“Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness” (Titus 1:1).
After reading one of the 17 verses in the Authorized Bible that uses the word eklektos (ek-lek-tos’), which means, to “select” (by implication, favorite), it is not uncommon for conservative and faithful Bible teachers to smell tar burning, and hear chickens cackling. The word “elect” is a trigger word for raw emotions in people whose next thought is, “That is not fair!” “How dare you teach such a thing as God having an elect people!”
What is being said, is that God cannot elect, or, select people to be saved, sanctified, and secured forever in heaven. God has no choice as to who goes to heaven. You and I can choose who lives in our house with us, but God has no determining choice in who lives with Him in Heaven. In the final stage, God is shut out of the process in the matter of salvation. Personal salvation is the ultimate decision of the Created, not the Creator.
By promoting the idea of fairness, Satan is able to gain a foothold in the minds of millions, because there is an assumption that everyone knows what fairness is, and there are no other concepts to consider, such as Divine sovereignty, the Fall, the effects of the Fall, the Law of Sin and Death, the state of the Natural Man, Natural Ability, Moral Ability, and the rejection of the Creator by His Creation.
Salvation is reduced to a simple idea: “Heaven or Hell is MY choice!” There is no one else involved.
End of the discussion.
Many do not want to hear the words of the Bible declaring the real truth.
“Salvation is of the Lord” (Jonah 2:9).
“Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you” (John 15:16).
This choice was made in eternity past.
“According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love” (Eph. 1:4).
These verses, and many more, are suppressed, or swept aside, because they teach something declared to be unfair by those who know better than the Holy Spirit who gave us this God breathed book, the Bible.
If the Word of God is insisted upon, it is not uncommon to hear people say, “I will not believe in a God who has an elect people!” “God is unfair, I do not believe in election.” “I do not want you believing in it either, or teaching it!”
When those sentiments are expressed, the demons in hell rejoice. The gospel seed has been snatched away. The Enemy has sown his tares among the wheat. There is discord among the brethren.
Because of an emotional response to the Biblical text, individuals are not curious as to why the Bible would use the word eklektos, elect, let alone other words such as foreordained (proginosko [prog-in-oce’-ko]; to know beforehand, i.e. foresee: 1 Peter 1:20), and predestinate (proorizo (pro-or-id’-zo); to limit in advance, i.e. (figuratively) predetermine; Romans 8:29).
The ideas behind these words, to select, to know beforehand, and to predetermine, are infuriating to the Creature, who stands in judgment of the Creator, and declares, “You are not fair!”
Other unworthy thoughts begin to flow like torrential floodwaters churching downstream, sweeping away any other point of view.
The Human Point of View must prevail over the Divine Viewpoint.
“How can a loving God choose one person over another?”
“Why would God choose Jacob over Esau?”
“All that means is that Jacob was favored over Esau. Jacob was preferred over Esau. Esau was loved less than Jacob.”
The force of the word hated used in Romans 9:13 is mitigated by appealing to a secondary meaning. The primary meaning of miseo (mis-eh’-o); means, “to detest (specially, to persecute); by extension, to love less.
By rejecting the doctrine of election, by declaring God to be unloving and unfair if He does the selecting of souls to be saved, by reducing the meaning of strong words, the student becomes the teacher to Isaiah, Peter, Paul, John, and Jesus, who set forth the Biblical doctrine of the elect.
When the Biblical doctrine of election, and thus salvation, is faithfully proclaimed, it is often violently and continuously resented, resisted, or rejected
Who is it that rejects the Biblical gospel?
The gospel was rejected by the Judaizers because it proclaimed that Jesus was the Messiah, and had fulfilled the Law. “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth” (Rom. 10:4).
Because Christ is the end of the Law, the animal sacrifices and offerings for sin could cease. “For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified” (Heb. 14:14).
The religious Jews in the first century heard this gospel message, and were alarmed on many levels. Some were alarmed that their lively hood would end. There were people who raised animals to be bought and sold for ceremonial slaughter. This would cease. The gospel caused economic hardship for some. Some Jews did not want to hear any gospel message that took away their economic profits.
Other Jews did not want to receive the gospel because they were jealous of Jesus, and the success He had with the multitudes. Even Pilate knew that it was for envy the religious leaders had arrested Jesus and wanted to kill Him (Matt. 27:18).
That was then, this is now.
Why do individuals today reject the Biblical gospel when the doctrine of election is included?
Some reject the gospel because the wrong thoughts are allowed to take control of the conversation. The invitation to “Come now and let us reason together” (Isaiah 1:18) is declined.
Others reject the gospel which includes the doctrine of election because they sincerely believe they are protecting the ability of the unbeliever to have a chance at eternal life.
It is not that the Natural Man is asking for any chance to be saved. They do not need to be saved. They are good people. Their good deeds outweigh their bad deeds. Just ask anyone. Ask them personally. They will gladly tell you how vitreous they are. They signal it all the time.
It is not that the Natural Man wants to be saved, but can’t be saved. The Natural Man will not have Jesus to rule over him (Luke 19:14).
It is not that the Natural Man is seeking after God. He isn’t. “There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God” (Rom. 3:11).
It is not that the Natural Man is grateful to those who believe they are speaking out on his behalf, and charging God with being unfair.
Why should the Unbeliever attack God? Many Christians are doing that for them. They diminish the sovereignty of God , and question His plan of redemption, whereby Christ would give His life a ransom for “many” (Matt. 20:28).
Jesus said that as the Good Shepherd He would give His life for His sheep. “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep” (John 10:11).
Jesus was to save His people from their sins. “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21).
Jesus was to see the travail of His soul, and be satisfied. “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities” (Isaiah 53:11).
The Unbeliever does not need protection from the Biblical Doctrine of Election. Rather, the gospel should be proclaimed truthfully and fully, to all men, with predictable results. The sheep will hear the voice of Christ and follow Him. The rest will turn away. Jesus knows from the beginning who will believe, and who will betray His love. Nevertheless, those who will not believe should be told in clear language that they cannot come to Jesus except it were given to them of the Father.
“But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. 65 And he said, therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father” (John 6:64, 65).
This is the Doctrine of Election being taught to all people, with predictable results.
“From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him” (John 6:66).
People walked away from Jesus, from a Human Viewpoint, because they did not like the Doctrine of Election. From a Divine Viewpoint, many walked no more with Jesus because the gift of repentance and faith was not given unto them by the Father.
Another reason why the Biblical Doctrine of Election is opposed, is because Christians believe they must protect the integrity of God, His love, His grace, His mercy, His longsuffering, His goodness, and His fairness.
“God is not arbitrary in choosing one person over another,” is a common assertion. That is a correct observation. What is not correct, is that because God chooses Jacob over Esau it is an arbitrary decision.
Webster’s Online Dictionary defines arbitrary as a decision “based on random choice or personal whim, rather than any reason or system.” That is the popular understanding as well.
The faulty reasoning, is ascribing to God arbitrary decisions. The Bible does not present God as being arbitrary, but as being wise. In fact, He alone is wise. “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen” (1 Tim. 1:17).
God does not need protection. He needs to be believed, loved, and thanked for having chosen those of us who are the heirs of salvation.
We have received a kingdom. “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear” (Heb. 12:28).
We have received the gift of faith. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:8, 9).
We have received the gift of eternal life. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 6:23).
We have received the gift of the Holy Spirit. “And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said unto them, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost” (John 2:21).
Salvation is ALL of grace. No co-mingled grace with human merit. No grace mingled with Pelagian free will, or semi Pelagian co-operation. Rather, God’s sovereign grace.
“Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!
Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured,
There where the blood of the Lamb was spilled.
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin!
Sin and despair, like the sea waves cold,
Threaten the soul with infinite loss;
Grace that is greater, yes, grace untold,
Points to the refuge, the mighty cross.
Dark is the stain that we cannot hide;
What can we do to wash it away?
Look! There is flowing a crimson tide,
Brighter than snow you may be today.
Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,
Freely bestowed on all who believe!
You that are longing to see His face,
Will you this moment His grace receive?”
Julia H. Johnson, 1910