So Prime Minister, Theresa May, has called for an election and we will all have a choice to make in the next few weeks. A hard Brexit with UKIP or the Conservatives, a soft Brexit with the Labour Party, attempting to keep a trading relationship with the EU by voting Liberal Democrats. Will we chose Nutall, May, Fallon or Corbyn? Which one do we like best? Whose policies do we most identify with?
But this blog isn’t about politics. It’s about Election. The somewhat funny idea of having a choice to make. When I was at school I hated team sports. There were three kids who were always last to be picked. Me, Nicholas Gold & Julian Wooten. Guaranteed we would be the last three. It was awful to be the last to be picked.
There’s a bit in the comic film Shrek where the donkey really wants to chosen to help Shrek. You can view in YouTube here. He’s desperate, jumping up and down shouting ‘pick me! Oh! Pick me!’ It felt a bit like that in school. We were all silently hoping we weren’t the last to be picked. And as the politicians lay out their stalls they are all hoping not to be last to be picked.
The Christian doctrine of Election is about the same thing is some ways. It is saying that certain people are picked by God. Not necessarily because they’ve got the best policies, or can run the fastest, but just because God chooses them.
One of the first of these in the Bible was Abraham. He was seen as righteous just because he heard God picking him and said ‘Yes.’ Abraham’s descendants, the Jewish nation, were picked by God to be an example of justice and right living to all the nations.
Then God sends Jesus Christ his only Son. No longer does he just choose the Jewish nation, but he calls all people to Himself. There are several verses that say that ‘whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved‘. (Acts 2:21, Acts 10:31). This seems to say that anyone can come to Christ and be saved. To be sure, his death on the cross pays the price for all our sin. So where’s the choice of God? Does he choose us or do we choose him?
But Jesus himself said that ‘All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.’ (John 6:37)
With Jesus’ words, we see the nuance. Why is it that some people believe in God and others don’t? Rather than the ‘religious’ being weak-minded (the popular mantra of our age) the Bible would say it’s that we can only comprehend God if he, the Father, chooses us.
For those God foreknew he also predestined … And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. (Romans 8:29-30)
So in God’s General Election he has chosen us from before the beginning of time. I find that really comforting.
I’m not the last in the queue with God. My experience of him, his love, his forgiveness, his presence by the Holy Spirit, are all proof that He has chosen me. And he longs to go deeper in relationship with each one of his children.
Maybe you’re reading this blog without the reassurance of knowing that God has picked you. If that’s you, be assured that we also choose Him. He is standing at the door of your heart and knocking. If you will open the door of your heart He will come in and make his home in your heart.