“How can I know if I am one of God’s elect?”
1 Thessalonians 1:4
I am often asked, “How can I know that I am one of God’s elect?” The question is often asked; but it is a question that should never be asked. It should not be a matter of concern to anyone. When the Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Thessalonica, he spoke confidently to God’s saints there about the indisputable fact of their election. He said, “Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.” Paul gave thanks to God for them, for their faith in Christ, for their love to one another, and for the other manifold blessings of God’s grace upon them, because he knew that all these things must be traced to their election unto salvation by God.
This blessed, glorious, gospel doctrine of election is one of the most delightful things revealed in the gospel. Believers rejoice in it. But precious, delightful, and important as this doctrine is, it is not the first thing to be learned. We preach this doctrine without apology. I preach it everywhere I go. We teach it in our Bible classes, beginning with the toddlers. We are not in the least bashful about proclaiming God’s free, sovereign, and eternal electing love.
However, it is not our mission in this world to convince people that the doctrine of election is true. You can go to hell believing election as well as another goes to hell denying it. Our mission is to get sinners to believe, trust, and worship the Lord Jesus Christ. Any sinner who bows to Christ as Lord will have no problem with the doctrine of election.
The first question to be settled in your heart and mind is not, “Am I one of the elect?” It is impossible for anyone to determine that until the matter of first importance is settled. — “Dost thou believe on the Son of God?”
Do you trust the Lord Jesus Christ? Are you a believer? That is the matter of first importance. Until this matter is settled, this matter of your own, personal responsibility before God is settled, all questions, even thoughts about election, are at best irrelevant, and are probably an attempt on your part to push aside the demands of the gospel.
If you trust the Son of God, if you, as a poor, helpless, guilty, bankrupt sinner, trust the Lord Jesus Christ alone as your Savior and Lord, your faith in him is the fruit and evidence of your election. It is written, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life!” “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God!” So I ask you again, “Dost thou believe on the Son of God?”
The first thing to be learned is faith in Christ. Where faith is found in the heart, election is believed and loved. But many believe, defend, and even preach the doctrine of election who do not believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. If you refuse to trust Christ, if you will not bow to him as your only Lord, trust him as your only Redeemer and Savior, if you refuse to “believe on the Son of God,” you will perish in your sins and your eternal damnation will be just, because you “believe not the record that God gave of his Son.”
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