First Cause in Each Individual’s Salvation
God the Father was the First Cause of Your Trust in God the Son (Jesus Christ) as Lord and Savior
1. The Father has given certain persons to His Son as a peculiar possession – John 6:37; John 10:26
2. Unless the Father compels a person, there is nothing in human nature capable of choosing Jesus – Romans 3:10-18, 23; John 6:44
3. This was an agreement among the Holy Trinity – John 17:1-2, 6, 9
This is known as Divine Election. It is an eternal act of God by which in His sovereign pleasure, and on account of no foreseen merit in us that He chooses out of the number of sinful humanity certain to be the recipients of this special grace of His Spirit. These recipients are drawn to become voluntary partakers of Christ’s salvation.
This Agreement and the Persons Elected Were Decided Before Creation
They were amongst those chosen before the foundations of the world – Ephesians 1:4, 5, 9, 11
So, no matter how much suffering that this world heaps upon you in life remember that you have a greater purpose than having a “personal life.” A purpose that once you embrace it will both validate and fulfill you - 2 Timothy 1:8-9
· Why? It’s not because of anything you have done, or didn’t do, but because of God’s own purpose and pleasure.
o God has the right to be good to whomever He desires. However He chooses to bless a particular person does not obligate Him to do the same with another - Matthew 20:12-15.
· Want to know why spiritual things grab your attention? Because, God had first grabbed and drawn you to Christ - 1 John 4:19, Ephesians 2:8-9.
Jesus Taught it During His Earthly Ministry
· Matthew 22:14; Mark 13:20 – He chose the elect.
o Jesus chooses, as in actualizing on earth the Father’s choice in John 17:1-2. Think of it as picking up your mom’s dress from the cleaners. No one goes in the back to search through a pile of dresses. Instead, it is drawn to you by the Holy Spirit conveyor rack. You choose it in the sense that when it passes by you confirm it’s the one and you actually take that dress. But only because you recognize your mom’s dress (No matter what’s on the ticket… that’s my mama’s dress!) Jesus did that kind of choosing!
o As a people, the Jews were invited and they refused the invitation. But before the invitations went out, and before creation, the Godhead had already made His sovereign election from among sinful humanity. The elect of God must compel anyone to come – Luke 14:23-24; Matthew 28:18-20
· Mark 13:20, 22, 27 – God’s care for the elect during the last days.
· Luke 18:7-8 – the cry from the elect is of great concern to God.
· John 6:37, 39, 44, 10:26, 13:18, 15:19 – general reference to where the elect belong or not.
What Jesus’ Apostles Taught About the “Elect” (also referred to as the “Chosen”)
Luke quotes Jesus in Acts 9:15
Paul in Romans 8:29-31, 9:11-16; Ephesians 2:8-9; Colossians 3:12-17
· Reveals what the elect are to do! The elect persuades or contends with others to get in touch with God’s tug on their heart about the Gospel of Jesus Christ - Philippians 4:1-3 (in the Book of Life, see what John says about this book in Revelations 20:15, 21:27), 2 Corinthians 5:11, 18-20 and Ephesians 2:10.
John about this first act of God’s grace in 1 John 4:19
Peter about the preciousness of the elect in God’s eye - 1 Peter 2:9-10
Election is not a decree to condemn and destroy. It is only a positive decree to save.
When we elect a President, it is not an election to identify who can never be President. The purpose and focus of the election is a positive identification of who is to be President.
So the idea that there are persons predestined to sin and be eternally damned can neither be implied by divine election, nor is such a teaching of scripture. Other than Judas Iscariot, scripture is silent about persons predestined for eternal damnation. The biblical concept of divine election is a pro-salvation concept only. But this will definitely stir your curiosity, whereby you might ask the question, “Can someone who is not elected be saved?” Unfortunately, among many other important questions, that is beyond the intent of this topic.
I believe God's purpose for election is to choose souls for each generation, according to His pleasure, to equip so they can function as His salt and light in that generation. Consider this illustration of divine election:
Let’s say that I created a drink that guarantees to take 20 biological years off the health of anyone forty or older. So I open a stand on Sherwood in front of the church and begin selling my drink. I advertised, wear a promotional t-shirt, pass out flyers, I hire others to wear a sign. But one by one people in cars, bikes and walking just pass looking at me like I'm crazy. Every one of them refuses to buy my drink.
So, I choose 40 of those who refuse, and persuade them of the life benefits from drinking my juice. I then give them a free supply of my miracle drink with one stipulation. They must convince, compel or make others taste my miraculous drink. The 40 obey, then soon people start coming out of the woodwork, good people, evil, cripple, sick, addicts, athletes, politicians, CEOs, city workers, police, etc.
All just got to have a drink.