Why doesn’t God choose everyone?

Asked by Andy

if God chooses everyone who will be in heaven and who will not be in
heaven, why doesnt he choose everyone? He is not willing that anyone should
perish…so how can salvation not be intrinsically linked to our positive
response to Him?


Hi Andy,

First of all ... I’m terribly sorry for the late response. I had technical problems getting my answer back to you and it has only just been resolved.

Your question is a good one to be wrestling through. You are right to note that those who are saved are chosen by God [Eph 1:4-5]. He is the sovereign Lord and creator and it is only by his initiative that people come to be saved. People are not saved because they take the initiative or chose to know God [Eph 2:8-9].

However, God’s decision not to save all people has to do with his character or nature. The Bible makes is clear that not only is God good, loving, merciful and kind [Ex 34:6-7a] but he is also just, righteous and holy. Because of this, God despises sin and he will not let it go unpunished. It would be against his just and righteous nature to sweep sin under the carpet and ignore it. It’s like a law court judge ignoring crimes the of a criminal and let him off without a sentence. We would say that that judge is unjust. And so God must punish sin, hence the other half of Ex 34:7 shows that “he does not leave the guilty unpunished”. Given all of humanity has rebelled against God, then all deserve his just judgement. If he simply saved everyone, then he would not be a just and righteous God.

I gather from the second half of your question, you were referring to 2 Peter 3:9 “He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” In the few verses before this [3:1-8], it seems Peter is addressing Christians who are being ridiculed by others who are wondering when Jesus will return or why it hasn’t happened already [3:3-4]. Peter is writing to encourage them that Jesus hasn’t returned because God is patient and he wants all those that he has chosen sufficient time and opportunity to come to faith. I think this has to do with those who are alive at the time of Peter’s writing but also those who will become Christians in the future.

As this verse and many others in the Bible indicate, the right and proper response to God revealing himself to us is to ‘repent and believe’ [Mark 1:15]. People’s response to God is intrinsically linked to God chosing them. They go together. However, we come to faith and respond to God because he has chosen us.

It’s pretty awesome! Even though we don’t deserve any favours from God, he still choses to make himself known to us and save us. It truly is ‘Amazing Grace’!

Answers are kindly provided by our friends at Christianity.net.au

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