God in His mercy sent John the Baptist to call Herod to repentance because of his adultery with his brother's wife. But because Herod was concerned about what his guests might think if he did not keep his oath, he resisted the calling of the Holy Spirit and did not repent.
Our election to eternal life is founded not on our godliness or virtue, but on Christ's merit alone and His Father's gracious will. He cannot deny Himself because He is unchangeable in will and essence. Therefore, when His children depart from obedience and stumble, He has called them to repentance again through the Word. When they turn to Him again in true repentance by a right faith, He will always show His old paternal heart to all who tremble at His Word and from their heart turn again to Him.
Furthermore, the declaration in John 6:44 is right and true, "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him." However, the Father will not do this without means, but has ordained His Word and Sacraments for this purpose as ordinary means and instruments. It is not the will of the Father or of the Son that a person should not hear or should despise the preaching of His Word and wait for the drawing of the Father without the Word and Sacraments. For the Father draws indeed by the power of His Holy Spirit. However, He works according to His usual way. He works by the hearing of His holy, divine Word. Every poor sinner should therefore attend to the Word, hear it attentively, and not doubt the Father's drawing. For the Holy Spirit will be with His Word in His power, and will work by it. That is the Father's drawing. (paragraphs 75-77)
Condensed from CONCORDIA: THE LUTHERAN CONFESSIONS, copyright 2005,2006 by Concordia Publishing House. Used by permission. All rights reserved. To purchase a copy of CONCORDIA, call 800-325-3040.