“But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth” (2 Thessalonians 2:13).
There are three things here which deserve special attention. First, the fact that we are expressly told that God’s elect are “chosen to salvation”: Language could not be more explicit. How summarily do these words dispose of the sophistries and equivocations of all who would make election refer to nothing but external privileges or rank in service! It is to “salvation” itself that God has chosen us. Second, we are warned here that election unto salvation does not disregard the use of appropriate means: salvation is reached through “sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth” It is not true that because God has chosen a certain one to salvation that he will be saved willy-nilly, whether he believes or not: nowhere do the Scriptures so represent it. The same God who “chose unto salvation”, decreed that His purpose should be realized through the work of the spirit and belief of the truth. Third, that God has chosen us unto salvation is a profound cause for fervent praise.
Note how strongly the apostle express this – “we are bound to give thanks always to God for you brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation”, etc. Instead of shrinking back in horror from the doctrine of predestination, the believer, when he sees this blessed truth as it is unfolded in the Word, discovers a ground for gratitude and thanksgiving such as nothing else affords, save the unspeakable gift of the Redeemer Himself.
“All men fell in Adam and became sinners worthy of condemnation, and void of the perfect righteousness which God demanded. Therefore all men deserved hell. But God chose to save some sinners by his mere mercy, and he chose them to salvation. He sent Christ to die in their place, and for their sins alone, and none of them shall perish. Not one soul for whom that precious blood was shed will be lost. No matter how much men might try to pervert the gospel truth, it stands in the Scriptures, clearly written in characters of light: “AS MANY AS WERE ORDAINED TO ETERNAL LIFE BELIEVED” (Acts 14:38).