Before Christ, God selected some under Abraham to Himself (Romans 9:6-7). After Christ, God shows mercy to and selects from all different types of people.
We are utterly blind and can’t go to God by ourselves. Our wicked nature alienates us from God (John 6:44, Romans 8:7). To be able to go to Him, we need God to give us a new heart (Ezekiel 11:19).
God chose to bestow special grace to some people (Deuteronomy 29:4, 7:6; Romans 9:6-7). He elected them as He pleased before the creation of the world (Ephesians 1:4-5). In a way, this is similar to God sending rain to one town but not to another (Amos 4:7).
God lets the gospel take root and sprout in some (Acts 16:7). Through the Holy Spirit, He draws them in, opens their eyes, and turns them around. No one can take the everlasting elections out of the Father’s hand, and Christ shall lose none (John 6:39, 10:29). God will finish what He has started.
Since God’s election isn’t due to any of their works, virtues, or worthiness, they should be humble and give God the glorify for His choosing and enlightenment.
However, God also wants all people to repent and all to be saved (Ezekiel 18:23, 1 Timothy 2:3-5). All in here doesn’t mean all individually but all sorts of people, people of all different conditions.
We don’t understand why one is chosen and another is not. To accommodate our limited capacity, God used human terms, like He had ears and hands. Still, we can’t fully comprehend Him.
God shows us the parts of His will that we ought to know. For the many aspects we don’t understand, we need to have faith that God is just.
God wants all people to know Him and be saved (1 Timothy 2:3-5). He reaches out His hands inviting all to Him (Isaiah 65:2). Those who refuse Him are condemned.
So, don’t keep Him to ourselves. Instead, invite unbelievers in and pray for their salvation. Labor as much as possible to bring them to Him and wait patiently till He shows Himself to them, as He has to us.
A summary of a sermon by John Calvin
Our sovereign God decides to whom He wants to give mercy. For example, He picked Isaac over Ishmael. He hardened Pharaoh. He chose Jacob over Esau before the twins were born. God bestows or denies as He pleases (Romans 9:9-18).
His divine will and pleasure also determine the salvation of humans. For those rejected by God, He withholds His Spirit from them, leaving them in their own ways. Christ ignored the rich and intelligent, such as the knowledgeable and religious Pharisees. Though they had seen His miracles and heard His teachings, they hardened their hearts to Him. God was obligated to keep His word and condemn them.
Those elected to be saved go to the Father through Christ. They may be wicked, but their salvation does not compromise His words, holiness, majesty, truth, justice, goodness, mercy, and faithfulness. Through Christ, Father can save the greatest sinners without approving their wickedness.
Father bestows salvation to the poor and foolish, the corrupted tax collectors, the prostitutes, the criminal next to Christ on the cross, and some hearing Christ’s teachings only once (Romans 9:23, 1 Corinthians 1:26-31).
God chose to give the Jews the opportunities of His grace, leaving to perish gentiles, like the Egyptians, Persians, Greeks, and Romans. But when the Jews rejected the Messiah, Father replaced them with other nations (Deuteronomy 7:7, Malachi 1:2-3).
So, for those saved, be humble and praise God. Out of His sovereign pleasure, He chose them before they were born. One’s salvation and righteousness depend on His will and sovereignty (Deuteronomy 32:39, Psalm 115:3, Daniel 4:34-35, Matthew 11:25, 1 Corinthians 1:29-31, 6:9,11).
But don’t count on God’s mercy and continue to sin. Beware that salvation is not under our control, though Father is bound by His word that anyone can go to Him through Christ (Hebrews6:13-20, 3:15). On the other hand, don’t be discouraged because of your wickedness. God can bestow salvation to the worst without compromising any of His attributes.
God designs creation to glorify Himself and manifest His glory in all His characteristics, including His holiness, wisdom, mercy, justice, and sovereignty. It pleases God to exercise His sovereignty and bestow salvation. Glorifying Himself in our salvation pleases Him greatly.
Summary of a sermon by Jonathan Edwards
那些被拣选得救的人藉着基督到父神那里去。虽然他们可能是邪恶的，但他们的救恩并没有妥协上帝的话语、祂的圣洁、威严、真理、公义、良善、怜悯和信实。藉着基督，天父可以拯救最大的罪人而无需认可他们的邪恶。天父将救恩赐给贫穷愚拙之人、腐败的税吏、被人蔑视的妓女、十字架上钉在基督旁边的罪犯以及有些只听过一次基督教导的人（罗马书 9：23，哥林多前书 1：26-31）。
所以，对于那些得救的人，要心存谦卑，敬拜赞美上帝。 上帝出于至高无上的喜悦，在出生之前已经选择了他们。 一个人的救恩和公义取决于祂的旨意和主宰。（申命记 32：39; 诗篇 115：3; 但以理书 4：34-35; 马太福音 11：25; 哥林多前书 1：29-31，6：9,11）。
但不要指望上帝的怜悯而继续犯罪。救恩不在我们的控制之下, 虽然天父受自己话语约束, 任何人都可以藉着基督进到祂那里（希伯来书 6:13-20, 3:15）。
According to Deuteronomy 32:35, the foot of the wicked unbelieving Israelites would slip; it is just a matter of time. Like one constantly walking in slippery places, they would fall by their own weight, and the fall would be sudden and would cast them down to ruin (Psalm 73:18-19).
The wicked are not yet in hell only because of God’s mercy and sovereignty. Without our Almighty God, nothing can keep the wicked out of destruction because:
God’s wrath is as much against them as it is against those damned in hell. Meanwhile, their sins are constantly increasing and offending God tremendously.
An earthly king can only kill our bodies (Proverbs 20:2), but the fierceness of God’s wrath can cast us into hell forever (Luke 12:4-5, Isaiah 59:18, Isaiah 66:15, Revelation 19:15).
Now God stands ready to have mercy on us. No matter how moral, strict, sober, or religious we are, unless we are born again, damnation will come swiftly, with suffering for all eternity in God’s merciless vengeance. Don’t wait till the day when He will only laugh and mock at our great suffering in hell (Proverbs 1:25-26, Isaiah 63:3, Romans 9:22).
Now the door to salvation is open. He loves us and can wash us from our sins with His own blood. Our hearts can be filled with love to Him. We can rejoice in the hope of God’s glory. If we neglect this extraordinary opportunity, we are going to bear the dreadful wrath of God.
Therefore, those not in Christ awake, run away from the coming wrath, and go to God. Do not look back, lest you be totally consumed by the fires of hell.
Summarized from a sermon by Jonathan Edwards
申命记 32:35描绘了一幅邪恶不信神的以色列人滑倒的图像。 就像人经常在湿滑的地方行走，他迟早失足而突然跌倒，掉在沉沦之中, 这只是时间的问题（诗篇 73:18-19）。
地上的国王只能杀死肉体 (箴言20：2)， 但是上帝的忿怒可使我们永远陷入地狱的深渊(路加福音12：4-5；以赛亚书59:18 ， 66:15； 启示录19:15)。
现在，上帝准备着怜悯我们。无论看来多么道德、严谨、清醒或虔诚，除非我们重生，否则诅咒将迅速到来，我们将遭上帝无情的报复, 承受永恒的痛苦。不要等到祂只会嘲笑我们在地狱遭受巨大痛苦的那一天 (箴言1：25-26, 以赛亚书63：3, 罗马书9:22)。
Can believing in God as the creator of the universe imply having God’s saving grace?
No. Satan also knows God’s immense power (James 2:19).
Before falling into wickedness, Satan was among the bright angels. He has extensive knowledge of God, heaven, hell, the Bible, and humans. The fall has not reduced his abilities nor eliminated his memory (John 8:44; 1 John 3:8; Matthew 13:19, 13:38; 1 John 2:13, 3:12, 5:18; Job 38:4-7; Ephesians 6:12; Genesis 3:1; 2 Corinthians 11:3; and Acts 13:10).
But since Satan also knows God’s holiness, truthfulness, power, and wrath against sin, Satan trembles, anticipating his suffering (Luke 13:28, 29; Romans 9:22; Isaiah 2:10; and Revelation 1:7).
Satan may feel convicted and tormented, with earnest desire to be delivered from misery. Again, such desire does not imply that he can receive God’s saving grace. Such desire is just self-love.
Similarly, a man having such deep desires or biblical knowledge is no proof of salvation. Like Satan, seeing God’s glory or having more knowledge of God may only lead to more hate and fear.
In distinct contrast, when God’s light shines in a person, enlightening the person through the Holy Spirit, the person will see God’s loveliness, beauty, and holiness, and the glory of the divine displayed through Christ (2 Corinthians 2:14, 4:6).
Only God can give to humans what Christ has purchased. The opportunity to behold God’s beauty is God’s blessing to His dear children.
As a result of such wonderful gifts, His children will see their ugly souls and humble themselves, making God bigger and themselves smaller. Then their guilty souls will rest. They will live in love and embrace their loving Savior. With God in them, they will have God’s divine nature. They will have the fruit of the Spirit. They will be joyful in God and have heavenly wisdom (2 Peter 1:4; 1 John 4:16, 17:6-8; Galatians 5:22-25; James 3:17).
They will hate evil, love doing good deeds, and follow God’s command (James 2:20, 1 John 2:3-4). Such attributes are not based on self-love, but on seeing the love and beauty of God. The bearers of such wonderful gifts from God will go to heaven and enjoy eternal life.
Summarized from a Jonathan Edwards’ sermon:
答案是否定的，因为撒旦也有这样的认识 （雅各书 2:19）。
撒旦堕入邪恶之前是光明的天使。他对上帝、天堂、地狱、 圣经和人有广泛的了解。坠落并没有降低他的能力，也没有消除他的记忆 （约翰福音 8:44；约翰壹书 3:8；马太福音 13:19，38；约翰壹书 2:13， 3:12, 5:18；约伯记 38:4-7；以弗所书 6:12；创世记 3:1；哥林多后书 11:3；使徒行传 13:10）。
因为撒但也知道神的圣洁、真实、权能和对罪的忿怒，就战战兢兢地期待受苦之日的来临（路加福音 13:28, 29；罗马书 9:22；以赛亚书 2:10；启示录 1:7）。
得到上帝的光照而被圣灵感动的人与此形成鲜明的对比。 他们看到上帝的可爱、美丽、圣洁以及籍着基督彰显的神圣荣耀 （哥林多后书 2:14，4:6）。
祂的儿女目睹上帝的奇妙，就会看到自己灵魂的丑陋，感到自己个人的卑微。在他们眼里，上帝变更伟大，自己变更渺小。他们有罪的灵魂将得到安息。他们将活在爱中，拥抱慈爱的救主。有上帝在里面，他们将拥有上帝的性情, 结出圣灵的果子。 他们会因上帝而喜乐，拥有属天的智慧 （彼得后书 1:4；约翰壹书 4:16；约翰福音 17:6-8；加拉太书 5:22-25；雅各书 3:17）。
他们憎恨邪恶，喜行善事，遵守上帝的命令 （雅各书 2:20；约翰壹书 2:3-4）。这样的属性不是基于自爱，而是基于看见上帝的慈爱和美丽。