Your Election Ballot
No, this is not regarding the presidential election, but our own election to eternal life.
This image from a Bible Institute Colportage Association (now Moody Bible Institute) tract, from about a century ago, pretty well displays the view of salvation popular during that revivalist era, but more importantly is still representative of the misconceptions of the precious doctrine of election today.
Note that here God has “voted” for everyone, Satan has voted against us, and we each must cast the deciding vote. Thus salvation is ultimately decided by a work of our own. Also note that God’s vote carries no more weight than does Satan’s nor man’s. This approach, popular among Protestants of many denominations, including ours, is a misrepresentation of God’s revealed truth in His word. It elevates fallen, darkened, stone-hearted man, and essentially takes God off of His throne, giving Him no greater sovereignty than the rest of us. We may as well then say with atheist William Henley, “I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.”
Note the use of the 2 Peter verse in particular, taken completely out of context. The doctrine implied by this image really does take a low view of what Christ has obtained for us, and makes it quite possible that His death was entirely in vain, had nobody “voted themself in”.
I am greatly helped by the growing appreciation for the fact that I am His by His choice, not due to any foreseen merit in myself. He gave me life, and so I came to Him. I was merely responding to His gracious work in me, His changing of my will and internally calling me to Himself. And I’m beginning to learn how this total reliance on God and abandoning of any confidence in the flesh has application in every single area of life. What amazing grace He has indeed given to us.
So how does your perspective of your salvation line up with this tract? Are there perhaps times we still think we had a hand in all of this, or act as if we can still succeed of our own ability? Let’s get back to the Word and see just how gracious He is.