I ran across a great quote yesterday. I wonder if you can guess who wrote it?
“If it is the will of God that those whom He has elected shall be saved, and if in this manner [i.e., believing on Christ] He ratifies and executes His eternal decree, whoever he be that is not satisfied with Christ, but indulges in curious inquiries about eternal predestination, such a person (as far as lies in his power) desires to be saved contrary to the purpose of God. The election of God is in itself hidden and secret; the Lord manifests it by calling, that is, when He bestows on us the blessing of calling us. They are madmen, therefore, who seek their own salvation or that of others, in the whirlpool of predestination.”
In other words, the God who has ordained the salvation of His people has also ordained the process by which they shall be saved. That process is to have faith in His Son. As Jesus said, “This is the will of Him who sent me, that every one who sees the Son and believes on Him may have everlasting life, and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:40).
So, it is pointless to quibble over the question of predestination, whether the question is applied to ourselves or to others. “Am I among the elect?” “Has God chosen her?” God has not revealed such things to us.
Deu. 29:29 reminds us, “That which is hidden belongs to the LORD alone, but that which is revealed belongs to us and to our children forever, that we may obey the words of this law.” So it is not our calling to decipher what God has kept within His own counsel, to ascertain who may or may not be chosen by God. Our calling is simply to obey. And what are we to obey? God’s commands to turn away from our sin and turn in faith to His Son! It is God’s will that all who look to the Son and believe on Him shall have eternal life, and Christ will raise them up at the last day.
So let’s quit fussing over election. Let’s quit playing on the edges of “the whirlpool of predestination.” Let’s do what we are told to do – just believe!
Oh, and the author of the quote. Why, John Calvin, of course.