Are you worthy in the world of election?

Many teach that God in His election has chosen men to receive salvation and others He has chosen not to receive salvation.  They teach that those men who have been elected have God’s irresistible grace which they can not refuse.  They must and will become saved, there is no choice about it.  Those who were not elected have no choice but to go to hell, since God never gave them the invitation in the first place.

Funny thing though, Jesus’ theology doesn’t match the theology of these teachers.  Jesus taught that people were bidden, called, elected to come to the great wedding supper of the Lamb but were not found worthy.

Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.[1]

Why were these people not worthy?  Why were they invited in the first place if they were not worthy?  If the Calvinist understanding of election is true, then why did they get the invite in the first place?  They should have never been invited according to Calvin.  Was there unworthiness a condition of election only or was it something involving free will on their part?  It couldn’t be from election for what corruption does God impute to man in election? 

Jesus sets up the story by telling us that a king’s son is getting married and to call those who were invited to come but they would not come.

The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.[2]

We see from the story those who were called to come refused to come.  If God’s election, His grace is irresistible and no man can refuse His sovereign will, how is it those called, those invited refused His election, irresistible grace and His sovereign will?  Not only did they refuse Him once they refused Him again!

Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.  But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:[3]

A second sincere invitation was sent, but Jesus tells us of these people they made light of it.  They made light of His calling, they made light of His electing them to come.  They were not compelled to behave contrary to their own free will and they rejected the invitation.  Apparently God’s sovereign will is not as the Calvinist describe.  They teach that God’s sovereign will no man can resist.  But Jesus is describing to us not just a single rejection but two.  These twice call, twice elected to come are described as making light of the invitation.  And who were these that were called?  Who were they that were elected to come?  Who were they that demonstrates the Calvinist doctrine of irresistible grace is a lie?  Who were they that turns the Calvinist doctrine of God’s sovereignty on its head?  They were not just a group of people on the fringes, they were the remnant!

And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.[4]

The chosen people of God refused Him and mistreated His servants and killed them.  The people of God that were under the covenant to be the people of His calling and election did this.  Those to whom it was said they would be His people and He would be their God did this.

And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.[5]

Jesus doesn’t describe those who were not elected, as the Calvinist do, who are the ones to receive wrath.  He describes that wicked remnant as those who receive wrath.

But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.[6]

We need to ask ourselves in a world of election, were God has called every one to come, will we be found worthy?  Will we make light of the same invitation to come to the wedding feast of the Lamb?  Will we be to busy to really walk with the Lord?  Do our schedules keep us to busy to read our bibles and seek out God in prayer?  Have we been so stuck in the rut that we feel cold or yet worse, lukewarm in our walk with God?

We may not be those who kill His servants, but do we make light of the invitation by its not being a high priority to us in our daily lives.  Who will be found worthy in the world of election?

Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.[7]

If you are a believer, if you are part of the remnant and you rest your hope on irresistible grace and God’s sovereign will to see you into His kingdom, you hope in a vanity.  Jesus Himself shows us this.  Will you trust the words and teachings of Calvin or will you listen to the one you call savior?

[1] Matthew 22:8

[2] Matthew 22:2-3

[3] Matthew 22:4-5

[4] Matthew 22:6

[5] Genesis 17:7

[6] Matthew 22:7

[7] Matthew 22:8

7 thoughts on “Are you worthy in the world of election?

  1. Very good. I may have misinterpreted your words. If not… I can’t agree that the ‘remnant’ mentioned here is the ‘chosen’ remnant of Israel….since the remnant of Israel are saved already…through God’s covenant with them. The ‘remnant’ was left spiritually blind and deaf for a designated period of time…until the fulness of the gentiles is complete. All left to come through the ‘election’ of grace does are not included in this covenant group.

    Again, good post. Love the subject matter.


    • Carolyn,

      The question that needs to be answered is what is remnant? We know that God chose a remnant out of the family of man when He called Abraham and his descendents. They were all sealed with the seal of righteousness that Paul taught us, this being circumcision. So they were all selected as a remnant to be the vessel of God to choosing to be a light to the gentiles. So to my understanding they His remnant of mankind have done exactly as Jesus said they did and will do.

      Now it is true that we know that God has never been without His remnant and still has one today. It isn’t that God has small numbers in mind when He mentions remnant. It is just the remnant do not accept what they are and chase after other gods and live a life of sin and faithlessness or they error in the Law. They, even though imputed with righteousness, rejected the righteousness of God as Paul teaches us.

      So now we gentiles being grafted into the blessing of righteousness that was given to Abraham are imputed righteousness even if we are not believers. Paul teaches us that God has reconciled the world to Himself through Christ and does not count men’s sins against them. This is why I believe Israel is an example to us gentiles. Being imputed righteousness is not the end goal as pastors tell us. But a life of faith and obedience like we see in Daniel, Joshua, Moses, Joseph etc.

      I believe through Christ we are all elect, we are all chosen but due to our response only a few are actually worthy of being chosen. That is why Jesus ends the parable I chose for today by saying, “Many are called but few are chosen.” After the king declares they were not worthy.

      Do you see this in scripture?


  2. calvinists don’t teach that the elect are “worthy.” no one is worthy.

    elsewhere i’ve quoted 1cor1:18-31 – you seem to just be making things up here. can you link a quote from an actual calvinist who teaches that some are chosen because they are more worthy?

    i know NONcalvinists who teach that God chose those of us who believe because He looked forward in time to see which of us would be smart enough, humble enough and spiritual enough to choose Him – maybe that is what you teach – but no calvinist i know of would say that.

    calvinists do teach that “many are called” (that is, many are invited by God to come to Him – there is an external call that should go out to all nations through preaching and missions) but “few are chosen” (rather than destroy all, God chooses to save some hard hearted people – by changing their nature so that they can obey and repent.)

    Ezek36:26I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws…31 Then you will remember your evil ways and wicked deeds, and you will loathe yourselves for your sins and detestable practices.

    How does God choose? According to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will. (eph1:11) His will, not ours. “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy.” as Romans 9 teaches.

    but invitation is not the same as election.

    and “the remnant” in matt22 (translated “the rest” in every modern version of the bible i’ve seen) is NOT the remnant as taught elsewhere in scripture:

    Rom11:1I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. 2God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel: 3″Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me”? 4And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 5So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace.

    how do you identify this “remnant?” they were serving God and not Baal like the Israelites in Elijah’s day, or their tradition like the unbelieving Israelites in Paul’s day.

    Rom 9-11 in short: God made salvational promises to Israel – but not all Israel is true Israel – God is still keeping His promises by reserving jews like Paul to Himself – and this remnant is identified by their service to Him (even though Paul’s “free will” previously desired to kill Christians and put them in jail until God stepped in).

  3. Hi Charles,

    You said, “calvinists don’t teach that the elect are “worthy.” no one is worthy”. I would say yep, you’re right. You want me to find a Calvinist who said that. Why? I didn’t say they taught that either. So why give me the burden to prove something I didn’t say, in the post and as far as I can remember, never.

    So in sticking with what was said in the post we will skip past your argument on that. Because I agree with you, a Calvinist would never teach that.

    Are you saying some or all peoples are called? And of those some or all called only some of them are actually elected?

    If you say all or some are called but not all of those are elected, why would God call those who He has no plans of electing? Is this the sick twisted joke of the cosmos that the world claims God is? Would you say it is not a sick joke because they can not accept God and they can not recognize the call? If they can not recognize the call, are they called? If they can recognize the call but can not come to Christ because they are not elected is it really a call?

    But as I said in my post, Jesus does not describe those who were not elected but those of the remnant who are under wrath. You did not address this. You skirted around this by saying I said something I did not. Then you go into your proofs of the separation of calling and election. So Ezek 36:26 does not prove your point or disprove your point. Nor does it my position. Great verse but it does not say God’s calling and election are two separate things.

    Romans 9, yeah I agree, why do you speak for God and say His calling is not His intended election. My post shows Jesus didn’t agree with this and you ignored it by going all around it and not at it.

    You have not one text that says what you are saying. You infer this and this is inescapable. I say address what Jesus said concerning those He called the remnant.

    Concerning Elijah and Romans 9-11, we both agree that not all Israel is Israel. Only those who live by faith in obedience to the promises of God are Israel. We both agree to this. We disagree on who is called and who is elected. So these scriptures too do not prove what you say or what I say, you only try to buttress your argument with them and I could do the same.

    Scripture does not teach what you advocate. But it does show over and over again men rejecting the message of God in both testaments. Who can reject what is not offered. If God had no plan for them to be saved in that they were not elected, then how can scripture say they rejected God? Only in the offer can rejection come. I simply do not understand how this is so hard to see or accept by you.

    Address what Jesus as I pointed out in my post. Don’t go all over and back again to make scripture say what it does not. If it does show me the text that says this and address what Jesus said. He said the remnant.

  4. you said: “Are you saying some or all peoples are called? ”

    Jesus said that “many are called.” not sure if that means all or not. you like to say that abraham was offered the gospel…what about the gentiles in the 1500+ years in the time from abraham to Christ? were they called?

    does this verse bother you? God revealing Himself to one nation only and not every single nation?

    Psa147:19 He has revealed his word to Jacob, his laws and decrees to Israel.
    20 He has done this for no other nation; they do not know his laws.
    Praise the LORD.

    we should invite everyone we meet, but some certainly have not heard. the psalmist seems to believe that God is free to do as He wishes.

    you said “And of those some or all called only some of them are actually elected?”

    that’s what Jesus said, actually. a large group is “called” but only a much smaller group is “chosen” or “elected.” you continue in vain to argue against Him and say that “all are chosen/elected.”

    the version of that parable in luke is interesting:

    Luke14:21So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.

    23And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. (KJV)

    those invited refused to come. so the lord had his servants “bring in” or “compel” some to come. none are said to be willing. in matt22, both groups are said to be invited, but only the “elect” are gathered.

    you said “If you say all or some are called but not all of those are elected, why would God call those who He has no plans of electing?”

    again – here is your problem: Jesus said Matt22:14For many are called, but few are chosen. i’m not saying that God called many but elected only a few, Jesus did. if you hate Him for doing so and believe that He is obligated to both invite all and choose all, you make shake your fist at Him as much as you like…

    God loves His enemies in the sense of showing them compassion that they don’t deserve. (matt5:45) He sends sun and rain on the God haters as well as His people. He gives them the honor of an invitation that He absolutely knows that they will refuse.

    your answer implies that God can’t really know the future. an earthly lord might not know his invitation will be denied but the Lord certainly does. be careful not to stand with the pagans and say, “How can God know? Does the Most High have knowledge?”

    Gal3:13Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us…

    was Christ made a curse for His elect – for believers only? or for everyone?

    Matt25:41″41Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed…

    unbelievers are referred to as “cursed” because Jesus was not made a curse for them.

    they can be invited but they will never want to come. God knows this is how we all are – “no one seeks God…we all have turned and gone our own way.” rather than condemn us all, God chose to save some.

    even putting that aside, God knows the future precisely in every detail – it’s silly to argue that Jesus must have had to “go and prepare a place” for unbelievers…just in case…

    • Charles,

      I have read your comments and I have pondered them and pondered them. You claim to have understanding on the issue because God called one nation. Yet you do not understand that circumcision is the seal of righteousness that God gave His people in an eternal covenant. This Paul teaches was ignored or rejected by the Jews for the most part. They instead of accepting by faith what God had done in His grace towards them went and sought righteousness in the Law. This is why it is said they stumbled over the stumbling stone. This is why Hebrews says they at Mt. Sinai had the same gospel preached to them as we did to us but it did the no good, because they did not approach it by faith.

      So asking me if I am bothered by God calling one nation and imputing them something that most rejected. No I am not, but you miss what our NT teaches is our gospel concerning our Spiritual fathers and make doctrine on built on this misunderstanding.

      You even go as far as accusing me of hating Jesus and shaking my fist at Him. Why because you build a doctrine that assumes the word “many” means anything but all. It doesn’t say that. When it says all, like in the use of word “world” you say it means elect. When it says all, like in the use of the word, “whoever” you say it means elect. You twist everything. Maybe I should ask you, Do you have no fear of God?

      You support this by a doctrine that says “if” means since, not perhaps. You throw out many scriptures like red herrings, as if I do not agree with those scriptures. I do, I do agree with them. I don’t agree with you redefinition of words or a doctrine that I have read that is very biblical concerning God’s sovereignty, until it uses the words. “this implies”. At this place you leave your true biblical understanding of scripture for the doctrine of men. Then you start telling God what He meant and as I said change the meaning of words.

      You say God has not made Jesus a curse for the unbelievers. Scripture clearly teaches that God has reconciled all things to Himself through Christ and does not hold men’s sins against them. But let me guess this means the elect. You do not understand that God imputed all of Israel righteousness and He was rejected. Now through Christ we gentiles share in this blessing of Abraham. Just as it is taught in scripture. But we too, like Israel, reject what God has done. And it is God in His sovereignty who has demonstrated His love for us in such a giving way that offends you.

      Please for future reference don’t say I hate Jesus or shake my fist at Him. I would not say this about you, even when you are wrong. In the past you have accused me of things I never said, you need to stop that too. But let me encourage you to look at the gospel Paul was preaching in the last chapter of Acts. The same gospel from the Law of Moses and the prophets we find in our NT. This is, God imputed Abraham and his descendents righteousness and we too are now grafted into it as unnatural branches. This is why Paul says Christ was a minister of circumcision.

      May the Holy Spirit testify to these things in your heart.


  5. Pingback: Changing the debate « The Gospel According to the Gospel

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