Too Arminian to Seek After God
We, of course, find no fault with the Scripture, “Seek the Lord while He may be found (Is 55:6).” The problem resides in the human imperative, “Don’t wait until it’s too late!” The assumption is that the lost — young or old, independent or dependent, happy or sad, busy or lazy, perky or tired, living or dead — has any will or ability to comply with the human or the divine imperative.
There is no shortage of imperatives in the Bible for men to seek, for instance, the kingdom of God (Mt 6:33; Lk 12:31). They should seek to enter in (Lk 13:24). They should seek it, diligently, until they find it (Lk 15:8). Even when one appears to seek Jesus, as did Nicodemus (Jn 3:1–8), men come with ulterior motives (Jn 6:26). They may seek Jesus for a free lunch or to use Christ for their own ends (Jn 7:18, 25).
Our Lord Jesus warned that men would seek Him, but they would not find Him (Jn 7:36), even dying in their sins (Jn 8:21). The natural man has no Spirit in him to seek righteousness. Like men of old, they seek Jesus to kill Him (Jn 8:40). Today, of course, this is done in the realm of the spirit of Antichrist. A parent may kill the spirit of a child by abusing him. We understand the latter, and we must see it in the spiritual. The world hates Christ (Jn 7:7; 15:18), but the world will bear witness that it does not. It is a world of lies, inspired by the father of lies (Jn 8:44).
The false teacher claims to represent Jesus Christ. He may ride his bike with a friend…for Jesus. He may dress up in fine clothing and knock on doors, claiming to be serving Jesus. The charlatan television preacher is happy to show you how much he seeks Jesus, and how much mammon he has received from Jesus, for his faithfulness in service. Do these people have the right Jesus?
The Bible teaches us that God is not far from any of us (Acts 17:27). It also teaches that God is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Heb 11:6). All people everywhere and at all times should diligently seek Him because they will be happy, if they find Him (Acts 17:27). Does anyone seek and find Jesus on his own? Does a man generate faith in Christ, while apart from Christ?
The Bible also teaches us that there is no one who seeks for God (Rom 3:11). Despite being told to repent (Acts 17:30), without the grace of repentance being granted to a man, by God, he will never turn from his wicked ways and live. In one sense, all men are God’s offspring because He is the Creator of all (Acts 17:28), but He has not made all men to be equal, for some are vessels prepared for glory and others for destruction (Rom 9:22–23).
How then does one become a true seeker of the one true God? If no one, of his own will (Jn 1:12–13; Rom 9:16) or ability (Rom 8:7), seeks for God, then God must make the man into a seeker, not of the man’s own desires and personal ambitions (Phil 2:21), but a seeker of Jesus Christ and that which pertains to the Lord.
This is the transformation we call “salvation.” Only God’s elect from before the foundation of the world will ever seek God in Christ, and it is only by God’s doing that one is in Christ to do so (1 Cor 1:30). The manifestation of this conversion, from man-centered thinking, words, and actions…to God and Christ-centered thoughts, words, and actions is seen in a man’s pursuit of things above (Col 3:1).
The converted to Christ seek a heavenly country (Heb 11:14), that is, one to come (Heb 13:14). The spiritually-minded man (1 Cor 2:15–16) has been given the Spirit of Christ, as the gift of God (Acts 2:38; 10:45). This, in turn, equips the saint with diverse spiritual gifts (1 Cor 12:4), to serve the Lord, in the power and wisdom of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 1:24).
The Spirit of the Lord will always guide the born again to walk as children of light (Eph 5:8; Phil 2:15). The natural man loves darkness because his deeds are evil (Jn 3:19). There is nothing in him that desires life, light, or liberation from sin. The mind set on the flesh is death (Rom 8:6).
The Arminian error is to entice men to seek a “Jesus” they assure men, can be found by free will and universal God-given ability. Despite the Bible teaching men that salvation belongs to God (Ps 3:8; Jon 2:9; Rev 19:1), fleshly minded men love the salvation they can control.
The man who has been convinced by the false teacher, says, “I am going to live for Jesus.” This man is exposed by his own words and actions, “I am going to go and win souls for Jesus.” He wants power, too, “Fill me as full as a human can be with the Holy Spirit of God, for I am going to unshackle myself, tonight. I am going to read my Bible from now on. I am starting my prayer life right now.”
This man has no genuine interest in Christ. He has a very real interest in himself. He goes to Jesus for whatever he can get from Jesus, to make himself a better man. Jesus is a mere self-help guru. Men don’t self-crucify themselves, saying, “I want to be crucified with Christ.” This only proves that all men are liars (Rom 3:4).
The Arminian way seems right to a man because it appeals to the flesh. It is man-centered, and it caters to the self-interest of a man. It is this very thing that men are told they must repent from, but only those who are born again of God’s Spirit know there is no good thing in the flesh of men…that a man seeks after God.
Christian, rejoice, today, in what God alone has done for you…and to you. Never, ever boast in your will and ability, for apart from Christ (Jn 15:5), you are nothing and can do nothing pleasing to the Lord. Do you have faith in Christ? It was not of yourself (Eph 2:8–9).
God did it all. He did not give you a choice, nor a decision to make. He Himself made a decision in eternity, and His gracious choice was manifest in your life, in His time (Heb 11:5). That is the only reason you seek God. If you have another reason, then you are not seeking God, but only the god you call, “self.”
Spokane Valley, Washington
November 26, 2022