We are born with this idea that God must conform to our ways. It is ingrained in us. We see subjective worldly goodness and apply this standard to God. So when the question of salvation comes up, an objection always surfaces when it is shown by the Gospel that God’s ways are not our ways.
That objection from a fallen nature in effect tells God who He must save and who He must send to hell. If He doesn’t comply to this demand, He is unfair and unjust. He is not a God who is worth believing in if He doesn’t comply and meet that demand.
To give an example and it might also question where you are when it comes to God and His salvation is let’s say we have two individuals. The first one is morally righteous, helps out in their community, is an honor roll student of everything they do. They have a great career, a great family, and is regarded as generally a very nice and kind person. This person also attends church religiously every Sunday.
The second individual lived a life of crime, has done many immoral acts, has spent time in jail. They attended church as a youth but then stopped going. They lived a life of open sin, and profaned God’s name in many ways. They were fired many times from various jobs, and has a disbanded family. They would be looked at by society as a loser having accomplished almost nothing worth while.
Now along comes God. Which person do you believe He should save? If being honest, your natural tendency is to say the first person, right? And the person He should send to hell should be the second person, correct?
If you answered “yes” to my questions, you are most likely objecting to God’s salvation because His justice does not work to our subjective views on it. The answer is, He could very well save both, He could very well send both to hell, He could save the criminal and send the morally righteous person to hell, and vice versa. You see? Justice and mercy are always of God’s counsel, never to our subjective world view. He chooses who to have mercy and we should NEVER object because His ways are always perfect. It is a purely a miracle that He chose to save either if He did, in the example I gave.
1 Corinthians 1:21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.
To UNDERSTAND this further, you must realize that on Judgment Day, God is NOT going to be comparing you to the worst criminals and murderers and rapists the world has seen, He will be comparing YOU to HIMSELF. So by this understanding, you should realize you are imperfect, God is absolutely perfect and holy. Just one little white lie has tarnished the absolute perfection needed to enter His Kingdom.
So then who can be saved? Salvation is by grace alone, meaning an unconditional gift God bestows on a sinner. The answer is the one who can be saved is the one God chose to be saved. He places that sinner now in His Son Jesus Christ who paid for the sinner’s complete sin debt. Now pardoned, the sinner can enter His eternal Kingdom, this is the Good News. That saved sinner graced with faith, now places their entire being and faith in one person, Jesus Christ.
In the examples I gave above, again God could give both or none or either/or the grace to be saved. He can take the most wicked sinner who ever lived and save them. Would you object? Would you go to hell in protest? God could not have chosen those in your family who saw as “good”, would you go to hell with them in protest of this justice?
We don’t deserve grace, we deserve justice. Those saved are granted grace, those not saved are given justice. Those who end up in hell will be eternally protesting or objecting to both God’s grace and His mercy just as they did in this lifetime. And they did it their entire lifetime, so it won’t be something new to them. Simply put, God never met their subjective fallen worldly demands on sin and imperfection so living with Him eternally will be unfathomable.