The Holy Spirit calls us to salvation. Does everyone answer His call?

Pastor Jeff Struecker

Last week, we discussed the general call of God, and we saw from Isaiah 45 that God calls all the people of the earth out of their sins and invites them into a relationship with Him. It’s amazing to think that people from every corner of the world, speaking every language and belonging to every tribe, ethnicity, and skin color, are invited to have a relationship with their Creator. This means that you and I were both extended this invitation, which is such a beautiful thing. If God’s call was only for one specific group of people, then one of us might not have been included. Well, that’s the general call of God to all people all over the planet. I called that last week, the air campaign. Today, as we’re diving deeper into the call of God, we will look at the salvation of God and how His Holy Spirit brings people into a relationship with Him through His Son, Jesus. But today, we will get to the ground level and look at the ground campaign of effectual calling.

Here are three phrases theologians use to describe something. They mean the same thing but use a different language.

Efficacious grace

Infallible grace

Irresistible grace

Have you heard of efficacious grace? It may be a new term to you, but it simply means effective grace. This kind of grace accomplishes what God intends for it to accomplish. And speaking of grace, it’s not just a prayer or a song but a gift that we don’t deserve. That’s what makes it truly amazing. Efficacious grace is when God makes this gift effective in our lives.

Infallible grace cannot fail and always accomplishes God’s intentions. The Bible also uses this term to describe how God’s words achieve their purpose.

When we truly understand how amazing God is and how sinful we are, it becomes impossible not to run after Him, fall at His feet in repentance, and ask for the gift of salvation. This is what God’s irresistible grace means, and it is truly a powerful force in our lives.

It can be confusing to understand the concept of the Holy Spirit’s call being both effective and irresistible while recognizing that God’s call is for everyone, but only some will respond. This has been a question that has puzzled theologians for a long time. However, Jesus’ words invite all people into a relationship with God, but it’s up to God to bring some people into that relationship. So, in a way, both statements are true – God calls all people, but only some will respond to that call.

Memory Verse

It seems like there is some confusion regarding God’s invitation for people to have a relationship with Him. Some may say that God is inviting everyone, while others may say that only certain people are being called. However, if we look at it from God’s perspective, it is clear that He is inviting all people from all over the world into a relationship with Him. However, Jesus also stated in Matthew chapter 22 that although many are called, few are chosen. This is where God’s ground war comes in, where He reaches out to people in their sins, transforms them, and makes them new. It can be challenging to understand how both of these things can be true at the same time, and even some of the most knowledgeable theologians have come to the same conclusion. Charles Spurgeon compared it to railroad tracks that run parallel to each other but never touch, but converge under the throne of God. Ultimately, only God understands how both of these things can be true, and we must acknowledge that many are called, but few are chosen.

And now I want to ask you a question about what you just heard from the Bible today. And the question is,

Challenge

Isn’t this a hypothetical question that many theologians have used to process the air war and the ground war at the same time? Imagine twin girls who are always in the same circumstances at the same time, hearing the same thing from the same people, are never separated, and end up at the end of their lives. One of them is on their way to heaven, and one of them is not. How is that possible that they end up with different fates in the afterlife? And the answer to that question will help you understand the air campaign (the general call of God) versus the ground campaign (the effectual call of God).