Last week I was blessed to travel to Shreveport with my girlfriend Libby and visit a used bookstore. The store, The Thrifty Peanut (won’t forget that name anytime soon), has locations in both Shreveport and Bossier City. The larger store is located in Bossier City so we shopped at that location.
I love the religion section in used book stores because you never know what you will find. I came across and purchased a book titled, Southern Baptists and the Doctrine of Election by Robert B. Selph. The book introduces the doctrine of Unconditional Election as a Southern Baptist heritage, gives a survey of Baptist and Southern Baptist fathers (17th-20th centuries) who affirmed Unconditional Election, and lastly addresses the doctrine of election and its implications regarding the Christian life.
I’m just getting into the survey of “significant Baptist voices in history” but right at the end of the introduction I came across two paragraphs on page 16 that I wanted to share.
It was the assurance of Unconditional Election that brought the Apostle Paul such tenacity and drive in his Gospel labors. He told Timothy, “Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory” (2 Timothy 2:10). Paul knew he would not fail. He was deeply convinced that his Gospel preaching and imprisonments were not in vain. He could stand beside riverbanks, inside synagogues, before kings, or lay bound in dark dungeons and preach the unsearchable riches of Christ, fully persuaded that every one of those chosen before the world was formed would eventually bow before the preached Christ for salvation. The word preached would not return void. It would accomplish exactly what God sent it out to do. It is God who prospers His word with success – not man (Isaiah 55:11). His sovereign purpose determines when hearts will be broken or hardened.