Understanding the Doctrine of Election
Election is a process which involves the Will of God, the will of Man and the relationship between Eternity and Time.
To Elect, means “To Choose” and there are 2 choices involved in the process:
(1) God’s Choice (In Eternity)
(2) Man’s Choice (In Time)
The Gift of Free Will
Psalms 138:2 says, “Thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name” which means God has put Himself under the authority of His own word to fulfill it.
In Genesis 2:28 God said, “Let them have dominion” and gave “free will” to men.
Since then He has never, and CAN NEVER take it back.
This means, accepting salvation is man’s choice because free will is God’s gift and cannot be taken back. (Romans 11:29)
This presents a paradox because the word of God clearly teaches us that we are chosen by God and not the other way around.
Jesus said to His disciples, “You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you” (John 15:16)
Ephesians 1:4 reads, “Even as he (God the Father) chose us in him (Christ) before the foundation of the world”
God the Primary Cause
With respect to the redemption of man, God chooses us first (In Eternity) and as such, His choice is the Primary Cause and everything that follows (In Time) is simply a response to His initial choice.
Let’s get some details:
Man in his natural sinful state is an enemy of God and his inherent tendency is to hide and distance himself from God as much as possible.
Adam and Eve basked in the joyful presence of the Lord (Psalm 16:11) in the Garden until the moment Sin entered and they immediately began hiding themselves from Him. Gen 3:6-8
The Bible says He came to them in the garden seeking them and calling their name. Gen 3:8-10
This teaches us that left on their own, men would never seek the Lord and the only reason we have a desire to seek God is because He put that desire in our hearts Himself.
This, in effect, is God first choosing us.
God’s Revelation of Grace
The Bible says, The grace of God has appeared to all men. (Titus 2:11)
The Grace of God is the revelation that God loves us and wants a relationship with us… this is Grace in it’s purest form.
There are those who teach that Grace is a Person… The Lord Jesus Christ, and they are entirely correct.
Jesus Christ is the Grace of God because He is the ultimate revelation of God the Father and the only way to a relationship with Him.
However, the Grace of God appeared to men long before Jesus Christ was physically manifested to the world.
Romans 1:20 in the New Living Translation reads, “For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.
Psalm 19:1-4 in the GOD’S WORD Translation says, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky displays what his hands have made.
One day tells a story to the next. One night shares knowledge with the next without talking, without words, without their voices being heard.
[Yet,] their sound has gone out into the entire world, their message to the ends of the earth.”
This is the Grace of God being shared with the entire world before Christ was presented as the Son of God in Jerusalem.
God revealed Himself to the entire world through His creation so that everyone can respond to His choice to have a relationship with them.
However, not everyone responds to His Grace favorably.
Man’s Response to God’s Grace
Romans 1:19 says, “They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them” but Romans 1:21 says, “They knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God.”
Unfortunately, some people choose to respond negatively to the Grace of God thus
sealing their own doom.
Romans 1:22 says, “Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools” and Psalm 53:1 says, “The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”
The destiny of the fool if he remains a fool is sealed because Proverbs 10:21 says, “Fools die for want of wisdom” and Ecclesiastes 10:12 says, “Fools are destroyed by their own words.”
If the fool says there is no God and only God can save him, then as long as he remains a fool he can never be saved.
But to those who respond favorably to God’s Grace, Jesus said, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them to me.”
So, even when we respond positively to God’s Grace it is God’s primary choice that influences our secondary choice.
The Bible says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8 (ESV)
Also, “Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.” Ephesians 2:9 (NLT)
Primary Choice vs. Secondary Choice
The Process of Election Works Like This… There is a Primary Choice and a Secondary Choice:
1) The Primary Choice occurs in Eternity, when God chose to have a relationship with every human being on earth.
The Bible says, He is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9
He gives everybody an equal opportunity to know Him wherever or whenever they may have lived on earth.
In every nation and through every Dispensation of Time God chooses to know us and make Himself known to us.
Whether through creation or by the preaching of the Cross, God’s desire is to reveal Himself to Humanity along with His desire to have a relationship with us.
This is how God chooses us.
2) The Secondary Choice occurs in Time, when we use the faith available to us to positively respond to God’s Grace.
When we do this, we are simply submitting our will to His Will for relationship.
The essence of salvation is the submission of our will to His and it’s always His will to save.
Receiving Eternal Life is really our Secondary Choice responding to God’s Primary Choice to save us.
When we choose God we’re merely removing our stubborn will out of the way so God’s greater will can prevail and save us.
God inhabits Eternity and we inhabit Time.
Eternity is limitless, Time is finite.
Time has beginning and end, Eternity has neither.
Therefore, salvation is NOT us initiating a relationship with God [In Time] but us allowing God to complete what He started [Before Time].
This is how we choose God.
Intercede and Witness
Now, because we have the power of choice we can either accept or reject salvation.
This is where intercession and witnessing comes in.
If we did not actually have the power to influence others to accept God’s free gift of salvation why would God command us to go into all the world and be witnesses?
If everyone would be automatically saved no matter what, why would God give us the Ministry of Reconciliation and tell us to, “save others by snatching them from the fire [of hell].” Jude 1:23
If we can save people by snatching them from the fire of hell, it means that if we DID NOT snatch them that’s where they would end up… in Hell.
So, to answer the question directly… Yes, some people would end up in Hell because someone didn’t witness to them!