For some people, the biblical doctrine of election becomes difficult to comprehend since some of our close friends, perhaps even family members that we love, have until now not responded to God’s call on their lives. At other times, we know our own hearts and wonder why God would make Jesus known to us, whilst other people, often morally decent, generous in love and giving, exemplary in behaviour, seem also to be passed over. It seems so unfair.
Well, perhaps we should state from the outset that God would have been perfectly just to pass us all by. Sometimes you will hear people say (even from pulpits), that God thought we were worthy and hence He sent His Son to redeem us. Not only does such thinking rob God of His glory, nothing could be further from the truth. No one is righteous, not even one (Romans 3:9ff). Hence, that God would call any of us to be saved and to enjoy eternity with Him is entirely a work of grace on His part. As Paul reminds us in Romans 5:8ff, “While we were still sinners … while we were still God’s enemies, Christ died for us.” Furthermore, who are wee to accuse God of being unfair? He is the Potter and we are the clay (Read Romans 9:14-26).
Our wonderful election to be God’s children forever is something that occurred in the counsel of God before the foundations of the earth were put in place (Eph 1:4ff). Furthermore, our election is unconditional. God did not look to the future and see that we would be nice people and thought that He should save us. On the contrary, He saw that we were rotten to the core with sin and that without His help, none would be saved unto eternal life.
Now, this doctrine of election is a great blessing and reason for great rejoicing for those of us who are saved and who can rest in the completed work of Christ. Yet, it is tinged with sadness for we see so many people we know, family members, friends, work colleagues, classmates, who are still walking without Christ as Saviour and therefore living in darkness. Should we then, write these people off? Absolutely not!
While they still enjoy God’s breath in their nostrils and while their hearts are still beating, there is hope for their conversion to Christ and salvation. So, let us pray for the world in general and that the Holy Spirit may bring about a great revival. But in our prayers, let us not forget to pray for people we know by name. Let us bring them before the throne of grace and ask for God’s Holy Spirit to quicken them to life. But don’t just pray, ask the Holy Spirit to give you the right words so that you can chat to them about the blessing of knowing Jesus Christ as Saviour in a winsome way (Rom 10:14ff).
Oh, they may not instantly be converted, but perhaps the Holy Spirit will use the gospel seed you have sown and caused it to be watered by someone else and spring it to life at some other point in time. Whatever you do, don’t write them off, for God only knows, that perhaps at a given point in their lives, He may overcome their resistance and answer our prayers and efforts concerning them in a marvellous way.
If God saved us, the unlovable with a love that stretches from everlasting to everlasting in Christ, surely, He can save them too! God knows, we don’t, but they may belong to the elect and are just waiting for us to bring the saving message. So, may we never be accused of just sitting back and writing people off. JZ.
Pastor John Zuidema
Since 1997 Pastor John has been ministering to Churches across Australia and New Zealand.