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If God Chooses People for Salvation, Why Preach?

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)

God’s sovereignty and man’s effort go hand in hand.

God told Paul he had many in Corinth who were his people – he had chosen them before time, ordained them for salvation, and already considered them to belong to him.  But they were not yet saved.  God had determined to save them through the preaching of Paul.  So God told Paul not to fear the opposition he had received but to keep on preaching and not be silent.  As Paul preached, God would save those he had predestined for salvation.

Paul could have thought, ‘If God has chosen them, what’s the point of preaching?  They’ll get saved anyway.’  But Paul didn’t do that.  He preached with all his heart for a year and a half, knowing that God would use his preaching to save those he had chosen from all eternity.

God is sovereign, yet he uses means.  He has determined to provide for us, yet tells us to work.  He has chosen to save people, but tells us to pray for their salvation and share the gospel as we can.  He has ordained people for salvation, but uses the means of preaching and the witness of his people.

So let us pray, work, and trust God to accomplish what he has ordained through our efforts.