You did not choose me, but I chose you.... -John 15:16a
Have you chosen Jesus to be your Lord and Savior? Actually, no you haven't. Nor has anyone else in the history of the human race.
Is that offensive to you? Are you offended (I admit I was) to hear that the choosing rests in God alone (Romans 8:29) and not at all in sinful old us (Romans 8:7-8; 9:14-23)?
That's not fair, you say. Not fair that the Sovereign LORD of all creation does as He chooses among His creation (Daniel 4:35; Isaiah 43:13)? Are you sure you want to accuse God of unfairness?
To believe or not believe. It is said that the gospel is presented and sinners must choose. Entirely up to you. God is a gentleman. Hmm. Try selling that one to Saul (Paul) as he lay flat on his back on the road to Damascus.
The lie of fallen man's ability to desire God is an ancient one. It has been declared heresy at least twice (Pelagius at the Council of Carthage, 416 A.D.; Arminius at the Synod of Dordt, 1619 A.D.).
Here are the links:
Like a successful football coach, Satan runs the same old tried and true plays from the same dusty old playbook. Hey, if it works, why change it? Here in America, Charles Finney propagated the lie in spades and pastors across the land blindly follow his lead.
I'm nitpicking you say. A minor point of theology. Tell me, then, who should receive the glory for your salvation? The God who chose you, loved you, sent His Son to die for you and save you? Or yourself?
Here's the danger in believing the lie. If I believe I possess eternal salvation because of something I did; I walked the aisle and shook the preacher's hand; I raised my hand while every head was bowed and every eye closed; I was ducked in Phillips Bayou on the St. Francis River back in 1959, then I really don't owe God my all, do I?
In fact, if God ceased to be God while I made up my mind to choose Him, that doesn't make Him much of a God does it? I wonder if a god who can, even for a moment, be not God can be God at all.
That "gentleman" God who would bow to my choosing is not the same as the God who says, "I will not give my glory to another(Isaiah 42:8)." He is a figment of the fallen imagination; a false god.
Where is that god's salvation?
No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. -John 6:44