IS EVERYONE CALLED/ELECTED? (THE GIFT OF FAITH & REPENTANCE:)
I have often heard it asked :"isn't the gospel given to all, and therefore the invitation to receive the gift available to all?"
First of all, one thing must be made clear on this issue. Contrary to the tradition of the modern gospel that is preached, the call to salvation is not an "invitation" given to all. It is a command given to all. "..God... commands all men everywhere to repent" (Acts 17:30). If they do not repent, they are disobeying God and sinning still.
It has already been established that no man is free to come to Christ without the Father drawing him (John 6:44). But can we say, as many do, that all are given the drawing of the Holy Spirit, and that it is man's will that resists his calling? If one looks again at the will of man, and at his own wretchedness without Christ, he will again see that it is always in his sinful nature to resist God, (John 3:20, John 8: ) When presented with the gospel, sinners do choose. But without the gift and the drawing of the Holy Spirit, the preaching of the cross will always be foolishness to them (1 Cor. 1:18), and their choice will always be to reject it.
Coming to Jesus is a gift, not merely an "opportunity" that all may take or refuse at will. The Bible is full of examples of specific people unto whom it was "granted" or "given" to believe and to see. -
John 6:65 "..no man can come unto me, except it were given unto Him of my Father." .
John 3:27 "A man can receive nothing except it be given him from heaven"
Matt. 11:27 "...neither knoweth any man the father, save the Son and he to whomsoever the son will reveal him."
John 17:2 "As thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given."
2 Peter 1:3 "According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
Philippians 1;29 "Unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake"
2 Timothy 1:9 "Who has saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began"
But man still needs to repent, you say. Yes. But it is God who even grants repentance. 2 Timothy 2:24-25 "God may perhaps grant that they will repent and come to know the truth." Is this gift given to all? Look at the words of Jesus in John 6:37: "All that the Father gives to me shall come to me." There is a specific number of people, given of the Father to Jesus . "and this is my Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me, I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day" (John 6:39). Jesus will not lose those the Father has given Him and they SHALL COME. Is it possible to say that all men are given to Jesus of the Father? No. Take another look at the text above, and you will see that is not possible. There is a direct relation between being given of the Father to Jesus, and coming. (All that the Father gives to me shall come..) You come if you are given of the Father. Do all men come to Jesus? No. Many perish daily.
Look again at Jesus' words to his disciples when they asked Him why he spoke in parables to the pharisees and to other people. They understood that the words Jesus spoke were the words of eternal life ("Lord, only you have the words of eternal life".) So they asked why he spoke in parables to some without explaining it to them. His answer was -(Luke 8: 10 :" And He said: Unto you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand." Matthew 13:11 "Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven; but to them it is not given" Mark 4:11 "And He said unto them: Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables.
I once found these verses very disturbing. I'd always wondered why Jesus, if He wanted all men to believe would hide his message when it was evident that if He made his Word clear to them, they would be saved. After reading through the gospels recently, it finally made sense to me. Unto some people it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but the one who "works all things according to the purpose of His will", has seen it fit to keep these things hidden from some. Luke 10:21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight" Unfair? To our finite minds, maybe. But who are we to be God's judge? ‘Does not the potter have the right' to do what he will with his own creation?‘Will not the judge of all the earth do right?" (Genesis 18:25) Yes, He always does.
Can an elected man resist God's calling?