When God calls a man by His grace, he cannot but come. You may resist the minister’s call, but you cannot the Spirit’s call. The finger of the blessed Spirit can write upon a heart of stone, as once He wrote His law upon tables of stone. God’s words are creating words; when He says, ‘Let there be light’, there was light, and when He says, ‘Let there be faith,’ it shall be so. When God called Paul, he answered to the call. ‘I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision’ (Acts 26:19). God rides forth conquering in the chariot of His gospel; He makes the blind eyes see, and the stony heart bleed. If God will call a man, nothing shall lie in the way to hinder; difficulties shall be united, the powers of hell shall disband. ‘Who hath resisted his will?’ (Rom. 9:19). God bends the iron sinew, and cuts asunder the gates of brass (Psalm 107:6). When the Lord touches a man’s heart by His Spirit, all proud imaginations are brought down, and the fort-royal of the will yields to God. - Thomas Watson, “All Things for Good” pgs. 108-109
Before this period I had been much opposed to the doctrines of election, particular redemption, and final persevering grace; so much so that, a few days after my arrival at Teignmouth I called election a devilish doctrine. I did not believe that I had brought myself to the Lord, for that was too manifestly false; but yet I held, that I might have resisted finally.
And further, I knew nothing about the choice of God's people, and did not believe that the child of God, when once made so, was safe for ever. In my fleshly mind I had repeatedly said, "If once I could prove that I am a child of God for ever, I might go back into the world for a year or two, and then return to the Lord, and at last be saved."
But now I was brought to examine these precious truths by the word of God. Being made willing to have no glory of my own in the conversion of sinners, but to consider myself merely as an instrument; and being made willing to receive what the Scriptures said; I went to the Lord, reading the New Testament from the beginning, with a particular reference to these truths. To my great astonishment I found that the passages which speak decidedly for election and persevering grace were about four times as many as those which speak apparently against these truths; and even those few, shortly after, when I had examined and understood them, served to confirm me in the above doctrines.
As to the effect which my belief in these doctrines had on me, I am constrained to state, for God's glory, that though I am still exceedingly weak, and by no means so dead to the lusts of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, as I might and as I ought to be, yet, by the grace of God, I have walked more closely with Him since that period.
My life has not been so variable, and I may say that I have lived much more for God than before. And for this have I been strengthened by the Lord, in a great measure, through the instrumentality of these truths. For in the time of temptation, I have been repeatedly led to say:
"Should I thus sin? I should only bring misery into my soul for a time, and dishonour God; for, being a son of God for ever, I should have to be brought back again, though it might be in the way of severe chastisement."
Thus, I say, the electing love of God in Christ (when I have been able to realize it) has often been the means of producing holiness, instead of leading me into sin. It is only the notional apprehension of such truths, the want of having them in the heart, whilst they are in the head, which is dangerous. - George Muller
"O may God help us to maintain the balance of truth!! There is something more in this Book, brothers and sisters, beside election, and particular redemption, and the new birth. They are there and I would not say one word to weaken or to repudiate them, but that is not all that is in this Book.There is a human side.There is the man's responsibility. There is the sinners repentance. There is the sinners believing in Christ. There is the pressing of the Gospel upon the unsaved. And I want to tell you frankly that a church that does not evangelize will fossilize. Numbers of them that once had a healthy existence are now no more. And some others are already dead, but they are not yet buried; And I believe one of the main reasons for this is this- they failed at the vital point of evangelism. If a church does not evangelize it will fossilize." - A.W. Pink
“Election is a truth which should call forth praise and thanksgiving from all true Christians. Except God had chosen and called them, they would never have chosen and called on Him. Except He had chosen them of His own good pleasure, without respect to any goodness of theirs, there would never have been anything in them to make them worthy of His choice. “The worldly and the carnal-minded may rail at the doctrine of election; the false professor may abuse it and turn ‘the grace of God into lasciviousness’ (Jude 4); but the believer who knows his own heart will ever bless God for election. He will confess that without election there would be no salvation.” - J.C. Ryle
"Election can only be known by its fruits. The Elect of God can only be discerned from those who are not Elect by their faith and life. We cannot climb up into the secret of God’s eternal counsels. We cannot read the book of life. The fruits of the Spirit, seen and manifested in a man’s conversation, are the only grounds on which we can ascertain that he is one of God’s Elect. Where the marks of God’s Elect can be seen, there, and there only, have we any warrant for saying “this is one of the Elect.” How do I know that yon distant ship on the horizon of the sea has any pilot or steersman on board? I cannot with the best telescope discern anything but her masts and sails. Yet I see her steadily moving in one direction. That is enough for me." - J.C. Ryle