Jesus Teaches Sovereign Election + Human Responsibility
John 6:35-40 And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” NKJV
The most important question that confronts every person who has ever lived and who will ever live is “Are you saved or lost?” The career the person pursued, the philanthropy they engaged in, the wealth they amassed, and what people thought of them will matter nothing on that last day as they stand before Jesus Christ. How a person is saved has been and continues to be a hotly debated and contested subject at times in many circles around the world. The Apostle Paul was the primary teacher in the New Testament books about how a person’s soul is saved by God from sin and @#!*% . The Apostle Paul taught that God had an elect group of people that He would save eternally. The Apostle Paul taught about the foreknowledge of God which means He knows everything that will transpire in human history before it ever happens, therefore He already sees every soul that will be eternally saved and eternally lost.
To us human beings this can sometimes seem unfair, unkind, or even unloving but because God knows who will truly believe and who will not truly believe does not mean that He rigged or fixed the outcome. The responsibility for truly believing still rest upon every individual soul and therefore God never shows partiality or favoritism to any person, no not one. Must we human beings forget that it pleased God the Father to bruise His only Son? He poured out His wrath against sin upon the Lord Jesus Christ. If God the Father did not spare His only Son from His wrath when sin was upon Jesus, how does any human being think God the Father will spare them when their sin remains on them, I tell you He will not.
Isaiah 53:10-11 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand. He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities. NKJV
The Apostle Paul also taught individual human responsibility in salvation for every soul. A person cannot go to heaven because they grew up in Church, their Father was a Pastor or Deacon, or because they were born here in America, or because they feel they are a good person. The Apostle Paul taught that every person was responsible for their sin and must repent/turn from their sin and trust Jesus Christ for their own personal salvation. The Apostle wrote these words, Romans 10:11-13 “For the Scripture says, ‘Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.’ For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For ‘whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.’” NKJV Where did this man the Apostle Paul get this understanding and wisdom concerning the salvation of the souls of men and women? The Apostle Paul tells us that he received these truths straight from our Lord Jesus Christ and that he was privileged to be taken into Arabia for 3 years and taught by Christ Jesus as he documents in Galatians 1:11-18.
Before our Lord ever took this man Paul into His personal school of Apostleship, He taught us from His own lips that salvation is according to the Sovereign will of God but that every individual person must come to Him to receive forgiveness of sins and eternal life. Our Lord Jesus use the word comes which is a present tense verb and all verbs are action words. Our Lord is saying that the soul that comes to Him will receive salvation His life in them which produces new affections, desires, hungers, and thirst that will be in opposition to the affections, desires, hungers, and thirst longed for in their souls when He was not present. The word comes He uses also denotes a continuous coming to Him through His Word to feed, nurture, and sustain this new life birthed in the soul. Our Lord is teaching in this very text the responsibility of the hungering soul to act upon this spiritual malnutrition individually (John 6:35).
Our Lord Jesus cements for us by the very next text the absolute reality of human responsibility. These Jews saw the Divine Son of God in the flesh, were eyewitnesses many of them to His numerous miracles, they like Pilot knew deep in their hearts/inner man there was no fault in Him, none of them could convict Him of any sin ever, they were also witness to His going about always doing good and His great heart of compassion as He healed many people of diseases as well as those who were oppressed by the devil, and yet despite Him being right before them in grace and truth they did not believe. Today, especially in this country of America, people are exposed to the gospel of Christ death, burial, and resurrection from the dead and yet they still refuse, reject, or resist believing in Him as the only way for salvation (see the article entitled “Will you Reject, Resist, or Receive Jesus Christ”, http://www.faithwriters.com/article-details.php?id=130955) (John 6:36).
Isaiah 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the LORD, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon. NKJV
It is God the Father who draws (John 6:44) the lost soul to our Lord Jesus Christ. For example it was the Father who impressed upon heart of the woman in John Chapter 4 to come to that well at that very time and hour of the day knowing that our Lord Jesus would arrive at that well also at that time. God the Father had been preparing her heart and drawing her to the truth maybe for years even before our Lord Jesus began His earthly ministry for this one moment that would change her eternal destiny. The Father did the drawing but He did not make her believe and receive Christ Jesus the Lord, she had to respond to the truth that confronted her at that very hour (John 6:37).
It was God the Father’s will which directed our Lord Jesus to go through Samaria and not take the normal route His disciples would have been accustomed to traveling all because our Lord knew from the Father that He had an eternal appointment with this one Samaritan woman that could not be missed (John 6:38). This is one of the clearest pictures of Sovereign Election plus human responsibility equaling eternal salvation. Many of the hard hearted stiff-necked Jews during the days our Lord Jesus walked the earth as the God-Man saw Him but did not believe, but many common people saw Him and did believe and the same holds true today. The gospel is preached on radio, the internet, in stadiums, on television, in churches, on the streets, in jungles, in schools, and everywhere but still all do not believe. However, the ones the Father draws that do come to our Lord Jesus and believe will never lose this new life which we have been given because it did not come as the result of our human effort but simply in our freely receiving Him forever (John 6:39-40).
2 Thessalonians 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. NKJV
“All that feel themselves lost, and follow the drawings of the Father, He in a peculiar manner giveth to the Son: will come to Me - By faith. And him that thus cometh to Me, I will in nowise cast out - I will give him pardon, holiness, and heaven, if he endure to the end - to rejoice in His light.” John Wesley
“Everyone that comes - that is, everyone that comes in a proper manner, feeling that he is a lost and ruined sinner. This invitation is wide, and full, and free. It shows the unbounded mercy of God; and it shows, also, that the reason, and the only reason, why men are not saved, is that they will not come to Christ. Of any sinner it may be said that if he had been willing to come to Christ he might have come and been saved. As he chooses not to come, he cannot blame God because he saves others who are willing, no matter from what cause, and who thus are made partakers of everlasting life.” Albert Barnes
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reader, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…
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