Some folks think that if they believe hard enough God will save them. This is not the case. Faith is not something we work up as if it is native to us. Instead it is a response to hearing the message of the Gospel. God gives us saving faith. This is explained in 2Pet. 1.1:
Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.
The word “obtained” is lagchano in the original language. This word meant in that culture “being chosen by lot.” In the bible however this choosing is not is not a blind or random action. It is both personal and from love. It happened while we were still in our first ancestor Adam. God saw us and loved us before we were even born. Here is how it was presented to Jeremiah and is true for all who come to Christ:
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you (Jer. 1.5)
Therefore God knew us as persons before we were born. These concepts of loving choice and prior knowledge are set forth in Eph. 1.4-5:
Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will.
He predestined us to be adopted to His family before we could do good or evil. It didn’t depend on us that we are in Christ. God saw us in Adam and decided to pay our penalty by sending Christ as an atoning sacrifice, to overcome temptation and live a righteous life for our sanctification, and to conquer death on our behalf. Knowing that God is choosing some, Christians should be watching being ready to give an answer for the faith we have (1Pet. 3.15).
Before God’s Kingdom comes the chosen Gentiles need to turn to Him and so there are more to be saved: