Q. I have a question about election vs. choice where our salvation is concerned. If only those who are elect can be saved that means millions of people were born who were given no choice in the matter of existing in a fallen form with a destiny to be damned. I do not see how this can be possible with a loving God!
A. The dispute over whether God chooses who will be saved or whether each believer makes that choice personally is left over from a period in history where man didn’t understand the nature of time. It has always been known that God is eternal. What hasn’t always been known is that eternity isn’t just a lot of time, it’s the absence of time altogether.
Mankind has now learned that time only governs physical beings. God, being Spirit (John 4:24) is therefore not limited by the constraints of time. That’s how he can predict events that haven’t happened yet with 100% accuracy. He can see the the end from the beginning.
Simply put, this means that God knew every single person who was going to choose salvation before even one of us was created. He actually saw it happen. Knowing that, He reserved a place for us in His Kingdom. Some theologians call that predestination, but to Him it’s as simple as making a reservation for someone He already knows will be there.
So, did God know in advance who He was going to save? Yes. Does each one of us make the decision about our own salvation? Again the answer is yes. John 1:12 and 3:16 and a host of other passages make that abundantly clear. In addition the Bible leaves no doubt that God doesn’t want any of us to be lost but for everyone to be saved (1 Tim. 2:3-4, 2 Peter 3:9).
To be fair, there is a doctrine of election in the Bible, but it refers to God’s unilateral choice of Israel to be His people and has nothing to do with our salvation.