Thank you for asking a question on www.thisisyourbible.com
(All quotations from the King James translation unless stated otherwise).
John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
I think that we have to balance Jesus' words against the commission he gives to the disciples to preach the gospel to all; the hearers being free to accept or reject it.
Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned (condemned).
It cannot be that free choice is just a ‘front’ and that God actively (and supernaturally) draws some and not others. We need to look for an alternative way to understand it. Jesus says that by his crucifixion he will draw all men unto him. Clearly the ‘all’ does not refer to every single person and there is no supernatural aspect to the ‘drawing’. It is reasonable to suppose that Jesus means that the knowledge of his crucifixion, willingly suffered for others when he had the power to avoid it, would cause many to believe that he is the Christ.
John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
From this understanding, it is also reasonable to suppose that God draws men by the knowledge of his word written in scripture. Many (but not all) who read and learn of the character of God will be drawn to him because they come to know of him; of his love shown to man from creation; of his plan and purpose with the earth and his offer of eternal life. This is supported by what follows in context.
John 6:45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.
We can only learn of the Father by reading and understanding scripture. There is no other way of knowing anything about God or his purpose. The teaching that God ‘calls’ individuals supernaturally is a false doctrine. Men are ‘called’ when they come to an understanding of scripture. Those who understand from scripture that God has promised a Messiah and base their hope of life on him are first drawn to God and then to Jesus because they recognise in him the fulfilment God's promises. The words of Philip to Nathanael illustrate that those who first of all learn of God, through the scriptures of Moses and the prophets, are able to recognise Jesus as the Christ.
John 1:45 Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.
Being of high intelligence and graduating through a theological college (as the Pharisees, Priests and Scribes in Jesus’ day and Doctors of Divinity in our day) was (and is) no guarantee of being able to understand scripture.
Matthew 11:25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.
Jesus does not mean that God actively hides the truth from individuals; rather that he has made it available in a way which does not suit the majority because they will not humble themselves and change their lifestyle.
Ezekiel 33:11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
To understand scripture we have to have a willingness to believe what it actually says. To be taught by God and so drawn to him. Jesus describes it as becoming like little children.
Matthew 18:3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Luke 18:17 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.
James puts the ball firmly in our court.
James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you...
Paul explains to Timothy the importance of diligently reading and meditating on the scriptures.
1 Timothy 4:13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine... 15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. 16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
2 Timothy 3:15... from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
God has chosen to save those who will believe through ‘the foolishness of preaching’.
1 Corinthians 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
Paul says this:
Romans 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
In conclusion; men and women are drawn to God when they understand the scriptures, learn of God and his purpose and desire above everything else to have a part in his promised kingdom.
Matthew 13:44... the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.
If you want to come to grips with what the Bible really teaches, why not take the free Bible study course on www.thisisyourbible.com? You may take this course either online or by regular mail.
This course will give you a background in the major themes of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. As with everything we offer, there is no cost to you other than your time and effort. You will also have a personal tutor to whom you may pose questions either from the course itself or those questions which come to you as you read the Bible.
I hope you have found this helpful.
May God bless you,