1. I believe whether a person is saved is predestined by God. Once God
has chosen us to be his people, He will do anything to protect us till the
end, no matter how bad we are. But if a person sins and falls it is
because s/he is not the selected one, and there is nothing we can do about
it. God allows it to happen. But it seems that last time I heard from you
it was a misconception. What is wrong here?
2. Why did God punish David when he carried out the census?
3. The long genealogy of 12 tribes in Numbers and 1 Chronicles may be
important for archeologists or historians only but have nothing to do with
normal readers ’cause we do not have anything to relate to it and we do
not know who is who. Can we just ignore those similar passages?
1. You describe the doctrine known as predestination. This doctrine
is especially associated with the theologians John Calvin and John Knox.
The denominations which are most strongly predestinarian are Baptists and
Presbyterians. Bottom line, predestination is false teaching. I am not
sure what passage you would have used in the past to support this idea. I
am guessing it might be Romans 8:28-30. Those who believe in
predestination would interpret the passage as follows: All who are
predestined are also called, justified and eventually glorified. A much
better and more biblical statement is as follows: All human beings are
predestined to be glorified. God has prepared a destiny and a home in
heaven for all of us (John 14:1-4). SOME of those who are predestined are
called. Unfortunately, not all people are called to Jesus because we
disciples have not evangelized the whole world. SOME of those who are
called are justified. However, unfortunately not all those who are taught
about Jesus will accept repentance and baptism into Christ and be saved.
Of those who are justified, SOME will be glorified. Again, unfortunately,
not all those who are saved will make it. Many will fall away.
God has given us free will. Proof that not all who are
justified (saved) will make it is found in Hebrews. Hebrews 3:16-4:11,
Hebrews 6:4-6, Hebrews 6:10-12, Hebrews 10:26-31, Hebrews 10:35-39,
Hebrews 12:14-17 and many others make it a slam dunk that not all those
who are justified will ultimatley make it to heaven.
Predestination is false doctrine, bottom line.
2. The Bible does not provide an unambiguous answer, so we must
speculate somewhat to answer this question. I assume that when David
sought a census he was trusting in human power rather than in God to save
Israel. God does not appreciate us depending on human effort to be
saved. If you read 2 Samuel 24 you will see that Joab strongly opposed
the taking of the census. Perhaps the Jews were made aware by God that
censuses were not allowed, or perhaps Joab knew that it was bad politics
to take a census, which might be taken by the Jews as stepping on their
freedom, sort of like requiring people to sign up for military draft.
3. Everything that is in the Bible is there for a reason. The
message of these passages is that God rules the nations and God is
preparing a nation and a people through whom to send the savior. These
genaeologies are boring to most of us, and that is understandable. I do
not think it is a sin to skip the genaeologies when you read these
passages, but they are definitely part of how God communicated how he
moved in Israel to ultimately bring in the Messiah. If you have the
patience to study history and to look carefully at these geneaologies, you
will get some spiritual insight, even from these passages. Believe it or
not, when I come to the geneaologies, I read them carefully and see in
them the working of God. Forgive my being into history.