John 17:6-8 “‘I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world; they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. Now they have come to know that everything You have given Me is from You; for the words which You gave Me I have given to them; and they received them and truly understood that I came forth from You, and they believed that You sent Me. I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom You have given Me; for they are Yours; and all things that are Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine; and I have been glorified in them. I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are.’”
One person explains: "Jesus said that there were a specific group of people out of the whole race of humanity that were given to him from the father from all eternity! he goes on to say that he only prays for them and makes a point to say that he is not praying for the world. how much more clear does the point have to be made?"
Question: Where in John 17 does it say that those who were given to Jesus, were given to Him from all eternity? How does the statement, “they were Yours,” imply that they were eternally His? How do we know whether or not that this simply refers to those of Jesus' day who were "blameless" like the parents of John the Baptist (Luke 1:6), and also "true Israelites" like Nathaniel (John 1:47), and that it is these faithful of the Father that He gave and drew to His Son?
Calvinist, James White, writes: “If this giving does not involve sovereign predestination, what does it involve? Jesus Himself says it results in eternal life. If that is not election unto salvation, what is?” (Debating Calvinism, p.137, emphasis mine)
White concludes: “I just also believe the undisputed and unrefuted fact that I come to Christ daily because the Father, on the sole basis of His mercy and grace, gave me to the Son in eternity past.” (Debating Calvinism, p.306, emphasis mine)
If God the Father gave you to the Son from eternity past, then does that mean that you eternally resided in the Father? (Compare 1st John 2:24) Jesus said: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”" (John 14:6) Yet, Calvinism seems to suggest that certain people were already, eternally plugged in with the Father before they ever came to Christ. So does Calvinism nullify what Jesus just said?
Consider the comments of John Hagee on this matter: “Jesus called a Gentile woman, a dog. He never called the Gentiles His brethren. Let me remind you of something. We did not get plugged in until the cross. We had no basis of standing with God until the cross. There’s where we were in Galatians 3 when Paul said you were outside the covenance of Israel, without hope and without God. That’s very important. Then at the cross, we were plugged in, and we received the riches of Abraham, and we received healing, and we received adoption, and we received all the cornucopia of the blessings of God. But before the cross, we were castoffs. You need to understand that.” (emphasis mine)
So is the essense of Calvinism, that Calvinists were plugged in with the Father from all eternity, and if so, does Jesus mediate in vain, for those who were already eternally mediated to the Father in His eternal secret counsel?