One of the major questions with respect to the issue of calvinism is the following, “Why are some saved and others not saved?”
This question is often used to set the stage for God’s efficacious calling because the obvious answer must be, “well since it is God who saves, He must be the determining factor because man cannot be and God is the One who is both sovereign and omniscient.” Makes sense doesn’t it? Maybe not.
The calvinist has the same problem when it comes to sanctification but that is never mentioned. When a person gets saved, God through the indwelling Holy Spirit begins to transform the new born Christian to have the mind of Christ. Some do better than others in responding to that process. Why is that the case?
I believe the answer lies not with God but with us. God has given us the choice to choose. He has also given us the consequences of those choices. When we chose His will and accept His promises and by obedience follow His directions by faith we grow and become more like Christ and our lives and the lives of those around us benefit. When we choose to do what seems right in our own eyes, our faith walk suffers and our lives fail to reach the potential that God has planned for us and everyone suffers.
If God is sovereign over salvation from the standpoint that He determines who will irresistibly be saved then it would seem to follow that He would also be sovereign over their growth as a Christian and they would irresistibly grow in the grace and nurture of the Lord as well and be perfectly made Christians in their daily walk. However, that is not how the Bible pictures God’s involvement in men’s lives.
God has chosen to reveal Himself to man; He has chosen to reconcile lost men unto Himself and based on a person’s response, God keeps His promise to save or damn, to bless or curse and to develop or not. Man makes the choice that determines God’s action with respect to the quality of his life today and the destination of his soul in eternity.
The answer to the question, “Why are some saved and others not” is the same for the question, “Why do some Christians mature in Christ while others do not.” God is the constant in both; man provides the variables that determine the outcomes in both scenarios.