The Chosen Few
Gary moves quietly toward his desired destination. He has been planning this encounter for months and is excited that it is about to take place. As he exits the stairway onto the third floor, he puts his hand inside his jacket pocket and grips his 10 mm Glock.
Walking toward room 328, Gary takes a deep breath. He walks in and places his black leather bag on a table. Questioning looks turn to terror as Gary pulls the gun from his pocket. In a firm calm voice, Gary instructs everyone to go to the far end of the room and lie face down on the floor. The people are puzzled. Although a gunman with unknown intent is holding them hostage, he seems calm, polite, and cheerful.
Pulling several rolls of duct tape out of his bag, he instructs three girls to bind the ankles and wrists of the hostages. Upon completion of their task, the girls too are bound. Looking around, Gary counts 57 people. "Good," he says half audibly. "That’s a good number."
Starting with the first person on the floor, he counts until he gets to the tenth person. Walking over to the person, Gary points the gun and fires. Pulling a 10 of Hearts from his pocket, he places it on the chest of his victim. Counting nine people over, Gary identifies his next victim. Gary calmly walks over and shoots his next victim. He places a 9 of hearts on this victim. This continues until Gary shoots his tenth victim. Carefully, he places the Ace of Hearts on his final victim. In a calm, but strange voice, Gary said, "Good. My job is complete." Putting the gun to his own head, he shoots himself. The King of Hearts falls from his hand.
An investigation of this incident revealed a psychologically unstable man. Gary had been in and out of mental institutions and had been prescribed a variety of drugs. Although he had shown no tendency for violence, some of his psychiatrists were not surprised by his actions. He had an unusual mindset.
A search of Gary’s house produced some answers, but also created more questions. It appears Gary did not know any of his victims. In fact, his selection of victims was purely random. It was not based on revenge, anger, or any past dealings with these people. There was no qualifying prerequisite apart from the fact that he needed ten people.
According to his journal, Gary apparently became obsessed with his nobility and his "Kingdom." He considered himself a King and his Kingdom had ten rulers. These ten princes and princesses would help him rule over a vast dominion. His shooting spree was actually the "calling" of these rulers to join him in his new Kingdom. He had been planning this calling for several months and had predetermined that ten people would come with him. The cards he placed on their chests were the mark of their calling.
Part of his obsession was that the selection had to be completely random. It could not be made based on any personal qualities. He, therefore, selected an office that he knew would have a large number of people in it.
The concept of random selection is not a new or novel idea. In fact, there are groups within Christianity that believe salvation itself is based purely on a random selection. This theology is sometimes referred to as "selective salvation." According to this theology, God had predetermined who will spend eternity with him and who won’t. The selection of who goes to Heaven has nothing to do with a person’s attitude toward God. The condition of their heart, their humility, and their future repentance were not factors in God’s selection. It is totally a random process.
The main difference between God’s selection and Gary’s is that God has a right to do this; Gary did not. A sovereign God, one who is almighty and supreme, can do whatever He wants. He has the right to arbitrarily select who is going to Heaven and who is going to Hell. A sovereign creator can do whatever He wants to do with His own creation. Although a sovereign God has a right to select who will live with Him in eternity, the question we need to ask is, "Did He actually do that?" We need to ask if this would be consistent with what we know about God from the Bible. Would this be consistent with a person who is loving, compassionate, and fair?
The only way we can accurately answer this question is to look at the Bible. The purpose of this section (Selective Salvation) is to take a comprehensive look at the Bible and see what it says about the subject. As you will see in the following chapters, it is important to gain a proper understanding of this complex and confusing theology. Literally, the destiny of billions of people depends on it.
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