It seems to me that while UR is a comforting doctrine, and reconcilable with scripture, still we can't be entirely sure of it. While UR can be argued from scripture, ET can be argued as well. I have prayed to God about it, but He hasn't given me a clear answer. That is, the answer seemed to be, for me to go to my church, to engage in the christian life, to follow Jesus. It's like God wants to keep His secrets secret in that matter. Basically, I am supposed to trust God with these things, that God will be just and merciful, and that He will do things right, no matter how it turns out in the end.
There is this scripture I keep returning to:
For Christ is an end of law for righteousness to every one who is believing, for Moses doth describe the righteousness that [is] of the law, that, `The man who did them shall live in them,' and the righteousness of faith doth thus speak: `Thou mayest not say in thine heart, Who shall go up to the heaven,' that is, Christ to bring down? or, `Who shall go down to the abyss,' that is, Christ out of the dead to bring up. But what doth it say? `Nigh thee is the saying -- in thy mouth, and in thy heart:' that is, the saying of the faith, that we preach; that if thou mayest confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and mayest believe in thy heart that God did raise him out of the dead, thou shalt be saved, for with the heart doth [one] believe to righteousness, and with the mouth is confession made to salvation; for the Writing saith, `Every one who is believing on him shall not be ashamed,' for there is no difference between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord of all [is] rich to all those calling upon Him, for every one -- whoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, he shall be saved.'
IE, it's not a righteous thing to presume about who will be saved and who won't, instead we shall concentrate our efforts on following Jesus knowing that this will be salvific. Salvation is completely in the hands of Jesus Christ. And God doesn't want us to quarrel about it but instead we shall grow in the love of God and in the enjoyment of the eternal life that we enjoy even now - eternal life as the life of knowing God.
I still believe that UR is a possibility, but I find myself being gently stopped to poke further. Or at least, I am redirected, I am supposed to poke for truth in other things now.
The thing is, those who love God will be loved back. That is a rock solid assurance we CAN have. But what I also know is that sin is something really awful, and in Jesus' atoning sacrifice I see how much it cost God to handle the sin problem. As we can see in the account of Eden, sin in the truth isn't just some moral mistake, it is something that can have huge consequences. Think of what happened to that guy who reached for the Arc of the Covenant when it was falling down from the wagon, or the guy who got tumors when he tried to perform priestly duties when he was no ordained priest. I don't think God purposely ordained these things as the punishments for the sins of these people. Instead I think they are signs of what happens when we sin. I can also testify from my own experience that sin is always followed by a death of some kind. The law of sin and death - I do no believe God has ORDAINED death to be a consequence of sin, it is an ontological phenomenon. God isn't hating humanity and drowning it in death, not by all means, in Jesus we see how God absolutely loves the man.
But we must take the sin problem serious. And we do that by listening to Jesus about this matter. We learn repentance and the necessity of love. And the Holy Spirit works love into our lives - and love is the substance of righteousness. Where there is love, the law is fulfilled.
So I am following Brother Lawrence who argued that we should leave salvation in God's hands and simply engage ourselves in loving God and man by following Jesus and by believing Him. Theologically, this is simply also what we're saved INTO. We're not only saved FROM something, that is damnation and hell, we are also saved INTO something. And it seems to me that when we look at the world and at the lives of people it is clear that not all of them live in this particular life we are saved INTO.
Suppose you are a little child with parents. If you live with them in a loving, honest, pure way you can say the family is functional and that the child will not have fears. But if the child doesn't live that way with his parents it will not have a good life. Likewise, if we live with God we know Him, and Jesus says eternal life is about knowing God. And knowing God, from what I gather in my own experience, is something delightful. It is good to know God, and the bible is right when it says that God has no shadows. It is good for us to have this Jesus.
So basically, we invite and help people to live with God too, we do what we can to grow in life with God so that our own lives in the world would shine like a lamp, like a city on the hill.
And in that we have the greatest possible assurance of salvation. We live with our divine parent, we know our divine parent, we can trust we will have our divine parent even after death. We cannot reach the same assurance of salvation through theological study and discussion. Remember the pharisees? They thought they had figured out salvation. But while they knew bits and pieces they didn't really live with God, they separated the law from the love and the faith and consequently missed it all.
Life has always been the portion of man, that which God is willing to give to man. No endless power, no endless riches, no absolute freedom, no endless wellbeing, but just life. But not life like in continuing existence, life as in living together well with other humans and with God Himself. Knowing God as the giver of life. And in Jesus God gives life abundantly, in Jesus God gives Himself as bread for the world, without price. God doesn't fulfill all of our wishes, but what He always gives to His children is life, just like Jesus is alive we shall be alive too.
THAT must be our focus, not the details of how God judges, of how He saves or damns. We want to be sure of salvation? Let us live closer and closer with God, resting in the promises. I think more we can't do. We cannot and shall not presume whom of us will go to Heaven and who will go to Hell. This knowledge isn't for us to know. But we can know that God loves us and that He wants to be with us and us to be with Him.
Leave salvation in God's hands and care for what the bible says is salvific, and encourage others to have the same care!