According to the Bible nobody would come to God unless they were drawn by His Spirit, a mystery that is often missed by those thinking one can reason their way into salvation. Romans 3:10 declares, “There is none righteous…no not one.” The prospect of salvation is an impossibility by one’s own strength.
Some theologians spin the prospect of salvation as though it is a total work of God where there is no participation of the person being saved. This concept of predestination places the entire work of being saved at God’s choosing with no effort by the individual. This purely Calvinistic belief is an interesting take of God’s sovereign grace, however what about having free will and making a decision without interference from God? It raises a spiritual paradox should one subscribe to this explanation. How could Adam and Even obey God if they had no choice?
The impossible task of converting a dead spirit to a newly created one is a mystery that has even the angels in heaven in awe. There are complex spiritual issues clearly at work, however God is an orderly God and has a plan to fulfill the entire package within His timetable.
God’s promise to Abraham and Ishmael
Abraham is revered as the father of the Jewish nation while Abraham also is seen to be the father to the Arab nation. Ishmael of the Arabs and Isaac of the Jews each are respective patriarchs that received promises from God that must be fulfilled. The founding of Islam in the 7th century has made the task more difficult but not impossible with God. Christianity splintering off from the Jewish faith is another irreconcilable difference that seems to be something that cannot be put back together.
An extraordinary event is taking place in the Arab world as thousands upon thousands of descendants of Ishmael are having dreams of a Man in a flowing white robe appealing for their salvation. Islam accepts Jesus as a prophet and the identification of this Man being Jesus is converting the masses to Christianity that have the dream. It is a clear fulfillment of the promise God made to Ishmael and of the prophet Joel when he declared, “In the last days I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh” in Acts 2:17 which was a reference to Joel’s writing. The gospel being preached to all nations does not disqualify Jesus from a major assist in spreading the message.
This irresistible display could validate those adhering to the strict interpretation of predestination, however there is still the human will of submitting and accepting to this divine display being replicated all over the Middle East and beyond. It clearly is a powerful demonstration but a choice still needs to be made as with Paul’s conversion on His storied journey to Damascus documented in Acts. “Many are called, but few are chosen” were the words articulated to Ananias by Jesus concerning Paul being a chosen vessel of God. Chosen for a specific task and chosen for salvation represents two different appeals. One could make a case for either, but a living soul is given free reign to make a decision and then abide by the consequences.
The Spirit does draw and the Spirit does convict of sin by the preaching of the gospel as Peter demonstrated in his first sermon explaining the life, death, and resurrection of Christ in the beginning of Acts. Three thousands souls were converted by being “pricked in the heart”, however many more probably heard the message. Not everyone accepts the message when the call of salvation is generated through the Spirit by the preaching of the gospel. Sometimes the response is immediate, sometimes the response takes time to germinate, and sometimes there is never a response. The timetable and response will vary from person to person.
However God does have a timetable and although it is clearly substantiated in the Bible that nobody knows the hour or the day, one is also told that the season of the end of all things should not catch believers unaware according to Luke 21:34. The various indicators of the season coming upon believers for the return of Christ should not be a shock for those looking for Jesus’ return.
There is a combination of events that will move the hand of God, not as though these events will catch God unprepared, but all of these events working in tandem will ultimately be a spiritual signal; the fulfillment of required prophesies, the completeness of the martyrs, the Rapture ready numbers being accomplished, and the iniquity being full apparently all have a designated moment in time that will trigger God to finally act that only Yahweh God knows Himself.
God’s miracle with Israel
Once the Gentiles are taken care of, God will turn His attention back to His fig tree Israel and complete the work of salvation through what was established through Abraham and the twelve tribes of Israel. The question will be answered in Isaiah, “can these dry bones live?”
As stated in the Bible, “the first shall be last and the last shall be first” according to Matthew 20:16 by Christ. Jesus declared in Matthew 24: 35, “Heaven and Earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away”.