This information will be an examination of Scripture concerning Calvinism on the topic of “none seek God”, and giving a Biblical answer to this misunderstanding. There are many today who are seeking for God and have not come to know Him yet. There are millions (if not billions) around the world “right now” seeking after God and are not spiritually born again yet, such as Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Oneness Pentecostals, Muslims, and many other types of beliefs. They do not know the Biblical God, Jesus, or Gospel yet, but they are seeking after God, to that there is no doubt. Anyone who says that these various groups are not seeking after God are either self willed or not informed. So what do Calvinists say concerning this? They say those groups are in false religions and are not truly seeking God, but are seeking after false gods and truth, or something in reference to them not being of the truth. The fact is that these people are “seeking” after God, whether or not they have come to know the God of the Bible is another issue, but that they are seeking after spiritual matters shows that there are people who are seeking after God.
What does the Bible say concerning man seeking after God?
The Scriptures teach us that people were instructed to “seek after God”, and if people are instructed to seek after God, than the possibility of being able to seek God without first being “born again or regenerated” shows the Calvinist doctrines on “none seek God” is not accurate. See, in Calvinism the belief is that only those who have become “born again or regenerated” can seek after God. What is interesting on that note is that “no one was born again” in the sense that Jesus spoke of in John 3 before the work of the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Below will be example of the Scripture showing that men or women were instructed to seek after God, and that there were people who did seek after God.
“But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul.” (Deuteronomy 4:29)
“But as for me, I would seek God, And I would place my cause before God;” (Job 5:8)
“One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD And to meditate in His temple.” (Psalms 27:4)
“Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; Let those who love Your salvation say continually, “The LORD be magnified!”” (Psalms 40:16)
“The humble have seen it and are glad; You who seek God, let your heart revive.” (Psalms 69:32)
“6 Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake his way And the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the LORD, And He will have compassion on him, And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.” (Isaiah 55:6-7)
These Scriptures are clearly obvious that God calls people to seek Him, and that people did seek after Him. Therefore those who say, “none seek God”, are in error because the Bible clearly shows that people did seek after God.
What did Jesus teach about seeking after God?
It is interesting to read through out the Gospels what Jesus taught on those who came to Him, and their reasons for seeking after Him. Many people were seeking after Him for various reasons, but the fact is that they were seeking Him which shows again that people can seek after God without being born again yet. Below will be some Scriptures showing what Jesus taught concerning seeking God and spiritual things.
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)
“7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9 “Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? 10 “Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? 11 “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:7-11)
It is clear that Jesus taught people to seek after God, to seek spiritual matters in their life. The people that Jesus was speaking to were not yet “born again”, for the work of the cross had not be accomplished, the Holy Spirit not yet given, and there was no new creation. So if “none can seek God” as what Calvinism teaches, than what Jesus was teaching these people if they could not do it? The doctrinal truth is that these people had “the ability” to seek after God.
Looking at what Paul said in Romans 2 on people seeking God
Many Calvinists point out Romans 3:10-18 as a proof text to show that no one can seek after God without being born again, but Paul “before” Romans 3 makes some interesting comments in Romans 2.
“5 But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 6 who WILL RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS: 7 to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; 8 but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation. 9 There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, 10 but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 11 For there is no partiality with God.” (Romans 2:5-11)
Paul states those who rebelled against God, knowing that He has “revealed” Himself to mankind will have wrath and judgment, “because of their stubbornness and unrepentant heart.” It was on them, they had a choice, and they chose against the Lord. Paul says there are those “doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life”, thus showing that these people could seek after God. Paul gives a contrast of those who seek after God and those who reject God, and that this is for anyone, for there is “no partiality with God.” Clearly this in context shows Paul was not rejecting people seeking God, (i.e. Romans 3:10-18) but that those who seek God are responding to what God has revealed to them. (Romans 1:18-32)
This information is here to give a Biblical answer to those who teach that man cannot seek God without first being born again. If you have questions or comments concerning this please let us know because we would love to help. God bless you.