FROM PASTOR TIM:
Few biblical doctrines are able to stir the pot the way election does. However, God has revealed the reality and truth of election and we would be wise to embrace it rather than reject it.
The premise of election is that “before the foundation of the world” God “chose us in him” (Ephesians 1:4). And, “in love he predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ according to the purpose of his will” (Ephesians 1:5).
The Bible often declares that “salvation belongs to the Lord” (i.e., see Psalms 3:8 and 62:1; Jonah 2:9 and Revelation 7:10). No doctrine confirms that biblical truth more than election and its attendant truths are awe-inspiring. One saint said after the service that election conjures up both fear and comfort. Amen.
And yet God has decreed that through faith alone we are saved. Paul says it best in Romans 10:9: “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
So, believe, and you will be saved and you will have no fear. However, as we have seen, those who deny Jesus will be denied by Jesus. Fear need not come from election but from denying Jesus.
But election also brings comfort. Paul states in 2 Timothy 2:10 that he is able to endure all things for the sake of the elect. Why? Because he knows that God has chosen some to follow him before the foundation of the world. There will always be some who are saved, though never all. We therefore can and should tell the world in a spirit of peace and urgency about Jesus knowing that God alone saves.
We are responsible to believe and to share the Gospel, God is responsible for salvation and knowing who the elect are. It’s not our job to save or to know who the elect are, we just believe and share, believe and share.
One day, perhaps, we’ll all know how to reconcile God’s sovereignty and our responsibility. The two go hand in hand, or, like Spurgeon said, the two are friends. They should not be divided.
But until that mystery is revealed, let’s cling to the truth of election, and, to the truth that we are responsible, and to the truth that God has chosen not to reveal all mysteries to us (see Deuteronomy 29:29).
Again, I highly recommend J.I. Packer’s exceptional little book on this topic entitled “Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God”, it will be a great source of wisdom and comfort.
And let’s focus on our responsibilities, which are to believe and share…believe and share…believe and share.
Comforted by the truth that God has a plan and thrilled by the miracle that He has chosen to use us to fulfill it.
Rescued by Christ,