Player needs JavaScript turned on.

Sermon Notes

Please note that these are only notes, not transcripts, and as such are not identical to the recorded sermons. They also contain frequent abbreviations.

  1. THE TWO POSITIONS

    1. In an audience of people hearing the same Gospel preached, why do only some believe?

      1. If you are a believer tonight, why do you believe and why does your unbelieving neighbor (who heard the same Gospel) not believe?

      2. To this question, religious people have only two answers. The two answers may come in different varieties, but they can be boiled down to TWO basic answers.

        1. Either man makes the difference. Ultimately, there is something different in the people who hear.

        2. Or, God Himself makes the difference.

        3. The two possible reasons are 1) Freewill [man makes the difference] or 2) Predestination [grace]: God makes the difference.

    2. Here is the explanation made by the Freewill position.

      1. The difference lies in the hearers. One man was stubborn and refused to believe. The other man accepted the message and believed. But that does not answer the question.

        1. Was the believer more intelligent than the unbeliever? Did he by his own superior mind understand the Gospel more and therefore receive it more readily than the unbeliever?

        2. Was the believer more spiritually minded than the unbeliever? Did he simply have a heart more open to spiritual matters so that he embraced the Gospel which the unbeliever rejected?

        3. Was the believer more humble and therefore more aware of his need, more prepared to humble himself before God and repent of his sins, than the unbeliever who was self righteous and proud?

        4. Was the believer just better, and did he show himself worthier of salvation than the unbeliever?

      2. Perhaps the Freewill advocate feels the force of that, and would not want to say he was more intelligent, more spiritually minded, more humble or just plain “better” than the Christ-rejecting unbeliever. After all, we must give God some glory in salvation! So, let us add to the mix the grace of God.

        1. God works in the audience by His grace and HS. In every heart, by the preaching, so the Freewill advocate will explain, the HS is working. He is nudging every listener, He is wooing every listener, He is giving grace to every listener, He is tugging on the heart of every listener, He is trying to persuade every listener. But some resist that work of the HS; others cooperate with it.

        2. The Freewill advocate will continue with his explanation. Every man has the natural ability of himself to choose to believe in Jesus Christ or to reject Him. And God even helps the freewill of man to accept the Gospel by offering grace to all and by gracious overtures of the Spirit in the heart. But again, some resist that work of the HS; others cooperate with it.

        3. But, again, I ask, for, alas, my question has not yet been answered. WHY do some cooperate with the HS who works with everyone? Is it because they are more intelligent, more spiritually minded, more humble or just plain “better” than the one who resists the gracious overtures of the Spirit in the heart? Because remember, acc. to Freewill, God is doing the same for everybody!

      3. The Freewill advocate always comes down to this point. Man must have the final, the decisive, say in his own salvation.

        1. God did everything possible to make salvation available for all, but if a man will not accept it, God, as a perfect gentleman, will respect that choice, but the sinner must accept the consequences. Now, the Bible says a lot about God: He is a consuming fire, He is the sovereign King, He is Lord over all, but never does the Bible call God a gentleman!

        2. According to the Freewill advocate man is able to believe, man must activate God’s salvation plan by exercising faith which is man’s contribution to salvation. It is man’s contribution because it comes from the power of man’s freewill. And, so, there is no answer as to why some men choose to exercise faith and others do not.

      4. Now, perhaps you might pursue this with the Freewill advocate. What about God’s will?

        1. First, the answer will be given, God wants everyone to be saved and to go to heaven.

        2. Second, God will save as many as He possibly can, but God will not force anyone to believe against his will. God will not save anyone if he does not believe, and faith must be his choice, not God’s.

        3. Third, God knows in advance who will believe. Based on perfect foreknowledge God saw that Peter and Paul would accept Christ, but that Judas Iscariot would not.

        4. And, finally, if you ask the Freewill advocate how it is possible for man to choose to believe if he is a sinner, the answer is, “Sin had a bad effect on man, but man still has freewill. And freewill gives man his moral responsibility.” [So, why do some exercise their freewill in a God-glorifying way, and others exercise their freewill to sin more and more? Are they more intelligent, more spiritually minded, more humble or just plain “better”? To that question, you notice, we still have no answer].

    3. The position I defend tonight is the opposite of the Freewill position.

      1. The Freewill position glorifies man, gives him abilities he does not possess, and dishonors God, by robbing God of the chief part of the glory which is His in salvation. Because, however the Freewill advocate wants to explain it, the truth is that, if the difference between salvation and damnation lies in man, man has a reason to boast!

      2. In Heaven man will be able to say, if the FW position is right: I am here b/c I, unlike my foolish, stubborn, spiritually dull, unbelieving neighbor, did something which he didn’t do. I cooperated with grace given to all! I exercised faith available to all! I made myself to differ! But Scripture says, “For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?” (I Cor. 4:7).

      3. Ultimately, we must examine the Scriptures, to see whether the Freewill position is correct. We must suspend judgment until we study God’s Word. We must not allow our judgment to be clouded by emotional responses. We must not ask what do most people believe. We must follow Christ as He speaks in the Scriptures and we must go no further than Scripture permits us to go. And, so, let us open our Bibles and sit at the feet of Jesus.

  2. TWO RESPONSES [In John 6, Jesus Christ performed an amazing miracle. He fed over 5,000 people with only 5 loaves and 2 fishes. The response of the people was amazement. However, at the end of the same chapter, the crowd of over 5,000 has dwindled away to 12 people, and only 11 of them are true believers. On the one hand there are the many who say, “This is an hard saying. Who can hear it?” (v. 60). On the other hand, there is Peter’s beautiful confession in vv. 68-69. What explains the difference? Jesus explains it in unmistakable language].

    1. First, Christ identifies those who believe as the ones who have been given to Jesus by His Father (v. 37a, v. 39b).

      1. It is not the case that some people choose to give themselves to Jesus. No, the Giver is God.

        1. All that the Father giveth me …” That act of giving is an act of His perfect, sovereign, loving will. The elect are a love gift to Jesus from His Father. Here, my Son, says the Father, “I have a gift for you. It is a vast number of precious souls. Peter is one, John is one, Lazarus is one, blind Bartimaeus is one, the thief on the cross …” And we are part of that love gift too, we who belong to Jesus Christ by faith.

        2. But that gift does not include all people: in that love gift there was no Judas Iscariot, there was no Herod, and the majority of the audience in John 6 were not included. God did not give them to Jesus. He only gave some. We know that because they did not believe (v. 36).

      2. The purpose for which God gives this gift to Jesus is that He, negatively, should not lose any of them, and positively, that He should bring them to perfect salvation, being completed by their resurrection on the Last Day (v. 39).

        1. For Jesus this will mean that He goes to the cross to pay for their sins. This is the will of God.

        2. And in case you wonder, “Did Jesus really fulfill the Father’s will?” Did He lose any? Did He and will He actually save all the ones given to Him, turn to John 17:2, “Thou hast given Him [Jesus] power [authority] over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given Him” and John 17:12, While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.” Judas is not an exception. He is a separate category. He was never included.

      3. Now, you might ask. When did the Father give these specific persons to the Son? And why did He give these ones to the Son, and not others, and not all? The answer to that question is “eternal, unconditional election.”

        1. When did the Father give the elect to His Son? In eternity.

          1. Before the foundation of the world. Before they had done anything good or evil. God gave some particular persons to Jesus Christ. They did not yet exist except in God’s decree. God’s decree is His plan concerning all things that have happened, are happening and will happen. God chose these individuals and gave them to Christ. That is the meaning of “election,” to choose out for oneself. That is the meaning of “predestination,” to determine beforehand, to plan beforehand, to fix the eternal destination of someone beforehand. That is the clear teaching of Scripture, so clear that no one can deny it.

          2. Here is Ephesians 1:4-5, “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.” Notice a few things. First, God chose. “According as He hath chosen …” Second, God chose individual persons. “He hath chosen us …” Third, God chose in eternity. “Before the foundation of the world.” Fourth, He chose us in Christ. “According as He hath chosen us in Him [Christ].” Fifth, God chose us with a purpose. “That we should be holy.” Sixth, God chose us because that was His good pleasure or will. “Acc. to the good pleasure of His will.”

          3. Now, the Freewill position on election turns Ephesians 1 on its head. The Freewill advocate says, We chose God. The Bible says, God chose us. The Freewill advocate says, God chose everybody. The Bible says, God chose us. The Freewill advocate says, God chose us unto certain external privileges or to service, not to salvation. The Bible says, God chose us that we might be holy. The Freewill advocate says, God chose us because He knew or foresaw that we would be holy. The Bible says, God chose us so that we would be holy. The Freewill advocate says, God chose us in time after we had done good or evil, or at least, because He foresaw that we would do good or evil. The Bible says, God chose us before the foundation of the world. And finally, the Freewill advocate says, God chose us b/c He knew we would accept Christ. The Bible says, God chose us in Christ, or in association with Christ. God chose Christ to be the Head of the Church and in Him He chose all the members.

        2. Why did the Father give only some to His Son, and not all? Why did the Father give Peter and John, but not Judas and Herod to His Son?

          1. That is God’s choice, not ours, and God’s choice is truly unconditional. We cannot really make unconditional choices as human beings. If I offer you a bag of sweets, you will choose something because of some quality in the thing you choose. Perhaps you like the look of the sweet, perhaps it is your favorite flavor, perhaps it is less squashed than the other sweets, but there is some reason in the sweet itself which attracts you to that one and not the others.

          2. The Freewill position teaches God’s choice was conditional, that it was based on some quality in the people chosen or in some quality potentially in the people chosen. For example, God chose Peter because He knew that Peter would choose Christ, and God rejected Judas because He knew that Judas would not believe. Then the reason that God is attracted to choose some person in distinction from another person is something He sees in them.

          3. But that is not Scripture’s explanation. There was nothing in Peter which attracted God. God’s choice of Peter was not based on, caused by or influenced by Peter at all. God chose Peter because God chose Peter. That’s the only explanation God gives. That’s verse 11, “… being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after [according to] the purpose of His own will.” God, for some reason that we can never fathom, chose to set His love on Peter, chose to give Peter to Jesus Christ, and said to Christ concerning Peter, “My son, I love Peter. Save him. Lay down thy life for him. Preserve him. Never lose him. Raise him up, with all the chosen ones, to eternal life on the last day!” But God did not say that about everyone. God did not say that about Judas, Herod or many others.

        3. Now, a possible objection to this teaching of eternal, unconditional election is that the Bible speaks of God’s foreknowledge. For example, Romans 8:29, “For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate …”

          1. It is true, of course, that God foreknows or foresees all future events. That is certainly not in question. But God foreknows all future events because He has preplanned them.

          2. But that is not the meaning of Romans 8:29. Notice what it says, “For whom He did foreknow.” God foreknew persons, not actions. It does not say, “For whose faith, repentance and good works He did foreknow …” The meaning is not that God looked down the corridor of time, and saw Peter accepting Christ, so that God said of Peter. “Because I see Peter will accept Christ, I will predestinate him to salvation.” The meaning is more beautiful: it is that God foreknew Peter.

          3. That word “know” as in “foreknow” is important. That God knows someone means more than an intellectual awareness of his existence. In Jeremiah 1:5 God said to the prophet, “Before I formed thee in the womb I knew thee …” In Amos 3:1 God said to His people Israel, “You only have I known of all the families of the earth …” Does that mean that God was unaware of the Philistines, the Assyrians, the Edomites, etc? No, it means that God had an intimate knowledge of love for Israel which He had for no other nation. In Matthew 7:22 Jesus will declare to the wicked, “I never knew you. Depart from me.” Jesus knew them, He knew all about them, about their evil works, but He never knew them in the sense of He never had an intimate loving concern for them. He never loved them. The word “foreknow” means “foreloved.” We could say it this way, “For upon whom God set His eternal love, He also did predestinate, etc.”

    2. Back to John 6. Second, Christ says that by nature no man has the ability to come to Jesus Christ, which means that no man can believe in Jesus Christ by his own supposed “freewill.”

      1. Read Christ’s words in vv. 44 and 65. “No man can come to me …” and “Therefore said I unto you that no man can come unto me …” (We will look at the exception clauses in a moment, but feel the force of those words “no man can come” for a moment).

        1. That word “can” means to have the ability, the power. No man, no woman, no child, no matter who he is, no matter how religious he is, has the power or ability to come to Jesus Christ. Coming to Christ is a spiritual coming, a believing on Him. No man, says Christ, can do that.

        2. This does not mean that some people want to come to Christ but, alas, they cannot. This is not a physical ability, akin to a broken leg. This is a spiritual inability, the inability of heart and will. No man can come because no man wants to come. And no man can even want to come. The desire to come is simply not there.

        3. Why was that desire completely absent in the vast majority of people who made up that crowd 2,000 years ago? Why is that desire completely absent in the vast majority of people today? The answer is one word: sin. Man cannot come, man will not come, because man is a sinner.

      2. Sin has had a devastating effect upon man’s spiritual ability to come to God. The reason that so many cling to the Freewill position is that they do not understand what sin has done to man’s nature, and that includes man’s will. Some imagine that the Fall had no effect on man, or a very small effect on man. But the Fall was a very deep and lamentable Fall.

        1. Adam and Eve were created with a perfect nature, with true knowledge of God, with a character which was righteous, upright and in every way conformed to the will of God; and they were holy; they were devoted to serve God in perfect love. And because of that they enjoyed fellowship with God. They came near to Him, and He came near to them. Now their descendants cannot come to God and cannot have fellowship with God. What happened?

        2. God did not change. He is still as righteous, as holy, as good as He ever was and ever shall be. But man changed. Man rebelled. Man was not satisfied to live in perfect fellowship as the servant of God in love. Man desired to assert himself, and prodded by the devil, man said to God, “I am my own boss. I will decide what I will do. You will not tell me what I can and cannot do.” And in rebellion, Adam took the forbidden fruit.

        3. Man had no excuse. God had told him of the punishment which would come upon him if he disobeyed God. Death! And God, true to His Word, inflicted death upon guilty Adam, Eve, and upon the whole human race. We all died in Adam. We are all born dead, dead in trespasses and sins, as Ephesians 2:1 puts it. That death means that man has lost what he had in paradise. Man’s foolish mind is darkened. He has become darkness. Man’s righteous character is twisted and perverse. Man’s holiness has been stripped from him and he is now unholy, filthy, polluted.

        4. Man is dead. He is not almost dead. He is not very far gone from the ideal. He is not sick. He is dead. And that death is a spiritual death so that man is estranged from and the enemy of God.

      3. And, here is the point. That fall was so disastrous, so deep, that man’s whole nature has become corrupted by sin. That includes his body, his soul, mind, his heart and, yes, his will.

        1. Now, we must be very clear about this. The corruption of man’s will does not mean that he cannot make real choices. We can choose between two different meals on a restaurant menu; we can choose what we want to wear in the morning; we can choose which book to read, etc. But, even then, do not boast too much. Our choices are limited by various factors outside our control: weather, money, etc. Ultimately, God’s will is sovereign, not ours.

        2. Also, the corruption of man’s will does not mean that he does not know how to discern between right & wrong, good & evil. Discerning & knowing are one thing; choosing is another. A sinner knows, because his conscience tells him, that certain activities are good and others are evil.

        3. The corruption of man’s will is not eve that he cannot choose to avoid a certain sinful action. A man can avoid strangling his wife, but he cannot avoid sinning, because his nature is sinful. Sin is more than actions. Sin is the nature, the wicked heart, behind the actions. The heart is rotten. Actions follow in accordance with the heart.

        4. The result of the fall is this: man cannot do anything good by nature, and is completely inclined to all evil. There is no spark of good in man; there is nothing in man which is attracted to God, nothing in man which desires Christ, no hunger in man after righteousness, no thirst in man after goodness. Man’s heart loves one thing: sin. Man hates, despises, loathes and detests God with his whole heart. That is how far man, you and I, and our children, have fallen! Man is like a pig which loves mud. God does not force man into the mud of sin and filth. Man loves sin. He jumps in with both feet!

        5. Do you think that is an extreme assessment of man’s condition? Turn to Scripture.

          1. Men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For everyone that doeth evil hates the light, neither comes to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved” (John 3:19-20). Man is like a cockroach living in darkness, loving darkness, fearing and hating light. When God’s light shines upon him, he scurries away into the darkness.

          2. There is none that understands. There is none that seeks after God. They are all gone out of the way. They are together become unprofitable. There is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Rom. 3:11-12).

          3. The carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the Law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God” (Rom. 8:7-8).

          4. We ourselves were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another” (Tit. 3:3).

          5. One more from the Old Testament: “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually (Gen. 6:5). That is not my assessment of man. That is not the church’s assessment of man. That is not some theologian’s assessment of man. That is God’s infallible assessment of man.

        6. Since that is man by his fallen nature, it is impossible for man to work up faith in himself to come to Christ. There is more chance of a tiger refusing to eat a juicy red streak and instead choosing to eat broccoli than of a sinner choosing to come to Jesus Christ by some power of His will. A tiger chooses by virtue of its nature; so does a sinner: by virtue of his sinful nature, an unbelieving sinner always chooses sin. (“No man can come unto me …”).

    3. Third, in John 6, we have that wonderful exception clause in both vv. 44 and 65, “except the Father which hath sent me draw him” and “except it were given unto him of my Father.”

      1. Notice what Jesus does not say. He does not say, “No man can come unto me except you do something …”

        1. The sinner, because he is dead in sins, a hater of all that is good, a hater of light, one whose very mind and heart & will (his entire nature) are opposed to God, cannot do anything to bring himself one step closer to Christ. God must make the difference. That is the point of John 6.

        2. Now what does God do? Does God coax the sinner into accepting Jesus. Does He pull gently on the sinner’s heartstrings? Does He try to nudge the sinner in the right direction? Does He prompt the sinner? And after all that coaxing, nudging and prompting does God leave the decision whether he will believe or not up to the sinner himself? That’s the Freewill position.

        3. The answer is, God draws the sinner, God gives the sinner to come, God brings the sinner, God causes the sinner to believe in Jesus Christ. The result of such drawing is that the sinner actually comes. That’s Christ’s meaning in John 6.

      2. To draw is not to nudge, to prompt or to coax. To draw in verse 44 is to pull, even to drag. To draw is to exert a force upon someone so that he comes.

        1. That verb draw is used elsewhere. Peter draws his sword out of its sheath in John 18:10. Peter draws a whole net full of fish to the shore in John 21:11. It is used of an angry mob drawing Paul into the marketplace before the rulers of the city of Philippi in Acts 16:19.

        2. The Father draws some to Jesus Christ so that they come to Him, which means that they believe on Him, and He will raise them up on the Last Day. The ones drawn are the ones who have been given to the Son by the Father in eternal, unconditional election.

        3. But when the Father draws by a powerful drawing, He does not force people to come to Christ against their will. That would be wrong way to understand this. God does not do violence to the wills of His children. God does not drag us kicking and screaming into heaven. God does not violate our wills. God does not force Himself upon the unwilling. Instead, He does something wonderful. He makes us willing who formerly were unwilling. He makes us thirst after what we formerly despised. He makes us hunger after what we formerly detested. He causes us to love the light from which we formerly fled. He does that by giving us a new nature.

      3. In other words, God creates a new life within the elect which changes him from a God-hater to a God-lover, from a Christ-rejecter to a believer in Christ, from one who loves sin, to one who hates his own sins and is sorry for them. But this change is brought about by God alone.

        1. By nature, no one seeks after God, but when God works powerfully in the hearts of some sinners, they do seek after God, and Christ says of them, “He that seeketh, findeth” (Matt. 7:8); by nature, no one hungers or thirsts after God or after Christ, but when God works powerfully in the hearts of some sinners, they do hunger and thirst after God, and Christ says of them that they are blessed, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled” (Matt. 5:6); by nature, no one wills to come to Christ for salvation, but when God works powerfully in the hearts of some sinners, they do will to come to Christ for salvation, and the Gospel says to them, “Let him that is athirst come, and whosoever will, let him come take the water of life freely” (Rev. 22:17); by nature, no one is weary and heavy laden over sin, but when God works powerfully in the hearts of some sinners, they do become weary and heavy laden, and Christ says to them, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28).

        2. Thus, in the audience there are some in whom God has powerfully worked. The result is that they hunger and thirst after God, they seek after God, they desire Christ and becoming willing to receive Him, they feel the intolerably heavy burden of sin and long for rest, and they come, they come eagerly to Christ and they find in Him rich, free and full salvation earned for them on the cross! But the reason for their coming is not their working, their willing, or anything in them. It is not because they were wiser, less hard of heart, less depraved, more open to the Gospel!

        3. And the others, in whom God does not so work, remain blind, deaf, dead, and hostile to the things of God. The things of God remain foolishness to them and Christ remains an offence to them.

      4. Christ explains this in verse 45 in terms of the Father teaching some inwardly by the Spirit.

        1. When the Gospel is preached, a man is teaching. I am teaching you this evening, but my teaching cannot reach your heart, soul and will. If God does not teach you through the preaching of the Gospel, what I say will fall on deaf ears, and dead hearts.

        2. In Isaiah 54:13, we read, “And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD.” Christ refers to this when He says, “It is written in the prophets, and they shall be all taught of God.” In the New Testament, all believers will be taught by God by the Holy Spirit. That day was prophesied in the Old Testament, and with the coming of Christ that day has come. That promise, that we shall all be taught of God, applies to all believers and their elect children.

        3. Now, notice verse 45b, “Every man therefore that hath heard & hath learned of my Father cometh unto me.” God is the perfect teacher. The ones He teaches, actually hear & actually learn. And the result of their hearing & learning is that they come to Jesus Christ in true faith.

        4. It is not the case that God tries to teach everyone but only some are teachable, while others are too stubborn and He cannot get through to them. It has nothing to do with intellect or temperament. God can teach the most dull minded person spiritual truths and impress those truths deeply on his heart; God can teach a little child; God can break a hard, sin encrusted, stubborn heart. God teaches His people and they learn the depth of their own sin & the glory of the Savior and having seen, having understood, having heard, having learned, they come. All of them come. No one in God’s school fails to come. And if someone does not come, there is one explanation: God did not teach him. “Every man therefore that hath heard & hath learned of my Father cometh unto me”

    4. [We have seen that Christ teaches in John 6, first, that certain persons were given to Him by His Father in eternal unconditional election; second, that no man has by nature any spiritual ability or will to believe in Christ; third, that God makes the difference by drawing and inwardly teaching some by the HS]. And now, fourth, and finally, in John 6, Christ teaches that all the elect shall come to Him and believe on Him and shall be saved forever.

      1. We see that beautifully expressed in v. 37, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me …”

        1. God’s plan of salvation is infallible. It is not the case that God is trying to save as many as He possibly can. Rather, He has chosen a definite number of persons before the foundation of the world. He has given them as a “love gift” to His Son, and it is absolutely certain that all of them shall be saved through faith in Jesus Christ.

        2. Look at verse 37. Who shall come to Jesus? The ones given Him by the Father. All the ones given Him by the Father. Only the ones given Him by the Father. Will there perhaps be a few of the ones given to Christ by the Father who shall not come? Will a few of those precious children of God prove too stubborn so that the Father cannot draw them and the Spirit cannot overcome the hardness of their hearts? Will some of them prove too difficult for God Himself to teach? Of course not!

        3. Or, will some of them come to Christ, but then later be driven away by Him because they prove to be unfaithful? Will Satan be able to snatch one, say Peter, who denied Him, from Christ’s hand? Will some perhaps wander away from Christ and perish by their own foolishness? No, because, Jesus says emphatically, “And him that cometh to me (because he was given to Jesus by the Father, remember), I will in no wise cast out” (v. 37b).

      2. What of those who come to Jesus who were not given Him by the Father? What will happen if a person comes to Jesus in faith who is not one of God’s elect? Will he be driven away? Will God say, “Sorry, I know you desire salvation, but I cannot give it to you b/c you are not elect!”

        1. Verse 40 says that “everyone who sees (that is, perceives with his heart who Christ is) and believes on Him (that is, trusts in Him for salvation) may have everlasting life.” But verse 40 says nothing about how a person sees and believes in Christ. We have seen that it is not in the power of man’s will to believe, because he is a fallen, corrupt creature. The rest of the chapter has proved to us that no one by nature can see and believe in the Son unless, first, he is drawn by the Father, and, second, he is inwardly taught by the Father.

        2. So, the question is really an absurd one. None but the elect ever desire Christ. None but the elect ever come to Christ for salvation. None but the elect ever believe in Christ. The idea that a person could come to Christ who was not given to Christ in eternal, unconditional election is absurd. It has never happened. It will never happen. It can never happen.

        3. That is of great comfort to the believer. It means that faith is the infallible sign of election. If non elect, reprobate persons could believe, then how would you ever know if your faith was a sign of election or reprobation? The comfort is clear: All the elect will believe. All the elect will come to Christ. All of the elect will be raised up body and soul by Christ to eternal life on the Last Day. None of the elect will be lost. None of the elect will be cast out. God’s will shall be done. As for the reprobate they will continue willfully in their sins and unbelief and perish justly.

    5. So, I end as I began. Why, when the Gospel is preached do some repent and believe, while others despise the message and perish?

      1. Left to ourselves & our own corrupt will, we would all – without exception – reject the Gospel.

        1. All of us are opposed in our very heart and soul to the salvation of Christ. We hate it, because it is the salvation of God, and we hate God, we hate His Son, and we hate righteousness.

        2. All of us love sin, and so left to ourselves, we would always choose the bondage of sin and all the misery that brings rather than believe in and embrace Jesus Christ.

        3. And that terrible state of nature in which we find ourselves is our own fault. We sinned in our first father, Adam.

        4. Therefore, all of us are guilty, none of us deserve any mercy, and if God leaves us in our sins, we receive strict justice, and when we die and perish in hell, we will have no one to blame but ourselves.

      2. But, the difference is this. God has mercy on some, works in them by His Holy Spirit, so that they believe. Thus all glory goes to God for His grace which He gives to some as He pleases.

        1. That faith, worked in their hearts, is God’s gift to them. It is not God’s gift to them in that it comes to them wrapped in a beautiful box with a velvet bow, but they have to accept it. It is not God’s gift in that God offers it to everyone. It is God’s gift in that He actually gives it to them, He causes them to have it, He bestows it upon them, and they actually receive it.

        2. And thus, God causes some to believe by the almighty power of His Holy Spirit, the ones He has chosen from before the foundation of the world, the ones for whom Christ died to purchase all the benefits and blessings of eternal life, and the ones who then are made willing in the day of God’s power. They come to Christ, and Christ never loses any of them.

        3. Thus, no man makes himself to differ. It is wicked pride to ascribe any part of salvation to man. All glory goes to God through His Son Jesus Christ, the Author and the Finisher of our faith. Man lies helpless before God in the dust. He cannot do a thing. But God lifts some men up and makes them partakers of eternal life. That’s the Gospel, the Gospel of God. Amen!