Our sovereign God decides 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 (Romans9:9-18).
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 knowledgeable and religious Pharisees. Though many of them had seen His miracles and heard His teachings, they ignored Him, further hardening their hearts. Then God was obligated to stick to His words to condemn them.
Those elected to be saved go to Father through Christ. They could be wicked. Yet, their salvation would 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, corrupted tax collectors, prostitutes, the criminal next to Christ on the cross, and some hearing Christ’s teachings only once (Romans9:23, 1Corinthians1:26-31).
God chose the Jews to give them the opportunities of His grace, leaving to perish gentiles, like the Egyptians, Persians, Greek and Romans. But when the Jews rejected the Messiah, Father replaced them with other nations (Deuteronomy7:7, Malachi1:2-3).
So, for those saved, be humble, and adore 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 (Deuteronomy32:39, Psalm115:3, Daniel4:34-35, Matthew11:25, 1Corinthians1:29-31, 1Corinthians6:9,11).
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 words 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 the 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: