The next point in Calvinism is Unconditional Election. This is really the meat and potatoes of Calvinism. It's the idea that God has already chosen who is going to be saved and who is going to be lost. The word “elect” in the Bible is always a reference to those who are saved. Unconditional election means that God has ordained the elect to be saved only according to His divine will and is not conditioned upon anything that we have done.
Of the five points, this one probably has the most compelling Scriptural support. There are several passages that can be used to support the idea of election but the following are perhaps the most persuasive:
Ephesians 1:4-5, 11, “just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself,according to the kind intention of His will..... also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will.”
Romans 9:10-16, “Not only that, but Rebekah’s children were conceived at the same time by our father Isaac. Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: not by works but by him who calls—she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says to Moses,“I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.”
What I find especially interesting is Paul's letter to the Romans, when he says that God loved Jacob above Esau even “before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad.” At first hearing, it seems a clear cut example of God simply choosing one person over another. Jacob certainly had not done anything before he was born to earn God's favor so he received God's mercy unconditionally. Yet as clear cut as it might seem, we must still consider these passages in the light of the rest of Scripture. Look at the following passages:
1 Timothy 2:3-4, “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”
Acts 17:30, The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent,
If God has already ordained that only some people will be saved and the others lost, how can He simultaneously not want anyone to perish? Perhaps it is because God is omniscient and already knows who will accept Him and who will not. Peter said that he was elect, “according to the foreknowledge of God” (1 Peter 1:1-2). It could be that God elects those He knows will believe and makes plans for them even before they are born.
God is not capricious. Because of His love and mercy, He has made salvation available to everyone; but because He is also just and holy, He has laid out a very clear method of redemption. God will have mercy upon whoever believes in His Son – even the most vile sinner.