fine with that.  And I’d be fine if He HAD told us, of different, and various ways to wash our sins away.  That would’ve been fine with me.  Why wouldn’t it?  I don’t care how God decided to do it.  Just tell me Lord, and I’m fine with that.

And so my question for people is;  Why are YOU not fine, with the one and only way that God has told us about, to wash away our sins?  What’s wrong with the way God ordained?   But for some reason, people just aren’t satisfied with the ways of God.  They’re not satisfied with what the bible says.

And so it is also, with how God has decided to communicate with us.  “In these the last days, (God) has spoken to us in His Son.”   And again, that’s fine with me.  And it would have been fine with me if God had decided to give us “later day revelations”, but He hasn’t!  And He’s not going to.  If He was going to, He would have told us about it, so that we could know what was going on when those revelations came.  Then there wouldn’t be any confusion about it.  God’s not the author of confusion, is He?  1 Corinthians 14:33  says;  “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace.”   

If God were going to give more and more revelations, He’d have told us about it, so that we weren’t confused when some people received those revelations, and others didn’t receive them.  But since God has been completely silent about any further communication, except the words of Christ, and the words of the Holy Spirit of Christ, then that’s all there is!  Take it or leave it, that’s all there is!

 

But lets; get back to the idea of God appointing us, for something specific.  The bible indeed says that we are “called” by God.  And the bible indeed says that we are “appointed” for some things, but it’s not in the specific sense that so many people want to believe.

For example, the bible instructs us, in  2 Peter 1, verse 10,  “..give the more diligence to make your CALLING, and election sure..”   And the bible tells us, in  Acts 2:39,   that the promise of eternal life, is for “.. as many as the Lord our God shall CALL to Himself.”    And Jesus Himself said, in  John 6:44;  “No man can come to Me, except the Father that sent Me, CALLS him..”  Some versions say, “except the Father draws him”.   It means the same thing.  

And there IS something very specific, that God is CALLING us for.  But it’s the same thing for everyone.  God isn’t calling me, for a different purpose than He’s calling you for.  God is calling everyone, for one very specific purpose.  He’s calling us all, to be saved!   He is calling us out of this world, and calling us into His kingdom.

He’s calling us out of sin, and calling into righteous living.  There is one purpose, and one purpose only, for each and every person who ahs ever lived.  And we’re told what that purpose is, in  Ecclesiastes 12, verse 13.   And I really like the way that the American Standard version phrases it.  Listen..  “This is the end of the matter.  All has been heard.”  Don’t yo like that?  This is it.  It’s all been heard.  And here it is..  “Fear God, and keep His commandments, for this is the whole of man!”  That’s it, the whole of man!  Man’s whole existence, and man’s whole being, is for one purpose, and one purpose only;  “Fear God, and keep His commandments!”  That’s it.

If there was another purpose for man’s existence, God would have told us about it.  But He hasn’t!  And so there isn’t!   And so that’s it!   “This is the end of the matter;  All has been heard.”   I really like that.  

 

So we’re all called for one purpose, to be saved.  And the way to be saved, is to fear God, and to keep His commandments.  It’s that simple.  So then that’s what each and every one of us has been called for.  But what about having been “appointed” for some specific thing?  What are we appointed for, or what are we “appointed” to?

Well, one thing that the bible says that we are all appointed to, is to die physically.  Hebrews 9, verse 27  says;  “Inasmuch as it is appointed to men, once to die, and after this, cometh judgment.”  So then there’s two things that every person who has ever lived, has been appointed to.  Physical death, and after that, the judgment.

Now remember that physical death, is the separation of your spirit, from your physical body.  And even if you don’t die physically, before the Lord returns, your spirit will definitely be separated from your physical boy, When He come again.  I probably don’t need to read you the scriptures that tell us that, but if you want to read them for yourselves, they’re in  1 Thessalonians 4, verses 16 & 17,  and in  1 Corinthians 15, verses 51 thru 53.   

Should I read them anyway?  It’s just a few verses.  Here’s  1 Corinthians 15, 51 thru 53;  “Behold, I tell you a mystery;  We all shall not sleep, but we shall all be changed.  In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last rump;  For the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.  For this corruptible (our physical body) must put on incorruption (our spiritual body) and this mortal must out on immortality.”  

And here’s  1 Thessalonians 4: 16  & 17;  “For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven, with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first.  Then, we that are alive and remain, shall together with them, be caught up in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air;  And so shall we ever be with the Lord.  Wherefore, comfort one another with these words.”  I threw in  verse 18  there too.  “Comfort one another with these words.”    

And of course  1 Corinthians 15, verse 44  says;  “If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.”  And  verse 46  says;  “Howbeit, that is not first which is spiritual, but the natural;  (in other words, the natural body comes first)  ..Then that which is spiritual.”

 

Ok, so what else are we appointed for?  Well, everyone who has ever lived, has been appointed for one of two things.  We have either been appointed for eternal life, or for eternal condemnation.   But actually, it is NOT God, who decides which one we’re appointed for;  Either life or condemnation.  It is us, who makes our own appointment.

Here’s the part of it that God has “appointed”.  Actually, “appointed” really isn’t the best word to be using here, because it tends to give so many people the wrong impression.  It tends to give people the impression that it’s God, who is making the decision, where we will spend eternity.  A better word to sue might be “apportioned”, which simply means that it is laid up for us in the future.

God hasn’t “appointed” anyone to be lost, not in the way that most people understand the word “appoint”.  What God has “appointed”, and another word for “appointed” is “ordained”;  So then what God has “appointed and ordained, are the conditions, which are responsible for us to either receive eternal life, or eternal condemnation.

And of course the conditions, for eternal life, are God’s contained in God’s plan of salvation.  To gain faith through hearing the word of God.  To believe that Jesus is the Christ;  to confess that faith;  To repent of your sins;  To be baptized for the forgiveness of those sins;  And to remain faithful for the rest of our lives.

If we meet those conditions, then it is “apportioned” for us, to receive eternal life.  If we meet the conditions that God has ordained, and appointed, then eternal life is laid up for us in heaven.

But on the other hand;  If we fail to meet the conditions that God has ordained, then what is paid up for us, what has been “apportioned” is eternal condemnation, away from the presence of the Lord.  When we use the proper words, then it’s a lot easier to explain, and to understand.

 

And we’ll leave it right there for today.  You’re invited to join us in our next lesson from the word of God.

 

 

 

 

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