Question Text: I am a fairly new Christian and struggle with predestination. Can I ask for Jesus to be lord of my life, read his word, desire to know truth, God, and apply what I learn to my life? I trust God’s word is truth, even though I don’t` understand all of it. Will I stand before him to hear him say, “I did not choose you ` and be gone to hell’ . I do not want to go to hell. I deserve it but I want to be with God. I have been praying for people in my life that are family and crossed my path for the conviction of the Holy Spirit to lead them to repentance and saving faith. Should I not do this because God chose those he knew would be His and he loses none of them? I am so disturbed over this. Please help!
Answer Text: I was so moved as I read your question. Your sincere desire to be in heaven and be in presence of the Lord for ever after you leave this world WILL NEVER EVER be denied by the Lord by any means as the Bible NEVER teaches that God has chosen certain people to go to hell. God loved the whole world (Jn.3:16). Christ died for sins of the whole world (1Jn.2:2). That surely includes you and me with out a question. Praise be to His Holy Name!
But the doctrine of divine election is a subject which is CLEARLY taught in the Bible. You can not read the Bible and miss that subject. If any one denies divine election, that person is guilty of denying a clear teaching of the Word of God.
While positive election is clearly taught in the Bible, the Bible NEVER teaches that God has elected some people TO GO TO HELL. In fact hell is NOT prepared for man. HELL IS PREPARED FOR SATAN AND HIS ANGELS (Mt. 25:41). The Bible clearly teaches that God is NOT willing that any should perish (1Tim.2:4; 2Pet.3:9). So if some one goes to hell, it is happening against God`s perfect will. That is why when Jesus, our Lord, taught His disciples to pray, He asked them to pray, `thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven` (Mt.6:10).
Then you are absolutely right about the role of grace even for accepting Christ as savior. Jesus clearly says `unless the Father draws, no one can come to me` (Jn.6:44). From these verses it is clear that when we pray for the salvation of our loved ones and friends, God gives them the grace to accept Christ even as we pray. Because we are clearly taught in the Bible that if we pray in the will of God, God will surely listen to us (1Jn.5:14).
So from now on please make your prayers for the conversion of your friends more intense and more specific and soon you will find the Lord touching them. There is one prayer to which God will never say “no” for an answer. It is when we pray for the salvation of others. Surely there will be struggle as Satan will not easily give up on certain people. But if we strive in prayer as we are taught in Rom.15:30-32, surely answer is bound to come.
When we read the biography of George Mueller of Bristol, we will come to know that he prayed for the conversion of a friend of his for 53 long years! But Mueller, who was a mighty man of prayer, could not see his friend’s conversion when Mueller was still alive. But the biographer of Mueller reports that the friend for whom Mueller was praying for 53 years accepted the Lord at the funeral service of Mueller! So be fervent in prayers for your friends and be sure that answer is bound to come sooner or later.
The question of the sovereignty of God and the freedom of man can not be easily solved by us. It is like the doctrine of Trinity. How could you explain that God is One yet there are three persons who have all the qualities of Godhead? The Bible calls it the mystery of God (Rev.10:6). What we have to do is to take the Bible verses at its face value and believe them and teach them as it is found there. If we emphasis one against the other we get in to all sorts of wrong teachings which are common among many Christians. May God bless you as you try to seek after Him whole heartedly. To His name be all glory. Amen.