Who's Afraid of Doctrine

 

 

The doctrine of election

I find the doctrine of election easier to grasp when I think of it in this way:  Before I could respond to the good news by faith, God took the first step towards me.  He called to me. That call lowered the veil enough for me to see the truth of God; it opened my ears so I could hear it and believe.  Having heard the message of God’s love and forgiveness, I embraced it, like I embraced the box seats at a Pittsburgh Pirate game offered to me by a friend who owned the room, paid the price of my admission and extended an invitation for me to join him.  It was an act of sheer grace and I gladly entered in.  Thinking of my inclusion into God’s household drive home to me the fact that I am nothing special and He is an INCREDIBLE SAVIOR.  When this is my focus, I am filled with joy.  It is good to be home.  The box seats are wonderful, aren’t they!

What is harder to understand is:  What about those not in the room?  Why did I get an invitation and they did not?  Shouldn’t everyone get a chance to enter that room?  Or do they and not everyone responds.  I find repose in that thought but I know it smacks in the face of Calvin’s view of grace – that it is irresistible.  I am more comfortable believing grace is resistible than believing that atonement is limited or God would keep people out of heaven, with out a prayer of ever responding because he refused to enable them.  For me it makes God cruel, maybe even a monster.  I don’t see that in the Bible. What I see is God refusing to return until more and more are saved.  Peter tell us that God wants everyone to come to faith and enter heaven (2 Peter 3:9)

Well those are my thoughts. Many questions left unexplored like the timing of election – does it happen when the Gospel is proclaimed, or when Christ died on the cross or before creation?  Does God’s foreknowledge and freewill contradict?  

Like to get your thoughts and your struggles.  Not sure I can answer them. Maybe someone out there can. Share your thoughts .

~Pastor Richard