Doctrine of Election: What I've Learned
Romans 8:29-30"For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers andthose whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified."
Election is a highly debated topic in today's Christian church. I would like to delve into the importance of realizing that the men and women that will join Christ in heaven one day were predestined by the Lord himself. I know that a few readers probably just got their feathers ruffled by that statement, but I am just stating fact. Yes indeed I was raised in a non-denominational church and it is there that I have learned this truth. Many denominations will translate the Bible in many different ways; however, I read and understand the Bible straight from the text instead of straight from opinion of others. Indeed, it is a wonderful gift to be able to learn and grow from each other in your faith. Listening to sermons and reading books are fantastic ways of learning, but with those aside, simply picking up your Bible and reading exactly what it says is an even better and more personal way of learning. I cited Romans 8:29-30 up above and I think it explains ten fold the topic of election. It comes down to the debate between freewill and predestination. There was an article written by a man named Matthew J. Slick in 2006 even though I will not quote his entire paper; this was the heading, "If you're a Christian, you've heard of predestination. You must have because the Bible uses the word and teaches the idea. But what is predestination? How does free will fit in? What about man's sinfulness and God's sovereignty? Is predestination a fair doctrine or does it make God out to be dispassionate and tyrannical? In this paper, I will attempt to answer those questions.
Predestination is the doctrine that God alone chooses (elects) who is saved. He makes His choice independent of any quality or condition in sinful man. He does not look into a person and recognize something good nor does He look into the future to see who would choose Him. He elects people to salvation purely on the basis of His good pleasure. Those not elected are not saved. He does this because He is sovereign; that is, He has the absolute authority, right, and ability to do with His creation as He pleases. He has the right to elect some to salvation and let all the rest go their natural way: to hell. This is predestination.
In response to this definition, some will protest, "Unfair!" It may seem so at first, but you will see that it is quite fair. More importantly, it is biblical." BAM! is all I have to say after reading this article.
Slick was correct when he stated, "some will protest, "Unfair!" The belief of free will is so widely believed not because it is biblical but because in all our human hearts this is what we want to believe. I admit I find the doctrine of free will to be much more appealing and satisfying. It is because as humans we continually take the focus and reigns out of God's hands and try to direct our lives as we see fitting. I think the thought of predestination flusters the human mind because it is a doctrine that takes control away from us and HUMANS LOVE CONTROL! Then the criticism of Calvinism comes in. I must admit I would put myself in the category of having slightly Calvinist views. I BELIEVE in predestination, but I still believe in Evangelism. Most Calvinists simply would not go out of their way to witness because they believe that if it is Gods will for an individual to go to heaven then he will find a way to salvation without a believers help. I do not believe this for Christ called us in Matthew 28:19, " Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always to the end of the age." This verse is so straight forward! We are to evangelize, evangelize, evangelize! However, we go out and plant the seeds and God takes care of the rest. That brings up the next question, "Well when I accepted the Lord it was my choice, how does that play into predestination?" This is how it does: We are all born with hard hearts. That is talked about in Exodus when Moses is trying to free his people from Pharoah's rule. It states multiple times that Pharoah's heart was hardened. I am sure that Pharoah thought it was his own mind and decision to not let Moses people go; however, it was the Lord behind the scenes hardening and softening his heart according to the Lord's will. The same is today we are all born with hard hearts, because we are all sinners. When the point comes when we who are chosen commit to Christ it is because our hearts have been softened by our Creator. We just as Pharoah think that it is our decision to be hostile or to be open or to say yes or no to decisions, but in fact it is the Lord that is softening and hardening our hearts. He softens the hearts of those he has chosen. Therefore taking the decision from our grasp and letting the decision to the Almighty One.I hope I didn't offend I hope I just explained an issue that you were unsure on or needed a second opinion.