Insights into the term
found in the book of Romans
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about Jacob and Esau. Click: here
Does God only extend Salvation to CERTAIN people?
Does God save every person who comes to him, or
only those he has chosen to save?
Some people think Romans 9 means that God "for no reason" doesn't like certain people and will not let them be saved. These people also think that the people going to heaven are called the elect, and the people who aren't going to heaven - are just out of luck.
What does "God's elect" mean?
Definition Number One
Does the definition of "elect" mean: those people who are in a God-selected group of people where God disregards the wishes of those people and just arbitrarily chooses who he wants to go to heaven while the rest of the people are stuck in hell with God thinking "Tough luck"?
Definition Number Two
Or does the word "elect" speak about the people who heard God's call for salvation and they chose to receive salvation from the Lord?
(I believe this definition is correct.)
In this section
I will talk about
why I do not believe the first definition.
Many people accept the FIRST definition. They think that God chooses who he will love and save and who he will not.
As a person who has studied the Bible for decades, I have never understood how anyone would come to that conclusion after studying the Bible and truly getting to know God.
Every person that God made, he adores.
His greatest desire is for all to be saved.
I see that idea generously scattered all through the Bible. John 3:16 is just one example.
Consider Rahab. She was not of the chosen people. But her heart wanted to be. God is looking for a heart who wants HIM.
The Bible gives verse after verse of God begging people to accept him as their God.
"But I will not give you up - I will plead for you to return to me, and will keep on pleading." Jeremiah 2:9 TLB
"O Jerusalem, cleanse your hearts while there is time." Jeremiah 4:14a TLB
"O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved." Jeremiah 4:14a KJV
"Come, return to me," the Lord God said. But no they wouldn't listen; they paid no attention at all."
Zechariah 1:3b TLB
"Let all the world look to me for salvation." Isaiah 45:22 TLB
God said to Jeremiah:
"Go and shout this in Jerusalem's streets: The Lord says, I remember how eager you were to please me as a young bride long ago and how you loved me and followed me even through the barren deserts. In those days Israel was a holy people, the first of my children. All who harmed them were counted deeply guilty,
and great evil fell on anyone who touched them.
'O Israel, says the Lord, why did your fathers desert me?'"
I have observed the life of people who believe definition number one - meaning - those who believe that God chooses who he loves and who he saves without our input.
The people I personally know who believe that concept:
They live their life far away from God. They do not try to live right, because they believe that they get to go to heaven if God wants them to and if he doesn't want them to - then they may as well enjoy sin.
To me it is very obvious that Definition Number One is a
lie from the enemy.
It is obvious to me where this idea of God saving some and denying salvation to others came from. It is from hell.
God would never toy with the affections of a person just to have them die and then he laugh and say, "Sorry. You loved me and tried to serve me, but I am not choosing you."
No, that is not the God that we read about in the Bible.
Listen to the sad cry in Jesus' heart
as he speaks to the Pharisees:
Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them
which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children
together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings,
and ye would not!"
God does not extend words of salvation, and then reject a person's repentance.
But God does tell us that there is a season in which we must choose Him and repent from a life of following sin.
God promises us that there is a
season of time
where anyone can receive salvation.
That season is here on earth.
Seek ye the Lord while he may be found.
Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
God promises us in James 4:8
that if we draw close to God, he will draw close to us.
I believe God.
The Story of the Prodigal Son
God tells us that he eagerly waits for repentance as a loving father waits for his prodigal son to one day come home.
The point of the story was that God desires each of us to choose to come home to God - the Father's house.
Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear,
and your soul shall live; and
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
even the sure mercies of David.
Isaiah 55:3 KJV
God's Salvation was for the Gentiles also:
See Isaiah 56:6-7
Jonah and the town of Ninevah
God told Jonah to preach that Ninevah would be destroyed.
But when Jonah preached, the people of Ninevah repented.
Because they repented, God did not destroy them.
Instead, he saved them.
Think with me for just a moment.
Who would love for you to think
that you might not be one of God's elect?
Who would love for you to be worried and fearful
that God doesn't love you?
Who would love for you to doubt God's love
and because of that doubt
you decide to pursue a sinful life?
The ANSWER to the above questions is: