1 Timothy 2:4 – English Standard Version
‘… [God] who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.’
The well known verse in Matthew 22.14: ‘many are called, few are chosen’ is mis-leading as the word are is added. The intent of the verse is that ‘many [or all] are selected, few choose.’ I found one translation out of about sixty that translated the verse correctly.
TPT: “For everyone is invited to enter in, but few respond in excellence.”
The Creator would like all to be saved. The reality is, that is sadly not going to happen. Timothy continues:
2 Timothy 2:19-21 – New Century Version
19 ‘But God’s strong foundation continues to stand. These words are written on the seal: “The Lord knows those who belong to him,” and “Everyone who wants to belong to the Lord must stop doing wrong.”
20 In a large house there are not only things made of gold and silver, but also things made of wood and clay. Some things are used for special purposes, and others are made for ordinary jobs. 21 All who make themselves clean from evil will be used for special purposes. They will be made holy, useful to the Master, ready to do any good work.’
The words predestination [or fate] and free will are not helpful. They are polar extremes of black and white; whereas the answer is a careful blend of the two.
The Eternal does select people to work more closely with, for they are those who are willing to put in the effort to be acceptable. It is a paradoxical equation of the Creator predestinating those He wishes to work with, yet the people selected for this relationship are the very people who will believe in Him [faith] and also obey Him [works].
Some might think faith is the easier part and good works the harder, but Christ says in Luke 18:7-8 – English Standard Version
‘7 And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? 8 I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?
The Apostle Paul says in Galatians 2:16 – English Standard Version
‘… yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.’
Yet, in James 2:17 – English Standard Version, it says:
’17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.’
And John confirms in Revelation 14:12 – English Standard Version
‘Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.‘
We learn from the Apostle Paul, that we are set apart through our faith in Christ [and accepting his sacrifice]. Yet doing this alone is talking the talk. If we do not walk the walk and live by every word of God, as spoken by James and John, our sanctified status would become of no effect and possibly lost. Like the foolish Virgins with no oil [Holy Spirit] in their lamps [Matthew 25:1–12].
The end result of denying the salvation offered once accepted is given in Mark 3:28-29 – English Standard Version
28 “Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”
For this reason, Matthew also confirms why only a few choose in Matthew 7:14 – English Standard Version
‘For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.‘
Luke supports the fact that those who choose this path are small in number, though the reward is worth the effort, in Luke 12:32 – English Standard Version
’32 Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.’
The prophet Malachi compares at the time of the end, the many that doubt and the few with faith. Malachi 3:13-17; 4:1-3 – New Century Version
’13 The Lord says, “You have said terrible things about me.
“But you ask, ‘What have we said about you?’
14 “You have said, ‘It is useless to serve God. It did no good to obey his laws and to show the Lord All-Powerful that we were sorry for what we did. 15 So we say that proud people are happy. Evil people succeed. They challenge God and get away with it.’”
1 For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. 2 But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. 3 And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the Lord of hosts.’
Excerpt from an answer to the question posed on Quora: Is predestination biblical according to Ephesians 1:4?
Ephesians 1:4 English Standard Version