There will come the time when we will be discouraged and puzzled. We hold to God's Word and share it with others only to be ridiculed, abused or ignored. We must not forget God's plan: the Holy Spirit is there in the Word and the Sacrament to give us divine assistance for perseverance and eternal salvation so we can remain steadfast.
The attached reading is formatted for the back of a standard CPH bulletin. The reading formatted for the 14" CPH Premium bulletin is available from Doug May.
God's foreknowledge is nothing else than this: God knows all things before they happen.
This foreknowledge extends over the godly and the wicked alike. But it is not the cause of evil or of sin. In other words, it is not what causes people to do wrong (which originally arises from the devil and mankind's wicked, perverse will).
Predestination, or God's eternal election, covers only the godly, beloved children of God. It is a cause of their salvation, which He also provides. Our salvation is founded so firmly on it that the gates of hell cannot overcome it.
God's Word leads us to Christ, who is the Book of Life, in whom all are written and elected who are to be saved in eternity. For it is written in Ephesians 1:4, "Even as He chose us in [Christ] before the foundation of the world."
Christ calls all sinners to Himself and promises them rest. He is eager ‹seriously wills› that all people should come to Him and allow themselves to be helped. He offers them Himself in His Word and wants them to hear it and not to plug their ears or ‹neglect and› despise the Word. Furthermore, He promises the power and working of the Holy Spirit and divine assistance for perseverance and eternal salvation ‹so that we may remain steadfast in the faith and gain eternal salvation›. (paragraphs 3-5, 7-8)
Condensed from CONCORDIA: THE LUTHERAN CONFESSIONS, copyright 2005,2006 by Concordia Publishing House. Used by permission. All rights reserved. To purchase a copy of CONCORDIA, call 800-325-3040.