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Election:  What should we believe about this?

Gary Googe Apr 26

What is this? That may be your first question.  What is this “election” about? No, it is not about politics! In case you don’t know, in some circles it is believed that the Bible teaches that God sovereignly chose [or elected] who is going to Heaven and who is going to Hell long before they were even born.  They believe that election shows that anytime anyone gets saved, it was really God’s choice and not theirs.  We will see in this study that such thinking is not the case.

The first thing we need to realize about this is that God is fair.  The Bible tells us that plainly.

Roman 9:14

14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid [ME GENOITO – may it never be or emphatically not!]. [Emphasis added]

At the same time, we need to accept the fact that man is fully accountable to God.

Romans 14:12

12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. [Emphasis added]

From a merit standpoint, because of his sin, man merits only the condemnation of God.

Romans 6:23a

23 For the wages of sin is death;…

Then please note what the rest of this verse says.

Romans 6:23

23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. [Emphasis added]

It was God who reached out and provided a Savior for all mankind so that anyone and everyone has the opportunity to be saved, not just some.  It was Jesus Christ who came and satisfied the justice of God for our sins to make this possible.

2 Corinthians 5:21

21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. [Emphasis added]

Other authors of Scripture tell us the same thing in different words.

1 John 2:2

And he [Jesus Christ] is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. [Emphasis added]

It is, therefore, God’s desire for all to be saved, not just some.

1 Timothy 2:4

Who will [THELO = desires] have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. [Emphasis added]

All this clearly shows that God truly desires for all to be saved.  However, there are people who deny this.  Many are called Calvinists.  They refuse to believe what the Bible clearly says about all this and more.

2 Peter 3:9

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing [THELO = wishing or desiring] that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. [Emphasis added]

Sometimes I want to say to these people, “What part of ALL do you not understand?”

Therefore, to get a clear understanding of this, let’s first look at what election as it is presented in the Bible is not.

1—It is not an arbitrary choice of God.  All those who choose of their own free will to respond to God’s love with faith in the Savior He provided will be saved.

Romans 8:28-30

28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called [KALEO = elected] according to his purpose.

29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. [Emphasis added]

2—It is not a divine decree for some people to be forever condemnedAll people are free and able to choose to believe in God’s provision and be saved or not.

2 Thessalonians 2:13

13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: [Emphasis added]

It is by man’s choice to believe in the truth of the gospel that he can be saved.  And what Christ did through His death, burial, and resurrection, He did for all, not just some.  Such was the case in the former times as it is now.

John 3:16-18

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. [Emphasis added]

3—It was God’s choice [to elect] to save all those who accept by faith His provision of a Savior.

Romans 10:12-13

12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek [the Gentile]: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. [Emphasis added]

Now let’s notice specifically what election is.

1—It is a choice on the part of God that includes some, but not all.  But He chose to save all those who accept by faith His provision for salvation.

2—This is a choice God made before the foundation of the world.

Ephesians 1:4

According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: [Emphasis added]

3—It is a choice based on God’s grace, providing something totally undeserved for everyone who will accept it.

Romans 11:5-6

Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. [Emphasis added]

4—It is a choice that is certain to be fulfilled.

Again, Romans 8:30

30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. [Emphasis added]

5—It is a choice that in no way interferes with man’s free will.

God wants friends, not robots.  He could have created man to be that way, but He did not.  Instead, He gave man complete freedom to choose.  We see that when he was in the Garden of Eden and then also outside the Garden of Eden.  By doing it that way He gave man the ability freely to love.  As a controlled or programmed robot, he would not be able to do that.  But as a free agent he can do either.  He can choose God’s way or do otherwise.  For instance, the Bible tells us God gave the Israelites their freedom to choose who they would serve.

Joshua 24:15

15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. [Emphasis added]

This is a choice we all have.  Our decisions define us.  We all have this thing called self-determination.  We can use our will to choose God’s way or to go it our own.  But in the end, we all answer to God in what we chose.  In a similar way to how God gave the Israelites such a choice, He also gives it to each of us today.  The circumstances can change but the principle does not.

Deuteronomy 30:19

19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: [Emphasis added]

If man didn’t have the freedom to choose, what would be the point of such a command? It would not be a genuine offer.  The teaching of election speaks of God’s eternal, gracious, and certain plan to ultimately have a people who are His by personal faith.  This doctrine of election taught in the Bible does not teach that God predestined certain people for salvation and others for everlasting condemnation.


Mankind truly is a sinner, and he is born a slave to his sin nature.

John 8:34

34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. [Emphasis added]

Furthermore, there’s Satan and his organization of demons who work to influence the decisions of all of us.  Nearly all unsaved people have no idea that they are under such influence.  But God also works to influence people to bring about the salvation of all, not just a selected few.  Where believers are concerned, He works within us.  He wants all to be persuaded of the truth and to accept it.  Probably the central passage on election to salvation is this next one we’ll note.

Philippians 2:13

13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. [Emphasis added]

However, this does not mean that He forces or directly causes belief or unbelief.  It is the individual who makes that decision and, therefore, he is responsible for it.  Yes, he is RESPONSE-ABLE. To think otherwise is extreme and unbiblical, even though, as with many other false teachings, it is held by many.  As with so many things, if you have the right understanding and belief about election, you’ll be in a minority. 

Matthew 20:16

16 So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen [or elected]. [Emphasis added]

Things are much as they were in the days of Noah and his family.  The people who choose God and His way have always been in a minority.  When the flood came, Noah was in a minority, but after the flood he was in a clear majority.

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