“Persuaded” shows up 21 times in the New King James Version of the Bible.
“If” shows up 1643 times in the New King James Version of the Bible.
“Choose” shows up 39 times in the New King James Version of the Bible.
“Confess” shows up 25 times in the New King James Version of the Bible.
“Choice” shows up 31 times in the New King James Version of the Bible.
“Come” shows up 1720 times in the New King James Version of the Bible.
"turn" shows up 287 times in the New King James Version of the Bible.
“Whoever" shows up 254 times in the New King James Version Bible. Most of the whoever's were directly related to salvation.
Wow I'll give you a sample of a few. Not every passage of these are about salvation but at least half are directly related to salvation in one way or another.
Mark 10:21 - Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”
Luke 9:23 - Then He said to them all, “if anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
Matthew 16:24-28 ... 24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. 28 “Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”
Luke 14:20 ... “Still another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.'
Luke 14:27 ... “And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.
Luke 18:16 ... But Jesus called them to Him and said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.
Luke 18:22 ... So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
Commit to the lord statements are a few times too ... Psalms 37:5 ... Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass … and in Proverbs 16:3 ... Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established … these are clear that we are able to respond to the call of God.
Acts 10:43 ... “To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.”
Romans 9:33 ... As it is written: “Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense, and whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”
Romans 10:13 ... For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
We need to strive to be more like Jesus everyday. So my answer is yes absolutely. Bible passages to support this answer are ...
1. John 9:4 ... I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.
2. Daniel 12:3 ... Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.
Mark 4:12 ... “so that ‘Seeing they may see and not perceive, and hearing they may hear and not understand; lest they should turn, and their sins be forgiven them.' ”
Luke 1:17 ... “He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,' and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
Gal 4:9 ... But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage?
Tons of more verses with these words are about saving souls. I saw a quote once, it said, "I want to win just one more for Jesus". But in true Reformed teachings, especially in hyper Calvinist teachings, missions work is pointless and a waste of time because you being God's mouthpiece is not going to alter whatever these people have been predestined outside of anything that they, or even you the missionary/pastor, did, do, will do, said, say or will say someday. Why would Jesus bother sending people out to make disciples when this will be fruitless and won't accomplish anything because the person spoken to cannot choose Christ? Jesus doesn't support this teaching. He said in Isaiah 55:11 ... So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
Christ's truth that He shares through us is able to save people because those words won't come back empty. Even if people reject it, it'll be evidence brought against them on judgement day when they try and say, "I didn't know!"
Acts 17:10-15 ... 10 Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. 12 Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men. 13 But when the Jews from Thessalonica learned that the word of God was preached by Paul at Berea, they came there also and stirred up the crowds. 14 Then immediately the brethren sent Paul away, to go to the sea; but both Silas and Timothy remained there. 15 So those who conducted Paul brought him to Athens; and receiving a command for Silas and Timothy to come to him with all speed, they departed.
This shows that even if a pastor is blessed by God you should question what he says and teaches. Don't take anyone's word for it. And a frightening truth is that this is happening in this day in the church. The devil will stop at nothing to destroy it. The Baptists in Calvin's day were theologically 100% separate but the Calvinists are infiltrating and perverting even Baptist churches. Like it says in this passage, "they came there also and stirred up the crowds". May God preserve His blessed church.
Matthew 24:15-31 ... 15 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened. 23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24 For false Christ's and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand. 26 “Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 28 For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together. 29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Something I found very interesting and amazed me very much, and moved by was when it is about the character of God that Pastor Greg Bylsma preached on. These are his words (paraphrased) on March 4, 2018, at Living Water Reformed Church in Brantford, Ontario, Canada ... The sovereign God of the universe did not come to demand the descendants of Adam to worship and serve Him, but rather to serve this humanity and lay down His life for lost and wicked humanity.
“True Love Cannot be Forced nor Demanded”
Therefore, since true love cannot be forced nor demanded, and God wants us to love Him, the only way He can have genuine love from mankind, He had to come to us the way He did. Not demanding but serving. What amazing love is this!
I wanted to ask him if he's sure he's a Calvinist. After all his sermon was not in line with Calvinism but it was in line with God's Word. Praise the Lord! May God richly bless pastor Greg Bylsma for this message. This is not what Calvinism teaches. They believe that if people believe in free will, that this means that this person doesn't believe in the sovereignty of God, because they believe that God is totally in power and demands and decrees everything because He alone makes any decisions. This is why a true Calvinist does not believe that man has free will nor that man is able to respond to God's call at all. This is not what that quote is saying if God in His sovereignty came to serve and not be served.
In my opinion God is a God of love and our truest friend because as John 15:13 says ... Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.
What an awesome, wonderful and loving God we have that He would go this far to prove His divine love for mankind, that even though they are undeserving, God still came and died for mankind.
To respond to God in Christ we need to answer the question Jesus asked Peter. Read Mark 8:28-30 ... 28 So they answered, “John the Baptist; but some say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.” 29 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered and said to Him, “You are the Christ.” 30 Then He strictly warned them that they should tell no one about Him.
Here again is the question, look at Matthew 21:10-11 ... 10 And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, “Who is this?” 11 So the multitudes said, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.”
Who do you say Jesus is?