As I look back over my life, it becomes increasingly clear to me each day that I would not have chosen God.
The pull of the world, the lusts of the flesh, the pride of life and the power of sin are too strong for me to have rejected them by myself. If left to my own devices and desires, I would have had little interest in God.
At one point my heart was corrupt to the core and I wanted the things of the world. It is as simple as that. The things of God seemed like foolishness to me.
This all corresponds with what the bible teaches. Jeremiah 17:9 and Romans 3:9-18 describe perfectly the state of my heart before conversion. That was me, plain and simple.
Something happened to me to change my heart. Something occurred that made me interested in the things of God, in His Word, and in His glorious gospel. What was this that happened to me? I know that I am now saved. However, I know that I used to not care about God or His plan for my life. Something happened along the way.
Some people would say that God gave me, along with all other people, prevenient grace that moved me toward a decision for God. They would also say that I was then able to choose God according to my free will. They would say that ultimately it was my decision to turn to God.
However, that does not correspond to either my subjective experience or, more importantly, to scriptural teachings.
Ephesians 2:1-3 makes it clear that I was dead spiritually. I was not dying; I was a spiritual corpse. Because of this, someone else had to cause me to turn to God. It sure wasn't going to be dead me. This was what my life was like prior to conversion.
Ephesians 2:4-5 tells how I came to God. It was God who did it. He did not do some of it, but all of it. This corresponds exactly with my own experience.
This in no way contradicts the scriptural command to repent and believe. I repented and believed several years ago and have never been the same since. However, something happened to me prior to my repentance. Something brought me to the point of even being able to repent. This is what God did. Ephesians 2:4-5 makes this clear.
Why did God do this? Why did he regenerate my heart? Why did he save me? It sure wasn't because of anything good in me. It sure wasn't because I would turn to Him on my own. It sure wasn't because He looked into the future and saw that I would choose Him (some people teach this, but I've never heard a convincing biblical argument for it.)
Why did God do it? Ephesians 1:3-5 makes it perfectly clear. God elected and predestined me to salvation "according to the purpose of his will." We are not given access to God's decision making other than to know that it is according to His will. Since God is perfect, we know that His will is perfect. We cannot argue with it.
Any Christian has been saved according to the purpose of God's will. God elects and predestines those He chooses. He certainly has the right and privilege to do this with His creation.
I wouldn't have chosen God. If I was granted free will (which sinful beings can't have anyway), I certainly would not have chosen God. Only God, by His grace, could make me alive so that I could repent and believe.
I praise God for His election and predestination. I praise Him for His perfect will. I praise Him for his amazing grace.
Now what should my response be? That's simple. I must proclaim the gospel to all creation.