J. Grant Swank, Jr.
". . .God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification. . ." II Thessalonians 2:l3
God did not foreordain before the world's start certain souls to heaven and certain
souls to hell. That would present a monster deity.
God did foreordain from the beginning a chosen people for salvation; however, each individual soul would then choose whether or not to take advantage of that divine salvation plan. Each person would conclude whether or not to be a part of that foreordination. The ultimate choice would lay with the human being, not deity.
The majority, sadly, would decide for self-absorption rather than servantship to the Lord Jesus Christ. The minority, however, would decide for bondship to God rather than self-lust. It would all rest in the power of each individual's free will decision making.
"God so loved the world. . ." The divine love has been extended to every living human being, not just to a select elect. Jesus died on the cross in order that "whosoever will" could be saved from sins, guilt and hell.
This is the democracy of grace at the base of Calvary's tree. There is no prejudice with deity. He does not favor one person over another; all are precious in His sight.
God has an election by grace. However, only those who choose to come under the love slavery to Jesus Christ choose thereby to be elect. Each mortal makes his own decision as to whether or not he will be accounted in the election of grace. The final choice is human, not divine.
The Holy Spirit has come to this globe to convict the world of sin, according to Jesus' statement prior to His ascension. Therefore, the Spirit is always seeking souls for salvation, poking about humanity's avenues in hopes of coming upon a tender, sensitive spirit.
However, only a small number care to answer the Spirit's conviction by revealing their sorrow for those sins. The majority close their soul ears to the convicting pleadings of the Spirit; the minority, on the other hand, do listen to the Spirit's love call and thereby respond with repentance, confession and submission to the grace offered.
When a believer takes up his daily cross, he signifies to heaven that he is going to decide upon the Jesus Way. It is then that he becomes one of the elect, choosing to be chosen.
God predestined that all should be saved; but not all choose to be saved. It is the hope of God that all would be redeemed; but only a few conclude to be redeemed.
The crucifixion of Jesus shows graphically the extent to which heaven is willing to provide the perfect sacrifice whereby any human being can find saving mercy. Therefore, indeed such a Holy Sacrifice would spill His blood for all, not just a select number decided upon prior to planet's spinning upon its axis.
The sovereignty of God is in the Sinless Sacrifice offered. No one nor any thing can match nor top that. Yet it is in His sovereignty that God chose to plant within human the power of free will by which to reject or receive that Sinless Sacrifice. If such is not so, then all humans are nothing but robots and the salvation plea from the Spirit is nothing but wasted energy.