“I believe the doctrine of election, because I am quite certain that, if God had not chosen me, I should never have chosen Him; and I am sure He chose me before I was born, or else He never would have chosen me afterwards; and He must have elected me for reasons unknown to me, for I never could find in myself why He should have looked upon me with special love. So I am forced to accept that great Biblical doctrine.” Charles Spurgeon: An Autobiography
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.” Ephesians 1:3-4
Answering an objection:
One of the objections that I have heard regarding the doctrine of election is that if all is decided why should we evangelize? If God has chosen all those that are to be saved, from before the foundation of the world, why should we think we can change any of that, either through confessing Jesus as our Lord or witnessing to those around us? If it is a done deal it is a done deal. Was the Great Commission just busy work for us to keep us out of trouble or to let us feel engaged? “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Spurgeon wrote much on the doctrine of election yet his teaching on sovereign election in no way hindered his dedication to reaching the lost with the gospel. He would preach “Beloved, do your Master’s work, win souls, preach Christ, expound your Bibles, pray men to be reconciled to God, plead with men to come to Christ. This kind of work will stand the fire; and when the last great day shall dawn, this will remain to glory and honour.”
The doctrine of election in my mind is complex. Scripture clearly states this doctrine and although I do not fully understand it’s complexities I believe it. Can we be drawn and then reject the calling? If God is choosing who is saved, doesn’t that undermine our free will to choose and believe in Christ? My faith, however, is in the promises of God. The Bible is clear that all who believe in Jesus Christ will be saved. Romans 10:9-10 reads “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” Jesus Himself has told us how this accomplished. In John 6:44 He says “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.” The Bible never describes God rejecting anyone who believes in Him or turning away anyone who is seeking Him.
“Whatever may be said about the doctrine of election, it is written in the Word of God as with an iron pen, and there is no getting rid of it. To me, it is one of the sweetest and most blessed truths in the whole of revelation, and those who are afraid of it are so because they do not understand it. If they could but know that the Lord had chosen them, it would make their hearts dance for joy.” The Beloved Pastor’s Plea For Unity Sermon No. 2320, delivered by C. H. Spurgeon, at the Metropolitan Tabernacle
I must confess that when I read the Spurgeon quote above I clearly saw myself. I truly believe in the doctrine of election because “if God had not chosen me, I should never have chosen Him; and I am sure He chose me before I was born, or else He never would have chosen me afterwards; and He must have elected me for reasons unknown to me, for I never could find in myself why He should have looked upon me with special love.” I too, as Spurgeon believed, must believe in the doctrine of election regardless of how finite is my knowledge of how it works. I must believe because it is confounding why he would choose me.