A popular gospel song says that Jesus knew us, yet He loved us, and intended to die for us because He knew us.
This song is very popular in Arminian circles, and yet it teaches the doctrine of particular redemption: that Christ died for His people specially, and that He knows each of us by name!
The old testament book of Nahum the prophet describes the utter destruction of Nineveh for its great wickedness. Only two verses in the entire book direct hope and blessing to the Lord's people. In one verse, God tells us that He knows all the people who trust in Him!
In this world, the common people aren't known by name by any of the great and exalted who rule over us. We trust in our politicians and leaders, and they don't even know us by name! They don't even know who we are!
This makes God's personal knowledge of His people all the more precious.
There is a good reason why God knows the people who trust in Him by name - because He Himself placed that trust in our cold dead hearts when the Holy Ghost raised us from the dead! Our faith and trust in God is a gift from God to a people who cannot believe or trust in God of ourselves.
Christ told us that only those who are given to Him by the Father will come to Him. He told us that His sheep were given to Him by the Father, and that He calls His sheep by name!
Not only so, but Christ laid down His life to save His sheep that He knows by name.
Jesus warned that those who are not His sheep, and who therefore won't trust in Him, but rather trust in their own works, in the judgment, He will declare that He never knew them.
The goodness of God is not generic, but directed toward the named people of God.
John Pittman Hey was born in 1961 in Jackson, Mississippi, to Godly parents who from the beginning raised him in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. With child-like faith he came to Christ on his fourth birthday at his mother's knee. He received his education at church...