Question: Greetings, I've just been glancing at your website, and have found some of your arguments very interesting. Among theological subjects in general, I find election and predestination and how they relate to human responsibility the most challenging. I was wondering if you wouldn't mind sharing with me your interpretation of John 6:37:
"All that the Father gives to Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out." (NASB)
Response: We are free - to respond to our Creator. If and when we do, He gives us the power to become children of God (Jn.1:12). And we become a gift from the Father to the Son (Jn.10:29; 17:2, 6, 24; cf. Heb.2:13b). He wants everyone (Jn.3:17; 2Pet.3:9), but wants us to be willing (Jn.4:23). That is how I understand John 6:37: all who seek God in truth are directed by Him to the one and only Way. The passage refers more to the true way of salvation through Jesus Christ alone than it does to election (cf. vv. 36 and 38). One thing we can learn from Satan's rebellion (and on this see Satan's Rebellion part #1 especially where the argument is spelled out in full), is that faithfulness vs. rebellion is not an issue of intelligence or information. The angels had, compared to us, total creature information, yet a large number of them fell in with the devil anyway. They knew God very well, and still decided to rebel against Him. Human beings are far more limited than angels (at present) in all sorts of ways - longevity, mobility, intellect, information, power, etc. But we still all see and marvel at God's creation (cf. esp. Ps.19:1-4; Rom.1:19-20; 10:18-21), therefore we all are made aware of Him and of His greatness, and for all who take this insight and seek Him, He shows the way in Jesus Christ. Why do some accept Him and some reject Him? Why did so many angels rebel against Him? Those angels who fell, those human beings who choose to reject the Creator of the universe, all do so of their own free will. That choice comes from within, in the same way the choice to remain faithful and the choice to seek Him come from within. If we could not choose against Him, we could not choose for Him. I thank God that you and I chose for Him in Jesus Christ. It was not that we were smarter, or richer or better or stronger (1Cor.1:26-31). It was that He offered us the gift of His Son, and we accepted Him. We responded to God's authority, to His mercy. That offer was available to all. The fact that so many - in heaven and on earth - have chosen to cling to their own arrogance instead of clinging to the Living God does not negate His mercy or our humility. For all parties, this is a matter of individual choice. The best I can do is to point to Satan's example (see Satan's Rebellion part #1 again): when he became enamored of himself, this arrogance corrupted his heart, his perspective and his judgment. We know that fighting God, that spurning His only offer of salvation, Jesus Christ, is utter madness, but pride is (or soon begets) a madness that reduces God in one's thoughts - utter insanity - below oneself. We either choose self or God.
On the issue of believers losing their salvation when they cease to be believers, please see the link:
The False Doctrine of Absolute Eternal Security
On the issue of God's Will and how it relates to our free will, please see:
Faith: What is it?
Free-will faith and the Will of God.
Soteriology: The Biblical Study of Salvation (BB 4B)
Thanks be to Him for those who have made the right choice. Yours in Christ,