For five or six months I’ve been thinking about how the salvation of the elect and its outworking affects those who are not among the elect – do they produce any benefit whatsoever for those who will never be numbered among the redeemed? Here’s part of what I wrote and posted on a discussion forum in a thread about perceived discrepancy between experienced life of the believer and the statements contained in the first installment to the Book of Psalms:
My conclusion is this: No benefit whatsoever accrues to those who are not the elect. Every good effect is ultimately experienced by the believer, and it all ultimately glorifies God. Paul says it best when he says something like “the Gospel (and, in my thinking the effects of the Gospel) is the stench of death to those who are perishing.” The problem of the good hurts them as it hardened Pharaoh’s heart prior to the Exodus. Everything that God ordains is for our benefit and to his glory.
Then, in response to a third-party’s question to me, I wrote:
My current thinking is that yes, as believers, even (and probably we do this best and mostly) when we act out by living our life in Christ unintentionally, we should and do treat those around us with justice, kindness, mercy, which are a better measure of love, anyway, than sentiment. For one thing, we probably don’t have a clue who is and who is not among the elect in the general population, and that’s not really a matter for the believer to try to sort out, in any case. And also, I think that the effect of our Christian lives on the minds and hearts, maybe souls is a better word (?), of those who are not elect has a tormenting effect on them. Proverbs mentions that meeting the needs of an enemy heaps coals upon the head of the one who hates us.
But also, I think every interaction between God and the redeemed, whether discipline, blessings that are circumstantially easy to identify as “good,” as well as those that are not so easy to identify, galls those who are not elect.
Personally, I am not happy about this because I would hope to actually make better the lives of every one I serve as part of my work, or with whom I come in to contact during the course of my work and life.
This is pretty scary stuff that every day, if my conclusions are correct, has the effect of alienating some and restoring others to the levels of functioning associated with awareness of eternal realities.
I am annoyed that correct and effect rhymed, supra.