By Shane Kastler
All people are called to repent and believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ. And though all are called, and even commanded to do this, most do not. Some believe and some don't. Have you ever wondered why that is? As a Christian, have you ever wondered why you believed the gospel and others do not? Be careful in how you answer. Because your view on this might be more arrogant than you realize.
The reason you believe is because God chose to grant you spiritual life. Jesus said we must be “born again” (John 3:3) and that this work of the Spirit happens in a sinner at God's good pleasure, not the sinner's. (See John 3:8) The Apostle Paul speaks further about this when he said: “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.” (Romans 8:29-30 NASB)
Paul talks about some things here that make some people mad. Perhaps it makes you mad. Paul talks about God's foreknowledge and predestination of some sinners unto salvation in Christ. God not only knows what will happen before it happens; He ordains what happens before it happens. And those whom He chose He also “called” in a manner in which they came. He justified them through Christ. And He glorifies them. In other words, these "chosen" people go to Heaven.
So what is your reaction to these things? I'm glad you asked; because Paul gives us the answer in verse 31: “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies, who is the one who condemns?” (Romans 8:31-33 NASB)
The Bible says our reaction to considering God's electing us to salvation is that we should be greatly comforted. Not mad at God for choosing us. Not ignoring election so as to avoid controversy. But rather rejoicing in His grace that we did not deserve.
Those who are chosen of God are marked in the world by many things; among them repentance and faith in Christ. If you are not a believer, then the Bible calls you to repent of your sin and submit to Christ as Lord by faith. And if you do that, it is evidence that God chose you for salvation “before the foundation of the world.” (Ephesians 1:4) Don't reject Biblical teaching just because it irritates you or assaults your pride. Submit to it, seek to understand it, and sing praises unto God who chooses to save some sinners; when He isn't required to save any.