(A brief summary in the form of some personal thoughts)
Salvation is CONDITIONAL. Those conditions are revealed in scripture. And include repentance and faith. God does not choose specific “elect” individuals to be saved. The elect are those who are IN CHRIST, those who are IN HIM.
The redeemed are the elect and all references to people being “elect” are directed towards the redeemed. Election does not occur apart from Christ – that means Christ comes before Election. Election does not precede our being In Christ. Whether we are in Christ or not determines whether we are part of the elect. It is NOT election that determines whether we will be In Christ.
God’s salvation plan was already established before He started His creation. Man’s fall was already factored into this even before Adam sinned. God KNEW what would happen and used that to His purposes. God did not ordain Adam’s sin but He knew the outcome before it happened. God’s salvation plan is NOT a compromised way of salvaging something good from His creation. God’s salvation plan has ALWAYS been directed towards the creation of a new heavens and a new earth to be populated by a people who willing serve Him.
The new heavens and new earth where only righteousness will dwell is the pinnacle of revelation that God has given. He has revealed nothing beyond that.
To be part of that new creation, mankind has been given a way to be freed from the sin that would prevent it. That way comes through faith in Jesus. Through turning from our own ways and turning to God (repentance), that results in fruit that is evidence of their repentance.
I understand this current creation to be a “testing ground” where our response to God in this life, in this creation, gives us the opportunity to become part of His new creation.
“Regeneration” and “born again” are terms that are used very little in scripture but some traditions have created major doctrines around those terms. At their very simplest, they describe the new start and new life we are given through Christ.
Many Calvinists teach that someone needs to be born again before they are able to believe and repent. To those people it is regeneration that changes man from a totally depraved creature and makes him capable of repenting. That prior to regeneration man is entirely incapable of reaching out to God in any way.
Scripture teaches that new life in Christ comes through faith and repentance – not vice versa.
God does not force salvation upon anyone and he does not prevent anyone from coming to Him in repentance. He has given mankind enough free will to allow each individual to respond according to the light they have received.
The preaching of the gospel is God’s way of approaching the human heart. It is the power of God that leads to salvation for those who believe. The Holy Spirit brings conviction to the hearer of the gospel and that hearer has the responsibility and opportunity to respond to the gospel. That response will either be to repent or to remain in rebellion. Eventually, those who continually resist the gospel will be hardened to its message and God will give them over to the decision they have made and will finish off the hardening process. Romans 1 & 2 describe God handing people over to those things they desire. Likewise 2 Thessalonians describes how God will send delusion to those who refuse to receive a love of the truth. Note it is up to the individual to RECEIVE the love of the truth. God does not force such a love onto anyone. To the contrary – those who don’t want to receive the truth will be given exactly what they have proven that they want: a lie, deception, delusion.
Jesus died for everyone. The atonement is not limited by God. Its benefits are for everyone but they are only received by those who receive them through faith in Jesus.
God chooses no one for salvation. His salvation is freely available to all who believe and act on that belief by repenting.
God has not preordained everything that happens. He has given mankind the freedom to act within certain constraints. The overall destiny of His creation is determined but the determination of man’s place within that destiny depends upon the individual and their response to God’s grace.
The presence of sin within the world and the fact that the world is under the influence of Satan also has an effect on events within the world and among those who have not turned to God.
God allows Satan’s influence to continue in the world because He is patiently given mankind the opportunity to repent. However that patience will one day come to an end and God will deal with the evil that has corrupted His creation.