Welcome to the last posting in my series on salvation. Actually, almost all postings up to this point, with the exception of the introductions along with a few diversions, have all been part of the case I’ve been constructing for salvation by election. This intent of this entry is to not only serve as a wrap up for the topic but also to provide a quick review of important points that were covered in my previous postings.
In order for me to build my case for salvation by election, I first had to deal with one of the most commonly quoted phrases used by those who object to this belief which goes something like this, “A loving God wouldn’t condemn anyone to Hell.” The implication in this argument is that by the very act of electing some people and not others, God is by default condemning those He doesn’t elect. The problem with this position is the fact that we are all condemned as a result of Adam’s transgression in the Garden of Eden since Adam acted as our federal head or representative.1 Whether or not Adam knew all the terms of his position as our federal head is irrelevant; he was told what not to do and he chose to do it anyway. Because Adam’s sin was imputed to all of his descendants, everyone born into this world is guilty of Adam’s sin as if they committed the transgression themselves—Jesus being the only exception. Not only is everyone guilty of Adam’s sin, they also inherit all the consequences, one of which is spiritual death.2 Therefore, since everyone is born spiritually dead, everyone is unable to believe or accept the Gospel unless they are first born again.3
Given the current state that man is in, would you still say that God is unfair in choosing some and not others? Or instead, would you say that God is gracious because he saves some even though they are all undeserving of His favor?
Even so, you don’t have to search the Internet very hard in order to find a plethora of websites advocating that a loving God would never send anyone to hell; people send themselves there. Many of the sites I’ve found offer up cutesy and clever arguments to support the notion that God doesn’t judge anyone; people are judged by their own choice to separate themselves from God by not repenting of their sins. One site in particular goes on to argue that “Hell contains only volunteer residents”4 People volunteer to spend eternity in a place of never ending torment without rest day or night? Really? If they truly believed in Hell, as it’s described in the Bible, they wouldn’t be in such a hurry to have their reservations confirmed! The problem isn’t that people are volunteering for Hell, it’s that they are unable to choose Heaven.5 I like to use the following illustration to demonstrate why I say that people are unable and not unwilling to believe:
Consider a dog whistle which emits sounds in a frequency that is above the range of a human’s ability to hear. Dogs can hear the whistle sounds because their ears have been enabled to hear them. If you were to say to someone that they would be the recipient of say $1 million dollars if they could indicate exactly when they heard the whistle being blown by another person who is not seen but in close proximity they would willingly accept the challenge, but they would ultimately fail because their ears are not able to hear the sounds. Likewise, the natural man cannot hear the Gospel message because it’s heard on a spiritual frequency that earthly ears are not equipped to hear.6 7 8 Salvation has nothing to do with desire, but it has everything to do with ability.
There is another famous quote used by those opposed to election which is, “God doesn’t make robots.” This saying takes us into the whole free will versus predestination thing. The question that you have to ask yourself is, how God can make predictions concerning people and events sometimes hundreds of years in advance. It’s obvious that God doesn’t make robots because everyone is unique. However, we all share certain attributes and abilities but in varying degrees.9 It’s not uncommon to hear people say about someone who has a special talent that they have a “gift.” From whom would you say that “gift” came from?
The last major objection to election has to do with witnessing. The theory is that if Christians believed in election, witnessing would be hindered because why would you witness if God has already selected those He predestined for salvation. The answer is simple; Christians have the responsibility for telling,10 but God has the responsibility for saving.
The bottom line is that a person’s salvation is totally dependent on God’s own will and initiative. In His sovereign will, He elects to give His gift of spiritual rebirth to whoever He so chooses. Spiritual birth leads to belief which then leads to salvation. That’s basically it in a nutshell!
I know that any discussion of salvation can become contentious for those believers who are not accustomed to having their belief system challenged in any way. Nevertheless, it is not possible to seriously study the Bible without having your beliefs challenged in some way. Many of us have been programmed with various denominational beliefs, and many have grown complacent. But at the end of the day, everyone needs to return to the Bible to discover or re-discover what it really says.
This concludes my discussion on salvation. After the New Year, I plan to start a new series on the end times which will obviously include the following topics:
- The Rapture
- The Great Tribulation
- The Anti-Christ
Stay tuned…Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2014 Gerard Sczepura
1 Cor. 2:14 NASB ↩
Matt. 13:9 ↩
Mark 4:23 ↩
Rev. 13:9 ↩
Acts 1:8 ↩