Many think that if they’re seeking what only God can provide, they must be seeking God. But Jesus told a multitude that they were only seeking Him for His earthly benefits, not for the heavenly miracles that proved His Deity. In other words, they weren’t really seeking God. And Jesus explained why by saying, “No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him” (John 6:26, 44, 66).
Jesus’ words were so offensive, many walked away. Because like today, many admit God is sovereign over nations and temporal life, but they can’t handle the fact that God is sovereign over all things, including eternal life. They’d rather make up a god they’re more comfortable with, because “the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked,” which is why “it’s not in man that walketh to direct his own steps” (Jer.10:23, 17:9).
So why does God command us to seek Him and proclaim the gospel? Since only God changes hearts and draws sinners to Jesus to be saved, why should we take action at all? Obviously, the answer is simple. He commands us to. For He already knows that although some won’t obey in spirit and truth, some will. Just as God commanded light to shine out of darkness (Gen.1), everything didn’t become light, but what God ordained to be light, obeyed His command. That’s why there’s a universal call of the gospel but not a universal redemption, “for many be called, but few chosen” (Matt.20:16, Acts 13:48).
Although fallen humanity has the “light of conscience” and the “light of creation” to prompt them to an outward performance of God’s commands, they can’t seek Jesus from a pure heart unless God commands the “light of the gospel” to shine into their hearts. A mere outward response isn’t the deciding factor, God is. In fact, God’s sovereignty in salvation is so obvious that Jesus recaps this point in John 6:65 by saying “No man can come unto Me, except it were given unto him of the Father.”
Yet many are believing what’s called “decisional regeneration,” where trust is placed in a “decision for Christ” rather than Holy Spirit regeneration, where the Spirit bears witness with our spirit, that we’re His (Tit.3:5, Rom.8:16). For believers “have this treasure in earthen vessels so that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us” (2Cor.4:3-7), because those who receive God’s free gift aren’t those with more “willpower” but those whom God has given the power to become His (John 1:12, 13). “For it is not of man who wills or runs, but of God who shows mercy” (Rom.9:16).
“For who maketh thee to differ from another” (1Cor.4:7)? Are Christians different because they’re better than others? Are they able to receive, repent, believe and obey the gospel due to having more common grace of character, conviction, morality, or ability to choose the things of God? Absolutely not! Or else they wouldn’t need a Savior and could do without God’s sovereign saving grace.
So dear friend, although many turn away from such a sovereign God, you don’t have to become a statistic. And you don’t have to try to be better than others. Just cry out to God for mercy, confessing your desperate need of a Savior. He never turns away those who are truly brokenhearted over sin (Ps.51:17), for He sent Jesus to seek and save an endless multitude of people who are poor in spirit. So be encouraged, no one is closer to God’s free grace than when they finally realize the poverty of their own sinfulness and powerlessness compared to God’s sovereign, majestic holiness.
Sis Lee Anne—-Readers with questions or comments are free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org