(Part of the Election, Sovereign Grace, Will, Salvation bible study group.)
This meet-you-halfway objection to Election, is sometimes offered.
"Man must be drawn to the Gospel message by God, but then he can choose to accept or reject its salvation message. "
"No one can come to Me unless the Father
who sent Me draws him; and I will raise
him up at the last day."
That God has to draw man to the Gospel message is clearly evident. However, the contention that man then has the capacity to choose to accept, or reject, the message of salvation is not correct according to biblical teaching. You will notice that in John 6:44, Jesus plainly states, the one that the Father draws, He will raise up. He reiterates this in several other verses of Holy Scripture:
- - "All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out."
- - "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."
- - "Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: 'Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him."
See Jesus' teachings for more verses.
You will notice that nowhere does Jesus teach, or indicate, that the one drawn, or given, to Him by the Father has the capacity to accept or reject. There is no room in Jesus' overall teaching to interject, "if they choose to accept."
In fact, Jesus has this to say in another section of the Bible:
- - "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand."
We also find the following:
- - "For it is by God's grace that you have been saved through faith. It is not the result of your own efforts, but God's gift, so that no one can boast about it."
We can see that Holy Scripture flatly proclaims,
"The saved are called by God & given the gift of faith by Him."
This meet you halfway objection is nothing more than a ploy to try to substantiate free will salvation and to change the Bible's teaching. Therefore it has no effect on the validity of the belief in salvation by God's Sovereign Grace & Will, also called the Doctrine of Election.
Election - Free Will Salvation & the Bible
page updated 03/16/2011.