“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me. No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life” (John 6:44-47).
Continued from Jesus Who?—Dinner with Sinners.
I’ve written that I am convinced this life is all about revelation; that sheep are being distinguished from the goats. I believe that the elect were predestined to bear witness to the glory of God in Christ Jesus; this is why we proclaim the Good News to the ends of the earth! We proclaim the Good News to bear witness to what God has already ordained and Christ has fulfilled! I liken sharing the Good News to selling newspapers on a street corner heralding that the war is won! And God uses the occasion to reveal salvation in the elect while indicting the wicked.
We were created in Christ to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10). God foreknew and predestined us to be conformed into the image of His Son (Romans 8:29). There are any number of places in scripture that speak of God weaving us together in our mother’s womb. In fact, there are any number of places that speak of God not only knowing us, but having plans for us prior to conception (Psalm 71:6; Psalm 139:13-16; Jeremiah 1:4-5; Romans 9:11; Galatians 1:15). Some time ago, the Holy Spirit called my attention to this mystery, and I’ve been intrigued ever since. I’ve devoted the matter to much prayer and contemplation.
Consider the Parable of the Weeds:
Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.
“The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’
“‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.
“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
“‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn’” (Matthew 13:24-30).
God says to Moses in Exodus 33:19 that He will have mercy on whom He has mercy and compassion on whom He has compassion. Similarly, Jesus taught that no man can come to the Son unless the Father draws him. “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me. No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life” (John 6:44-47). So check out what Jesus says here in verses 45 and 46, “Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me. No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father.” Was Jesus referring to Himself here, or is Jesus referring to those sent to Him by the Father? I contend the latter is true.
Consider the potter and the clay:
It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.
One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?” But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?
What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory— even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? (Romans 9:16-24).
Consider this passage from John:
Jesus said, “This voice was for your benefit, not mine. Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die (John 12:30-33).
These passages may all contain different contexts and even be meant for different audiences, but in their diversity, the argument is made. There isn’t just one verse in one situation that states God’s view of human life to include prior to conception; there are many verses, in many situations, that do so outright. I believe there are sects of Christianity, which teach something along these lines, but then get off track, while other religions would confuse what I’m writing about with reincarnation. The enemy is crafty; the most effective lies are those which distort the truth. Christ was lifted up from the earth to die, taking the sins of all people upon Himself. The sheep and the goats revealed; the elect find grace, while for the wicked, condemnation remains.
The scripture considered in this post is full of any number of other revelations and wonderful truths worth exploring, but I have written what I believe the Holy Spirit has guided me to write.
I’m purposely stopping before stating a conclusion, because the mystery is still being unraveled for me; this is not an easy mystery with truths difficult to accept. Besides, who am I to connect the dots on such a cosmic scale? All I have to offer, at the moment, beyond what I’ve already stated is speculation. Therefore, I will close by saying that I believe the Church has lost much knowledge along the way, and unfortunately, the enemy has been all too happy to fill in the gaps. God is speaking to us through His Word; He is trying to give us a glimpse into what the hymn proclaims: “How great thou art!” Until next time!
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This is profound and very moving. When I was in Israel, I saw shepherds who
herded sheep and goats together. But the animals act differently, and
eventually, as you say, the Lord will separate the sheep from the goats.
Thanks for sharing.
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Thank you for reading. I have been moved and intrigued by this too. It’s funny how we can read something a hundred times and not see something until it’s God’s time.
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I like the Parable of the Weeds. It is a challenge for all of us. We need to ignore the enemy and continue living a righteousness life. God bless!
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It’s a challenge indeed! Thank God we’re not left to our own strength. God bless you as well!
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