Why don't more Christians see the truth of God's election?
Why don't more Christians see the truth of God's election?
On one of the Facebook forums a Christian asks: "Why doesn't sovereign grace reveal itself to the elect? Or are non Calvinists not really saved?"
Hi brother. Thank you for the question and it is a good one. I can think of two possibilities as to why many "free will" Christians who hate these doctrines do not see the truth of them. There may be more, but I can think of at least two reasons.
One, they may not in fact be regenerate. I honestly hope I am wrong about this, but here are three reasons why they may not be true Christians at all.
William Tyndale believed not all who attend church are numbered among the elect. Only those chosen by God make up the true church.
He explained: “There shall be in the church a fleshly seed of Abraham and a spiritual; a Cain and an Abel; an Ishmael and an Isaac; an Esau and a Jacob; as I have said, a worker and a believer; a great multitude of them that be called, and a small flock of them that be elect and chosen.”
While many contend that election is a dangerous doctrine to be feared and withheld from people, Tyndale held the complete opposite. He believed this divine truth emboldens the preacher because it ensures the ultimate success of his preaching ministry. No matter how hardened man’s heart may be, Tyndale insisted, sovereign election guarantees the reception of the gospel:
“When Christ is … preached … the hearts of them which are elect and chosen, begin to wax soft and melt at the bounteous mercy of God.”
In summary, Tyndale believed that sovereign election exalts God as worthy of all honor. This truth sets God apart from man and above him. God is not subject to man’s wisdom or will. This truth of unconditional election exalts God as the supreme ruler over man:
“Why does God open one man’s eyes and not another’s? Paul (Rom. 9) forbids to ask why; for it is too deep for man’s capacity. God we see is honoured thereby, and His mercy set out and the more seen in the vessels of mercy. But THE POPISH can suffer God to have no secret, hid to Himself. They have searched to come to the bottom of His bottomless wisdom: and because they cannot attain to that secret, and be too proud to let it alone, and to grant themselves ignorant, with the apostle, that knew no other than God’s glory in the elect; THEY GO AND SET UP FREE-WILL WITH THE HEATHEN PHILOSOPHERS, AND SAY THAT MAN’S FREE-WILL IS THE CAUSE WHY GOD CHOOSES ONE AND NOT ANOTHER, CONTRARY UNTO ALL THE SCRIPTURE.”
Tyndale affirmed that sovereign election glorifies God, humbles man, initiates salvation, and honors Scripture. This doctrine gave Tyndale great confidence in all his endeavors as he was reliant upon God for all things.
Why Some Do Not Believe In Election
#1. They have not yet really seen how wretched and hopeless and utterly evil their true nature is as rebellious sinners who have no good thing within them to recommend them to God in any way.
Sure, they may think they are sinners, but they don't really believe they are as evil as God's word says we are.
Man is fundamentally evil, not good. And thus, being unaware of how wicked they really are, and how desperate their need for a Saviour really is, they were never converted in the first place.
They just sort of “help Jesus out and co-operate with him in a good cause” rather than helplessly casting themselves on his mercy and grace.
How evil is man in his fallen state? The Bible has plenty to say about this.
“for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth” Genesis 8:21
“If YE THEN, BEING EVIL, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” Matthew 7:11
Romans 5: 6-10 tell us that fallen men are “without strength”, “ungodly”, “sinners” and “enemies” of God.
We love darkness rather than light - John 3:19 and are “haters of God” Romans 1:30
“For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.” - Titus 3:3
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9
“10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:
14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
15 Their feet are swift to shed blood:
16 Destruction and misery are in their ways:
17 And the way of peace have they not known:
18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) DWELLETH NO GOOD THING” Romans 7:18
Is there a type of "faith" or "belief" in Jesus Christ that is NOT a saving faith?
Yes, there most definitely is. We can clearly see this type of false belief in the gospel of John in chapter 8.
In John 8:30-32 we see: "As he spake these words, MANY BELIEVED ON HIM. Then said Jesus to THOSE JEWS WHO BELIEVED ON HIM, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed: And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
And what was their reaction? "They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? (v.33)
34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. 35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. 36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. 37 I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, because MY WORD HATH NO PLACE IN YOU. 38 I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father. 39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham. 40 But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. 41 YE DO THE DEEDS OF YOUR FATHER.
Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. 42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. 43 WHY DO YE NOT UNDERSTAND MY SPEECH? EVEN BECAUSE YE CANNOT HEAR MY WORD. 44 YE ARE OF YOUR FATHER THE DEVIL, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."
#2. The “free will” believer thinks that NOBODY was in fact redeemed or reconciled to God at the cross and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
They think that Christ only provided a POTENTIAL redemption, but the missing ingredient needed to make it of any effect is their own personal “free will decision to accept Christ”.
See “Why I believe in the Doctrine of Limited Atonement”
They are in fact trying to take credit for something they did not do themselves - repent and believe - and they rob God of the glory that belongs only to him. GOD is the one who gives both repentance and the faith to believe the gospel.
See “Why do some believe the gospel and others do not?”
#3. The “free will” believer always ends up making the Bible contradict itself and they make the Lord Jesus out to be both a Liar and a Failure who did not do what he said he came to do.
Who is Lying? The Lord Jesus Christ or the "Free Willers"?
The Arminian, or “free will” belief that “I chose of my own free will to believe the gospel” ALWAYS ends up creating direct contradictions to other clear statements the Lord Jesus Christ made.
If your theology ends up contradicting other clear Scriptures, then it is your theology that is wrong, not the King James Bible.
IF the “free will” - “I chose to accept Christ” position is true, and just one individual whom the Lord chose to save from before the foundation of the world or whom “Christ wanted to save so badly but couldn’t because they rejected his offer” (Arminian speek) is lost, or refuses to come, or rejects Christ as his Saviour, then that means that the Lord of glory himself, the Lord Jesus Christ, LIED when he made these statements -
Our Lord tells us in John 4:34 “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me AND TO FINISH HIS WORK.”
During his high priestly prayer as recorded in John 17 he prays “I have glorified thee on the earth: I HAVE FINISHED THE WORK WHICH THOU GAVEST ME TO DO.”
And as most of us know, his final words on the cross, where he in fact redeemed his people, were “IT IS FINISHED: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.” John 19:30
“For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so THE SON OF MAN QUICKENETH WHOM HE WILL.” John 5:21
“ALL that the Father giveth me SHALL COME TO ME; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” John 6:37
"And THIS is THE FATHER'S WILL which hath sent me, THAT ALL OF THEM WHICH HE HATH GIVEN ME I SHOULD LOSE NOTHING, but should raise it up again at the last day." John 6:39
“As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life TO AS MANY AS THOU HAST GIVEN HIM.” John 17:2
“Father, I WILL that they also WHOM THOU HAST GIVEN ME, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovest me before the foundation of the world.” John 17:24
God hides things from some, and reveals them to others, and it is all according to His will. Matthew 11:25-28
25 “At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because THOU HAST HID THESE THINGS FROM THE WISE AND PRUDENT, AND HAST REVEALED THEM unto babes.
26 Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.
27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, AND HE TO WHOMSOEVER THE SON WILL REVEAL HIM."
If a single person whom Christ WILLED TO QUICKEN, and WILLED TO REVEAL THE FATHER to, and who HAD BEEN GIVEN TO HIM by the Father can be lost in any way, and never comes to Christ for eternal life, then Jesus Christ is a liar as well as a failure, and he is not qualified to be the Saviour of anyone.
If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, then you are one of those whom the Father chose in Christ before the foundation of the world. (Ephesians 1:3-6) He drew you to himself (John 6:44), called you by name (John 10:3), worked in you "both to will and to do of his good pleasure" (Phil. 2:13) and gave you both repentance (Acts 5:31; 11:18; 2 Timothy 2:25) and the faith to believe in him as your Saviour from sin. (Romans 12:3; Philippians 1:29; Hebrews 12:2; Ephesians 2:8)
And all this was “NOT of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.” (Romans 9:16)
Who are you going to believe? The Lord Jesus Christ, who not only spoke the truth but IS the Truth, or the “Free Will Fantasy Club” who think that it was their part to contribute their “will” or their “choice”, their “decision” or their “faith” in order to make the redemptive work of Christ of any effect, - even though the last words of the Lord Jesus were “It is finished”?
Why is this such a “tough call” for so many professing Christians today?
The Second Possibility
The second possibility why some Christians do not see the truth of God’s election is that God has hidden these truths from them, even though they are real Christians, with the purpose of humbling them in the end when they realize how they have been fighting against God and his purpose according to election and got so many things wrong.
Much of their life’s work will amount to no more than “wood, hay or stubble” that will be burned up. (1 Corinthians 2:11-15)
One of the main things God is doing with his people is to humble us in the dust where we belong. It will either happen in this life here, or at the judgment seat of Christ when we finally see how much we got wrong.
Isaiah 2:11-12 King James Bible.
11 The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day.
12 For the day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low.”
ALL of grace, believing the Book - the King James Holy Bible,
Return to Articles -