I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the LORD, who does all these things.
I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose.
Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
The other day a person said something which I have often heard over the years. I probably would have said it at one point. That is I heard someone denounce the idea of God being sovereign over salvation, by that I mean they denied that the only way a person is saved is if God predestines, calls, and draws that person to himself, making them alive by the power of his Spirit while they are still dead in their sin. And then the person who denied this idea turned around ten minutes later and said that they were so glad they didn’t have to worry about the future because God is in control of the future. Do you see the problem with this?
The reality is that God is either sovereign over all or not at all. The impact of a regenerated soul leads to a changed life which leads to decisions that otherwise would not have been made. If I had chosen not to follow Christ then I shudder to think what kind of person I would be. As it is, daily I am shocked by the creativity of my abiding corruption! The moment a person is made alive in Christ there are butterfly effects set in motion, in fact a culture with a strong Christian presence enjoys the benefits of the redeemed living among them because changed hearts lead to changed lives. When God made me alive by his Spirit as a twelve year old boy on a farm, my life was set on a path different than if I had not been saved. Therefore you cannot disconnect the sovereignty of God over salvation from his sovereignty over everything else.
There is a great idolatry revealed in those that accept the sovereignty of God in certain spheres of life but not in others. Most common among Christians I find a belief that God is sovereign over the future, that God is sovereign even to the extent that he can guarantee my eternal security. But they refuse to believe that this God would also be sovereign over salvation. They don’t like a God that exercises the right to redeem and condemn on the basis of his sovereign good pleasure. They fail to see the depth of their sin that should leave them staggering that he would show mercy to anyone at all. They refuse to submit their hearts to the reality of who God has revealed himself to be. They want God to be sovereign in the areas that give them peace of mind and that is it.
The reality is he is sovereign over all or not at all. If he isn’t sovereign over the salvation of sinners then he cannot know your future and we are awash in a world of infinite possibilities outside of God’s control. If he isn’t sovereign over the beginning of your salvation then you cannot begin to hope that he is sovereign over the end of it.
History is weaved together so intricately that if God is not sovereign over all, including salvation, then the cross was a shot of luck and our future remains uncertain. If God is not sovereign over salvation then he is not sovereign over your future. You can’t have it both ways. Thankfully, the God of the Bible is good, just, and he is absolutely sovereign over literally everything.