Sermon Illustrations

I found a great article which addresses the question “Does God Play Favorites? On page 1562 in the Quest Study Bible: Listen to what it says: The whole Bible teaches that God is fair and just (Psalm 11:7). It also states that God does not take pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezek. 18:23), but that he wants all men to be saved (1 Tim. 2:4). Therefore, the idea of God’s purpose in election (v. 11) raises some hard questions, such as “How can God choose some and pass on others?” People have attempted to explain God’s election in several ways. Some hold the view that God elects some to be saved because he knows beforehand that they will choose to accept Christ (8:29). Their election, according to this view, is based on God’s foreknowledge (Arminianism). Others conclude that God, in his wise and sovereign will, chooses some but not others for reasons we cannot understand. His selection may seem unfair, but that is simply because we have limited perspective. Humans, bound in sin. Do not naturally seek God (3:11), but when God’s grace comes to the elect, it frees them to choose God (Calvinism). Still others emphasize that God elected Jesus, his Son, and that all those who are in Christ by faith share in that corporate election. What about Pharaoh (vv. 17-18)? While the Bible clearly states that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart (v. 18; see Exodus 9:12), it also records Pharaoh’s own decision to harden his heart (Exodus 8:15). The mystery of how God works in election is not easily resolved. Difficult questions continue to confound us. In the end we may need to confess that our understanding is limited, that we may be missing some key part of God’s plan that would allow us to understand election better (page 1562, Quest Study Bible).