As we should see in this section, if I have done a good enough job in showing Scriptural proof of the first three points, Efficacious Grace is the outcome of the first three points.
Efficacious Grace flows because of the following:
- if man is totally depraved, continually doing evil, without searching for God
- if God chooses, before the foundation of the world, a select group of people by the determination and counsel of only His holy will and nothing else, and;
- if Christ then died for only the elect and not those who were in and going to be in hell, then; It only makes sense that God would irresistibly draw the elect to Himself. Why would God choose someone before the foundation of the world, allow His Son to die on the cross for their sins and then not be able to draw this person to Himself?
“Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.”
But, this A=B scenario is not good enough for the babe or mature Christian, so, we must look to Scripture to find our guidance on the subject. But, first comes the refutation of Dr. Goetsch on this particular point.
The first set of Scripture that Dr. Goetsch turns to is Proverbs 1:22-24 which states:
“How long, O naive ones, will you love being simple-minded? And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing And fools hate knowledge? Turn to my reproof, Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you. Because I called and you refused, I stretched out my hand and no one paid attention;"
What is interesting is that we see right from the start who God is talking to here in this passage of Scripture, which by the way is speaking of wisdom in the entire first chapter of Proverbs. So, follow me here. God is speaking about HIS wisdom here and is talking to “naïve ones” in the first of this short passage in verse 22. He is speaking to those who will never turn and who will never listen. He is speaking to those who have been “passed over;” the reprobate. They are naïve and will never learn from God the wisdom that only comes from Him. Look to John 6:45
“It is written in the prophets, ‘AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me’
I will also laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your dread comes
We also learn in Isaiah 66 at the end of the chapter that those in heaven will come to watch the bodies of those who refused God, burn and be eaten by the worm that will never die. This seems cold and heartless but this is the fate of those who turn a deaf ear.
The mistake that Dr. Goetsch then makes is that he states the following based on Proverbs 1:
God was pleading with the nation. He was pleading with the people. He was saying, “ I have done everything that I know to do to bring you to Myself, but you would not.”
Then He began to denounce the cities in which most of His miracles were done, because they did not repent. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had occurred in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. “Nevertheless I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you. “And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will descend to Hades; for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day. “Nevertheless I say to you that it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you.”
Did you catch that? Jesus Christ just said that the Father’s perfect knowledge knew that if certain miracles were done in Tyre and Sidon that they would have repented! So, if this is true, why didn’t God do those miracles so that they would repent? Simply put, these people were not chosen to be saved. We don’t know the secret will of God, nor do we pretend to, but we do know that if God is omniscient then He knows exactly what we need to “see” or “experience” (which is always the word of God according to Romans 10:17) to be saved, and for those who are His elect He reveals, and for those He does not choose, He withholds.
Dr. Goetsch then goes on to show Isaiah 65:12; Jeremiah 7:13; Matthew 22:3; John 5:40 which all point to God calling for repentance and man refusing. Why wouldn't they refuse? They are all totally depraved and think the things of God to be foolishness (1 Corinthians 2:14). They are blinded by the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4) and do no good and don't fear God (Romans 3). Dr. Goetsch, on the other hand, says that this is clearly God doing all He can but man being able to refuse that calling. We Calvinist don’t deny that God calls everyone to repentance, but there is a general call and a specific or special call. The general call is shown in all those above mentioned verses. It is also shown in Romans 1 where God is said to show all His invisible attributes in creation. But notice why these verses are all given: to show the sinner is fully responsible for their sin and they are the reason they are going to hell. I do believe the Scripture when it says, “Many are called but few are chosen (Matthew 22:14).”
The sinner is the only one that sends himself to hell and it because they hardened their heart and turned from God. They, because of their sin, chose evil all the days of their lives and did not choose God. They will pay for their sin in hell forever because of this bondage in sin that they chose. Many say, “Wait, they didn’t really have a choice if God is the only one who can make them choose good!” We must think another way: If it wasn’t for God, none of us would choose good, so praise God that out of His goodness He chose some to escape hell and didn’t leave us all where we deserve: in sin. This discussion is better left for another time as we focus our attention on efficacious grace. If you want a good illustration of this point go to Jeremiah 25 where God says that HE sends Babylon to bring judgment to Judah and that in the end Babylon will be judged for their sin. This doesn’t sound fair if God is the one doing the determining how can Babylon be punished for something that God foreordained and determined? Left in our sin, we will sin endlessly and care not about the things of God.
As I stated at the beginning of this post it comes down to the belief of the first three points of the doctrines of Grace: total depravity, unconditional election and limited atonement. The main focus of my attention will be placed in John 6 for this ending part of this post.
“All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. “It is written in the prophets, ‘AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me."
Notice these references. Christ says that “all,” or every single person, that God gives Christ, or the elect, will come to Me (Christ). This is definitive, there are no outs, there are no times when these people will not come, this grace that is shown these gifts from the Father to Christ is irresistible. If we could resist God that would mean that God intended to give Christ a gift (a person) but didn’t have the power to carry out that gift. Does this not fly in face of God’s omnipotence? Isn’t God all powerful? Did not Job state in Job 42:2“I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted. "
Would not a person, the gift, which is to be given from the Father to the Son, would not this person be a “purpose of God” mentioned in Job 42? If so, then how can God’s plan to give this gift be thwarted, even by the person themselves resisting that grace? The answer lies in John 6: They can’t thwart God’s plan! They, or better put, we, cannot resist God’s drawing, it is irresistible. Most say, “well, if Paul refused God on the road to Damascus, God would have just used someone else.” No! Paul is apart of God’s plan, not just the preaching to the Gentiles. People get this so mixed up, as if God doesn’t care about the specifics. If God wants a tribe in Africa to come to Him in the year 2010, He not only has the specific tribe in mind but He has the specific person that will preach to that tribe! They are all apart of God’s purpose. So, if this “so-called preacher” is not a believer as of 2007, that preacher will be saved by the year 2010, and will hear the call to Africa to that tribe so that God’s purpose will stand. All of God’s plan, all of it, not one “jot or tittle” will go be removed.
We do notice in John 6:44,45 that there are some things that happen to make it irresistible and these are the drawing of the Father and the hearing and learning from the Father. These must happen, and this is called specific or special revelation, and only is given to the elect. And every single one of them, all of them, will come to God. If God’s grace is resistible then what Jesus says in John 6 is a complete fabrication and should have put some “outs” for those who could deny the drawing. But there isn’t. I know that sounds strong but there is no way around Christ’s words. Either all will come or not; you can’t have it both ways. So either there is a general revelation and a special revelation or there is just one revelation to all man kind. The Calvinist says there has to be two kinds of revelation because we see that some can resist God’s “call” but this is not the special revelation mentioned in John 6. The non-Calvinist states that there is only one call so man can resist. But how do they come to grips with John 6 that says that “all” will come that has heard and learned of the Father?
There has to be two types of revelation, or John 6 makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.
Those who deny Efficacious Grace show a God that is sitting in heaven hoping that His plans of salvation come true. Hope that those He chose, will indeed choose. Simply put, could have Jeremiah, Moses, Noah, David or Abraham resisted absolutely God’s call? If so, God’s plan could have been thwarted and when God said that He foreknew Jeremiah this was just a, “well, I thought I foreknew you and I am glad that you chose Me or I would have gone another way!” That is not the God that I serve. The God of the Bible states:
The mind of man plans his way,
But the LORD determines his steps.
The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD;
He turns it wherever He wishes.
And they observed the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with joy, for the LORD had caused them to rejoice, and had turned the heart of the king of Assyria toward them to encourage them in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.
The God of the Bible is in complete control and nothing can thwart the great El Shaddai, the Lord of Hosts, the Almighty Yahweh.
This includes drawing perfectly His chosen elect whom will worship Him forever in the presence of the Prince of Peace.