A quote from Donald Grey Barnhouse on understanding the Doctrine of election. When understood rightly, the doctrine of election is the most sustaining, hope enduring, God glorifying, and cross exalting of all the blessed doctrines a believer can to cling to. Election isn’t, or at least it shouldn’t be, an ivory tower teaching that we cast down upon unbelievers. It is a beeeeeautiful doctrine that the layperson should meditate upon and cherish because his or her hope and security lies locked within it. It’s an often abused and mis-used doctrine, but when understood with wisdom and great humility, it is a bondage breaking and life giving doctrine to behold.
“The famous American Bible teacher Donald Grey Barnhouse (1895–1960) often used an illustration to help people make sense of election. He asked them to imagine a cross like the one on which Jesus died, only so large that it had a door in it. Over the door were these words from Revelation: “Whosoever will may come.” These words represent the free and universal offer of the gospel. By God’s grace, the message of salvation is for everyone. Every man, woman, and child who will come to the cross is invited to believe in Jesus Christ and enter eternal life. On the other side of the door a happy surprise awaits the one who believes and enters. From the inside, anyone glancing back can see these words from Ephesians written above the door: “Chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world.” Election is best understood in hindsight, for it is only after coming to Christ that one can know whether one has been chosen in Christ. Those who make a decision for Christ find that God made a decision for them in eternity past.”