Q. In several of your articles about eternal security you have said that even the faith to ask for salvation was a gift from Him. However, salvation through Jesus is also our choice and we are responsible for making that choice. We must ask for and accept it. But we can’t accept it until we first believe it and we can’t believe it until God gives us the faith to do so. Do you see where I’m coming from?
A. Let’s put the whole thing in perspective. In Matt. 7:7-8 Jesus said that whoever asks for salvation will receive it. No one is ever refused. Paul confirmed that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Romans 10:13). In Ephes. 2:8-9 Paul said the faith to be saved is a gift from God, and is not of ourselves. And finally, Romans 8:30 says that everyone He calls is justified. In other words no one refuses His call.
Since all these statements have to be true, God must have known in advance who was going to ask and when, otherwise some who ask might not receive, and some who are called might not respond. Sure enough Romans 8:29 says that those God foreknew, He predestined. That means God knew in advance who would ask for salvation and reserved a place for them in Heaven. Then at the proper time in their lives He calls them by investing them with the faith to ask, already knowing that they will. When they do He cleanses them from all their sins (justifies them) and at the appointed time, either the resurrection or the rapture, He will glorify them. (Romans 8:30) Once we understand that God is not limited by the constraints of time, all this makes perfect sense.