Question / Comment - Should I bet the house on free will or
My question is: Do you think, from scripture, that everybody that God chooses
gets saved, and if they don't then they weren't meant to? (election) I
have read extremes on both sides. Please provide me with some insight?
For what it is worth, I believe in free will... and I believe in election!
I believe that in the free will vs election debate you have to hold both sides...
why? Because the Bible teaches both! Going to either extreme is dangerous. I know
that it may not satisfy our little brains completely as we like everything to fit
logically into our little boxes but it is the only way to go and you will find
that the best Bible teachers in ages past generally taught both sides. For
example, H.A Ironside gave the illustration of the sinner coming to the gates of
Heaven and above the gate it reads "Whosoever will, let him come" (Rev.
22:17). As he accepts this gracious invitation and goes through the gates into
Heaven, he sees written on the other side - "Chosen...in Him before the
foundation of the world" (Eph. 1:4). Which is true? Whosoever can come or
that we are elected and chosen of God? Both. Free will and chosen by God. The
Bible teaches both so we must accept both even if it does do some mental
gymnastics with our little brains!
In like manner, Charles Spurgeon said that free will and election are like
two parallel lines that don't ever seem to touch. But he said that if you
follow them far enough, all the way up to Heaven, then they do meet each other.
When asked how he reconciles free will and election, Spurgeon replied 'You
don't have to reconcile friends!" In other words, we look at the issue
down here and think there is no way that both can be true but the great Bible
teachers knew that both were true and they held both. And in eternity we shall
see that the two thoughts were not against each other but were friends!
If you just hold to election/predestination then it can lead you down the
path that some are elected for Hell. Which is NOT what the Bible teaches and is
an insult to a loving God. But, as a Christian, if you give up on the election
track and just go with free will, then you'll miss a whole lot more of what
the Bible teaches about that it is God who chose you, and it is God that is
holding you and keeping you safe in this salvation.
C.H.M, one of my favorite old writers wrote about this in "One sided
theology". He wrote:
"He, blessed be His Name, has not confined Himself within the narrow
limits of any school of doctrine, high, low, or moderate. He has revealed
Himself. He has told out the deep and precious secrets of His heart. He has
unfolded His eternal counsels, as to the Church, as to Israel, the Gentiles, and
the wide creation.Men might as well attempt to confine the ocean in
buckets of their own formation as to confine the vast range of divine revelation
within the feeble enclosures of human systems of doctrine. It cannot be
done, and it ought not to be attempted. Better far to set aside the systems of
theology and schools of divinity, and come like a little child to the eternal
fountain of Holy Scripture, and there drink in the living teachings of God's
Nothing is more damaging to the truth of God, more withering to the
soul, or more subversive of all spiritual growth and progress than mere theology,
high or low—Calvinistic or Arminian. It is impossible for the soul to make
progress beyond the boundaries of the system to which it is attached.
If I am taught to regard "The Five Points" as "the faith of
God's elect," I shall not think of looking beyond them; and then a most
glorious field of heavenly truth is shut out form the vision of my soul. I am
stunted, narrowed, one-sided; and not only so, but I am in danger of
getting into that hard, dry state of soul which results from being occupied with
mere points of doctrine instead of with Christ.
A disciple of the high school of doctrine will not hear of a
world-wide gospel—of God's love to the world—of glad tidings to
every creature under heaven. He has only gotten a gospel
for the elect. On the other hand, a disciple of the low or Arminian
school will not hear of the eternal security of God's people. Their
salvation depends partly upon Christ, and partly upon themselves. According to
this system, the song of the redeemed should be changed. Instead of "Worthy
is the Lamb'," we should have to add, "and worthy are we." We
may be saved today and lost tomorrow. All this dishonors God, and robs
the Christian of all true peace. C.H.Mackintosh, "One Sided
Sooooo....To keep it simple, if you're thinking about those that
don't know Christ yet, think 'Whosoever will' for they stand
outside the gate and the offer of salvation is available to all. Christ
didn't just die for some but 'for God so loved the world that He
gave...' But, when thinking of Christians, you can also think 'Chosen
before the foundation of the world!' (Eph 1:4) And that means security in
the family of God. Great thought.
I hope this helps. Don't go to extremes on this one.
All the best.