The idea that we are all sinners is not congenial to modern man. We want to believe that human beings are basically good in spite of all evidence to the contrary. We then blame whatever is bad in us on our environment. It is all society’s fault, it is all our parents’ fault, it is all other people’s fault. But the question is where do the bad things in society, our parents, and other people come from? Granted there are physical catastrophes-- earthquakes, hurricanes, disease--the majority of our environment that we normally blame our misbehavior on is from human sources. But the big problem with blaming my moral deficiencies on someone else is it makes them unfixable. If my sinfulness is a result of what other people do, I can never really deal with it till my environment is fixed. (Don’t hold your breath). But if I am a responsible person who has real guilt before God, then I can come to Him to be forgiven and He can change me. That’s why the bad news that we are all sinners (Romans 3:23; Jeremiah 17:9; Isaiah 64:6) is in a sense good news when put with the good news of the gospel--that God has done something about it (Romans 5:6-8; 1 John 4:10; 1 Peter 1:18-21).
But if I am a sinner, if I am dead in my sins (Ephesians 2:1; Colossians 2:13) and a captive of Satan (Hebrews 2:14,15; Ephesians 2:2) and do not on my own seek God (Romans 3:10,11), then if I am ever to come to God, He must seek me. Scripture says that the Spirit convinces the world of sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16:8-11), that when Christ is lifted up He will draw all men to Himself (John 12:32), and that no one comes to Christ unless the Father draws them (John 6:44). Jesus is the Shepherd who goes after the lost sheep (Luke 15:1-7; 19:10). His sheep come to Him because He calls to them (John 10:27-29). A beautiful picture of this in the Old Testament is the story of Isaac and Rebecca (Genesis 24). Abraham is seeking a bride for his son Isaac. He sends a servant back to his homeland and the servant, by the leading of God, finds Rebecca. The servant then brings Rebecca back to be the bride for Isaac. In the same way, God the Father sought a bride for His Son. (We are that bride; see Ephesians 5:25-27). The servant pictures the Holy Spirit who seeks us that we might be Christ’s bride. It is not Rebecca who does the seeking, but rather she is found and brought to Isaac. In the same way we have been sought by God to become those who are called and beloved (Romans 1:5-7). Let us rejoice in this fact. And if you are reading this and have not yet responded to the voice of the Shepherd, accept His invitation that those who wish to come should come (Revelation 22:17).