Acts 13:48 – And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed.
Without spending a great deal of time on this, I want to point out one word of this verse. It is the word “appointed.” Earlier this morning, I spoke on right belief about how we are saved in a message entitled “God’s Glory in Our Salvation” (click here to read or listen to that message). A major part of right thinking about our salvation and understanding the working of God in our salvation is to grasp that salvation is from God completely.
In this verse in Acts 13, which I did not plan for today, we see that many people believed in Christ after hearing that the gospel was available to the gentiles. Wonderful, however, is the fact that those who believed are said by God to have been “appointed” for eternal life. This is, without question, an evidence of the sovereignty of God. God chose who would be saved that day. He appointed them; he chose them. Then, he brought them to himself. Of course, they believed. No one will ever be saved apart from faith in Christ. No one will be denied salvation who truly desires to be in Christ. However, this fact does not, in any way, take away from the truth that God first appoints people to life, and later they believe.
God is fully sovereign. If you are saved, it is because, before you came to Christ, God had already appointed you to eternal life. Thus, he deserves more thanksgiving than ever you could imagine. He chose you before the dawn of time. He chose you not based on anything you would ever do or become. He chose you for himself. Then, he worked it in your heart that you would desire to come to know him. It is God’s moving, and it is glorious; regardless of whether or not we can fully grasp all its intricacies.