Tampering with the Election

[547 words]

Voter fraud is not new. We should not be surprised. Politics brings out the worst in people—pride, greed, lust for power, and dishonesty. Why would anyone think we have risen above ballot box manipulation? Many times in our history corrupt men have used intimidation, false registration, bribery, and vote alteration to steal elections. Perhaps just as often it is very hard to prove these crimes in court. The “winner” and “losers” are not always decided on a fair basis.

There is another election that is exceedingly more serious. The Bible says that Christians are the “elect of God” (Col. 3:12). Thankfully, we are not elected by a human vote. When we are baptized for the remission of sins, God adds us to the church (Acts 2:38, 47), Upon the basis of that decision God chooses or elects us. In fact, in a way above our feeble comprehension Christians are “elect according to the foreknowledge of God” (1 Pet. 1:2). That is the only election result that truly matters. There is attempted fraud in this spiritual election just as there is cheating in political elections:

Miscounting. Some teach that everyone or almost everyone will go to heaven. This is not true. Jesus said, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matt. 7:13-14). There is no changing or cheating this fact of God’s election. Yet most talk about heaven as if all people will go there except the worst of the worst like Adolf Hitler or Jack the Ripper. Do people even know what Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount?

Coercion. Others believe man has no part in the process of divine election. They say we can do nothing to be saved. If that is true, then we do not choose to be saved (or lost). God makes that choice for us according to this theology. Preachers teach this Calvinistic view of election when they say, “You can’t ‘do’ anything to be saved because Jesus did everything for your salvation when He died on the cross. You must wait for God to save you if you are one of His elect.” This is unbiblical. God “desires all men to be saved” (1 Tim. 2:4), but the choice is ours. “Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely” (Rev. 22:17).

DisqualifIcation. God’s elect are not chosen unconditionally. Christians have the duty to remain faithful. Yet many believe a child of God can never fall from his elected position. Paul did not teach this. He said, “But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified” (1 Cor. 9:27). Christians sometimes overturn their own election.

There is a way to avoid any problem with this election. After listing the Christian graces, Peter said we should “be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble” (2 Pet. 1:10). That is election integrity.

Kerry Duke
West End church of Christ
Livingston, TN

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