Wednesday
Dec172008

Get Elected to Heaven

At least on a national level, odd-numbered years are the off season in electoral terms.

All 435 congressmen, 100 members of the Senate and even the new president can breathe easy for a while – no electoral process officially gets underway until the year ends in an even number.

Your election, however, is always a process for the present time. It is not an election to federal office, but rather a selection and confirmation for salvation itself.

Peter wrote in his second canonical letter, “Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure” (Second Peter 1:10).

Most political candidates crave the opportunity to make their election certain. They used to kiss babies and pose with puppies, but today they are more likely to produce a YouTube video or reach out on Facebook. Ensuring one’s selection to spend eternity with God is a different matter altogether.

Election to redemption has nothing to do with convincing a majority of people to support your candidacy. Election is according to God’s grace – an intention to save the faithful that can be traced all the way back to the foundation of the world when free will was put into motion and the scheme of salvation was prepared (see Genesis 3:1-15, Ephesians 1:11-14). 

God’s selection is far from arbitrary and his choice of Noah is instructive. When the Lord “saw that the wickedness of man was great,” he “was sorry that he had made man on the earth,” and planned to flood it in the supreme act of cleansing (Genesis 6:5-6). “But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord” (8) – Why? “Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God” (9). 

Selection to salvation is through the preaching of the gospel, by grace through faith, and dependent upon each person’s response to the Lord’s invitation (Romans 10:17, Ephesians 2:8, First Peter 4:17-19). Some, however, respond favorably to the Lord, but backslide later on, putting their election in jeopardy (Hebrews 10:35-39). It is for that reason that the esteemed apostle urges his readers to “make your calling and election sure” by developing habits that prove participation in the divine character. 

While some would feel perfectly secure at the point of faith or after baptism, the Holy Spirit reserves certainty for the day of judgment, saying, “if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (Second Peter 1:10-11). Election, then, is dependent upon diligently pursuing virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection and love (5-8).

Only then are your calling and election certain. It’s not about waiting until November, but about getting serious now about being elected.