Election According to Foreknowledge is the Key!
Was the Gospel, as the Bible claims (in Colossians 1:23), really preached to every creature which is under heaven? Or should we, like many other Bible teachers, conclude that these words spoken by Paul are merely hyperbole? Curiously, one way to confirm the seriousness of this claim lies in one’s understanding of the doctrine of election. According to the Bible, before Christ created the world, He preserved the names of several people in His [i.e. the Lamb’s] Book of Life (Revelation 13:8; 3:5; 17:8; 20:15; Luke 10:20; Ephesians 1:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14). It turns out that this book irrevocably contains the names of all those who are considered ‘elect.’ Elect is a term which refers to persons whom God has chosen ahead of time to inherit salvation. In Bible verses such as 1 Peter 1:2 and Romans 8:29, the Bible tells us that God’s choice about who to elect were based upon His foreknowledge or His knowledge-known-ahead-of-time. This is a particular and preferred understanding of what is known as the doctrine of election.
(Also see What Does The Bible Mean By Election?, Elect according to the foreknowledge of God & Fore knowledge is a Condition)
Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. (1 Peter 1:2)
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate [i.e. elect] to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (Romans 8:29)
But what exactly did God know ahead of time and how does this foreknowledge fit into God’s rationale for choosing one person but not another? The Bible tells us that God is not a respecter of persons (Deuteronomy 10:17; Romans 2:11; Acts 10:34) so we know that God’s foreknowledge has nothing to do with one’s physical appearance, nationality or one’s efforts of any sort. If Hebrews 11:6 is right regarding the claim that God rewards those who diligently seek Him, then the only logical and biblical conclusion regarding the criteria which God used when choosing His elect is faith (i.e. whether a person, if given the chance, would obey the gospel). Continue reading