Monday: God Has Chosen You (1 Thess. 1:4)
avatar

Read 1 Thessalonians 1:4. What does it mean that God has chosen or elected us? Does that mean we don’t really have a choice? On the other hand, does it mean that someone who is not chosen by God cannot have salvation even if he or she wants it?


Verse 4 continues the same extended sentence that Paul began in verse 2, with “we give thanks.” One of the reasons Paul gives thanks to God is that he knows God has “chosen” the Thessalonians.

Some Christians have taken this idea of being “chosen” to an extreme. They want to move the believer away from any focus on lifestyle or behavior. Instead, they teach that our salvation depends on God’s choice rather than on our own. Such a teaching can also lead to the idea that God’s grace is only for a few and that, once saved, a person cannot choose to be lost.

How do the following texts help us to understand that salvation is our own choice? Josh. 24:151 Tim. 2:4Rev. 3:20.


Faith is impossible without God’s drawing power. Yet, in the end, God allows human beings to make their own decisions regarding Him and what He has done for us. And what He has done for us is to “choose” us in Christ. We have all been “elected” to have salvation. That some won’t be saved-won’t claim that salvation for themselves-reflects their choice, not God’s. God’s choice is for all humanity to be saved. As Paul says in 1 Timothy 2:4, God wants “all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (NKJV).

Think through what it means to know that you have been “chosen” by God, that God wants you to have salvation, and that to be lost is an aberration from God’s desire for all of us. What encouragement can you draw from this wonderful truth?

Share Button

Comments

Monday: God Has Chosen You (1 Thess. 1:4) — 14 Comments

  1. God has chosen all of us, that is the reason Jesus died for all. It is one's choice to get that salvation or to be doomed. Let us all pray that God give us the strength to resist the devil's temptations.

    Like(1)
  2. What is so amazing about Grace is that God has chosen that everyone be saved by this amazing Grace. Not only did God choose the Thessalonians, but every person, the thieves, prostitutes, scum-bags, etc. have been chosen to inherit the eternal life which is only found in Christ. However, individually we sometimes choose not to be saved, even though God wants all of us to be saved.

    Like(1)
  3. Joyous and Thankful is how I felt with my fitst encounter with God. But Paul is teaching me to have that same feeling for others when they too find Christ. This Christian journey calls us to continuously surrender to God, to choose Him because He first loved us. That is a Christian's joy no matter the trials in life.

    Like(1)
  4. God has given us the ability to choose, He did not make us robots because he loves us. Until we are able to see, until our eyes are opened, only then will we see God's love and will desire in our hearts to serve Him.

    Like(0)
  5. I am very elated that Jesus came to die for everybody. It is really true that some persons in the church gave the impression that Jesus came to to save the lost and dying. They forget that some of them we just like the unbeliever , out there doing their own thing and then somebody with the love and faith of Jesus preached the word and embraced them as God's own. We must all understand that Christ died for all of us and not just the few of us that are in church.

    Like(0)
  6. I want to thank the Lord because of His wonderful love. He gave us a sinless child, Jesus Christ to die for us sinful people. He took His sinless nature and exchanged with ours. He died a shameful death, hanged on the calvary like a thief because of my transgression. Oh what a wonderful creator who humbled Himself. He did all this because of love. So breathren let's love one another.

    Like(0)
  7. Even before creation God chose man, that he created him in his own image. But over the time man has been making choices on how to deal with God's free offer of love. Even this lesson is an appeal to us pointing us toward God reminding us that we are chosen.

    Like(0)
  8. 'For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life'(John 3:16 KJV)

    Like(0)
  9. It is painful to learn of individuals who insist that they have destined to destruction while it is an open secret that "whosoever will" can be saved. The will is in all who believe that they can be saved and that is the promise, that all can be saved.

    Like(0)
  10. Yes it is true that Jesus chose to die to save us, but also we have a choice to be saved through being faithful to Him for repent our sins. The way I can see it is everyone choose inoder for him/she to be saved

    Like(0)
  11. That means God came looking for me without me looking out for Him. He chose me regardless of my condition. I didn't have to impress Him to be saved. No working for acceptance as most times with human beings. Acceptance handed on a tray regardless your CV or history! No lunch for free they say? Well this one's Paid for! Shall I now back the same way I came? My choice I guess, but it will be dumb because this caused the destruction and all the unhappiness that goes with it. Why not o my soul just go with the Way as shown on the tray? His way. His acceptance. His life and eternal at that!

    Like(0)
  12. It is so disturbing to me to hear from a distinguished pastor (now retired) and from a number of Adventist members (some of them are holding vital positions in the church) which claim & promote that when Jesus died on the cross 'every person was automatically forgiven' including those that are not repentive of their sins? In my opinion (i am an adventist as well) first, this is not the teaching of the bible. 1 John 1:9 states that "if we confess our sins, He is faithful & just to forgive us". There's a condition for God to cleanse us & forgive us (hence, the word 'If' ); and that is, through the conviction of the Holy Spirit (John 16:8), we realized our sins & that we need to repent truly to God & ask for forgiveness. Secondly, there is no freedom to choose. If I am automatically forgiven then there is no choice for me to accept his death as a penalty for the sins that I have comitted. In other words, it's only God's choice that I am forgiven & there's no part for me to choose to accept his forgiveness.

    Like(0)
    • Dear Dani,

      I have no idea where you might have heard that on the cross everyone was "automatically forgiven." I've never heard such language used.

      However, I have heard it said that when Christ died, he reconciled the whole human race to Himself. (See Romans 5:8,10) "For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God," it was necessarily before we became His adopted children.

      And then there's Christ's prayer on the cross, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do." Do you believe that prayer was answered positively?

      Ellen White writes that "That prayer of Christ for His enemies embraced the world. It took in every sinner that had lived or should live, from the beginning of the world to the end of time. Upon all rests the guilt of crucifying the Son of God. To all, forgiveness is freely offered. “Whosoever will” may have peace with God, and inherit eternal life." (Desire of Ages, p. 745)

      Christ's death provided pardon for the sins of the whole human race. But only those who accept the provision will benefit from this pardon.

      There was actually a case in America in which a prisoner on death row was pardoned by the President. But the prisoner refused to accept the pardon, and the courts ruled that a pardon that is not accepted is not effective, and the prisoner was executed.

      It is the same with salvation. John 3:16 tells us that "whoever believes on Him" will be saved. But that doesn't mean that the pardon is not already provided.

      God does not love us because we repent, but we repent as a response to God's love. I believe God forgives us before we ask, but we cannot experience forgiveness without confession and repentance. The confession and repentance is for our benefit, not God's.

      Is that approximately what you have heard taught? Surely this does not do away with freedom of choice.

      Not everyone is comfortable with expressing things this way. But for others, it represents the character of God most clearly.

      Like(0)
    • Hi, Dani. I am having a little trouble figuring out how to take your comment. You have stated that certain people said certain things but without having the opportunity to speak with them or read what they may have written, I cannot know exactly what was said or written. Otherwise I may simply be responding to a "straw man." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man_argument)

      Since that would be a logical fallacy, I don't want to go there. Perhaps that is one reason why Jesus gave us the counsel to follow in Matthew 18 when we disagree with a brother or sister.

      All that being said, I can present salvation as I understand it from the Bible. First only those written in the Book of Life will be saved. (Revelation 21:27)

      Second, those names were written in the Book of Life from the creation of the world. (Revelation 17:8)

      Third, the Bible never speaks of anyone being added to the Book of Life.

      Fourth, The wicked are spoken of as blotted out of the Book of Life, so they must have been written in there originally. (Psalm 69:28, Revelation 3:5)

      Fifth, since the Lamb also was slain from the creation of the world, it would seem that the Book of Life was perhaps made possible through the cross.

      In conclusion, it would seem that the cross made possible the salvation of all. All are written in the book from creation. However, some choose to reject that salvation and those are ultimately blotted out of that book. This would be like when the teacher tells the class at the start of the term, "All of you begin this term with an 'A'. But it is up to you whether or not you finish with one." Maybe the Bible is telling us that we all begin with the gift of grace, and it is up to us whether or not we finish with that gift.

      Like(0)

What do you think? If you like a comment, just [Like] it or post a thoughtful reply. Please provide a working email address and your real first AND last name to have your comment published.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.