Irresistible Grace Acts 7:51 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
TULIP is the acrostic for the doctrine of Calvinism which says basically that Jesus died only for the elect, those predestined before the foundation of the world to be saved. Since the elect have already been chosen to salvation there is no way they can resist God’s grace when he is ready for them to be saved. Those who have been chosen to be damned, on the other hand, have no way to be saved. The damned couldn’t be saved if they wanted to because Christ didn’t die for them and they are too depraved to respond to his grace. TULIP stands for the following:
Perseverance of the saints
Today we want to look at Irresistible Grace which is the doctrine that, no matter what, you don’t have the free will to choose Christ. Instead, when it is “your time” God hits you with his grace and you can’t resist getting saved. Calvinists believe that you are actually born again before you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ since, in total depravity, you could not believe on the Lord Jesus Christ unless you were saved.
Now notice these verses concerning irresistible grace:
Israel resisted the Holy Spirit – Acts 7:51 – “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.” Israel is God’s elect [Is 45:4] and yet Stephen said that the Jews to whom he was preaching and their fathers before them resisted the Holy Ghost. Then God’s grace to save them is certainly not irresistible. As his elect, Israel should have most definitely responded affirmatively to Stephen’s preaching. Instead, they stoned him to death.
Jerusalem resisted the Lord – Matt 23:37 – “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” Here the Lord reveals that HIS WILL was to gather Jerusalem’s children and THEY WOULD NOT. There is no question that they resisted and they resisted OFTEN.
The Jews [God’s chosen people] would not come to Jesus – John 5:40 – “And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” Notice that Jesus said the reason that the Jews to whom he was preaching, whom he was encouraging to believe the witnesses to himself [Jn 5:32-39], would not come to him is that it was not their will. As John said in Jn 1:11, “He came unto his own, and his own received him not.” He was willing but they weren’t.
Grace is not irresistible. You choose based on your own free will.
Rebekah, a type of the church, chose to go to Isaac, a type of Christ – Gen 24:58 – “And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go.” The choice to go with Eleazar was Rebekah’s. The servant approached her in the same way that God approaches us. He is not willing that any should perish, but if you don’t come to repentance and receive Jesus Christ you will perish.
“Whosoever will” takes the water of life – Rev 22:17 – “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” God doesn’t force the gospel on anyone. It is made available to everyone. And whosoever will can take the water of life freely. “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved,” [Rom 10:13].
The Jews who returned to Jerusalem went up of their own free will – Ezra 7:13 – “I make a decree, that all they of the people of Israel, and of his priests and Levites, in my realm, which are minded of their own freewill to go up to Jerusalem, go with thee.” Artaxerxes didn’t force the Jews in captivity to return to Jerusalem any more than God forces a man to get saved by irresistible grace. He makes grace available to all through the shed blood of Jesus Christ and you either believe him or you don’t. It’s that simple.
Conclusion: the doctrine of irresistible grace is a doctrine created by man. It is not a Bible doctrine, though men use the Bible to “prove” it. You would never come to this doctrine by reading and studying the Bible on your own. Men are the ones who teach you to believe this doctrine, not God.