A biblical view of predestination affirms both divine rule and human responsibility. More than anything else the doctrine of predestination asserts God’s sovereign freedom as the Potter who can do whatever he wants with whomever he wants.
Years ago when I wrestled with the teaching of divine election, only in hindsight did I realize a roadblock in my heart: I didn’t want an electing God. I resisted the notion, looking for other compelling interpretations of certain texts. Then one day I was reading a textbook for one of my seminary classes, and my life was changed forever when I saw two specific sentences: “The problem is that we can’t stand the idea of someone actually above us. We can’t accept an electing God.”*
Those may not be the most profound sentences you’ve ever laid eyes on, but rarely has my soul been so bared by something outside the Bible. That last sentence cut to the heart of the matter. I didn’t want an electing God. I was avoiding the conclusion to which the biblical evidence pointed. My assumptions were being challenged by biblical texts, but I struggled with relinquishing them. Yet if the Bible explains what it means for God to be sovereign over the salvation and judgment of sinners, then its conclusions are true regardless of what I want it to say.
Even after surveying the key texts and the common objections to unconditional divine election, perhaps you’re still unconvinced it’s what the Bible teaches. In that case I hope you will continue to engage the topic of predestination and ask the hard questions. Search the Scriptures, pray for wisdom and understanding, and talk with other believers about what you learn.
Let us rejoice over the truths of divine election and human responsibility in these words of Jesus,”All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt 11:27-28).
Mitchell L. Chase, Behold Our Sovereign God: All Things From Him, Through Him, and To Him, 115-116
* Gerhard O. Forde, On Being a Theologian of the Cross: Reflections on Luther’s Heidelberg Disputation, 52