Lesson Three:
God Calls and Man responds


1. Question: If God calls people to Himself, does He need believers to evangelize the unsaved?

God doesn’t need anything or anybody outside of Himself. He is not dependent on anything except Himself. Conclusion: God doesn’t need believers to evangelize.

If God needed believers, then Isaiah 55:8-11 would not be true. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not my ways. This is the Lord’s declaration. For as heaven is higher than earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For just as rain and snow fall from heaven and do not return there without saturating the earth and making it germinate and sprout, and providing seed to sow and food to eat, so my word that comes from my mouth will not return to me empty, but it will accomplish what I please and will prosper in what I send it to do."

There are no necessary human conditions listed in the declaration.


2. Question: Why does He command us to witness, if He doesn't need us?

What about Romans 10:14-15? “How will they hear without a preacher? And how will they preach unless they are sent?” Doesn’t this mean that God needs believers to evangelize, or people can’t get saved? Think about that.

Could God call people by sending an angel as a preacher? Couldn’t Jesus appear directly to someone? Maybe Paul is speaking to believers about reaching out to his own Jewish people and explaining why he is obsessed with preaching to them.


3. Question: Does God love everybody? John 3:16 is extremely clear.

Does He love everybody equally? Scripture is clear that God hates what people do and what they can become any disobeying Him, but no Scripture teaches that God loves some humans more than others.

4. Question: Does God want everybody saved? "God desires, all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." 1 Timothy 2:4. “All” means “all.”


5. Question: What does God do to get everybody saved? A better question: What does God do to “draw” people to Himself? The answer: God initiates the process by offering an invitation. Look at these verses.

Isaiah 1:18. "Come now, and let us reason together." The command to “come” addresses the human will. The offer to “reason together,” addresses the human mind. If a person doesn't come, there will be no reasoning together. The human will takes precedent over human action. Scripture never teaches that God ever forces anybody to come to Him against their will. Some people may believe that, but scripture never teaches it.

Matthew 11:28. “Come to me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest." “All” means “all.”

6. Question: What kind of person is God looking for when He calls everybody?

John 4:23, “True worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people, the Father seeks to be his worshipers.”

Matthew 7:7-8. “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”


Conclusion: The Father calls everybody. He initiates the process. He makes the invitation. Those who respond and “choose” to come to Him, He gives these people to Jesus. John 6:37. “All that the father gives to me, will come to me, and the one who comes to me I will never cast out.”

7. Question: Does everybody get saved? No. Read these verses.

Matthew 7:13-14. “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is narrow and the way is constricted that leads to life, and there are few who find it."

Luke 8:4-9. The parable of the four soils. Only one soil was any good. 25%.


A side note: Since the majority of people will reject Jesus, we should probably assume that any new acquaintances are not saved. Think about it. If I assume that a person is a believer, then I will encourage him to do good deeds. If that person is not saved, however, I have just given him a works-gospel. On the other hand, if I assume he is unsaved, but he is a believer, and I give him the gospel, that will be very encouraging to him. So when we meet new people, we should probably assume they are not saved, and attempt to evangelize them.

8. Question: Since God wants to save everybody, why doesn’t He save everybody?

John 4:23, The majority of mankind do not want to “worship the Father in spirit and truth."

The majority of people prefer other religions, other philosophies, or atheism. God initiates the offer to come, and Jesus pays for all human sin, but most people don’t want God as He is in reality. They want to fabricate their own gods.

1 John 2:2, “And he himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours, only, but also for those of the whole world." The “whole” world means the “whole” world. If a person refuses to accept that payment, then they have chosen to reject God.

Conclusion: God begins evangelism by drawing every person to Himself. This is important. GOD begins the process. Humans don't start out wanting God, but God has left them with the ability to "want" Him, if they choose to do so.

Evangelism can't make a person "want" God.


9. Question: How does God call people to Himself?

It is fascinating to see how Jesus attempted to draw people to Himself in John 2-4. I won’t repeat that chapter from my book,
Evangelism for the Fainthearted, or the audible edition, Evangelism for the Fainthearted (audible), but Jesus primarily used curiosity as His main tool. Read the chapter in my book and note the things that Jesus did that were the same and the things that were different in all three scenarios: The Jewish religious leaders, Nicodemus and the Samaritan woman at the well.

Just before Jesus went to the cross, He told his disciples what the Holy Spirit was doing to draw people to God.

John 16:8. “And He, when he comes, will convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness and judgment.”

The most important thing a human being can do is to accept God's payment for his sins. That acceptance requires repentance. Repentance means to change your mind. A person has to change their mind about God and sin. A person has to admit that they have sinned against God. And then a person has to ask God for forgiveness. This entire process has nothing to do with other people. It's between that person and God. Therefore, God's method of drawing people to himself is to use the Holy Spirit to convict them of their sin.

How does God do this? God uses external events and internal turmoil to draw people to his forgiveness. No human being can avoid being convicted by the Holy Spirit.


Have you ever tried to convict someone else of their sins? Shame on you. That's not your job, and you'll get it wrong. We cannot read another person’s heart. We never have all the facts to properly convict another person of their sins. We might observe a believer committing a sin, and then we can address what they did, but we can never convict an unsaved person of their sins, because that's a spiritual activity that goes beyond our logical reasoning power. Believers do not convict the unsaved of their sins. The Holy Spirit does that.

And if we stop trying to do the Holy Spirit’s job, we can spend more time focusing on getting the message of the gospel out to more people, and the Holy Spirit will use our efforts to convict more people of their sins.

A Story

Fred is unsaved. Jesse is a believer. They work together in the same office. God gives success to Fred. Fred can respond in one of two ways. He could take all the credit for his own success, or he can thank a Higher Power for helping him out. Then God causes something bad to happen to Fred. Fred can respond in one of two ways. Negatively, he can reject God by claiming that God doesn't exist or that it's God’s fault that things went bad. Positively, he can look up and ask God for help.

Jesse may be very outgoing or he may be a recluse. It doesn't matter. The Holy Spirit will work inside of Fred, regardless of Jesse's personality. In fact, the Holy Spirit will use Jesse's personality to convict Fred of his sins. Jesse's personality doesn't hinder the work of the Holy Spirit in Fred's life.

Conclusion: because God is completely in control of everything, he will use everything that Jesse does to impact Fred. Jesse won't have a clue as to what the Holy Spirit is doing inside of Fred. Fred’s outward response to Jesse’s personality might be totally different than what's really going on inside of Fred.

God Calls. Humans respond.

Jeremiah 1:5. "Before I formed you in the inner most parts, I knew you, and before you came out from the womb, I set you apart; I have given you as a profit to the nations."

Does that mean the Jeremiah had no ability to reject God's "setting him apart"? Or does it mean that when Jeremiah was an adult and had already chosen to follow Yahweh, that God revealed God's plan for Jeremiah's life? You "choose" which one of those two answers you "want" to believe.

Luke 8:10. "To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is in parables, so that seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand."

Jesus taught in parables to let people discover if they wanted more information from Him. The previous verse reads, "And his disciples began questioning him as to what this parable meant." Jesus gave more information to his disciples because they asked for more information.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5. "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the tearing down of strongholds, as we tear down speculations, and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ."

If God doesn't give people the ability to choose or reject the Gospel, then Paul and believers wouldn't need to tear down strongholds and speculations nor move people to obey God by pushing their thoughts toward obedience of Jesus.

The believer’s job is to share the gospel with the unsaved. Nothing more and nothing less. We will talk about "methods" in another blog post. If the believer does not do that, then the Holy Spirit will find another method to invite an unsaved person to come to God.


Let's ask God to "use" us to bring people to Him through our cultivation and sowing efforts. We might point out to the unsaved how they have sinned against God, but the Holy Spirit does the convicting.


1. Think about some of your friends and acquaintances. Can you recognize the things that God is using to draw them to Himself? Which comes first: drawing or evangelism?

2. For the next lesson. How are the Holy Spirit and Jesus similar? Where does the Bible come into evangelism?

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