At different times in my life, I’ve held an Arminian perspective and then a Calvinist perspective. They both can be beautifully reasoned, but have led to some not-so-beautiful thoughts and actions in my life.
With an Arminian perspective, I too easily put myself above others because I had figured out salvation and could share this salvation knowledge with others…or not.
And since it depended on me, my actions, my “free will,” I worried about losing it since that would depend on me too. Worst of all, I too easily elevated myself above others because of what I considered I had done to get myself saved.
With a Calvinist perspective, I too easily put myself above others because they might not really and truly be one of “the elect” no matter how outwardly good they appeared.
And since it depended on God’s unfailing decisions, I worried about God begrudgingly doing what He promised for me even when I had let Him down. Worst of all, I too easily overlooked the needs of others because if they were part of “the elect” then God would help them so I didn’t need to, and if they weren’t part of “the elect,” did it really make all that big of a difference if they were going to hell anyway?
So where does all of this leave me?
What if the why’s and how’s of salvation are meant to be a relationship understood with the heart rather than a formula to be understand with the mind?
What if this is to protect us from ourselves and our human inclinations to exalt ourselves when we think we know it all?
What if we are not meant to understand all of how God’s great plan will work out for all people, just for those who believe now in this present age? After all, we should have our hope set on Him, not on our theology.
For to this end we toil and struggle, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe. 1 Timothy 4:10 (NRSV)
He is the savior of ALL people, ESPECIALLY of those who believe. This, I believe, is Real Life Jesus.
And what if…what if I treated everyone as if I fully intended to spend eternity with them in the presence of Jesus?