CLAIM: Some interpreters argue that God chooses some believers for heaven and others for hell.
RESPONSE: Being “chosen” does not refer to choosing one over another. Jesus was God’s “Chosen One” (Lk. 9:35; Is. 42:1). This does not mean that Jesus was one of many messiahs. Clearly, Jesus was God’s “only begotten Son” (Jn. 3:16). In the same way, Christians are God’s chosen ones, but we were not chosen instead of non-Christians. God’s choice of believers is based on his foreknowledge of those who would freely receive Christ. Paul writes, “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son” (Rom. 8:29). Later, in verse 6, Paul writes that the believers in Thessalonica had “received the word,” which Paul had brought to them. Therefore, in context, Paul explained that a volitional element was involved in their conversion.