Sam Storms has an excellent article on the controversial subject of divine election over at Monergism. Here is an excerpt:
In the final analysis, Calvin believes we should study divine election primarily for its ability to tell us why one person who hears the gospel comes to saving faith in Jesus Christ and why another does not. To whom or what, ultimately, do we attribute the distinction? When all is said and done, how do you explain why one person believes unto eternal life and another does not? Who makes one person to differ from another: the person or God? That question can only be answered by looking more closely at the “how” and “why” of God’s sovereign choice. I’ll take that up in the next lesson.
Look with me at John 17:1b-2. Here Jesus prays to the Father and says, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him” (ESV).
There is so much in this passage that I run the risk of getting de-railed from my primary purpose. But I can’t leave it without making a couple of comments. We must take note that not everyone is given eternal life. Only those whom the Father has “given” to Jesus are granted eternal life. The idea of people being “given” by the Father to the Son is standard Johannine language for divine election (see especially John 6:37-65).
Note also that God has not utterly cast off the world of mankind, although it would have been entirely fitting and just had he done so. He has given ultimate authority over all flesh, over every man, woman, and child to Jesus Christ. Jesus has unassailed, unchallenged, comprehensive authority over all human beings: over red and yellow, black and white; over male and female, young and old; over the powerful and the weak; over the rich and poor; over the educated and the ignorant; over those down under in Australia and those up over at the North Pole; over those who live in caves and those who walk in marble corridors.
As Edwards himself pointed out in a sermon on 1 Peter 2:9, whether they are elected or not, they belong to God. He didn’t lose his rights to humanity because of the fall nor did he forfeit his power and authority to dispose of them as he sees fit. They are still in his hands. Neither did he lose his ultimate end or goal in having created them in the first place (see Prov. 16:4).
Out from among those over whom he has sovereign rights as Creator and Lord, the Father has given some to the Son in order that the Son might give to them eternal life.
Click HERE to view the entire article. It is a great read!