By Curtis Pugh


“I thank thee Lord that I am not like those poor presumptuous people that believe that you chose ahead of time those who will be saved.  Lord, I thank thee that I was born with a glorious free will.  I was born with the power by which I can turn to thee. I have improved my grace.  If everybody had done the same with their grace that I have done, they would all have been saved.  Lord, I know thou dost not make us willing if we are not willing ourselves.  Thy grace is available to everybody.  Some do not accept it, but I did.  There are many that will go to Hell who were as much bought with the blood of Christ as I was.   The Holy Spirit tried to save them as much as He tried to save me, but they would not let Him.  You could not save them.  They had as good a chance, and were as much blessed as I am.  It was not thy grace that made us to differ.  I know it did a great deal, still I turned the point.  I made the decision for Christ.  I made use of what was offered to me, and others did not - that is the difference between me and them."

A prayer like this can be sincerely prayed only by someone who thinks that they are saved because of something that they did.  Such a person believes that God is a failure because He is trying to save everyone, but cannot.  They believe that what they did made the difference.  Thus, according to their belief, salvation is available to all.  But man must make use of the common grace given to every man.  This they believe because of their high opinion of man.  They think all men deserve saving.  They do not really believe that all men are totally depraved sinners who deserve eternal punishment.  Anyone who can sincerely pray like the prayer above is really saying that God did some things for every man, but it is by man’s own effort, decision, prayer, being baptized, etc., - by a man’s own works that he comes to be saved.  Thus they limit not only the power of the blood of Christ, but they limit the power of God to bring to pass His plan making Him a failure.

Consider carefully, please, the following Scriptures which refute the ideas behind such a prayer as the one above.  “For many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14).  “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world…” (Ephesians 1:4).  “Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes…” (2 Timothy 2:10).  “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us…” (Titus 3:5).  “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8, 9).  “For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.  So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth” (Romans 9:15, 16 & 18).  “Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:13).  “He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth…” (Isaiah 42:4).  “…for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure” (Isaiah 46:9, 10).  “And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?” (Daniel 4:35).  “Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power…” (Psalm 110:3).  “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13).  Other passages could be added to these, but these should be enough to a candid person to show that, as Jonah said, “…Salvation is of the Lord” (Jonah 2:9).

Paul wrote that the true children of God “have no confidence in the flesh” (Philippians 3:3).  Do not believe that you have the ability to take the first step toward God!  Jesus said, “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). It is God who does all in salvation.  It is He who enlightens as to His holiness and man’s sinfulness and helplessness.  In doing so He causes His elect people to experience godly sorrow, “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death” (2 Corinthians 7:10).  There is a legend about a Roman crusader who was beheaded in Palestine.  He picked up his head, tucked it under his arm, and walked all the way back to Rome.  I would believe that IF he could take the first step.  IF he could take the first step, he could make it all the way home.  So it is with salvation.  IF a lost man can take the first step on his own, he can make it all the way to Heaven.  He does not need God’s grace!  But as the Scriptures above show, totally depraved men cannot even take the first step!  May God give you grace to see that God saves His elect people by grace alone!


Contact: Curtis Pugh, 505 Nanih Waiya Ln., Poteau, OK 74953 Telephone: (918) 647-7322 Authorized by the Grace Bible Baptist Church, Denham Springs, Louisiana.   Ads paid for by the authorizing Church and other Churches of like faith and practice.