The word election means “choice.” The Bible clearly teaches that “God is sovereign and He has, by His own will, made certain choices of persons and nations to further His purposes.” A good example of this is God’s choice of the nation of Israel to be His earthly people. Deuteronomy 7:6 states, “For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto Himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.” In the New Testament we have many passages which bring out God’s election of persons to eternal life. Acts 13:48 reads, “And as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.” This verse, along with many others, teaches us that God chose certain persons to obtain eternal life and because He did choose them, they believed the gospel. In 1 Thessalonians 1:4 the Apostle Paul could say to those who had believed on Christ, “Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.” He knew that God had chosen them because they believed the gospel. In 2 Thessalonians 2:13 he thanked God for choosing them to salvation, “But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.”

The word reprobation means “rejection.” The Bible also teaches that “God will reject all those who refuse to believe the gospel and will punish them eternally in the lake of fire.” Matthew 25:41 illustrates this truth, “Then shall He say also unto them on His left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” Let’s also read 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9: “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord.”

We have seen that God has, by His own sovereign will, chosen some people out of the human race to be saved, and because of this choice, they believe the gospel. We have also seen that God will reject those who do not believe the gospel and banish them to everlasting fire. Some have concluded then that “God chose some to eternal life and He chose some to eternal damnation.” But Scripture never says that God chose people to disobey the gospel and to be damned forever. Instead we saw that it is their choice to reject the gospel that causes God to reject them and to punish them eternally in hell.

The solemn truth is that “if Man is left to himself (to his own will), he will refuse the gift of eternal life that God graciously offers to him.” Jesus said in John 5:40, “And ye will not come to Me, that ye might have life.” He went on to say in John 6:44, “No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him.” Why do men refuse to come to Christ for salvation? John 3:19-20 provide the answer, “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.” Mankind LOVES SIN and HATES THE LIGHT! Because of their love of sin, they willfully reject God’s love and grace as expressed in the gospel. Is God righteous then to reject them and to punish them for eternity? He certainly is, for He gives everyone the opportunity to believe the gospel and receive eternal life, but they choose DEATH instead of LIFE. It’s THEIR CHOICE, not GOD’S. Because of this choice, God has no alternative but to judge them for their sins.

God knew that men would not respond to His offer of salvation, so by an act of sovereign grace and mercy He chose some to be saved. If He had not elected some to eternal life, all would be lost. We that are saved will praise God throughout eternity for His sovereign grace in election and for the work Jesus Christ did on the cross to put away our sin. Those that are lost for all eternity will have only themselves to blame, for choosing to reject God’s wonderful salvation through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.  (184.8)  (DO)