Q. I was reading an article by (a well known author) on the doctrine of election. He cites several passages that seem to indicate that we are not in any way in the process of deciding to follow Christ, but that He chose us, we didn’t choose Him. However, he didn’t finish the passage which continues, …”yet one of you is a devil.” I’ve always believed that it all boils down to somewhere in the middle of free will vs predestination. Could you please shed some light on this subject?
A. Let me begin be saying that this author clearly took John 6:70 out of context. It says, Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? He was obviously limiting the scope of His answer to the 12 disciples.
But in the overall sense, there really isn’t any middle ground here. We either have a choice or we don’t. Either the Lord died for our sins or He didn’t. Speaking of Jesus, 1 John 2:2 says that He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. So He didn’t just die for believers, and yet not everyone is saved. The only reasonable conclusion we can draw is that some choose to be saved and some don’t. That’s why refusing to accept His pardon is the only unforgivable sin.
I honestly can’t understand how the Doctrine of Election can make sense to a learned scholar like the one you mentioned. It goes against so many unmistakably clear statements in the Bible like Matt. 7:7-8, John 3:16, Romans 10:9, and others. It goes against the Lord’s final instructions to His disciples in Matt. 28:19-20 to spread the Gospel through out the world.
And finally is goes against the nature and character of God as Peter revealed in his comment that the Lord’s doesn’t want any to perish but for all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).