Unconditional election is an evangelistic doctrine, one that our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, used to awaken souls. Interestingly enough, He used it in a rather unexpected way, namely, as if someone else was chosen rather than the person being addressed. We find this truth set forth by our Lord to His fellow citizens in Nazareth in Luke 4:25-27. There He indicated that Elijah was not sent unto any of the widows of Israel in a time of drought, but, rather, he was sent to a widow of Sarepta, a Sidon. Likewise Elisha healed Naaman the Syrian leper, but he did not cleanse a single one of the many lepers in Israel. Our Lord’s neighbors were enraged, “filled with wrath.” What, it may be assumed, was meant for their good, they received in the worst possible light. To them what our Lord said was a lie, a misrepresentation of the teachings of the God of Israel. They therefore sought to murder Him. The same approach was used by our Lord with reference to a woman of Canaan, in the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. In this case, He did not address her directly. Instead He spoke to His disciples: “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. The woman was not a Jew. She was citizen of the detested enemies of Israel. Her response, contrary to that of His neighbors in Nazareth, was to come and fall down before Him in worship, saying, Lord, help me. In other words she treated his use of the choice of someone else as a matter of worship and of encouragement to continue to press her request for His
Is it any wonder that the Great Reformation, the First and Second Great Awakenings, and the Great Century of Missions grew out of the labors of those who believed in the doctrine of unconditional election? And it is no wonder that their efforts were attended with the wonder of manifestations of the providential work and help of God.