In one of the first visions the Lord gave me He led me to a glorious mansion in which was located my dream room: a not-to-be-believed research library filled from floor to ceiling with an awesome variety of dictionaries, commentaries, anything I needed to do extensive research on the Bible. This series will be for those of you who are “bugged” by all those questions you come across but don’t have either the time or tools to research, as I do. Each time I will share with you what the Bible says, and I will share numerous thoughts from authors in my research library. They are infinitely more versed in Bible knowledge than I am. In addition, you will find that I purposely allowed the authors to sound as if they are repeating each other. This was a way to realize that the thoughts they expressed gave their substantiation more weight. My goal is to share a few of my thoughts to simply summarize theirs, but never to take away from or add to the meaning of theirs.
THE BALANCE OF DIVINE SOVEREIGNTY AND HUMAN RESPONSIBILITY
The entirety of this section is from the Believer’s Bible Commentary.
We say that God is sovereign, we mean that He is in charge of the universe and that He can do what He pleases. In saying that, however, we know that, because He is God, He will never do anything wrong, unjust, or unrighteous. Therefore, to say that God is sovereign is merely to allow God to be God. We should not be afraid of this truth or apologize for it. It is a glorious truth and causes us to worship.
How can God choose certain individuals to belong to Himself and at the same time make a bona fide offer of salvation to all people everywhere? How can we reconcile these two truths ? The fact is that we cannot. To the human mind they are in conflict. But the Bible teaches both doctrines, and so we should believe them, content to know that the difficulty lies in our minds and not in God’s. These twin truths are like two parallel lines that meet only in infinity.
Although God chooses some men to be saved, He never chooses anyone to be damned. To put it another way, though the Bible teaches election, it never teaches divine reprobation. But someone may object, “If God elects some to blessing, then He necessarily elects some to destruction.” But that is not true! The whole human race was doomed to destruction by its own sin and not by any arbitrary decree of God. If God allowed everyone to go to hell – and He could justly have done that – people would be getting exactly what they deserved. The question is – “Does the sovereign Lord have a right to stoop down and select a handful of otherwise doomed people to be a bride for His Son?” The answer, of course, is that He does. So what it boils down to is this: if people are lost, it is because of their own sin and rebellion: if they are saved, it is because of the sovereign, electing grace of God.
To the man who is saved, the subject of God’s sovereign choice should be the cause of unceasing wonder. The believer looks around and sees people with better characters, better personalities, better dispositions than his own, and asks, “Why did the Lord choose me?” The truth of election should not be used by the unsaved for excusing their unbelief. They must not say, “If I’m not elect, there’s nothing I can do about it.” The only way they can ever know they are elect is by
repenting of their sins and receiving the Lord Jesus Christ (1Thess.1:4-7).