Chosen to be Saved
You may have stopped here to read about the five crowns given to believers and you can, if you continue to this link - 5 Crowns from the Bible. But I encourage all believers to gain some knowledge about how you were chosen to be saved to begin with. We often call this bible election and predestination or free will. This will help give you a different perspective on your life as a believer
A topic not many christians are aware about, is that we have been chosen before time began to be saved. 2 Thess. 2:13,14 But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Also read1 Peter 1: 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. You can't cause your own birth.
See in theses verses and many more, how God refers to us who are Christians as the 'elect' or 'chosen' ones. We have been chosen or predestinated before the world began; being in the will of God in eternity past. We will also see that the 'elect' have been chosen before the foundation of the world. Has God chosen the elect from the beginning, for salvation. We were chosen before we were born; even before there was a world. God has predetermined who would be saved or elected, before they were ever born?
Those that are not 'elect' have not been chosen and are not in the 'Book of life'. These will end up in an eternity of Hell.
Rev. 13: 8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world
Rev. 20: 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
God planned the death of Jesus Christ before the foundation of the world, which means that God planned for sinners to be redeemed which meant that He must have planned the allowance for sinners to fall. God created the world planning that He was going to redeem the world.
Check out other messages I have posted on the Bible, Election and Predestination with more detail of how this is at Saved By Grace Not Works
So what about those verses that seem to contradict that God has elected us unconditionally and we can do nothing to save ourselves. With study and proper understanding of the scripture we are able to see how these scriptures do not contradict but reinforce the Doctrine of Election. When there seems to be some differences of opinion about what the scripture is saying about any subject, we need to do some study to address these apparent differences and reconcile what God is saying.