ELECTION AND PREDESTINATION
byELECTO123on 24 May, 2016 16:11
The doctrine of election is a mystery. A paradox. I have analyzed this concept a lot for many years. It is a fact that the Bible teaches election. And by election I do not mean merely foreknowledge: that is, I do not mean merely that God knew beforehand who would believe.
In Romans chapter 9, the apostle Paul makes it very clear what election means. He states that God chose Jacob and not Esau, before either one was born (verse 11). Then Paul goes on to ask a rhetorical question: "...Is God unjust then?" (verse 14). This rhetorical question proves beyond doubt what election means. In other words it is a question or someone's reaction to the idea of election. A reaction that would not come about if election was merely foreknowledge because that God has foreknowledge is an obvious positive fact no one questions.
The idea of election is good to know. But it is especially puzzling because at the same time the Bible instructs us to strive, to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, to not be lukewarm, etc. In fact we are to behave as though we didn't know about election. In other words, we cannot take a fatalistic, deterministic attitude and say whatever is going to happen will happen. This is why the doctrine of election is a mystery. One of the best possible explanations that I came across stated that God saw various histories with believers and unbelievers in each one, and chose or ordained one of them. This explanation would leave everyone's free will choice in tact.
Paul ends his discussion well by saying: "Oh the depths of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God. How unsearchable His judgements and His ways are past finding out!" (11:33).