SALVATION: Unless God "DRAG" Us?
L. Ray Smith on Salvation by Dragging
L. Ray Smith, a “priest in training” of a Universalist-based cult stated as follows, and I quote:
“Billy Graham: It was reported years ago that in a Billy Graham crusade when Mr. Graham called for people to come to the altar to accept Jesus Christ he make a statement similar to the following: "Don't pray for these people who are making their decision for Christ at this time. It is fine if you prayed for them before and it is fine if you pray for them afterwards, but right now the decision must be theirs and theirs ALONE." Statements like that from the clergy overwhelm me--completely overwhelm me! As though a man or woman could actually make such a decision to "come to Christ" on their own without God. "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).”
These poor people, following this cult of L. Ray Smith and his teachings, feel like they “hope” God will “draw” (which means to drag, like a fisherman drags in a net of fish) him or her to salvation. I've not yet spoken to ONE who believes s/he is saved and this makes me wonder if L. Ray Smith is in the same boat? The unsaved leading the unsaved?
First of all, we must expose the root of L. Ray Smith. There was/is a hubber on HubPages called "yes2truth" who was an avid follower of this man's teaching, yet I recently stumbled upon a web-posting written by him back in March 2006 called "L. Ray Smith - The Legalist Blasphemer!" in which he states, and I quote, "Myself, like old Ray, having once been a member of Herbert W. Armstrongs's Judaising cult, and upon stumbling across ('stumbling' being a very relevant word here) L. Ray Smith's website and forum, I instantly related to his no nonsense style of preaching/teaching, which in itself is fine, and therein found much Truth being taught, but then, Hello!? I've been here before haven't I? Yes of course I had and there it was, all the time, that old stumbling block of legalism."
Now, I've already exposed Armstrongism in my hub A False Prophet of the Last Days? Another name for this cult is the Worldwide Church of God.
Back to "dragging": Is it any wonder Jesus said to His disciples, "Follow me, and I shall make you fishers of men"? (Matthew 4:19) And indeed, the disciples saw multitudes getting saved in their time (Acts 10:44-48). Do they think the Father will NOT draw some? They are wrong, according to John 12:32: "But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself." When was He lifted up? On the CROSS and through His resurrection and ascension into the heavens!
How and when does Jesus Christ draw ALL men to Himself? We're going to see the answer here shortly.
How Does God Draw "Drag" Us?
Let’s look at what the Bible says about salvation and God “dragging” people to obtain it.
EPHESIANS 2:8-9 (THE HOLY BIBLE) STATES, “FOR BY GRACE ARE YOU SAVED THROUGH FAITH, AND THAT NOT OF YOURSELVES; IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD, NOT OF WORKS, LEST ANY MAN SHOULD BOAST.”
So we’re saved through FAITH. What is FAITH?
HEBREWS 11:1 (THE HOLY BIBLE) STATES, “NOW FAITH IS THE ASSURANCE OF THINGS HOPED FOR, THE CONVICTION OF THINGS NOT SEEN.”
How in the world do we have the faith, unless we hear the Word and respond to the conviction of the Holy Spirit? Have you ever been to a church gathering, or better yet, do you see all throughout the Bible that not only Jesus, but His disciples who later became apostles (ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ) SPOKE to others? What were they speaking? They were speaking the Word of God, quoting prophesies of the Old Testament and showing them fulfilled in the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
Again, John 12:32: "But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself."
Does this mean ALL will be saved? Some will reject His calling based on John 12:48 "He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day."
Ministers and believers alike continue to preach the gospel throughout the world. Now, not all prophets are true, as we know many false prophets have gone out into the world, and I’ve written a hub regarding “Signs of Christian Cults”. One of the worst false teachings is that some will be judged and ultimately saved through the spiritual Lake of Fire. Did you just read John 12:48? What saves us? The Word. What judges us? The Word. No fire here.
When Does God Draw "Drag" Us?
ROMANS 10:7 (THE HOLY BIBLE) STATES, “FAITH COMES BY HEARING, AND HEARING BY THE WORD OF GOD.”
That’s WHY sharing the Word of God is so important! Why did the disciples (apostles) see so many get saved? THEY PREACHED THE WORD FIRST! Knowing this, if you re-read what happened at the Billy Graham service, you will understand that Billy Graham had, like the apostles, JUST preached the Word of God! Many in the service, who after hearing the Word, felt the CONVICTION (or the DRAWING) of the Holy Spirit of God! They were filled with FAITH; they BELIEVED the Word! This is what empowered them to walk to the altar and ON THEIR OWN, by the DRAWING of the Holy Spirit, RECEIVE the SALVATION through faith in Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior! This is what it means to be “born again”.
For some, it's important to mention that NO MAN can save anyone, and EVERYONE who preaches the Word is sinful! Look at every single one of the disciples of Jesus! The Word says if we say we have no sin, the Truth is not in us! But, praise God it is by His Spirt that people are drawn and saved!
Will some reject the sayings of Jesus Christ? Absolutely. Again, be reminded that while all men are drawn to Christ by the hearing of the Word, they can choose to reject His Word, the very Word that will judge them on the last day. Some use the excuse that God hardened Pharaoh's heart. You might be surprised to find out WHY God allowed Pharaoh's heart to be hardened...oppression of Israel for one...Have men always had the choice to harden their hearts against God's Word? Yes. Hebrews 4:7 quotes an Old Testament scripture found in Psalm 95:8-9: "To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts."
For those who have NEVER heard the Word of God, they are without sin, the Word says in John 15:22 "If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin." At least now, you understand the calling upon the Apostles and all believers to go all throughout the world to spread the gospel! That is the Great Commission!
I invite you to read my hub Come to JESUS: Salvation. Though reading God’s Word is not the same as “hearing” it literally, your mind and soul are still “hearing”! Satan would lead some to fight even this “technicality” (ridiculous!). Upon reading or hearing the Word, know that when you feel the conviction in your heart to receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, it is God who draws you! Now, there are many who will feel like they're "kicking and fighting" all the way into God's arms of love. This is because we are dealing with the old nature, the influence of Satan, who fights against the truth. If you truly fight the Spirit of God and reject His calling, it is your choice. Is Jesus in the business of saving people today? He saved the thief on the cross the very day He died and has been and will continue today, tomorrow and until the resurrections of the just (through Christ) and the unjust (those who reject Christ)! No one is guaranteed tomorrow. Receive the Salvation of the Lord TODAY.
More by this Author
Many today profess to be “Christians”. How can all these people be Christians when there are some very marked and serious differences in their foundational beliefs? The most critical difference is the...
God has burdened me with the L. Ray Smith followers, and if I be called to somehow share the truth with them, I praise God with all my heart. I beseech born-again, Spirit-filled believers to shew these that THEY...