Within the Christian faith, we understand that an individual will not desire to come to God on their own. The depravity of mankind and the lost condition of our spirit prevents everyone from having a yearning to love and serve or even have an interest in God until there is a stirring of the mind and conscience.
So, what can cause people to want to know more about God? They must be drawn to Him. Whenever anyone is compelled to reach out to God, we know the Holy Spirit is intervening with a process known as spiritual conviction. This is the love and grace of God that allows a person to see his or her desperate need to be transformed into a new spiritual creation and the faith to accept this invitation.
There is a general or universal call which is made available to anyone whenever the gospel message is proclaimed. 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." This particular invitation of grace does not discriminate and is only conditional upon the person accepting His offer. The gospel of Jesus Christ is meant to be shared with everyone and promises that whoever receives this truth in faith and sincerely repents will be forgiven and will receive everlasting life, which only God can give. Accepting and believing is an attribute of the human free will and applies to this general call of redemption, as an individual has the choice to walk away and reject this opportunity. There is also an effectual call where God selects and pursues a particular person at a certain time, and this is not conditional to the human will. Of course, this is still an act of grace but is not dependent upon a human to accept or reject. Election is simply based on His desire to select and choose certain individuals and is an example of God's sovereignty. It must be noted this search and rescue process cannot fail. John the Baptist is someone who was elected before he was born, and in the parable of the lost sheep, Jesus explains how when a sheep goes missing, the shepherd will search until he finds it. The point of the parable is that God will always find and save those He is seeking. In both cases, John 3:3 declares that in order for Christ to be our Lord and to have eternal security, all must be born again. "Jesus answered and said unto him, verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
Within this miracle of His amazing grace, we cannot ignore the highly unpopular demand from God for us to also demonstrate a holy lifestyle. Conviction does not cease once a person is born-again but continues as a standard of truth to warn the follower to resist sin. It's common for many who are eager to accept their golden ticket to heaven to not be concerned with their awareness and dedication to the call of sanctification. We know there will be holiness and perfection in heaven, but we are reminded in first Peter 1:15-16 about our accountability to represent His nature and character here and now. "But as He which called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, be ye holy; for I am holy."
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