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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