American Christian University

Now that we have stated our premises and explained the context in which we view them, we may safely say that Christ died for the elect only. When Scripture speaks about Christ's merits as if it includes every person without exception, then we must conclude that it means that it is every person whom the Father chose from every nation. If we say that the simple language of Scripture should rule and passages such as I John 2:2, Hebrews 2:9, and others, as we have shown in the table on page 279, should be taken literally, then we have to assume also that Scripture contradicts itself, which is absurd. Furthermore, we should also, then, conclude that Christ was unable to save those whom He set out to save, and spilled his blood for that purpose, but He failed, which is also absurd. Also, we should, then, cast doubt on the very integrity of God's word and covenant that clearly states through the testimony of the prophets throughout all the ages that the seed of the woman would triumph over the seed of Satan.

There is the testimony of Scripture in the book of Revelation that states that the only qualification for entry into heaven is the presence of one's name in the book of life. One cannot, from that, raise the theory that God peers into the future to determine who would accept the merits of Christ and then enter that person's name into the book of life, for two reasons:

Because it is clear in Scripture that the book of life was recorded, once only, before the world was created.

John 17:24  "Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world."

Ephesians 1:4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.

Revelation 17:8 …The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life, from the creation of the world, will be astonished when they see the beast, because he once was, now is not, and yet will come.

Revelation 20:15 If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Revelation 21:27 Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life.

Because if we maintain that God found it necessary to peer into the future to determine who would accept Christ's merits, it would reflect poorly on the omniscience of God who is at all times aware of past, present, and future. There is nothing that can surprise God, or catch him unawares. Man's future acts cannot be a secret to God because that will mean that He has to wait until man acts before compiling the names of the elect, which is absurd.

Even if one were to argue that God did not have to 'peer into the future,' as such, to determine what man would do, but that He had known beforehand, before creation, what man would do and according to that knowledge God compiled the names of the elect in the book of life, it would be equally absurd because it would make man a cause and God an effect, while Scripture correctly teaches us the opposite: 

John 17:7, 8  Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you, 8For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them.

Even if we were to grant the opponents of this truth that God had acted in response to man's actions, in the recording of the elect's names, which we don't, then it stands to reason that purely by God's almighty power and causative will, no one would be able to resist God's intent, or act contrary to it. If God, then, purposed that someone would accept Christ's merits, it means that God had never purposed it any other way from eternity and that His purpose would never change. This, by definition, makes man's actions subject to God's will and his choosing or rejecting of Christ's merits is a function of God's elective will and nothing else.

When Scripture teaches us that Christ spoke to the Pharisees in parables so that they may hear without understanding or see without comprehending, it is to keep the children of the devil away from the promise of participation in the tree of life, which is attained only through repentance and the forgiveness of sins. Just as our First Parents were banished from the Garden to prevent them from eating from the tree of life and live in sin forever, so the children of Satan are prevented from grabbing the fruits of Christ's sacrifice and live in sin forever. So, they cannot enjoy eternal life unless their hearts are changed, or unless they wash themselves in the redemptive blood of Christ. And that is exactly what they are incapable of doing.

So, we may safely declare that when Scripture speaks the 'inclusive' type language, that it means the 'exclusive' because that is the way that Scripture explains itself.

If we further analyze, or open up, these passages, we see that the results of the merits of Christ may be divided into two main components:

a)     The upward component, which is what Christ's merits brought to the Father.

Christ died for the whole world as far as the sufficiency and merit of his ransom is concerned.  This component of Christ's sacrifice was sufficient to accomplish all that the Father required of man.  This component has two parts, namely,

i.                   Concerning man.

This component also may be divided into two parts, namely,

The redemption of the elect.

This part concerns the sufficient satisfaction that was made to completely redeem the elect and establish a new, holy and righteous relationship between God and them. It fulfills His adoption of the elect as his sons.

Romans 8:23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

The judgment of the reprobate.

This component also concerns the sufficient judgment of God towards the reprobate, so that the wrath of God is extinguished by Christ's sacrifice. The redemption of the elect and the judgment of the reprobate completely discharge the requirement of God's divine purpose. It extinguishes His wrath and fulfills his promise to the seed of the woman.  All that is to be done is the consummation of the judgment of the reprobate and the glorification of the elect at the end of time.

ii.                 Concerning the creation.

This component concerns the destruction that sin caused in other things beside man, such as the corruption of nature, the curse of weeds and death, especially when beasts and illness harm and kill man, the crown of creation. 

Romans 8:19 - 22 The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed 20for the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. 22We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.

Christ died for the sins of the whole world in this sense also and sufficient satisfaction was made to the Father for this destruction that man brought about on those things that the Father created 'very good'.

Concerning God, there would be no outstanding business with man after the Second Death, so the whole world would be satisfied by the sacrifice of Christ, those destined for eternal suffering would have their sentence passed and they would be thrown into the pool of fire with the beast, and those destined for eternal glory, sitting with Christ on His throne.

b)     The downward component, which is what Christ's merits brought to man. Christ died only for the elect as far as the efficacy of his sacrifice is concerned. This component of Christ's sacrifice was efficient enough to accomplish all that the elect required to be reunited with the Father.  This component of Christ's sacrifice has three parts, namely,

i.                   Intercession

Christ interceded in his high priestly prayer for the elect only. There is no ambiguity about the language, intent, and conformation with salvation history in His prayer. It would benefit us to read the entire prayer here as reported in the gospel of John. Please pay particular attention to the passages that I have emphasized.

John 17:1 - 26 After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: "Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. 5And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

6"I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. 7Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. 8For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. 9I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 10All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them.

11I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name--the name you gave me--so that they may be one as we are one. 12While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled. 13"I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. 14I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world.

15My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.

20"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21That all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one. 23I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

24"Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. 25Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them."

ii.                 Death.

Christ prayed only for the elect, not only those who were already his disciples but also those who would afterwards believe in him.  If, therefore, Christ would not even pray, or intercede, for the world, which are those who do not believe, much less would he die for them as far as the efficacy of his death, or the downward component of His sacrifice, is concerned.

Christ refused to extend intercession, the one part of His sacrifice, to the reprobate and could, therefore, not extend the other, namely death, to them since these two parts of his sacrifice are inseparable.

John 17:9 I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours.

In is not the intention to fully cover the passion of Christ here. We will do that in our next lesson.

iii.               Judgment

Christ, at the end of time, would sit in judgment of all men, and He will separate the wicked from the righteous, hear their testimony and then He will throw those, whose names are not in the book of life, into the lake of fire with the beast, thus consummating the wrath of the Father. He will also hear the testimony of the elect, and based upon their faith, that in spite of their sins they steadfastly believed in the gospel, they persevered, and will, therefore, enter the glory of God as brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ.

In this sense, it is correct to say that Christ died in a different manner for believers and unbelievers.  The remedy of sin and death is most sufficiently and abundantly offered in the gospel to all, but it is effectually and profitably applied to the elect only.

Scripture restricts the efficacy of redemption to certain persons, namely, Christ's sheep, the elect, and those who believe, while, on the other hand, it clearly excludes the reprobate and unbelieving from it as long as they remain in their unbelief.  Even the unbelieving elect, while they are still caught up among the reprobate, would perish if it were not for the intervention of the Holy Spirit.

Christ sent the Holy Spirit into the world to comfort, counsel, illuminate, teach, minister, call and convict, raise up workers, and give them extraordinary talents, all to find and save the elect.

Isaiah 11:12 He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; he will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth.

Micah 2:12 "I will surely gather all of you, O Jacob; I will surely bring together the remnant of Israel. I will bring them together like sheep in a pen, like a flock in its pasture; the place will throng with people."

We may well ask the question, why would the reprobate be excluded from the work of the church? The answer is that they are not. They are offered the gospel in exactly the same manner as the elect are and they exercise their free will to accept or reject it.  Because of the utter callousness of their hearts, though, they find it foolish and reject it.

If, however, the Holy Spirit would not open the eyes and minds of the elect, they too would not recognize the call of the Shepherd and be lost.  Because God knows them by name, having recorded them in the book of life already before creation, they believe and praise him once their eyes and hearts are opened.  They are being counseled by the Holy Spirit to recognize their sins and repent, something the reprobate are unable to do. They hear and see the same things as the elect do, but they hear without understanding and see without comprehending.

By this we do not intimate that there is or was anything latently meritorious in the elect that moved the Holy Spirit to minister to them but we want to stress the process of cause and effect, which is: the Father's election is the cause, and the ministry of the Holy Spirit is the effect.  Without the proper cause and effect not a single one would be saved.  The Holy Spirit works only in those who hear the gospel and believe, who are those whose names were recorded in the book of life, who are those who God previously selected by name, thus making their salvation solely a product of the mercy of God.

There is, however, something special and meritorious about the elect, outside of themselves, and that is that the Father knew and loved them from before creation, hence the promise to Adam and Eve that their seed would be victorious and all God's covenants and workings throughout salvation history.

Because God knows their hearts also, the reprobate are left in their blindness and deafness, having hearts that would not believe and praise God even if their eyes and hearts were opened.  But to prevent them from reaching out to the gifts of the Holy Spirit with a false heart and an evil mind, they are prevented from understanding the mysteries of the kingdom of God.  They are ever seeing but never perceiving and ever hearing but never understanding.  We see that even after they were brought to the judgment throne of Christ, seeing Him face to face in the life hereafter, they still argued with Him and claimed that they were righteous and Christ wrong. One would have expected them to prostrate themselves begging for mercy.

But does the sacrifice of Christ in the upward component not pay for the sins of the reprobate and are they not unjustly killed?  The sins of the reprobate are only paid to the Father in respect to its sufficiency and satisfaction of God's justice.  That made the entire human race, not only the elect, the property of Christ and the only possible mediator between them and the Father.

If the reprobate reject the gospel, they reject the Mediator, and thus forfeit the only possible way to the Father.  If they, then, refuse to take the only road to salvation, there is no possibility that they would reach the destination.  Therefore, they are not unjustly killed.

Sin against the Holy Spirit has a similar character, namely, since there is no other way in which one can repent from sin except through the Holy Spirit, and if one were to deny the Holy Spirit, repenting from sin becomes impossible and thus no forgiveness exists.

Let's briefly consider the word 'world' that is used in these passages.

The church in the Old Testament was nestled in the nation of Israel and was identified with them.  Not all of Israel was Israel and the seed of Abraham, the elect, were tutored by the law while they were in the old dispensation.

After the church became matured and was separated from its foster home, so to speak, its Head was revealed who directly nurtured, purified, led, and protected the church, as His body, through the gospel confirmed by the law.  At this time of maturity of the church, the elect were scattered among all nations and the laws that foreshadowed the coming of its Head, were now fulfilled and abolished.

This scattering of the elect was a very necessary phase in the life and journey of the church, both in the Old Testament and the New Testament. God scattered them and God will again gather them to make himself holy among them in the sight of the nations.

Jeremiah 31:10 "Hear the word of the LORD, O nations; proclaim it in distant coastlands: 'He who scattered Israel will gather them and will watch over his flock like a shepherd."

Ezekiel 11:16  "Therefore say: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Although I sent them far away among the nations and scattered them among the countries, yet for a little while I have been a sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone."

Ezekiel 11:17  "Therefore say: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will gather you from the nations and bring you back from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you back the land of Israel again."

Ezekiel 20:41 I will accept you as fragrant incense when I bring you out from the nations and gather you from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will show myself holy among you in the sight of the nations.

Ezekiel 34:12 As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness.

John 11:52 And not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one.

Acts 8:4  Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.

Acts 11:19  Now those who had been scattered by the persecution in connection with Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, telling the message only to Jews.

James 1:1  James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings.

I Peter 1:1  Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God's elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia.

A special revelation from God was necessary to get the apostle Peter to realize that the elect were not exclusively among the Jews anymore.

Acts 10:28, 34, 35, 47 and 11:1, 17, 18 He said to them: "You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with a Gentile or visit him. But God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean."

34Then Peter began to speak: "I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right. 45The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. 47"Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have."

11:1The apostles and the brothers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God, 17So if God gave them the same gift as he gave us, who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could oppose God? 18When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, "So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life."

The gospel had to be carried to the ends of the earth for three reasons, namely,

a)     To glorify God

John 17:10, 24 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. 24"Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

II Corinthians 3:18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

II Corinthians 4:6 For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

b)     To reach all of the elect,

Psalm 98:2, 3 The LORD has made his salvation known and revealed his righteousness to the nations. 3He has remembered his love and his faithfulness to the house of Israel; all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

Isaiah 52:10 The LORD will lay bare his holy arm in the sight of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God.

Isaiah 66:18, 19  "And I, because of their actions and their imaginations, am about to come and gather all nations and tongues, and they will come and see my glory. 19"I will set a sign among them, and I will send some of those who survive to the nations--to Tarshish, to the Libyans and Lydians (famous as archers), to Tubal and Greece, and to the distant islands that have not heard of my fame or seen my glory. They will proclaim my glory among the nations.

Matthew 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Mark 16:15  He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation."

Luke 24:47 And repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

Acts 13:48  When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed.

Romans 10:18 But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did: "Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world."

c)      to preach it to the reprobate so that they would have no excuse.

John 15:22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin.

Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

So, when Scripture speaks of Christ dying for the world, it does not mean each and every individual, but the elect scattered among all nations of the world as we have conclusively proven.

But if God had known from the beginning that some would be lost, why would He not give them the same opportunity to be saved as He affords the elect?

The short answer is that God does give them the same opportunity to be saved as He does for the elect.  As we have said, they too hear the gospel or see God's revelation in nature, but choose to reject it. 

But the question may be asked, would they not also believe if the Holy Spirit works in them as He does in the elect? The answer is no, they wouldn't. They reject Christ even when they appear before him on his judgment throne, seeing him face to face. How would they, then, believe when they cannot see him and have to depend on faith alone?

The doubting Thomas also didn't believe but at least he believed when he saw. The reprobate sees and still don't believe.

Matthew 25:41 - 44 "Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels, 42for I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink. 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me. 44They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'"

Let's look at Jesus' answer when He was asked why He speaks to them in parables: (Mark 4:11, 12)

"The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that, 'they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!'"

Here we see the divide, as we have seen it in the promise in the Garden, the enmity between the seed of the woman and the seed of the devil. 

Scripture also reveals to us how the seed of the devil propagates in the visible church.

Matthew 13:24 - 30: Jesus told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. 27The owner's servants came to him and said, 'Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?' 28'An enemy did this,' he replied. The servants asked him, 'Do you want us to go and pull them up?' 29'No,' he answered, 'because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. 30Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.'

Scripture also reveals when and how God will deal with the seed of the devil in this parable.  We are admonished in this parable not to try to identify the seed of the devil, but minister the gospel to everyone.

Why is everything said to those on the outside in parables? Because they must be prevented from turning and thus be forgiven.

If one were to take the promise of I John 1:9 at face value, it would seem to promise purification from all unrighteousness by the mere confession of sin.

I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Other passages may be taken out of context also to support this notion:

Proverbs 28:13 He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.

Matthew 3:6 Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.

Mark 1:5 The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.

Let's briefly reflect on what it means to be purified from all unrighteousness.  It means to be washed from all sin.  When sin has been removed, the result of sin, namely death, has also been removed. Once death has been removed, eternal life is the automatic result.  It is, therefore, reasonable to expect that man would reach out to obtain eternal life even while in his wicked state.  A state in which the reprobate would remain forever and from which the elect would rise up like Christ rose from the dead.

We read that this was evident in the earliest accounts of man after the fall:

Genesis 3:24 After [God] drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

In the same way the parables serve as a flaming sword, flashing back and forth to guard the way to eternal life, preventing man from merely reciting a confession of his sins expecting to receive purification of unrighteousness.

But preceding confession of sins is faith and faith comes from the Holy Spirit after replacing our hearts of stone with hearts of flesh.

Psalm 51:10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Ezekiel 11:19 I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.

Acts 19:18 Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil deeds.

But who receive the new heart and faith?

Acts 13:48  When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed.

Who are appointed for eternal life?

Romans 8:30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

Whom did God predestine?

Romans 8:29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

Whom did God foreknew?  Those to whom God made the promise, as recorded in Genesis 3:15 that there will be enmity between her seed and the seed of the devil. This enmity means that these two bloodlines will be eternal enemies, like different species. 

The one fertile to procreation in faith when the seed of God is poured out on them,

I John 3:9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God,

The other incapable of it:

John 8:43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say.

The one children of God born of imperishable seed,

I John 3:2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

I Peter 1:23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.

The other children of the devil and enemies of God,

Acts 13:10 "You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord."

The one the seed of Abraham,

Matthew 13:38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one.

Galatians 3:16 The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. The Scripture does not say "and to seeds," meaning many people, but "and to your seed," meaning one person, who is Christ.

Galatians 3:29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

The other the seed of the devil,

John 8:39, 44  "Abraham is our father," they answered. "If you were Abraham's children," said Jesus, "then you would do the things Abraham did."

44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

More about the elect:

Ephesians 1:3 - 14 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.4For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will-6to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace 8That he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. 9And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ. 10To be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment--to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ. 11In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will. 12In order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit. 14Who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession--to the praise of his glory.

Romans 11:7  What then? What Israel sought so earnestly it did not obtain, but the elect did. The others were hardened.

Romans 15:12 And again, Isaiah says, "The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; the Gentiles will hope in him."

Ephesians 2:6, 10 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. 10For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

II Thessalonians 2:13, 14  But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. 14He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

More about the reprobate:

Proverbs 28:5 Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the LORD understand it fully.

Isaiah 6:9  He said, "Go and tell this people: "'Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving."

Isaiah 44:18 They know nothing, they understand nothing; their eyes are plastered over so they cannot see, and their minds closed so they cannot understand.

Jeremiah 6:10 To whom can I speak and give warning? Who will listen to me? Their ears are closed so they cannot hear. The word of the LORD is offensive to them; they find no pleasure in it.

Hosea 14:9 Who is wise? He will realize these things. Who is discerning? He will understand them. The ways of the LORD are right; the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them.

Micah 4:12 But they do not know the thoughts of the LORD; they do not understand his plan, he who gathers them like sheaves to the threshing floor.

John 5:43 I have come in my Father's name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him.

John 7:17 If anyone chooses to do God's will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.

John 8:27  They did not understand that he was telling them about his Father.

John 10:26, 27 But you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

John 12:39, 40 For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere, 40"He has blinded their eyes and deadened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn--and I would heal them."

Acts 7:51  "You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit."

Romans 3:11 There is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.

Romans 8:7, 8 The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. 8Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

So, it is a question of the heart. Not from man's perspective, but from God's perspective.

Christ did die for all in respect to the sufficiency that God required of the satisfaction to be made for the corruption of his creation and the fall of man, but he did not die for all as to the efficacy and application of his saving grace.

The moving cause is Christ who is the midpoint between these two bloodlines. Christ removes the heart of stone of the elect replacing it with a new heart, and leaves the others as they were, in their wicked state.  The new heart of the elect is immediately fertile to the preaching of the Word of God and, now being of the same species as that of the seed of God, their faith grows and matures just as fertile land renders a crop worthy to be gathered in the Owner's barn.

It does not mean that the devil and his seed are kept at bay in this life.

I Peter 5:8  Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

The elect can (and do) resist and grieve the Holy Spirit on their journey to perfection, and are justly afflicted and tested so that they are refined and purified so that they can be found holy and blameless in the sight of God on the day of Judgment, when the book of life is opened.

Ephesians 1:4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight...

Ephesians 5:27 And to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

Philippians 2:15 So that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.

I Thessalonians 3:13 May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.

I Thessalonians 5:23  May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.