Before salvation, we are dead to sin, and thus unable to choose God. If you went to a cemetery and called out to all of the dead people and offered them life, would anyone answer you? Nope. Dead people are unable to chose life, and spiritually dead people are unable to chose Jesus. Jesus must choose them.
Ephesians 2: 1-9
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,
Verses that say that God chooses us, not the other way around:
[Jesus speaking] You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you
No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.
Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,
1 Peter 2:9
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
In the everyday sense of the word, when you elect someone, what does that mean? It means that you choose them to do a job or be in an office. When God calls us "the elect", this means that He "elects" us to salvation, which means He chooses us to be saved.
And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other
And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them?
Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies.
What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened
Also see Matthew 24:22, Matthew 24:24, 2 Timothy 2:10, Titus 1:1, 1 Peter 1:1.
Other biblical analogies that support predestination include being born again and adoption. Babies don't contribute to being born, do they? Does an infant say, ok I want to be born now! No, nor do children choose to be adopted.
1 Peter 1:3
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
1 Peter 1:23
Since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;
3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.
he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,
THE WORD itself: predestination
In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,
he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,
for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.
For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
1 Peter 1:2
according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood:
“Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— 23 this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.
and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.
“‘Have you not heard
that I determined it long ago?
I planned from days of old
what now I bring to pass,
15 But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace,
2 Corinthians 2:7
7 But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory.
1 John 4:10
In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed.
A frequent objection to Calvinism is the idea that God wants everyone to be saved, and calls everyone to Salvation (this is similar but slightly separate from the idea of universal vs. limited atonement which I will discuss later). Matthew 11: 25-30 sums up how God can "call" everyone yet only choose certain people. While seemingly contradictory, the two ideas are perfectly compatible in God's eyes.
25 At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; 26 yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. 27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. 28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Another common argument against Calvinism is that it makes God the author of evil. While God may have predestined sin to happen, that does not and cannot make him the author of evil:
Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
See, this alone I found, that God made man upright, but they have sought out many schemes.
12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— 13 for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 14 Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.
15 But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. 16 And the free gift is not like the result of that one man's sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. 17 For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
18 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. 19 For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous.
Another typical objection is the objection to limited atonement. Armenians say that this idea “implies that the blood of Christ is insufficient for the sins of everyone.” Well, the Bible is very clear that Jesus only died for those whom He calls, the elect. God's gift of salvation was sufficient for all, but effective only for the predestined. If you believe in universal atonement, the idea that God died for everyone but it is effective for only those who chose him, this implies that God was unjust. Not only did he punish Jesus on the cross for everyone's sins, He is also punishing the unrepentant in hell for their sins. This double punishment is unjust and is not something God would do.
Verses that support selective atonement:
She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
26 but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.
Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.
I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours.
1 Peter 2:24
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.
The common Armenian belief of universal atonement is not true, despite their claims that the Bible says that Jesus died for “all” and for “the world”. While the Bible does sometimes say that God died for all people, it is referring to “all the elect”, for example see 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” This letter is addressed to “those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:”, thus, the elect only.
Let's start out with a fact that we can all agree on:
The God who saves is supreme.
1 Corinthians 15:28
When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.
A next step is this:
God is supreme over the will of Satan.
See Isaiah 14:12-17, Job 1:6-12, Job 2:1-6. Also consider that if Satan isn't subject to God, then Romans 8:28 cannot be true.
The next logical step:
God is supreme over the will of humans.
The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord;
he turns it wherever he will.
And the Lord said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, see that you do before Pharaoh all the miracles that I have put in your power. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go.
It's not horrible for God to override someone's will so that they can go to heaven. Also, when we say “How could God send people to hell?” we put ourselves on a higher moral plane than God.
I'll end this document with one of the backbones of Calvinism, an excerpt from Romans 9:
And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, 11 though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— 12 she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”
14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.
19 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” 20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? 22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— 24 even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?
Feel free to comment with any thoughts or questions that you may have. =) If this sparks a debate or discussion, please remain civil and do not call anyone names, or insult their beliefs. Comments that do so will be deleted. Have fun!