God’s sovereign election is the only basis by which any believer has confidence to evangelize the lost. We do not know who the elect are in this lifetime, but what we do know with certainty is that there are elect out there.
Has God ever revealed to us why we should evangelize the lost? Indeed he has. In Acts 18, Paul was opposed vehemently in his gospel mission. He was about to leave Corinth out of fear and discouragement, but God in a vision at night revealed to Paul a confident truth:
“And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.” And he stayed a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them” (Acts 18:9—11).
Notice that God did not say, “Paul, there is a possibility that some people might get saved if only they use their free will to cooperate with my grace.” Nor does God say, “According to my crystal ball, I foresee that there will be people who will be in the right place at the right time and the right disposition who will get saved.” Nor does God say, “there are a lot of people in this city, play the numbers game and you are bound to get some saved.” Instead, this is about God’s purposes, and his people. And this is precisely what gave Paul the confidence to stay in that city for a year in a half.
Why is it that most people do not play the lottery? (forgive my carnal analogy for a moment). It’s because they have no guarantee that they will win. Suppose people had the guarantee that if they played the lottery every day for a year, they would eventually win the lottery on a given day. Everyone would play the lottery!
It is roughly the same phenomenon with Evangelism. Calvinists have the confidence that God’s elect are out there, and they know that if they consistently proclaim the gospel, God’s people, the elect, will hear his voice and become saved.
Arminians do not have this foundation or confidence since in their theology it is possible that at this point of time until the Lord comes back, there will not be another soul saved, since for them salvation is not decreed, but ultimately dependent on the enslaved human will.
Believer: Where do you want to find your confidence in evangelism? God’s sovereign grace, or the enslaved will of Man?
All of you and none of me! Praise God that you have ordained it to be!