DOES GOD’S CHOICE OF MESSENGERS EQUALLY DEMONSTRATE HIS CHOICE OF THOSE WHO HEAR AND ACCEPT THE MESSAGE?
Consider these 5 passages about God’s choice and calling out of His messengers:
(1) “God raised him on the third day and made him to appear, not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.” -Acts 10:40-41
(2) “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit…” -John 15:16
(3) The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” …Now the Lord appointed a huge fish to swallow Jonah… -Jonah 1:1-2;17
(4) “Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. And falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”” -Acts 9:3-4
(5) “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come….” -Matt 22:2-3
God certainly did choose His prophets and apostles. And when necessary He used miraculous means to persuade their wills to conform to His own. That doesn’t prove, however, that God decided beforehand who would and wouldn’t believe their message. Proof that God chose and convinced particular individuals to deliver His message (by external miraculous means such as big fish and blinding lights) isn’t proof that God chose and irresistibly convinced particular individuals to believe that message (by means of some secret inner effectual working).
- Calvinists bear the burden of proving that link biblically (i.e. God used a big fish to convince His own servant’s will to deliver the message therefore God used secret inner irresistible means to convince the wills of preselected individuals to believe his message.)
According to scripture, God inspired His message to be sent “so that the world may believe” (Jn 17:21) not so an elite group would be irresistibly caused to believe.
“These are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” -John 20:31
Notice that God has worked to effectually ensure the WRITING not the BELIEVING of His word. He will use whatever means necessary to bring His truth into the world but that doesn’t remove man’s responsibility (read “ability-to-respond”) to that truth (Jn 12:48).
Do not allow Calvinists to conflate God’s choice and calling of His messengers with His choice and calling of those who hear that message.