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3.07.2005    |    Free will?
Consider the statement Jesus makes in John 6:37: "...whoever comes to me I will never cast out." All who come will be saved? How can this be? It is, after all, in stark contrast to the famous quotation from Matthew 22:14: "For many are called, but few are chosen." Or, in other words, one of the keystones for the limited atonement of Calvinism. We will not all be saved. How to reconcile these two seemingly diametrically opposed statements?

First, the context for John 6:37:
37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.
Note well: "all that the Father gives me will come to me." In other words, that big bad predestination raising its battered head. Darn those pesky Calvinists.

Perhaps I missed something, but it comes down to the "I" in TULIP -- Irresistible Grace. When God comes knocking, there's nothing for you to do but to surrender. Perhaps it is tautological, but, just to avoid fighting needlessly with any die-hard Arminians, I'd hazard that those who seek Christ with all of their hearts, souls, and minds, are precisely those who had been chosen, from before time, to do exactly that.

Once the seeker finds Him, as Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 12:9, Jesus says "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." So seek, and never let any convince you that the doctrine of predestination somehow excuses you for not seeking Christ.

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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.