I am the Lord, I change not; therefore, ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. Mal. 3:6
A distinguishing doctrine of the Baptists is predestination. However, in these “modern, enlightened times,” one hears very little about it. The great truths of the Bible have caused separation in every age. Separation is something today that is looked upon as a heresy, but the doctrine of Jesus Christ is one that has caused separation from its beginning. “What fellowship hath light with darkness?”, Paul asks the Corinthian Church. We ask the same question today! Why would a person, claiming to believe in the glorious doctrine of the absolute predestination of all things want to associate in Church fellowship with those who cast aspersions on that doctrine?
This is an issue with which we all must come to grips. Do we as Old School (or Primitive) Baptists have any scriptural basis for uniting with those who do not believe the doctrine of the New Testament. In conjunction with this: should we recognize as ministers of the Gospel, or members of the Church, those who would repudiate predestination? In considering this matter we are reminded that there are many who claim to believe in predestination, but their definition is far different from the Bible's. Scripture tells us that God works “all things after the counsel of his own will”. This is not what is being preached as predestination in many pulpits today. Men say, “Everything God predestinated is absolute, fixed and unchangeable.” But, ask them if they mean all things are determined, fixed and unchangeable and you will hear them sing a different tune. I think I hear one now saying, “God has secured the eternal salvation of His elect by predestination, but it does not follow that He has predestinated all of men's actions with absolute predestination.”
The text we recorded as our heading makes a profound statement: God does not change! This is the consolation of the Saints. Whatever befalls them is the will of God because He changes not. This also shows the sureness of His predestination. This unchangeable one has “declared the end from the beginning and from ancient times the things not yet done, saying my counsel shall stand and I will do all my pleasure.” All His pleasure includes everything that takes place in time or eternity.
The corrupt nature of man hates this doctrine and the God that declares it, therefore, there must be separation. Those who love the truth cannot fellowship those who deny it. It is a sad thing to think that there are many wearing the name Old School (or Primitive) Baptists who deny God's absolute predestination of all things. Many of us once assumed that when we met a Primitive Baptist they believed the same thing as we did. How wrong we were! In what we see is their desire to be popular with the world, they deny the vital principles of truth we hold dear. We would wish for honesty in those who deny this and other doctrines Baptist have and do hold. We hope they would go to those denominations which believe as they do, and leave us m peace.
The Lord still has a faithful remnant. They are scattered about; many sheep having no shepherd. While longing to feed on the Lord's full and free salvation by Jesus Christ alone, they are fed the husks that the swine eat. They desire to hear the unchangeable God proclaimed, and instead have to listen to the “ifs” of duty preaching. By grace, we desire to stand fast for the truth that God changes not, regardless of the consequences from men. We trust others are of the same mind and will be blessed to earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints.
August - September 1987