As I consider the way that the gospel is currently presented by Christians, it seems that most do not believe that God is sovereign over salvation. The idea seems to be that anyone can come to God by his own choice apart from the work of the Father and Holy Spirit. While the Scriptures do call for sinners to respond to the gospel with faith and repentance, they also teach us that none seeks after God (Rom. 3:9-12). It is impossible for a sinful man to respond to the gospel unless God first draws him to himself (John 6:44). Only then will he repent of his sins and believe.
With these thoughts in mind, I began reading (again) a book entitled “Whosoever Will” by Herman Hoeksema. His thoughts are in line with what the Scriptures say about this. In dealing with the lyrics to the hymn “Whosoever Will,” he points out that they are true only if understood in the light of all Scripture. “Whosoever will may come” but only when God draws them to himself and gives him the faith to believe. Otherwise, salvation is impossible because no person naturally seeks after God. But if he does, this is a sign that God is at work.
Do you will to come to Christ? Is it your desire to come to Him as the Fount of Living Water that you may drink? Do you long to come to Him as the Bread of Life that you may eat? Do not hesitate, then! Do not stand afar off, discovering a thousand reasons in yourselves why you could not possibly be received, for whosoever will may come and take of the water of life freely, because whosoever will is already drawn by the Father! You may hear the word of Christ: “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37).
Herman Hoeksema, Whosoever Will, (Grandville, MI: Reformed Free Publishing Association, 2002), 8.