The doctrine of God's eternal purpose is abundantly taught in the Bible. God is a God of purpose. All He had done, is doing, and will do, is according to His purpose. God's purpose is like Himself, it is immutable, "He is in one mind and who can turn Him?"--Job 23:13.
All the powers of hell and earth combined cannot turn Him from His purpose. I could write on concerning His great work of creation and have perfect harmony exists until the present in all the creation of God. He purposed to create just such a world as He did create. He purposed to destroy mankind by flood and He did it. But what I wish to speak of especially is His purpose to save sinners.
Did he really purpose to save sinners with an everlasting salvation? Does the Bible actually teach this doctrine? Yes, and this Bible doctrine is of great comfort to the children of God when it is set off in the light of the Holy Scriptures. "Who has saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not ac cording to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began." This text teaches two things. First, God's purpose to save sinners, and second, that He did this before the world began. Notice that it was "His own purpose." It was God's own purpose that sinners should be saved. The plan of salvation was drawn, so to speak, before man was in existence. God purposed it before the world began, but I do not believe He purposed to save all of Adam's race. If I did, I could not believe all of His holy word, for Romans 8:28 says,” And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose." Here Paul teaches us that all things are working for the good of those who are the called according to His purpose. He then tells us what the "all things" are which are under consideration, and shows that ultimately all that He purposed to save will be glorified. Of course, none but the Universalists believe that all the human race will be saved.
"In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will."--Eph. 1:11. This text teaches that God works all things according to His purpose, hence, if God purposed to save sinners, nothing can occur that will change His purpose. The introduction of sin into the world did not frustrate the purpose of God in the least, as we learn that He promised a deliverer in the seed of woman. God taught in many instances how His wisdom and power carry out His purpose. In the selling of Joseph to the Egyptians, God's purpose to raise Joseph up to a high position for the preservation of the children of Israel, as will as the rest of mankind, was soon discovered. God overhauled this wickedness of selling Joseph for the good of his brethren and for His own glory.
After the Israelites had been in bondage for a while, the Egyptians decided they would stop the multiplying of the Hebrews, though it was God's purpose that they should become a great nation. Pharaoh's decree cane to nothing. The midwives were commanded to strangle the children at birth, but they feared God more than they did the king. God is so wise and powerful that He can prevent men and devils from their work, or He can allow them their desires and overrule it for His own glory as in the case of Moses. The king's decree was that all male children should be cast into the river. The mother of Moses kept him hidden in her house for three months, but when she could no longer feel safe, she committed him to providence by putting him in an ark and placing him on the river Nile. Here we see the king's decree carried out in the letter, but God's hand can be seen in his. The king's daughter came down and saw the child and loved it. She had a nurse brought for it and it was the child's own mother. Do you suppose a better nurse could have been found? The child was brought up in Pharaoh's court, but in spite of all his training, he loved his poor, afflicted brethren. As a result of his being thrown into the river, God so worked that he finally led every Israelite out from under Pharaoh's dominion.
Then there is the instance of Mordecai and Haman. Haman planned the death of this poor servant of God, as will as all the Jew's and even built a gallows to hang him on ; but God overruled in such a way that Haman himself was hanged upon the gallows he had built for another. This is a comforting doctrine to me. If it can be shown that God has ever been thwarted in one of His purposes, I will yield the ground, But as this cannot be shown, I maintain that God will save His people with an everlasting salvation.
Our blessed Lord came for this purpose. He came at the appointed time. It was God's purpose that He should come and redeem sinners. This glorious doctrine is the breastwork behind which God's people can retreat and find safety. Before one of God's dear children is destroyed, God's purpose must be overturned. Even He that sits on the throne of heaven must be dethroned. When all that God purposed to save have been saved and brought to heaven above to dwell with God forever, then will His purpose with reference to their salvation be accomplished.
May the Lord help us to believe this doctrine and thus build on this solid foundation. Man may scheme and lay their plans, he may turn and twist, but God's purpose will stand whether it pertains to time or eternity. God purposed that His church should be perpetuated and declared "The gates of hell shall not prevail against it." I feel to hope His blessed purpose to succor me every day I live is a reality; like the mother of Moses, I love to con- sign even my children to His care.