Promise: God Will Not Reject His People
“I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means!” – Romans 11:1
The fear of rejection is perhaps one of the more influential considerations in our decision making. The choices we make, the conversations we choose to have or avoid, the way we spend our money; many times, these decisions are guided by our desire to avoid being rejected by others. The desire for a lasting acceptance seems an innate characteristic of humanity. If we are fortunate enough to somehow make it as part of the “in” group, the inner circle, we often take whatever steps we deem necessary to remain as such. To be numbered among the people of God is the best inner circle there could be, the most glorious collection of people there has ever been. To be a sinner saved by the grace of God alone through the atonement set forth in Christ is to be truly blessed, and so it begs the question: can one ever go from being part of the people of God to being separate from the people of God? There have been erroneous systems of Christianity throughout the centuries that have argued it is indeed possible to lose one’s salvation. A sacramental Roman Catholicism argues for the necessity of works to maintain one’s place within the family of God. An Arminian Protestantism denies the Reformed doctrine of eternal security. Both theological systems fly directly in the face of Scripture’s assertion that once numbered among the people of God, there is nothing that could ever remove you. Yet it begs one final question though: could God Himself remove you? Again, the Scriptures are clear: by no means!
Books have been written to prove this point from Scripture, so we’ll forego a lengthy discussion on proving this point. We’ll simply echo what Paul says in Romans 8: those whom God predestines, he also calls, justifies, and glorifies. Salvation is entirely of God from beginning to end. Or perhaps more poignantly, once we have been united to Christ by faith, we cannot be disunited, and our sins, both past and future, are covered by His blood. The Father sees us always in His Son, and He cannot reject His Son. Again, those systems that assert the possibility of losing one’s salvation fail to see the beauty and importance of a believer’s union with Christ. But the promise that God will not reject His people should have real effect within us. Here are 3 simple effects that this wonderful promise of God should have:
It drives our religious affections
As the apostle John says, “We love because He first loved us.” Those outside of Christ are consumed in heart, soul, and mind with their own sinful lusts and passions. They are without hope in the world and lost in their own schemes and devices. Their affection is turned inward to themselves. Yet for those who have received Salvation, our affections are turned to God. He becomes our chief desire. The promise of eternal life lives ever in our minds. We come joyfully to worship each week knowing that even though our week has been filled with sin and rebellion against God, He still sees us in Christ, clothed in His righteousness. Sin can no longer separate us from the love of God in Christ, and so we our driven to love our God and Savior with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. We have no need to cower in fear that God may reject us on the day of judgement, and so we approach the throne of grace with confidence and joy.
It motivates our Christian service
Theological systems that reject the eternal security of the believer find motivation for outward deeds in earning or keeping one’s salvation. Lives are spent doing good deeds in hopes that they can merit the favor of God. But for those whose confidence rests in God’s saving power alone, we go forth serving Christ with joy and confidence. If our service goes unnoticed, we don’t care because we know God sees it and we serve to please Him. If our works falls flat or becomes difficult, we know that we serve not for success but for the joy of pleasing a God who has already done a great work within us and for us. If our evangelism is rejected, we rest in knowing that God saves whomever He wills, for salvation is not dependent upon us.
It humbles our pride
If God could reject His people, either we must give up on the Christian life as a hopeless cause because we are far too sinful, or else we pridefully boast in our own works as the reason that God still accepts us. Yet Paul’s confident assertion that God cannot reject His people means that our pride is for naught. He says in Galatians 6:14, “But far be it from me to boast except in the cross our Lord Jesus Christ,” or in Romans 3:27, “Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded.” The faithfulness of God to His promises should eliminate from within us any pride in our own abilities or works. The people of God should be a humble people because we know God accepts us not based on our own works but only because of the work of His Son. We cling to Christ and put to death our own pride.
Keith Kauffman attended University of Maryland (B.S.) and Capital Bible Seminary(M.Div.). Keith currently works at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD, working in the Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases studying the immune response to Tuberculosis. Keith serves as an elder at Greenbelt Baptist Church.