Blended some sentiments from a couple of friends on a similar page, as follows (reproduced with permission of both):
We are a long way from good. We are morally bankrupt hypocrites who preach a corrupt gospel without even being aware that we are doing so. Somehow we became post-Christian, and didn’t notice were drifting because we took an axe and chopped ourselves off at the roots.
Unless we are replanted there is only one future: we will wither and die.
Was it we who chopped down the tree that bore no fruit? In the Bible it is The Lord, I think, metaphorically, who threatens to do so and the gardener who pleads for another year, promising to provide fertilizer.
And in another place, The Lord (metaphorically) says let the weeds grow with the grain. At the harvest, the weeds can be separated and burned.
Then there is the Calvinistic predestination and election. We form a society together but some are headed one way and some another way. It’s in Galatians where we’re not the judges but the penitents, because I suspect that the claiming to be the elect is the proof one is not.
On the other hand, we can’t claim be be elected, at least not on our own merits. Salvation comes through the grace of God as a free gift for all who accept it. It’s not a matter of claiming to be the elect, but acknowledgement of a Truth.
“For all who accept it” is the catch. These days. rejecting God is the dominant ideology. When God asks someone, after s/he passes, why she/he did not accept, they can argue they were just doing what everyone was doing – nothing personal.
I wonder what God will think? If it were me, I’d be tempted to reincarnate them, Hindu style, for a re-do.
On the other hand, it seems that predestination has largely been abandoned as a Christian doctrine, since people misunderstood it. It’s always there, however. A God who transcends space and time knows the end of all things. What is legitimate free will to us is a choice already known to God.
As Larry Norman used to say, “I’m not a pessimist, I’ve just been thinking”.