The Grace of God

That Brings Salvation Has Appeared to All Men (Titus 2:11)

All that the Father Gives Me Will Come to Me

In this paper, I would like to examine a favorite “proof text” for the false doctrine of unconditional election, John 6:37 and 44, in light of other Scriptures.

All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.  John 6:37

No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. John 6:44

Yes, Jesus taught that those who come to Him must be given Him or drawn by the Father.  Does this mean that God the Father arbitrarily chooses some for salvation and others for damnation, regardless of any choices a person might make in his life, as Calvinism teaches?

Calvinists build a false view of God, beginning right here in their misinterpretation of this passage and others.   By the time you follow their reasoning to its end, you are left to believe God callously pre-determines the fates of all human beings, a teaching which is a direct attack on the truth that the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men (Titus 2:11). I believe this passage has a very simple explanation that Calvinists completely miss because they are reading what they already believe into the Scriptures, and failing to note the context of what Jesus said.

The context is this:  Jesus was speaking to His critics and pointing out that they were backslidden from God although they were claiming to be the people of God. They assumed because their forefathers were God’s “chosen people,” that they too were automatically God’s “chosen people” simply because of their natural bloodline and historical heritage. Most were apostate from God!  The reason they rejected God’s messenger (Jesus) was because they had first rejected God Himself. God will not show His salvation to those who hate Him and disregard His commands.

To him who orders his conduct aright I will show the salvation of God. Psalm 50:23

Here we see that it is the conduct of a man–not a predetermined, arbitrary choosing on God’s part–that determines if God will show him His Salvation (Jesus).

Will God claim to offer salvation to “whosoever” (as He does in numerous Scriptures), and yet damn the majority through no fault of their own? Astonishingly, Calvinism accuses God of this very thing.

Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? Gen. 18:25

The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself. Eze. 18:20

Clearly, God testifies that each man is responsible for his own death, which he reaps by sowing his own sin.

Does God take pleasure when wicked men die?  It is “his pleasure,” says Calvin, for God to “doom to destruction” the wicked. Let God Himself prove Calvin a liar:

“Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord GOD, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live?”  Eze. 18:23

‘As I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’ Eze. 33:11

God declares that He has NO PLEASURE in the death of the wicked, but rather desires all men to repent and be saved (Acts 17:30, 2 Peter 3:9).

If God desires and commands all men to repent and be saved, it follows that He has created man with the ability to repent and be saved; otherwise He is an evil tyrant, commanding what He has made impossible.  Even the soon-to-be-murderer Cain was told that if he did right, he would be accepted! (Gen. 4:7) Why then are some never saved? Why do so many refuse to come to Jesus for salvation? Why has the Father not “given” or “drawn” that person to Jesus?

But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. John 10:26

The Calvinist, well-trained in the interpretations of other men, reads this Scripture and quickly assumes that God has indiscriminately predetermined who His sheep will be. But was Jesus saying that?

Before the Word of God was made flesh and dwelt among us, those who were faithful to God—that is those who were right with God according to the provisions of the Old Covenant—were called God’s sheep:

Know that the LORD, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Psalm 100:3

When Jesus said, “You are not of my sheep,” He was claiming ownership of God’s sheep! He was, in effect, claiming to be equal with God. He was also openly accusing His detractors of being apostate from God–no longer His sheep.

Those Jews who had remained faithful to God through the Old Covenant, or who had recognized their backslidden condition and repented at the preaching of John the Baptist and Jesus, were prepared to receive and follow Jesus.

The Redeemer will come to Zion, and to those who turn from transgression in Jacob, says the LORD.  Isa. 59:20

Those Jews who merely honored God with their lips, but kept their hearts far from Him, did not believe on Jesus when He came. A prime example of this is the Pharisees, as Jesus testified:

“Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’” Matt. 15:7-9

The unbelieving Pharisees were not “God’s sheep” because they were not faithful to the Old Testament covenant, which was the light they had already been given. They were transgressing the commandments of God to carry out their traditions (Matt. 15:6); neglecting justice, mercy and faithfulness (Matt. 23:13); filled with extortion and self-indulgence on the inside (Matt. 23:25); and only appeared clean on the outside—inside they were full of dead man’s bones, uncleanness, hypocrisy, and iniquity (Matt. 23:27-28).

The Pharisees claimed to follow Moses, yet Moses had prophesied thus:

“The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear, according to all you desired of the LORD your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, nor let me see this great fire anymore, lest I die.’  “And the LORD said to me: ‘What they have spoken is good.  I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him.  And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him.” Deut. 18:15-19

The Pharisees and other unbelieving Jews had rejected the Prophet—Jesus—whom Moses said they must listen to, proving they did not truly love and obey God—nor even listen to Moses!  If they loved God, they would have recognized His Messiah/Prophet.  If they were faithful to the light they had received, God would have given them more light.

Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me.” John 8:42

“But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you.” John 5:42

“It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.” John 6:45

Jesus was not saying, as Calvinists falsely claim, that God pre-picked—apart from any personal choices—who would come to Jesus and who would be damned.  Jesus was emphasizing that the unbelieving Jews were apostate—they had refused to hear and learn from the Father, even though they claimed to be God’s people.  He was telling them the reason why they did not receive Him—it was because they were so far from God that they could not receive anything from God, not even His own Son. (See the parable Jesus spoke concerning the Pharisees in Mark 12:1-12.)

Those who had a teachable spirit toward God the Father would be pointed to Jesus Christ—the very Word of God—by God.  Those who accepted God’s witness through Moses, the law, and the prophets; would also accept Jesus Christ, since He Himself had come from God.  Those who were in rebellion against God the Father would naturally not listen to Jesus Christ any more than they listened to the earlier witnesses.  Jesus said of those who rejected the testimony of the earlier prophets,

“If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.”  Luke 16:31

Such needed to REPENT toward God first, and then He would draw them to the Son whom He had sent!

In Hosea 5:4, the backslidden people of Israel were thus accused:

They do not direct their deeds toward turning to their God, for the spirit of harlotry is in their midst, and they do not know the LORD.

Here we see that “directing our deeds toward turning to our God” is an important step toward salvation. This is repentance from evil deeds. Those who refuse to “direct their deeds toward turning to their God” will not “know the LORD,” just as many Jews did not know Him when He was standing right in front of them.

Does this principle apply only to the Jews, or does it apply to Gentiles also?

Concerning the gospel message, Paul said in Acts 20:20-21:

I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house, testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks,

#1—repentance toward God and

#2—faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

Repentance toward GOD is here listed before faith toward the Lord Jesus! It is significant that both John the Baptist and Jesus began their ministries preaching repentance toward God.  In fact, Jesus claimed:

“Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” Luke 13:5

Without repentance, then, there is no salvation according to Jesus!  Trying to “receive Jesus” without first repenting of your sins is like trying to grow seed in rocky, weedy, untilled soil.

Again, Paul testified before Agrippa that he preached to everyone that “they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance.” (Acts 26:20-21) Repentance is first!

Thus says the LORD: “Keep justice, and do righteousness, for My salvation is about to come, and My righteousness to be revealed. “ Isa. 56:1

Here, God was telling the Old Testament sheep to keep a clean slate with God because the Messiah was about to come!

God … now commands all men everywhere to repent. Acts 17:30

To him who orders his conduct aright I will show the salvation of God. Psalm 50:23

Who is the salvation of God whom God will show to the one who first orders his conduct aright?

Salvation is “in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 2:10). He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life through whom men can be saved (John 14:6).

Nor is there salvation in any other [than Jesus Christ], for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12

While Jesus Christ is the only Way to be reconciled to God, it can also be said that repentance toward God is the way to Jesus Christ. A man still holding onto his sins does not yet realize how desperately vile they are, so how can he appreciate how much he needs Jesus Christ?  (The lack of repentance in today’s popular “gospel” message is a major reason why so many professors of Christianity are still in their sins! They remain unsaved.)

A wonderful illustration of the truth that God will show His salvation to the one who “orders his conduct aright”  is the story of the Gentile Cornelius in Acts 10. Cornelius was said to be “a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always.” (vs. 2) This man was divinely instructed by an angel to seek out the apostle Peter, and to “hear words from him.” Those words included the testimony of Jesus Christ. After the Gentiles present heard those words, the Holy Spirit fell on them, showing that God’s salvation was for Gentiles as well as for Jews.  Peter testified:

In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality.  But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him. Acts 10:34-35

Who is accepted? The one who fears GOD and works righteousness (repents of evil deeds.) Cornelius feared God first, then God sent him to Peter so that Peter could teach him that “whoever believes in Him (Jesus) will receive remission of sins.” (vs. 43)  Would Cornelius have been open to this message of having his sins remitted through Jesus Christ if he had not feared God first?

The one who seeks God with the whole heart is promised to find Him. If you seek after God, God will make the Way to Himself open to you. He will lead you to Jesus Christ, through Whom you can be saved. If a man does not seek God, neither will he have any true regard for Jesus.  This is the message Jesus was relaying in John 6: 37, 44.

Those who reject the light they’ve already been given will lose whatever light they had.

Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you…While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light. John 12:35-36

Therefore take heed how you hear. For whoever has, to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he seems to have will be taken from him. Luke 8:18

Stephen–a man “full of the Holy Spirit”–testified to the unbelieving Jews that stoned him,

You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you. Acts 7:51

Did God indiscriminately keep the unbelieving Jews from Jesus, or were those Jews guilty of resisting the Holy Spirit of God? Friends, the truth is that God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth,” but we reap what we sow.  (I Tim. 2:4, Gal. 6:7)

In Romans 1:18-25, we see the progression into error by those who reject what God has already revealed to them:

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.  Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.  Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

Paul testified to the men of Athens:

And He [God] has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us. Acts 17:26-27

Clearly, God WANTS all men to “grope for Him and find Him.” Unfortunately, many reject the light they already have—the the dual witness of creation and their own conscience—and darkness overtakes them.

Salvation is far from the wicked, for they do not seek Your statutes. Psalm 119:155

Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. John 12:35

There are many promises in Scripture that those who seek God with all their heart will find Him. The promise is open to everyone!

But from there [when you are in distress] you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul. Deut. 4:29

And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. Jer. 29:13

You who seek God, your hearts shall live. Psa. 69:32

Seek Me and live. Amos 5:4

I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently will find me. Prov. 8:17

So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Luke 11:9-10

Friend, those who repent of sin and seek God with their whole heart will be led to place their faith in and follow the Word of God, who is Jesus!  Salvation is open to all who meet God’s requirements!

And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely. Rev. 22:17

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

Whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved. Rom. 10:13

Whoever believes in Him [Jesus] will receive remission of sins. Acts 10:43

Come to Me [Jesus], all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matt. 11:28

Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.  For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. Luke 9:23-24

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. Rom. 1:16

Those who come He shall cause to take root in Jacob; Israel shall blossom and bud and fill the face of the world with fruit. Isa 27:5

God bless you!

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5 Responses to “All that the Father Gives Me Will Come to Me”

  1. smilesback said

    Wow! This message is so, so excellent. I’m going to try to get others to read it! Thank you for writing it. It is obvious to me who your teacher is. –The Holy Spirit. Because what you say is absolutely true –straight from God’s Word– and The Counselor has helped you organize the writing so that the rest of us can clearly understand!

    Yes, it is so much about coming to Him in repentance, seeking Him in humility with a genuine heart after Truth. He enables all to be able to do that –through hearing The Gospel Message, and even through seeing creation, and hearing through conscience.

    He is a good and merciful God, and He most certainly wants ALL to come to repentance and faith in Jesus and then to walk in the Spirit –His Holy Spirit– who keeps us holy and obedient by living through us –we who have died to the old nature (Rom. 6:6,7 & Col. 3:3) and have risen as new creations (2 Cor. 5:17) in Christ! In fact, I really like how you put it about Jesus being the only way to be reconciled to God, but repentance toward God being the only way to Jesus. You put that truth so simply and clearly. Why can’t that be said more in pulpits throughout the world? Why can’t repentance be preached correctly? –its importance right there with faith?

    Well, thanks again. Keep it up!

    Rachel

  2. Hall Banks said

    He is a good and merciful God, and He most certainly wants ALL to come to repentance and faith in Jesus and then to walk in the Spirit –His Holy Spirit– who keeps us holy and obedient by living through us –we who have died to the old nature (Rom. 6:6,7 & Col. 3:3) and have risen as new creations (2 Cor. 5:17) in Christ! In fact, I really like how you put it about Jesus being the only way to be reconciled to God, but repentance toward God being the only way to Jesus. You put that truth so simply and clearly. Why can’t that be said more in pulpits throughout the world? Why can’t repentance be preached correctly? –its importance right there with faith?
    +1

  3. John Gregory said

    Yes!! This a paper that I will email to my friends! Thank You & God bless!
    John Gregory

  4. Patti said

    Would you consider adding an image to your posts so that they can be pinned on Pinterest? Your posts will get much more exposure shared on Pinterest.

    I enjoyed reading this with all the scripture citation. It is always amazing to me how someone can hold to the belief of unconditional election. A simple reading of the Bible makes it clear that it is against the very character of God.

    • Thanks for your comment, Patti. Your recommendation to add an image is a good one, and I will consider doing this in the future (and adding a photo to older posts as time permits). Blessings to you.

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