This doctrine stings. But so does putting disinfectant on an open wound. In both cases, though, the patient is better for it.
This doctrine is among the most clearly stated in Scripture. Read Romans 9 several times over, preferably with your eyes wide open. You’ll find clear truth there that you will need to wrestle with. God has mercy on whom He will and He hardens whom He will (Romans 9:18). He has endured vessels fitted for destruction so that He might show vessels of mercy all of His attributes, including His justice (Romans 9:22–23).
We live in a democratic culture that worships demos, a god of the people, by the people and for the people—a god who is the people. We also worship free choice. The ten plagues against the Egyptians attacked their gods, but the five points of Calvinism (TULIP) attack ours. Scripture not only commands us to believe in the God it teaches us about; it also commands that we worship this God and find Him beautiful.
Our hearts are hard and many of us, myself included, find it hard to worship a God who creates wicked people to send to hell. But if Scripture presents this as truth, who am I to reply against God? The potter has rights over the clay, regardless of what demos and his worshipers say.
Let’s pray for grace to not only believe what Scripture says, but also to see it as glorious.