Posted by: Hope | August 22, 2007

Does God choose who He draws to Him?

Does God choose who He draws to Him?

John 6:44 says this :

    44“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me

 draws him,and I will raise him up at the last day.

 

Also John 6:65:

65He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one

can come to me unless the Father has enabled him.”

 

If this is true, doesn’t that mean that some people simply can’t find God? And if this is the case, why would those people be held accountable for their sins if they simply couldn’t bring themselves to believe in God..and not even because its their own fault?

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Responses

  1. You’re getting into some theological concepts that many do not understand (or refuse to try). The Doctrines of Grace explain this in detail and you should read some about it. You can click on this article and read some if you like.

    First, we must understand that what we all deserve is the wrath of God. If all have sinned (Rom 3:23) then none of us are righteous and no one can seek God on their own (Rom 3:10). Well, God has a plan to deliver people also, but who are these that get to seek God? Look at Romans 9 to see what Paul presents as the doctrine of unconditional election.
    There is a lot of doctrine here that you are getting into and you have to be open to Word if you intend to explore; dont just take someone elses word for it.
    Good luck with reading/research– grace and peace.

  2. Ok, but I’m not sure that answers my question? Those scriptures say that we cant come to Christ unless the Father (God) chooses us. If we can’t come to him, how can we find salvation for our sins?

    I know a lot of people, agnostics and atheists that I have sincerely tried to find God, but could not. Is it possible (at all possible…) that God simply didn’t choose them?

    • Romans 9:14-25 Makes it very clear. Paul had not trouble with his explanation.

      14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, [2] but on God, who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

      19 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” 20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? 22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— 24 even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? 25 As indeed he says in Hosea,

  3. Yes, that is possible. It has been taught that way in the church for many years (Luther, Augustine, Calvin, Spurgeon, Oswald Chambers, the Puritans, Jonathan Edwards).

    All men are equally bad (depraved), and on our own it is not possible to make the right choices (a bad tree cannot produce good fruit). God has the ability to overcome our will if He so chooses to draw us to Him by the Holy Spirit. Only at that instance can we come to salvation.

    I think if you read the article I linked above, it would shine some light on this for you.

  4. Yup, this is Calvinism in a nutshell: God decides who is saved. I’m always curious how people who embrace this theology then try to dodge the question as to why God wants most people to go to Hell. Though granted, any theology that includes hell with an all-powerful God runs into the same problem, but it’s just that much more obvious with Calvinism.

  5. “why God wants most people to go to Hell” is a biased statement. Where in the theology are “most people” condemned? It is a fact, however, that some people will go to Hell. This fact is evident throughout Scripture, it’s not something Calvinists made up.

    I have my own private opinion that there is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else. I do not believe we can preach the gospel, if we do not preach justification by faith, without works; nor unless we preach the sovereignty of God in His dispensation of grace; nor unless we exalt the electing, unchangeable, eternal, immutable, conquering love of Jehovah; nor do I think we can preach the gospel, unless we base it upon the special and particular redemption of His elect and chosen people which Christ wrought out upon the cross; nor can I comprehend a gospel which lets saints fall away after they are called, and suffers the children of God to be burned in the fires of damnation after having once believed in Jesus. Such a gospel I abhor.[Spurgeon]

  6. Most people aren’t Christians, ergo most people are going to hell according to Christian theology. And then, according to many Christians, even most people who call themselves Christians aren’t “true” Christians, meaning even more people are going there.

  7. I just found your blog and read “Satan and Human Condemnation for Sin”. I have been struggling with these same questions and, unfortunately, have not found any answers. It is reassuring to know that am not the only one! There are a couple of other people I found on the web :

    “Hello, my name is Kelcey and I am a Christian, however I have recently been experiencing some major doubts and questions about the Christian faith. This is only one of many questions that I have, but I think it is the question that is consuming my thoughts the majority of the time so I’ll just ask this one.

    It seems to me that God was incredibly unfair in His creation! God created Satan, and since he is omniscient, he knew that Satan would fall from grace and tempt man. Doesn’t this seem like a bear trap to you? God puts all the elements for sin together, and then waits and gets the expected result: mankind’s sinful nature. Following that logic, isn’t it slightly irrational for God to demand punishment for creating us the way we are?

    I would really really appreciate an answer to this question. It’s been on my mind for quite some time and I can’t find a reasonable explanation for it! Thank you very much. ”

    and this one….

    “I read the following document at the “Walk Away” site: http://www.berkshire.net/~ifas/wa/godly.html, and it troubles me very much. I have been a Christian for four years and am pretty intellectual and pretty well-versed in Scripture, but this threw me for a loop. I know that the author is incorrect in a few minor points of Scripture, but the main thrust of his argument is not trivial. Especially the paragraph:

    At the outset God made this into a life-and-death situation. God staked the entire future of mankind on this one event. We lost. The moment that Adam and Eve ate that fruit, wheels were set in motion that would ultimately result in the doom of mankind. Without some kind of intervention from God we would all be damned. God does promise to intervene, but it’s like building a nuclear bomb and setting it to go off in a large city at 12:00. Then, when all of the people of the city come to you for mercy, you disarm it for them. Does that make you a hero for disarming it or a lunatic for building it in the first place? The whole thing was orchestrated to make us feel dependent upon God. That says a lot about God’s character.
    In the last couple of days since I read this site, it is hard for me to be glad that Jesus is my Savior, because now it seems like He’s saving me from something He started in the first place! A related question that an atheist asked me long ago that I still don’t know is: why did God create billions of people that He knew would end up in Hell? Isn’t that cruel? Please answer soon if you can, this is bothering me very much. ”

    I still believe in God, but feel SO disappointed in Him. “Open Theism” seems to solve the issue of God’s foreknowledge of human choices, but I don’t think that I agree with it. Bottom line is that I WANT to believe in a loving God… and if He isn’t, I feel heartbroken!

    Thanks,
    Barb Ryan

    Anyway, thanks for your blog and email me if you find any answers!

    • Hey Barb,
      Reading this long after you wrote it. The questions you are asking are ones I’m wrestling with as well, don’t know where you are with this at this point but after walking a long hard road filled with similar questions, I come down to this: what is your EXPERIENCE of God? Not what you think about Him? I have to come down to remembering those times of being in the presence of Christ through the Holy Spirit, or of feeling His love in my heart. My theology can pose questions all day, but my experience of His love ultimately cancels my questions as to His love and character. I realize that’s hard because it still leaves questions unanswered, but I hope that you and others on this blog have know God experientially, such that you can rely on ‘knowing Him’ verses knowing about Him. All best!

      • Yes, I believe this as well. Gods ways are so much higher than ours he bases his decisions on the things he knows about each person he is dealing with. He can look into each persons heart and use evil peoples deads for the good of those who know him by name. Some people are hard hearted and depraved. They have there free will. The father knows who is the wheat and who is the weeds among people. … and deals with situations accordingly. There is a passage in the bible dealing with the Pharoah. It states that god had already decided he would destroy the pharoah way before he actually did because he looked into his heart and saw that he was very evil so, he kept causing him to harden his heart so he could punish him over and over before he closed the red sea in on him in the end and destroyed him completely.

    • Barb and Christine. You are trying to understand God and you can not. God’s Thoughts and understanding are so much higher and so much complicated than you can Imagine. Do not ask these questions about God. God is so Big and powerful that you can not put into words. Have faith and trust him. Those questions will be answer some day when you are face to face with him. You will fully understand everything about this life and his purpose. Ben

    • This is for barb it us for gods own plesure that the world will be as god says it will he is god you are not he made everything and can do as he wishes he can put who he likes in hell or heaven but the way you talk about god how you are dissapionted in him kind of seems that you are not one of his choosen because if you had the holy spirit you will not say these things instead you will fear the lord and rejioce at his calling no matter what plans he has .you said you were a christian four years so then why have you asked these questions against god the holy spirit would have taught u these things by now please ask yourself were are you heading because you seem to be heading away from tge lord as his word or not pleasing to you amen god bless pray to god for answers only him can reveal all

  8. Thanks for posting Barb! I appreciate it and enjoyed reading those other peoples thoughts also.

    You and I seem to be in a very similar boat. I don’t know if there is a god, but I want to worship the Christian God. I was a Christian for four years and then all of a sudden “lost” my best friend (Jesus) due to things such as this. And I also, was heart broken. So I understand what you mean 🙂

    I want to worship a God that is loving, not a God that sets us up in a “bear” trap as the person you quoted stated.

    I’m not sure if I’ll ever find the answer Barb. But, if I come across a good, liable answer, I’ll be sure to pass it onto you.

  9. Thanks! …and if I find any answers, I’ll be sure to pass them on to you 🙂

  10. It is normal to have doubts. You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t have questions about “how stuff works”, so to speak. Valid questions have been brought up here. Never be afraid to ask questions. But there will come times when we have to accept that some things just are and we may not understand the whys and wherefores, otherwise it isn’t “faith” but something else.

    Why did God create all of the components for The Fall if He knew there was going to be a fall? I don’t know the answer to that. I have a guess, and that is that He knew He wanted a relationship with us and loved us enough that He was willing to save those who accepted Him and allow others to reject Him. Am I right? I sure don’t know.

    I don’t agree with likening God’s original creation to Him placing an armed nuke in the middle of a community of people. I see where it’s coming from, but I can’t give an adequate rebutting analogy at the moment. I don’t agree with it. God did not set us up to fail.

    In light of the other thread about Genesis 1, let’s just assume for a moment that Genesis 1 is true and that God created all things as it says in that chapter. How did God set Adam and Eve up by giving them the entire WORLD and everything in it except for that one tree? Would there have been free will if the tree had not been there? What if God had not put the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden? What if that tree never existed? That would’ve been like the above claims about Calvinism. There would have been no choice. All choices would’ve been right choices. Adam and Eve only had one rule and they blew it! Adam and Eve were placed in the garden to take care of it. It wasn’t like they were starving to death; all of the fruits and vegetables were apparently ready for harvest. They could’ve eaten everything else in that garden. They had everything, but they didn’t think that was enough.

    Bad things happen and God doesn’t stop them. It’s an ugly fact and I don’t understand why that is true and yet God is good. I think that one reason bad things happen is that God doesn’t always interfere with our free will. Everyone makes choices and more often than not, those choices impact those around us.

    If God saved us from every bad thing that happens, would we even know to look for Him? Would we ever know how to pay attention to what’s going on around us and to consider the wellbeing of those we come into contact with? That reminds me of Mr. Magoo, who, by the grace of God, manages to drive a car down the road without killing anyone.

    Have you ever noticed in the Old Testament, how God tells people how things need to go, and they do what He says for a while and then the slack off and do their own thing and everything falls to pieces? Have you ever noticed how many times God has saved them from themselves? Quite a few times. He never took away their free will. They always had choices. He told them the best way to live and eventually they stopped doing it. But when they repented from their wicked ways, He welcomed them to Himself and restored the relationship they once had with Him.

    Even foreigners were allowed to go on making their terrible choices before He put the smack on them. God was patient with them. Romans 1:18-20 Says

    18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

    Also,

    2 Peter 3:9
    The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

    I don’t know with 100% certainty the answer to your question about whether God only calls certain people or if He calls everyone. I do know that the Bible says that faith comes by hearing God’s word. It doesn’t say that faith only comes to the chosen by hearing God’s word.

    I’m sorry this has gotten so long. I hope that you find the answers that you are looking for. Just remember that if your best friend offends you, you won’t find clarification on his character by going to those who don’t know him or or don’t like him.

  11. I believe Mrs. Nicklebee was trying to quote Romans 10:17
    So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

    From a grammatical standpoint, this is much different than her statement, “I do know that the Bible says that faith comes by hearing God’s word.”

    Romans 1 where she also quotes is a direct example of God’s grace. At any point His wrath is withheld from us, it is only because of His grace and longsuffering.

    I know there is an overwhelming amount of Scripture in direct opposition to what Mrs. Nicklebee posted. Again we see what people “think”, and not what people know is contained in the Word of God.

  12. Mrs. Nicklebee quoted everything she said from the bible. How can you say its what we think?
    Abel chose to give God his best, Abraham obeyed God and was ready to sacrifice his son. Bible is full of instances of freewill. Twist it as you may it is what it is. God is all powerful and sovereign. God is Love and God is Good. Nothing is impossible for Him. He can choose people, like he chose Jonah, St.Paul , his disciples and others so they can reach the unreached.
    God is Good and thats why we have freewill. He can ofcourse choose us but He wants us to choose Him.

  13. Sandra,
    I understand your point. However, I think you have misunderstood the question presented here. Is Salvation a choice of man, or a gift of God?

    Eph 2:8-10
    For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

    If we look at this portion of Scripture we can see several things: You are saved by grace. It is a gift of God. You did not earn it in any way and you don’t deserve it. You had nothing to do with it, so you can’t boast about it. God prepared this beforehand (predestination).
    I could go into great detail regarding this and many other verses, but I will encourage you to read and study this topic further.
    For a quick, somewhat lengthy explanation of how it all fits together you should read this article

    Mankind has a free will; but it is free to milk cows and to build houses, nothing more. — Martin Luther

    I really had the same opinion as you less than 3 years ago. I believe by God’s grace he has brought me to a fuller understanding of His Word now though.
    grace and peace
    –brad

    “Be killing sin or it will be killing you.” – John Owen

  14. Brad, that smacks of hyper Calvinism, imho.

  15. IMHO, Hyper-Calvinism:
    1. Denies that the gospel call applies to all who hear, OR
    2. Denies that faith is the duty of every sinner, OR
    3. Denies that the gospel makes any “offer” of Christ, salvation, or mercy to the non-elect (or denies that the offer of divine mercy is free and universal), OR
    4. Denies that there is such a thing as “common grace,” OR
    5. Denies that God has any sort of love for the non-elect.

    I am not professing any of these points here, nor will I ever.

  16. In answer to your first question, Yes this is true and many will not find God. In answer to yout second question, there is only 1 person who is held accountable for all the sins of mankind, that is Adam as explained by Paul in Romans 5.
    The error that abounds today is in the misunderstanding of Grace. Ephesians 1 reveals that we were predetermined to be adopted as children and predeterminded to be given an inheritance. We are adopted at regeneration when we are born again. No one knows for sure when they are born again. As Jesus revealed in John 3, when we are born again we recieve the ability to “see”. Once born again we are suppose to love God in return for this love that He first gave us. If we do not, we are disobedient children. If we do, we are obedient. What is the difference? Our example is found in the Old Testament in the children of Isreal. We they were obedeint God blessed them greatly. When they were disobedient God chastened them, often greatly. But always they were told that if they would repent He would bless them again.
    Why is this so hard to understand today? Becuase tooo many, although they deny it, teach salvation by works. We obtain the inheritance, which is reserved in heaven for us, by grace. Then as Ephesians 1 teaches, when we trust and obey we recieve the earnest of that inheritance. Thus we have our eternal inheritance by Grace, and a present salvation by works.
    Hope this helps.

  17. Could not help but give light to some of the replies as well.
    God said that HIS people were numbered as the sands of the sea and the stars in the heavens. And this is true, because once again, salvation is by Grace and Grace alone. A large percentage of the human race will be in heaven. This number is the number of the elect of God. There are those who will not enter heaven, these are the few that remain. People have such a hard time with the truth because they sin by judging people by thier works in order to attempt to determine if a person is going to heaven or hell. This is the very judgment that we are told we are not to perform. Yes, if God judged us by our works we would all go to hell. But God, according to the good pleasure of His will, or rather His benevolence, determined to save a people unto Himself and provided the sacrificial Lamb to be the atonement for thier sins. If you are a child of God, it is because God chose you. If you are Christ-Like, it is because you chose to be obedient. If you are a child of God you were purchased by the blood of Christ and not because you believed.

  18. Another reply that I would like to address is:

    Eph 2:8-10
    For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

    We are His workmanship, we were born again because He transformed us and translated us into the dominion of Christ. Then at some point in time, we believe and recieve a present salvation. This is the earnest of our inheritance given at adoption. Therefore, had we not already been saved by grace, we would not be able to recieve the earnest of it.

    Also, to correctly have faith, we are not to believe in order to gain our salvation. We are to believe because of what He did for us. We are to love Him in return for what He did for us. Therefore when we receive the earnest it is a reward of grace and not of works, even though it is obtained as a result of our works.

    To attempt to explain, I like to use the following parable. Let’s say I come over to your house in the morning and mow your yard. Then I came up to your door and demanded payment. Would this be right? No. Would you pay me? No. But what if I did it and then began to leave? What if you saw me just as I was loading up and was about to drive off? You saw what I had done and was moved by it. You would then be more compelled to offer something in return for the favor. You would want to pay me. If the purpose that i performed the work was because I wanted to extend love and compassion to you, then I did do it in hopes of obtaining a reward for it. If then I am rewarded the reward is of grace and not earned. I hope this makes since. So many today are lead astray by their shepherds and are taught that they must perform in order to obtain the reward. They are taught that they must do this and that and give this and that in order to obtain that which is instead given by Grace.

  19. Sometimes it seems that many people believe we all deserve to go to heaven. But truly we all deserve to go to hell. Salvation is that some of us our saved from that punishment. However we all deserve that punishment.

    A person can’t blame God for their sin. When they are punished it will be just. When people are saved it will be merciful.

    On judgment day I doubt anyone will say to God

    I wouldn’t have sinned if you allowed me only the choice not too.

    • I’m sorry Jon, but I think that is just a bunch of rubbish. Utter rubbish. You cannot possibly tell me that we all deserve our punishment for our sins. This kind of relates to another post I made (years ago). If God set Adam up to fall (which I believe he had), and then damn us all to hell because of his “malicious” plan to make Adam slip. He knew Adam would do what he was told not to, yet he holds us accountable for our human nature.

      Utter rubbish. I don’t believe it. The thought that there is a god out there that damns us all to death from the minute we’re born, that not only ticks me off, I find it unbelievable.

      And even if there IS a god out there that does this, I find it completely unfair, no matter what, that some people may receive the “blessing” to receive god. While others are never even offered the opportunity, and are therefor doomed for hell.

      How can you honestly be okay with a god like that?

      I know I’m not.

      • Yes adam ruined everything..but bear trap? There is no beartrap..yes men sin everyday. We are all predestined to sin..but all of that is irrelivent..that’s the whole point of jesus…he sent a perfect man for an imperfect world..his blood wahes clean your sins..as long as u believe in him. No smoke and mirrors. All he wants is for us to believe in him..so it doesn’t matter if their is a ‘trap’ cause with jesus we walk right through it…wow

  20. ok ill tell u its simple really satin did not fall from grace god made him to timped ppl to make free will he is just the guy saying in your head hay u could do this he never says do this of eles the jews know the truth to that any way that being sayed satin is a angel and can not stop doing what god said so he may have said to the right ppl hay u could tell ppl that there is a day coming where all man will be wiped out and u must pray and give to the church or go to hell if u dont get it the person gets money and is timped so satin is doing what god told him to and cant help but to do it he has no choice

    ok all that being said u cant just say if u believe all of the ot or nt cuz satin more then like got some one to lie in it so u all are losing fath witch it is job

    so why make satin knowing all that would happin simple god can not see the fewcher so why would the ot and nt say he can … satin i think god made satin and did not realize that satin would not only timped the ppl now but the fuwcher ppl by watching and realizing that he could timped ppl to come by timping the right ppl then god did not see this coming and win he saw it it was to late so he plans to stop the nuke as u say win it comes but let satin do hes job tell then .

    i could be wrong but so could every one eles

  21. ok all that being said u cant just say if u believe all of the ot or nt cuz satin more then like got some one to lie in it so u all are losing fath witch IS HIS job

    SRY

  22. it is my theory is that god is or was using us as a test what was nalige befor men ???? he made all the rules thank about it at first he was a kid with no one to tell him any thing there was nothing no light no air nothing i think he made science he had to thank it all out now that being said we no there are other plants that can or may have life on them we my be the first or we my be the 230987th who can say but i think he is learning and is working on a number of things to make the perfect world and i think that is the havin he is talking about i think he plans on puting all the ppl that was good on this plant win the judgment day comes i think it is to get thos ppl

    now here is a question i have why if he can do any thing does he have angel ?? mabe it is cuz he can creat things that can do things he cant ??? what if he is just a crater so he made angel witch is pritty much very powerfull bings that cant think only obay him so he can have power thu them im just saying it is possible as there is no prof that it is not the case that is just me trying to answer my question with my own limited nalige

    o dont get me wrong he may be able to predict the fewcher thu hes trillions of years of nalige
    but he has not figered out how to make a perfect world yet it must be hard to give free will yet make it perfect

  23. um ok i no i need to shut up but one more thing why if god is real did he let all the other falls gods go on simple to test even the jew god ot was a test the nt is what he that would work beter for the world witch is why it is so big no other belef got as big even the ot they where just test

  24. It’s quite simple, really:
    1) We all sin and so deserve permanent death, not continual punishment (hell).
    2) Hell is concocted (see http://www.cotronix.com/hell.html)
    3) God plucked some of us out from permanent death.
    4) He chose these, and in turn they choose him. Pure grace.

  25. I am very late coming to this blog, but maybe what I have to say will help shed some light. I am not a theologian or Bible guru, simply someone trying to understand that same things as the rest of you.

    To understand Who God calls, it would be helpful to read Matt 22:1-14. As I read this, it would appear that first God calls some (Jews) and when they don’t come, He calls everyone else (Gentiles). In other words, all are called/drawn/invited to attend the celebration in heaven. However, many/most of us simply choose (free will) not to come.

    God is about love and predestination or God’s choosing who comes to Him seems contrary to that, but if God forced us to love Him, or gave us no choice in the matter, would that really be love, or rape? Would we have free will or would we simply be robots following God’s every command?

    Bottom line, because of sin, we all deserve Hell, but God loves us all, He calls us all and He wants that none should perish. But, we get too busy for Him,or just don’t exercise the faith that He gave us to make the connection with Him.

  26. God has fore knowledge of who will come to him and be an obedient part of his kingdom. He infinintely knows everything.


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