Choosing Christ


God is working, and we are too. We are not robots who are programmed. We are not animals who operate out of instinct. We have eaten the forbidden fruit, and therefore we have knowledge of good and evil. In that, we have choice, and with our choice comes consequences. In our sin we are culpable. All the while God is in charge.

Heaven is being with God. Hell is being against God. The only middle ground is now, when we set up our eternity. But is it really our choice?


Until we live in Christ, we don’t have any choice, except to sin. It’s all we can do and it’s the best we can offer – filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). Functionally, ultimately, the only real choice we have is to accept Christ’s calling or not.* The rest is just details (James 2:10). So, if all I can do is live for myself, how can I, how can anybody, ever come to love the Lord (Romans 10:14)?


If it’s all about me, then free will is not a problem at all. But if it’s about God, that shifts things.


The doctrine of predestination does not belong to Calvin; it belongs to God. It says that God calls certain people to Himself, while not calling others. So, yes, people are created to suffer, die, and be judged – a minority are judged on the merits of Christ, while the majority are judged on the merits of themselves.

If God is calling only certain people to Him and not others – if He is creating people for the express purpose of eternal misery, after less than 120 years of struggle – isn’t that a problem? Shouldn’t we be given a choice; a way out (2 Peter 3:9)?


Yes. And He does.


But some people want to be in heaven without wanting to be with God – they want the gift without the Giver. They don’t understand that God is joy – that heaven and God are inseparable. They don’t understand that without God there is no joy – that sin and hell are inseparable.

Death angers God (John 11:30-38). Jesus died to kill death.** With His resurrection, Jesus reigns over death. In our own death, we will meet God. In doing so, we will either meet the One we love or we will meet the One we fight. We are responsible for our own eternity, in that sense.


Those who are with God – with faith and repentance – also understand that they don’t deserve God’s favor. There is no amount of work or accomplishment, there is no amount of shrewdness or competence, there is no amount goodness or lack of badness – there is no enough coming from us to enter into the presence of God. Except somehow in God Himself, in Christ, He asks us to come. And those who are in Christ have a deep and profound gratitude for His calling upon them. It causes a strong and overflowing joy, starting here, on this side of eternity.

If you are not among the elect, do you want to be? Does it distress you to think that you might be left out of this unearned and unfairly-granted eternal-joy? If so, then ask God that He might call you to be among the select few. Ask Him to consider you. Ask Him to grant you the desire for Him that you don’t yet have. Ask God to create in you a love for Him. And prepare yourself for God to answer.

* When I was a dumb kid I asked my Youth Pastor about the unforgivable sin - shout out to PJ. I remember his answer, which remains a better explanation than anything I’ve come across since (and I’ve heard a lot). Here it is: The sin which cannot be pardoned is the sin of dying without accepting Christ as Lord. It is a sin against the Holy Spirit, because the Spirit is softening each of our hearts to His saving grace (Hebrews 3:15). A hardened heart is one which rejects God’s lordship up until the point of physical death. Once God takes you out of your body, out of this world, there is no further opportunity to repent. See the Rich Man in Abraham’s Bosom (Luke 6:19-31).

** It wasn’t the Jews who killed Jesus. It was me. He laid His life down for me, that I might be with Him. What love (John 15:13)!