One: It Is Unjust to Men.
"It makes God to be unfair to those who are not included in the purpose of salvation."
Answer: Election does not deal simply with men as neutral creatures, but with sinful, guilty and condemned creatures. That any sinner should be saved is a matter of pure grace. Those who are not included in God's purpose of salvation suffer only the due reward of their deeds.
We may better praise God that he saves any, than charge him with injustice because he does not save all. God can say the following to all men, saved or unsaved:
Friend, I do thee no wrong....Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own (Matt. 20:13, 15)?
The question is not whether a father will treat his children alike (remember some people are the Devil's children), but whether a sovereign must treat all condemned rebels alike. It is obviously not true that a Governor who pardons one convict from the penitentiary is obligated to pardon all. Such logic is nonsense.
In God's government, there is still less reason for objection for mercy being shown to some; for God freely offers pardon to all.
Two: It represents God as partial.
"God appears in his dealings to be a respecter of persons."
Answer: Since there is nothing in men that determines God's choice of one over another, the objection is invalid.
It would equally apply to God's selection of certain nations, as Israel, and certain individuals, as Cyrus, to be recipients of special temporal gifts.
If God is not to be regarded as partial in not providing a salvation for fallen angels, he cannot be regarded as partial in not exercising the regenerating influences of his Spirit on the whole race of fallen men. The following verses are clear:
For they got not the land in possession by their own sword, neither did their own arm save them; but thy right hand, and thine arm, and the light of thy countenance, because thou hadst a favour unto them (Psalms 44:3).
For who maketh thee to differ? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? Now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it (1 Cor. 4:7)?
Three: It represents God as arbitrary.
Answer: It represents God, not as arbitrary, but as exercising the free choice of a wise and sovereign will, in ways and for reasons which are inscrutable to us.
To deny the possibility of such a choice is to deny God's personality. To deny that God has reasons for his choice is to deny his wisdom.
The doctrine of election finds the reasons for God's choice of some men to be, not in men or their wills, but in God and his grace.
Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting (1 Tim. 1:16).
Four: It inspires pride in those who think they are elect.
Answer: This is possible only in the case of those who pervert the doctrine. On the contrary, its proper influence is to humble men. Those who exalt themselves above others, upon the ground that they are special favorites of God, have reason to question their salvation. Such people know nothing of sovereign grace.
Christian hymnology witnesses the effect that believing election has on a humbled heart:
Why was I made to hear Thy voice, and enter while there's room, When thousands make a wretched choice, and rather starve than come. Twas the same love that spread the feast, That sweetly forced me in; Else I had still refused to taste, And perished in my sin. Pity the nations, O our God! Constrain the earth to come; Send thy victorious word abroad, And bring the wanderers home. Issac Watts
Tis not that I did choose Thee, For, Lord, that could not be: This heart would still refuse Thee; But thou hast chosen me; Hast, from the sin that stained me, Washed me and set me free, And to this end ordained me That I should live for Thee. Twas sovereign mercy called me, And taught my opening mind; The world had else enthralled me, To heavenly glories blind. J. Conder
Five: It discourages efforts for the salvation of sinners.
Answer: Since it is a secret decree, it cannot hinder or discourage such efforts. On the other hand, it is a ground of encouragement since it guarantees that some sinners will repent and believe. It is a stimulus to effort; for, without election, it is certain that all would be lost.
Be not afraid, but speak...For I am with thee....for I have much people in this city (Acts 18:9, 10).