Within the Christian faith, we understand that individuals will not come to God on their own. The depravity of mankind and the lost condition of their spiritual state prevents everyone from having a desire to love and serve or even an interest in God until God intervenes.
So what can cause a person to want to know more about God? They must be drawn to him as they would not have the faith to come to Jesus unless God first places the desire in their heart.
Whenever anyone is compelled to reach out to God, we know the Holy Spirit is tugging on their heartstrings with a process known as spiritual conviction. This is when the Lord intervenes and awakens our conscience so we can see our lost condition and desperate need to be transformed into a new spiritual creation.
The purpose of Jesus coming to Earth and agreeing to go through the crucifixion and resurrection was so that all who believe in God could have this opportunity to be rescued from a hopeless spiritual state and be transformed into a member of his family. His body was the only acceptable sacrifice, and his blood is the only payment that can pay for the sins of those who love him.
He was sinless, and it is that pure and holy offering of love that opened the door to our spiritual redemption. In short, he died so that we could live. It's true: We are all sinners — but there is a difference between the lost sinner and the saved sinner. The lost sinner has never been transformed into a new spiritual identity, while the saved sinner is progressing and developing as they allow God to teach them how to live for him.
There is a general or universal call, also commonly referred to as the gospel call, that is made available to anyone whenever the message of Jesus is proclaimed. This invitation of grace does not discriminate and is conditional upon the person accepting his offer.
Luke 14:23 says, "Then the master said to the servant, 'Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.'" His Gospel is meant to be shared with everyone, and it promises that whoever believes in faith and sincerely repents will be forgiven and will receive everlasting life, which only God can give.
We are told in Romans 1:20 that God's presence is everywhere. "For since the creation of the world, God's invisible qualities, his eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse." He has revealed himself through his creation, providing evidence of his existence and the expectation for all to worship him.
In addition, there is also an effectual call where God selects and pursues a particular person at a certain time, and this is not conditional on the human will. Of course, it's still an act of grace, but is not dependent upon a human to accept or reject. Predestination is simply based on his desire to select and choose certain individuals and is another view of his sovereignty.
It also must be noted that he is perfect in all his ways. John the Baptist is an example of someone who was elected before he was born. In the parable of the lost sheep, Jesus explains how, when a sheep goes missing, the shepherd will never stop searching. The point of the parable is that God will always find us.
There is a considerable amount of disagreement between God electing people to his salvation and the human choice to accept him as Lord. Nonetheless, it's clear that he provides the process, supplies the faith and is the only one who has the divine authority to deliver anyone from sin and transform our spirit.
In both aspects of these callings, we are overwhelmed with God's love and mercy. John 3:3 reminds us that in order to know God and have eternal life, we must be born again: "Jesus answered and said unto him, verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a person be born again, they cannot see the kingdom of God."
God loves you today and wants to save you and give you eternal life. Heed these words from Romans 10:13, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
Watch Billy Holland's new video, "God Has a Plan for All of Us," at billyhollandministries.com.