Summary: Many sincere Christians are reluctant to delve to any extent into the doctrine of election.
CONFIRM YOUR CALLING AND ELECTION
Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
(2 Peter 1:10-11 NIV)
Many sincere Christians are reluctant to delve to any extent into the doctrine of election. When asked to explain the Scriptural teaching on election, often the response goes something like this: “God votes for you; Satan votes against you, and you cast the deciding vote!”
In the manner of the universal or general call, this definition has some merit. The problem is that the unregenerate individual is “dead in their trespasses and sins.” (Ephesians 2:1). Unless the Holy Spirit makes this spiritually dead individual alive to their need of the Savior, that person is incapable of response. Let’s look at what the Holy Scriptures have to say about these two very distinct callings.
I. THE TWO SEPARATE AND DISTINCT CALLINGS OF GOD
The Universal Call:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16 NKJV).
"And the Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires let him take the water of life freely. (Revelation 22:17 NKJV).
"The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9 NIV)
"For many are called, but few are chosen." (Matthew 22:14 NKJV)
2. The Effectual Call:
Jesus said, “Everyone the Father gives Me will come to Me and the one who comes to Me I will never cast out.” (John 6:37 HCSB)
“…whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified;” (Romans 8:30 NKJV)
II. THE REALITY OF GOD’S CALLING AND ELECTION
Here are some of the passages of Scripture that clearly set forth the reality of our calling and election.
"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified." (Romans 8:28-30 NKJV)
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace." (Ephesians 1:3-6a NKJV)
"But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. He called you to this through our gospel that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ."
(2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 NIV)
"You did not choose Me, but I chose you.”
(John 15:16 NKJV)
"No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him.” (John 6:44 NKJV)
"These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful." (Revelation 17:14 NKJV)
III. HOW WE CAN MAKE OUR CALLING AND ELECTION SURE
There are three questions we need to ask ourselves to make certain our calling and election. Each question is intensely personal. You cannot answer it for me and I cannot answer it for you.
The Scripture says we can have this blessed assurance. Paul wrote to the church in Thessalonica, “knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God. For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance.” (I Thessalonians 1:4-5)
1. Did I sincerely repent of my sins and publicly professed faith in Christ?
"But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Romans 10:8-10 NKJV)