Hubert Childers - Predestination and Adoption - Milltown, Washington Convention - 1974

We have been singing, “O’er and o’er a voice is borne to me, From the homeland of eternity: ‘Steady brother, God has need of thee; Keep thy heart and purpose true.’” I wasn’t long in the Work in southern Texas, in the cotton growing country, when I realized that people were very busy with other things and they wouldn’t come out to the meetings.  One Sunday morning, my companion suggested I go back into town. We had been in town before and had already picked up the mail. Someone wrote the words of that hymn in a letter I received. This was the message: “Steady brother, God hath need of thee.” We must not disappoint God.

In the book of Ephesians, there are five things that have impressed me. Ephesians 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” I want to remind you this afternoon that every spiritual thing is supplied. This is not me saying I have them, but they are there at our disposal, and we can take them and make use of them. I am inclined to be spiritually lazy, not lazy naturally but lazy spiritually, just failing to get down working as I should to get a message from His Word. When we first professed to serve Jesus in the beginning, the only thing in us that was like Him was our sincere desire to say “Yes” to Him. Little by little there has been a transformation, but I still have far to go. We must get busy before death comes. We must have more of the Christ in us – putting to death our own human nature and giving it no place.

God chose us, but that didn’t make us His, because we have something we must also do; we must choose Him. A young man can say that a certain young lady is his, but she isn’t his until she says, "He’s mine." When I first listened to the Gospel, God gave me such a beautiful picture of Himself, I could do nothing except choose Him as my own.

In this chapter, predestination is mentioned. It also mentions the adoption of children through Christ. We were once in a town where there was a church building only used once a year before Christmas. We asked if we could use the church, and we were questioned by someone who asked if we believed in predestination. We asked him what kind of predestination he meant, and he said those who believe we’re predestined to perish while others are saved. We said “No, we don’t believe in that kind,” and we said we believed in predestination through the adoption of Christ Jesus. We also told him that God desires that all men come to the place of repentance and to be saved. That is God’s kind of predestination. Adoption is the very same as being born into a family. God doesn’t adopt anyone who is young, who doesn’t have a say in the matter; He waits until we have the ability to understand and decide for ourselves.

I was in a home one time, where an 11-month-old baby girl had just been adopted. The parents had great difficulty in adopting her. When we saw her for the first time, she was in her little bed and she needed some attention. Her mother went to pick her up and the child looked up at her as if to say, “Are you going to be good to me?” Months later we were in that same home again, and when the mother went to pick up the little girl, she was very eager to come to the mother. She had learned to love her new family, her new mother and her new father.

The third thing that has impressed me is the foregoing of our former inheritance being satisfied with our new inheritance. No matter what our past inheritance has been, we now depend upon our new family’s inheritance. We have been adopted into an inheritance of riches for all eternity, the only inheritance that will give us eternal life and many, many other things. I am often so sad to see people grabbing at the riches of Adam. We must look for our riches in Eternity, for that food and clothing that will bring us contentment. In the West Indies, we see people living with so little and we realize we could get by on much less, too.

Another thought I have enjoyed is this acceptance in the Beloved. Remember, He didn’t accept me like I was but He made me accepted in the Beloved. In Revelation 1 it says, “Unto Him who loved us and washed us....” There isn’t any soap or purification in the world that could wash away our sins, except the blood of Christ. God did not accept us in our sin; He desires us to go further and further away from sin. Do we appreciate that?

The next thought is Him forgiving us our sins.

Another thought is to know the mystery of His will. This is a big mystery to those in the world as well as a mystery to the world’s preachers. They say, “We don’t understand.” They preach some nice sermons yet God’s will is a mystery to them. How thankful we should be that God revealed the mystery of His Will to us.

Once, three Methodist women came to the meetings my companion and I were having and they continued to come right to the last meeting, then all three women yielded their lives to God. The Elder of the church paid them a visit and one of the women asked him a question he couldn’t answer. He then asked them some questions and they answered him, because God’s Spirit had entered into their hearts. If we can please the God of Heaven, we will be the richest people in all the world. “If God be for us, who can be against us?”

The next thing I enjoyed is the thought of our inheritance being from above, an eternal inheritance. How can this be ours? When I first heard the servants of God speak, that became my quest. One night, 1,900 years ago, Jesus spent all night praying. Why?  Because He was choosing a two and two Ministry to send forth into the world. A young man came to Jesus and said he would follow Him wherever He went, but when Jesus told him He had no place to lay His head, that He was homeless, we don’t ever hear of that young man again. When I first met this Ministry, I heard and believed, but that wasn’t enough. The Bible tells us that even the devils believe and tremble. I am here today because I believe and trust in God. I once had a struggle to get up onto my feet and say, “I believe and I trust.”

In Ephesians 2:19 it says, “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.” It is not a pleasant thing to be a stranger or a foreigner. When I was in France, I said to someone one day, “I don’t like your law,” and they told me to “Go home to America.” That was fair enough. If I didn’t like their law, I should go home. We are not here because Truth is built on some theory. Verse 20, “And we are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone.” The apostles and prophets were some of the most beautiful stones ever found in the foundation of Christ. If you want precious stones, you can find them there, not the stones men have found and polished. At one time I believed the ministry was based on home and a salary, but now I’m thankful to stand on the firm foundation that the gates of hell cannot prevail against. The Bible tells us this Ministry is built together for a habitation of God, through the Spirit. We need to learn how to be that true building. When I think of that Occupant dwelling in my life, I hope I will never allow anything into my life that will cause Him to be disappointed in me.

Ephesians 4:8, “Wherefore He saith, 'When He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.'” How could that be? What led us to become captive? The God of Heaven captivated us and He has set us free. It speaks about the apostles, teachers, pastors etc., how they were all for the perfecting of the Saints. Here is the gift – a place for each of us to fill. An Evangelist is one who goes forth with a message, a pastor, one who cares for the needs of others. Jesus said in Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered together in My Name, there am I in the midst of them.” One place I was at for meeting, there were only seven or eight souls who met together and someone expressed their wish that there were more. I asked, “Isn’t everyone in the church here today?” “Yes,” they replied. “Then there isn’t any need for others.” “For where two or three are gathered together in My Name, there am I in the midst of them.” It speaks about the perfect man, and that is our goal. We will likely die before we become perfect for we all have a ways to go yet. I wouldn’t want to aim for the goal unless it was the best. If a student aims at getting their name on the honor roll, he/she will likely get a good grade. If he/she aims at getting only fair grades, they will only get by. But if the student aims for the lowest, he will likely fail. Aim high, my brethren, aim high!

Ephesians 4:16, “From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” I have enjoyed this thought. It is a wonderful thing to see God’s people united together. When stones are placed in a building, mortar is put between the stones to hold them there. This verse mentions every joint supplying something. We can furnish that ‘something’ in our life which helps unite God’s people. Wouldn’t it be a terrible thing if God’s people were better off without us? I find it comforting to hear God’s children say they have been strengthened by their brethren.

My last thought is on the Bride, chapter 5:24-25, “Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it.” Perhaps you feel that is hard, but it says that Husbands should love their wives as Christ loved the church. It wouldn’t be hard for a wife to submit to her husband if he loved her as Christ loved the Church. That’s a big order. There is less and less love found in the world today but I hope there will never be less love found within the Family of God.

The Bridegroom wants to sanctify and cleanse us by His Word. Read His Word prayerfully and carefully, and it will have a great cleansing effect on all of our lives. He wants us to be without spot, wrinkle, or blemish. Revelation 19 speaks about the marriage supper and the Bride arrayed in a white garment. That garment was granted unto the Bride by the Bridegroom who provided the garment.