God Has Already Chosen Who Will Be Saved?
In Psalm 139, David wrote that every one of his days had been written by God before one of them came to be.
In your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. (Psalm 139:16)
God told Jeremiah that He appointed him to be a prophet before he was even born.
Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, and before you were born, I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations. (Jeremiah 1:5)
The Apostle Paul also said that he was set apart by God before he was born.
He who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by His grace… (Galatians 1:15)
Jesus said to His disciples,
“You did not choose Me, I chose you.” (John 15:16)
That is the picture that we see throughout Scripture – we didn’t choose God. It is God who chose us for His glory, through the saving power of Christ. We who are Christians were predestined before the world began, by no action of our own.
He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace… (Ephesians 1:4-6)
God chose those who would be saved and those who would be the objects of His wrath.
What if God, desiring to show His wrath and make known His power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of His glory for vessels of mercy which He prepared beforehand for glory… (Romans 9:22-23)
Don’t dismiss this teaching as some sort of “ism”. (such as “merely Calvinism”)
It’s what the Bible says.
Now, that said, do you still have a choice?
Well, as far as you’re concerned, YES!!
Faith is given to us by God, but you still have to obey.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God. (Ephesians 2:8)
Obey His commandments (1 John 5:2)
Repentance is also granted by God, but you still have to turn from your sin.
God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth. (2 Timothy 2:25)
Repent and believe the Gospel! (Mark 1:15)
No one can come to Christ unless the Father draws them, but you still have to follow.
No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent me draws them. (John 6:44)
If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me. (Luke 9:23)
You choose to be thankful. You choose to help others. You choose to preach the gospel. You choose it!
Be thankful! (Colossians 3:15)
Show hospitality. (Romans 12:13)
Preach the Word! (2 Timothy 4:2)
Though, it is God who wills and works for His good pleasure, we’re still held accountable for the choices that we make.
It is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. (Philippians 2:13)
Each of us will give an account of himself to God. (Romans 14:12)
It’s not for us to know now the full picture the way that God sees it. That comes later.
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. (1 Corinthians 13:12)
It is not you who chooses God, but God who chose you. Now, confirm your calling by being obedient to what He has commanded!
…when we understand the text
His divine power has given us everything we need for a Godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. 4 Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, Godliness; 7 and to Godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.
10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
12 So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. 13 I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, 14 because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. 15 And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things. (2 Peter 1:3-15)