Really these controversial doctrines, are quite amazing if you think about it. As a Christian, basic doctrines such as believing that Christ saved us for 0ur sins and nothing else, are essential. I would like to suggest that election is essential. If, we chose Christ by our own will, then we could claim (although most of us won’t) that we have made our way into heaven that we have found forgiveness of sins; if we had not found Christ we would have gone to hell. In other words Christ saves us for 99%, but, we contribute to saving us by 1% because we accepted Him. Election, however, eliminates any possibility for us to claim we saved ourselves. Not only did Christ save us by dying on the cross for our sins and coming to life again, He also chose us to accept Him and ask forgiveness. We do not have a say in this. Yes, we do the act of speaking out desire for Christ, but, God gives this desire in us (Ephesians 1:9). He prompts us to accept Christ. Not only does Christ get the credit for doing the 99%, He also claims the 1%. He accepts us. Therefore, we cannot brag in our living in Christ because we did not do anything to deserve it or help in any way to get it (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Now you, and I too did once, may be thinking that this is cruel. God favors one to another. This is an easy trap to step in. We have to remember that none of us deserve anything good. And to assume that God favors one to another is wrong because, that is assuming that we all should be equally treated by God. None of us deserve to be treated by God in any way ( this is because of our sinful nature).
If you were to ask a person who has not accepted Jesus (or may I say that Jesus has not yet entered into), you would never see any progress in them for the rest of their life towards Jesus if they were not part of the elect. They may become interested but they would never accept Christ. Being on the “not elected” list does not mean that the person wants to follow Christ, but can’t because they aren’t on the right list. No, they do not want to be on the right list.
If you were to tell a person (who is not a Christian, at least not yet) that God elects people to believe in Him, I would suggest that you would get multiple reactions. Some I would guess, would scoff at you and your “unjust god”. They would say “what kind of god would not let everyone go into heaven?”. Another would probably wonder if he were an elect, not care and go on in life thinking that if God were to claim Him, God could do it at any time, but until then he would just keep living life how he wanted. And finally, there would be a person who would wonder if he were part of the elect, and then try to find out more. He would worry if he were part of the elect, and might ask God. I would suggest that he would be part of the elect, that God is working in him at that moment. The other two groups, might or might not be, maybe God would work in their hearts later at a better time. My point being, that those who are not part of the elect, really won’t care about not being part of the elect while they are on this earth. This is contrary to how we might think.
My last point that I would like to make, has to do with missions, and sharing your faith. Many will see election as an excuse to not share the Gospel. This simply is not true as we have no idea who is and who isn’t part of the elect. Meaning that the elect do not start out on the “sunny side” of things. God may work in them to accept Him by using you! You may counter, that if God elects people then He will find a way eventually, therefore why waste your time. If that thought just crossed your mind, then I would like to suggest that you need to rethink things. If you don’t care about the lost, then you need to do a major study on hell, heaven, forgiveness, and love. Also, if I am wrong on this idea of election, then anyone can come to Christ and you just blew your life away thinking that they were going to be fine, and you are now responsible (to some extent) for them being in hell.
Please remember that these are just my thoughts, and no one can really know the mind of God. However, I believe that God has made it clear that there is an elect to some extent. The book of Ephesians talks a lot about this.
Are you part of the elect?