It is quite common to see the phrase "Wise men still seek HIM" on church marquees and signs around this time of year. The general purpose of such a message as this is to try and motivate men to seek out the SAVIOR by appealing to their ego. Those who use such tactics generally hold to the idea that all men are capable of "finding the LORD" (as if HE was the one who was lost) if we can just come up with some gimmick that can stir up their desire to do so. Scott Price recently pointed out another such "gimmick phrase" used by others with the same mindset; "real men love JESUS". As he pointed out, the purpose of this is designed to liken following CHRIST to some macho endeavor in the hopes of prompting macho minded men to action. After all no one wants to be considered a wimp, do they?
The other implication of these "gimmick phrases" is that those who are the followers of CHRIST must possess some worth in themselves above their fellow man which prompts them to be HIS disciples. After all if "real men" love HIM and "wise" men seek HIM the suggestion is that those who do seek HIM must be "real men" and "wise men". So now they can take a bow.
We are not surprised at the use of such phraseology since the prevalent line of thought among most of those who call themselves "Christians" is that "being saved" is a function of their own "free will" and is predicated on the actions they take rather than them being acted upon by the HOLY GHOST to believe in the salvation purchased by JESUS CHRIST. Most consider that their "salvation" is the result of their response to some plan that was laid out for them or some offer that was placed before them which they could either accept or reject based on their desire at the time. I have often heard the statement, "GOD has done all HE can do, now the rest is up to you." Such a message as this might appeal to a "wise man" but a man who has been quickened and humbled in the dust of repentance and knowing himself to be ruined and undone, is convinced that he needs something which he cannot supply, he is convinced that if the LORD is not pleased to show him mercy, he shall perish and that right quick.
The scripture plainly says, "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God." (Rom 3:10-11) Mercy must be extended to an unworthy sinner in the form of the "calling" of GOD or he will never even cry out for help. Those who are found seeking mercy have already been the recipients of it though the LORD is sometimes pleased to hide that fact from them until HIS own acceptable time. "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:44) Apart from GOD effectually calling sinners to HIMSELF none would ever come. No man would ever seek HIM regardless of how "wise" he may fancy himself to be. In fact, the wiser men are in this world the less likely it is that they shall be called according to the scripture verse that we began with. (see also Luke 10:21;18:24,25) We will look at some of the characteristics of the "calling" of GOD.
HIS call is:
Sovereignly dispensed. "For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call." (Acts 2:39) Let no man boast of his desire to seek the LORD of mercy and grace. GOD calls whom HE will and none of us have anything that we were not given, if we are seekers of truth it is because HE chose us to be and not because we were wise enough, bright enough, or tough enough.
Without regard to works or merit. "For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth." (Rom.9:11) GOD is no respecter of persons and HIS choice of HIS elect is not based on anything foreseen in them. The scripture never says that HIS choice is the result of HIS foreknowledge of their actions, but rather their action (of believing in HIM) is the result of HIS foreknowledge (i.e., to love ahead of time) of them (see Rom. 8:29)and not his knowledge ahead of time of what choice they would make. They are the called according to HIS purpose spoken of in Romans 8:28. The only choice any man will ever make on his own is to reject the word of GOD and to rebel against its AUTHOR.
Absolutely necessary for men to come. "Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word." (John 8:43) If HE did not call some with HIS effectual call, every last member of the human race would suffer the same fate of ultimate destruction. In order for a man to seek the LORD it is necessary that the LORD should seek him first. Thanks be unto GOD that JESUS CHRIST came into the world to seek and to save that which was lost. By and in our natural state we are unable to grasp spiritual truth being dead in trespasses and sins. We were not wounded in the fall but slain and unless HE should awaken us from the death of nature's night we would sleep even in the daylight of truth. Remember; HE said "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."(Luke 5:32)
Unable to be resisted. "Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified."(Rom.8:30) What ever GOD ordains to come to pass shall occur exactly as HE has purposed it to be and nothing can thwart HIS decree nor in any way alter the thing that goes out from HIS lips. HE predestinated some to be conformed to the image of HIS SON. We have no idea how many HE predestinated nor can we know ahead of HIS calling them; who they may be, but we can be certain that HE shall call every one of them with a call that cannot be resisted or ignored. We rejoice in the words of Peter, "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light." (1 Peter 2:9)
Without any possibility of change. "For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance." (Rom.11:29) The LORD changes not therefore everything which HE has decreed shall come to pass exactly as HE determines it to be and HE will never forsake those whom HE has loved with an everlasting love. These are the same ones upon which HE has demonstrated HIS love by calling them according to HIS eternal purpose. "Let not the wise bring forth their learning, let not the rich bring forth their wealth, but let the poor bring forth their yearning and the sick their need for health. For CHRIST receiveth sinful men."mam