home polity my creed contact info books links sitemap
related articles
print email save save as pdf
 

Lien of OZ
Abortion
Artificial Reproduction
Bible Study
Family issues
Fatherhood
Homosexuality
Islam
One World Government
Church Order
Deacons
Elders
Men 
Sunday School
Women
Worship
Scripture
Bible
Theology
Creation
  Eschatology
Evangelise
Fear
Free Will
God
Heresies
Law
Love
Predestination
Reformed
Sacraments
Scripture
Sin
Soteriology
Sovereignty
Truth
Creeds
Ancient
Reformed
Universalistic
Verses
Words
Festivals
December 25
Easter
Halloween
Personal
Sabbath
Government
Church & State
Democracy
Government
Living
Body Mods
Death
Commitment
Discipline
Fear
Family
Kingdom
Modesty
Ourtimes
Prayer
Righteous
Potpourri
Abortion
Dates
Democracy
Historical
Homosex
Letters
Passages
Quotes
Sermons
Tracts
Religions
Evolution
Islam
Israel
Pagan
Copyright
Emails
Home

John 12:32

And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. (John 12:32 AV)


And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, The death of Christ is here signified by His being "lifted up from the earth", in allusion to the lifting up of the brazen serpent on the pole; and shows, that His death would not be natural, but violent, and would be public, and not private; and fitly expresses his mediation between God, and men, being lifted up between the heavens and the earth; and points out the death of the cross, as is intimated in the next verse. The "if" here does not suppose that His death, and the manner of it, were uncertain, for it was determined by God, agreed to by Himself, predicted in the Scriptures, signified by types, and foretold by Himself. It was necessary for the salvation of His people. And she shall bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name JESUS; for it is He that shall save His people from their sins. (Matthew 1:21)

I will draw all men to me; which is to be understood as the gathering of the elect to him, and in him, as their head and representative, when he was crucified for them; the collection of them, through the ministry of the apostles, and of their being brought to believe on him for eternal life and salvation: and this drawing of them to him, in consequence of his death, and the efficacious grace of God to bring them, though without any force and compulsion.

This is to be understood not of every individual of human nature; for all are not drawn to Christ, or enabled to come to him, and believe in him. There were many of the Jews who would not, and did not come to him for life and besides, there was at this time a multitude of souls in hell, who could not, nor never will be, drawn to Christ; and a greater number still there will be at the last day, who, instead of drawing to him in this gracious way and manner, will be bid to depart from him, as having been workers of iniquity. Christ died indeed for all men who are drawn unto him; but this is not true of all men, that are, were, or shall be in the world. by "all" are meant, all the elect of God, all the children of God, "I will draw all men to me"; refers to some of all sorts of men, of every state, condition, age, sex, and nation, Gentiles as well as Jews.

This verse must be taken with John 6:44. There it is stated that no one comes to Jesus unless the Father draws him; here, Jesus says he will draw all men (but of course, not all will come). What are we to make of the statement? In what sense does Jesus draw all men, since not all come? It seems there are two possibilities:

"all" does not really mean "all" but only "those who are to be drawn by the Father" (Joh 6:44)

"all" means "all men" but since not all come to Jesus, then not all respond to the "drawing" which Jesus speaks of here. In this latter case the "drawing" does not correspond to the efficacious call, but rather speaks of a "potential" open to anyone who will; but no one wills, on his own (Rom 3:11).

Which of these is the true statement? The word "all" in the Bible is usually taken as meaning "all classes of men" as in Rev 7:9-10 and not "every single individual person". Moreover, it is clear that not "all" men are "drawn" to Jesus and accounting for the fact that only those drawn by the Father will go to Jesus, then only the first statement is the effectual one.

This, and similar, verses, a few of which are listed below, are often cited to justify "free-will" salvation; and to attempt to disprove the doctrine of "election". However, the rendering of these verses as a basis for "free-will" salvation presents us with several very large contradictions and paradoxes in the Gospel message.

A sampling of this type of verse

"And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself." (John 12:32)

"For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all." (Romans 11:32)

"who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time," (1 Timothy 2:6)

"And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world." (1 John 2:2see

Apparent  Contradictions

When the words "all men" and "world" are taken in a literal sense, i.e. meaning each and every person, several problems arise.

We know that the Bible clearly teaches that each and every person does not come to Jesus. Therefore, if you take John 12:32, and similar verses, literally you create the following difficulties:

Jesus is not being truthful, since all men are not drawn to Him; or,

Jesus is not capable of drawing all men to Himself. or,

There is "Universal Salvation" and the sections of the Bible which state otherwise are untrue, thereby invalidating 2 Timothy 3:16, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,-"; or,

John misunderstood what Jesus was saying, again invalidating 2 Timothy 3:16.

Since the Bible clearly teaches that not all are saved, which is an act of God's mercy, taking Romans 11:32, and similar verses, literally poses its own problems:

Paul is teaching lies, or has misunderstood what he was taught, again invalidating 2 Timothy 3:16; or,

God is limited and cannot extend His mercy to everyone; or,

There is "Universal Salvation" and the Bible is not valid.

Since the Gospel message clearly teaches that Jesus' sacrifice on the cross fulfilled the atonement sacrifice for all time, and also teaches that not all are saved, taking 1 John 2:2, and similar verses, literally poses more problems:

John is teaching error, invalidating the veracity of the Bible; or,

God is limited and cannot extend His mercy to everyone; or,

There is "Universal Salvation."

Since none of these are true, it must be realized that these types of verses have a meaning that has to be taken in harmony with the  whole Holy Scripture. Additionally, they should be taken in context of the book they are from and who was being addressed. Verses such as John 12:32 have a dual purpose:

They notified the followers of Judaism that the Covenant no longer applied solely to the Jewish Nation but that it had been expanded to the Gentiles also. and,

They proclaim that salvation was not limited to office, health or station in life, but "all": Jew and Greek, bond and free, male and female, from all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues have access to Christ Jesus, as the Father draws whom He wills to come.

Matthew J Slick
Does the "all" here refer to every individual on the planet? If yes, then how can they be drawn and come to salvation if they never hear of Jesus and the gospel message? I don't see how they can since they never had the opportunity to hear and, therefore, believe in Jesus. Again, what about the tribesmen in the Amazon? What about the Incas and Aztecs at the time of Christ? What about the countless people who had never even heard of Jesus, the Bible, Jehovah, or the Jews? How are they drawn if Jesus draws all men? They certainly must be drawn if the Arminian position is valid and the "all" here means every individual. But no one can believe unless they hear the Word of God (Rom 10:17). How can the heathen believe without hearing? How can they all be drawn if they never hear the gospel or even have the slightest chance to ever hear it? They cannot.


This, and similar, verses, a few of which are listed below, are often cited to justify "free-will" salvation; and to attempt to disprove the doctrine of "election." The rendering of these verses as a basis for "free-will" salvation presents us with several very large contradictions and paradoxes in the Gospel message. 

A sampling of this type of verse

"And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself." (Joh 12:32)

"For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all." (Rom 11:32)

"who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,-." (1Ti 2:6)

"And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world." (1Jo 2:2)

 The Contradictions and paradoxes

When the words "all men" and "world" are taken in a literal sense, i.e. meaning each and every person, several problems arise.

We know that the Bible clearly teaches that each and every person does not come to Jesus. Therefore, if you take John 12:32, and similar verses, literally you create the following problems:

either,

Jesus is not being truthful, since all men are not drawn to Him;

or,

Jesus is not capable of drawing all men to Himself.

or,

There is "Universal Salvation" and the sections of the Bible which state otherwise are untrue, thereby invalidating 2 Timothy 3:16, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,-";

or,

John misunderstood what Jesus was saying, again invalidating 2 Timothy 3:16.

 

Since the Bible clearly teaches that not all are saved, which is an act of God's mercy, taking Romans 11:32, and similar verses, literally poses its own problems:

either,

Paul is teaching lie, or has misunderstood what he was taught, again invalidating 2 Timothy 3:16;

or,

God is limited and cannot extend His mercy to everyone;

or,

There is "Universal Salvation" and the Bible is not valid.

Since the Gospel message clearly teaches that Jesus' sacrifice on the cross fulfilled the atonement sacrifice for all time, and also teaches that not all are saved, taking 1 John 2:2, and similar verses, literally poses more problems:

either,

John is teaching error, invalidating the veracity of the Bible;

or,

God is limited and cannot extend His mercy to everyone;

or,

There is "Universal Salvation."

Since none of these is true, it must be realized that these types of verses are not meant to be taken strictly literally on their own, verses in Holy Scripture must be taken in the entire context of all Scripture, but must not be negated.  An harmonious agreement has to be found between them and the rest of Scripture.  Additionally, they should be taken in context of the book they are from and who was being addressed. Verses such as John 12:32 had a dual purpose. They notified the followers of Judaism that the Covenant no longer applied solely to the Jewish Nation but that it had been expanded to the Gentiles also, Eph 2:10-14. And, they proclaim that salvation was not limited to office, health or station in life. It was common among the Jews to believe that the condition of people who were extremely poor, or suffered from some handicap or disease, was due to sin and that it was also a sign from God that they were accursed.