Blowing a Salvation Theory Out of the Water

Posted on February 27, 2020


By David Ettinger

Strongly Held
Just because a theory is strongly held by faithful Bible-believers, does not make it correct.

Case in point is a theory regarding salvation. This theory usually arises in discussing election, the doctrine that God “elects” those who will be His long before they are born.

In trying to explain how this works, quite a few believers I know hold to the notion that God knew which individuals would accept Christ if presented to them and which wouldn’t. In other words, God determines “election” on those WHO BY THEIR OWN MERIT AND LOGIC would accept Jesus Christ upon hearing the Gospel.

Scripture, however, makes no such claim, and this popular notion is biblically false.

Primary Verse
The primary verse which argues against the above notion is John 6:44: “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.” (The last part, which I won’t discuss here, refers to the resurrection).

This verse is so precise, so clear, and so pointed that it leaves no room for the man-initiated sentiments of those who believe individuals can choose Christ based SOLELY on their own wisdom.

John 6:44 makes indisputably clear that God is the one who initiates the process of individuals coming to Christ, and without His initiation, NO ONE can come to Christ. The main idea of John 6:44 is that human beings are so entrapped in the muck of sin and unbelief that unless God reaches out first and draws them, they are hopelessly separated from Him.

Another way of saying it is that left to oneself, no individual would ever seek God or Christ.

This does not negate free will: All people have the right to accept or reject Christ – but no one accepts Him without God’s pull.

So how does God determine “election” – those who will be saved? I have no idea, but I can say based not only on John 6:44 but on the overall tenor of Scripture, that He does not determine it according to those who would accept the Gospel if presented with it outside of His leading. It’s beyond the scope of human possibility.

Definitely a lively topic! What do you think?