If you think we have free will, what do there verses mean to you?

There are plenty who want to believe they had a hand in deciding whether they would be saved or not. And I understand that position, as I can still distinctly recall where I was and what was occurring when I decided to follow Jesus. But reading scripture gave me a different understanding of what really occurred.

If you believe you had the free will do choose to follow Jesus, then what do you do with this verse?

John 6:37

All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.

Realize that if God gives someone to Christ, they WILL come to Christ. So, if you were given to Christ, did you really have a choice?

 

If you believe you had the free will do choose to follow Jesus, then what do you do with this verse?

John 6:44

No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and will raise him up on the last day.

Realize that NO ONE can come to Jesus unless God calls him. So how much did you really have? You couldn’t come to Christ without the Father sending Jesus and without the Father drawing/calling you.

 

If you believe you had the free will do choose to follow Jesus, then what do you do with this verse?

John 6:65

And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.”

 

If you were not given permission by God, you could not come to Christ.

 

So, would you LIKE permission? Are you in control of your life, or is God?

 

If it is you in control, how’s that working out for you? Do you find it hard to sleep? Do you have nightmares? Do you worry about death? Do you worry about life? Do you know you are not perfect and have done things against what God has said? Have you lacked faith? What ever is not from faith is sin. Have you sinned?

God is the answer! God sent His Son to live a sinless life, to suffer and die to pay the price for your sins – so you do not have to. But you have to be given the faith the believe. Do you have it? If not, pray that God gives you faith. If so, then exercise it, turn from sin to God, and believe in Jesus as Savior and gain forgiveness of sins and gain eternal life. If you have eternal life, if you have that faith, then you will have a life that shows it somehow – your actions will begin to match your beliefs.

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13 Responses

  1. Free will is such a fundamental doctrinal problem for the christian body, because they disagree on it so much.

    • Whether man has free will (or how much free will man has) is not a fundamental doctrine because people disagree on it.
      It is fundamental because your view of God reflects your view of man’s will.

      I think that God has a perfect all encompassing plan, that God makes some things happen, that allows other things to happen, that God works all things for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose.

  2. Hi wbmoore,

    Good questions. Here are some of my thoughts.

    It does not make any difference whether or not a person has the inherent ability to accept or reject God’s call, John 6:44 & 65 indicates that the person can not come to Christ if God has not granted and draws him. Therefore, the conclusion is that the drawing and granting by God is not God irresistibly/regeneratively giving the person a will that believes in Christ as his savior, but God is only presenting the Gospel to the foreknown person (God foreknows those that He can convince to repent and trust in Christ as their savior.) by the Holy Spirit and the word of God giving that person the opportunity to accept or reject the drawing. If he accepts the call (God foreknows that the person will of his own free will accept the call), he will be raised up on the last day. Those that God foreknows He can convince to repent and believe on Christ are the ones that God has given to Christ. Also, Romans 9 indicates that even if a person can do all kinds of good works or have all kinds of free will capacity to accept or reject Christ it is God who draws, calls, grants and elects. Romans 9:30-32 sums up Romans 9, by indicating what it is that God foreknows (Romans 8:29) about an elected/drawn/called person – they of their own free will willingly respond/seek by faith.

    David Geminden

    • That is an interesting idea, that God only saves those He knows would accept salvation.

      But it seems to me that it ignores Romans 9:6-18, where it is evident God chooses the younger so election might stand, where it says God will harden whom he wants, and have mercy on whom he wants. Perhaps the most interesting verse is 16, which says it does not depend on man’s desire or effort. So our election and salvation could NOT depend on what man would do.

      6 It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. 7 Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 8 In other words, it is not the natural children who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring. 9 For this was how the promise was stated: “At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son.”

      10 Not only that, but Rebekah’s children had one and the same father, our father Isaac. 11 Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad — in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: 12 not by works but by him who calls—she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

      14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15 For he says to Moses,

      “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
      and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”
      16 It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.

  3. Hi wbmoore,

    My interpreting/reasoning process is obviously different from yours. Let me try to explain my reasoning process.

    I am interpreting scripture with scripture that deal with the same topic – in this case all scriptures that deal with the topic of “man’s inherent ability to accept or reject God’s call, commands, instructions and promises”. Because God is communicating to mankind through the Scriptures in the Bible in a style that reeks with an understood implication that the hearer/reader, mankind, has the inherent ability to accept or reject His call, commands, instructions and promises, and because the majority of the Scriptures also reeks with the same implication that mankind has the inherent ability to accept or reject His call, commands, instructions and promises, I let the concept of mankind having this inherent ability be the precedence. Therefore when I encounter the very few verses of Scripture text that on the surface appear to contradict that precedence, I interpret them in light of the majority precedence.

    Because of this process listed above and because God is omniscient, I interpret what God foreknew in Romans 8:29 to be – God foreknows those whom he can convince to accept His call/drawing – which He is very capable of foreknowing. Concerning Romans 9:6-24, I interpret that section to be a very stern method that God used to tell mankind that our willingness or running (verse 16) did not FORCE Him to develop His plan of whom to show mercy to or His plan of whom to harden. This sternness of God is clearly revealed by God not fully answering the question of verse 19 right away; instead God appears to be peeved and immediately rebukes those who would raise the question and by going through the potter and clay analogy. Also, God did not right away fully explain why He was not unrighteous in response to the question in verse 14; God appears to be peeved and just had Paul write “God forbid” and then started pointing out that (verse 18) “Therefore hath He mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardeneth.” I believe if one gets locked up on this stern section (Romans 9:6-24) and forgets to take into account Romans 9:30-33 and the implication of the majority of Scripture, he will easily conclude that mankind does not have the inherent ability to accept or reject God’s call, commands, instructions and promises. God so loved mankind so much that He by Himself, without mans help, decided/chose how he was going to show mercy, how he would harden, whom He would show mercy to and whom to harden. After reading Romans 9:6-24, a person could easily be very fearful wondering about whether or not God had decided to make him a vessel of honor or a vessel fit for hell. However, in Romans 9:30-33 God finally completes His answers to the questions in verse 14 and 19 and indicates that He actually chose to show mercy to those that chose to accept God’s call to seek righteousness by faith in Christ, not by works as Israel did. Yes, God also finally finishes answering the question of verse 14 – why He is not unrighteous.

    David Geminden

    • I am interpreting scripture with scripture that deal with the same topic – in this case all scriptures that deal with the topic of “man’s inherent ability to accept or reject God’s call, commands, instructions and promises”. Because God is communicating to mankind through the Scriptures in the Bible in a style that reeks with an understood implication that the hearer/reader, mankind, has the inherent ability to accept or reject His call, commands, instructions and promises, and because the majority of the Scriptures also reeks with the same implication that mankind has the inherent ability to accept or reject His call, commands, instructions and promises, I let the concept of mankind having this inherent ability be the precedence.

      First, you are making an assumption which is extra-biblical – no where does scripture tell us we have free will. Just because God has said you have to believe does not mean you have that ability without God.

      We must allow scripture to be our guide, not what we want it to say. You have added to scripture the idea that we have free will. If you want to support it, then you will have to provide scripture verses showing what you mean. Otherwise, you are adding to scripture.

      You wrote,

      Because of this process listed above and because God is omniscient, I interpret what God foreknew in Romans 8:29 to be – God foreknows those whom he can convince to accept His call/drawing – which He is very capable of foreknowing.

      Again, you are adding to scripture. No where does it tell us God foreknew that people will accept His call and that is why He chose them.

      You have put man’s so-called free-will above God’s sovereignty.

      We have to realize that God does what ever please Him.
      Psalm 115:3

      But our God is in the heavens ; He does whatever He pleases.

      Psalm 135:6

      Whatever the LORD pleases, He does, In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.

      We have to realize that God has predestined some people to destruction.
      1 Peter 2:8

      and, “A stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.

      John 17:12

      12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.

      God has made everything for its own purpose – even the wicked.
      Pro 16:4.

      The Lord has made everything for its own purpose, Even the wicked for the day of evil.

      In fact, enemies of the cross of Christ are destined to destruction.
      Philippians 3:18-19

      18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.

      We have to realize that God has plans for us. What God plans, God will cause to come to pass. No one can frustrate God’s plan (Isaiah 14:24-27; 19:12; 22:11; 23:9; 37:26; 46:10-11; Jeremiah 29:11; 49:20; 50:45).

      God says repeatedly that He will have mercy upon whom HE will have mercy (Exodus 33:19). Its not because they would do the right thing. Its because of God’s will.

      God has predestined things according to HIS purpose, and he works out all things according to HIS will.
      Ephesians 1:11

      also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,

      It is GOD who gives us the desire and act as HE desires.
      Philippians 2:13

      for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

      1 Corinthians 2:7

      but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory

      But the question is why does God predestine us? God knows us before we are born and planned for us before we were born.
      Jeremiah 1:5

      “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

      Romans 8:29

      For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

      Romans 11:2

      God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel?

      Scripture does not tell us that God foreknew that we would select Him and so He chose us. It tell us that God knew us.

      Indeed – God wrote all the days of our lives BEFORE they happened, but no where does it state that it is because God saw we would choose Him that He predestined us to be saved. Scripture says God saves whom He desires.
      Psalm 139:16

      Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.

      The will of God is that all the Father gives Christ will come to Him & be raised up in the last day and all that see & believe in Christ & will have eternal life.
      John 6:35-40

      35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”

      GOD makes sure we believe. The WORK of God is that certain people believe in Christ.
      John 6:29

      Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”

      Its not that we would choose God that causes us to repent. GOD’s kindness leads us to repent.
      Romans 2:4

      Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?

      Notice that scripture does not say God chose us because He knew we would chose HIM. It merely state God predestined those He knew beforehand to be saved.
      Romans 8:28-30

      28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

      God appoints people to eternal life, therefore God appoints people to believe, which indicates God appoints people to hear, since that is how we are saved.
      Romans 10:14-16

      14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” 16 But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” 17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. 18 But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did: “Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.”

      So many times we want to say that God chose us based upon what we would do. But the fact is, it was not about us. It was all God. GOD CHOSE US from the beginning, in accordance to HIS good pleasure and will – not because we would choose Him. We did not choose HIM.
      John 15:16;

      You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you

      Acts 9:15;

      But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel;

      1 Thessalonians 1:4

      knowing, brethren beloved by God, His choice of you

      2 Thessalonians 2:13

      13 But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.

      Christ reconciled us to God.
      Ephesians 2:14-16

      14 For He Himself is our peace, who made bothgroups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, 15 by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, 16 and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.

      ALL who were APPOINTED to eternal life believe Acts 13:48

      48 When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.

      What Israel was seeking, it did not obtain, but those who were chosen obtained it. God blinded those He did not want to obtain salvation. IF God gave faith to those who would respond affirmatively, you would think that the Jews, who sought salvation, would get it. But they didn’t. Only the chosen got it.
      Romans 11:5-8;

      5 In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice. 6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace. 7 What then? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened; 8 just as it is written, “God gave them a spirit of stupor, Eyes to see not and ears to hear not, Down to this very day.”

      We are saved by God’s grace, not because of some choice we would make, or something we would do.
      Ephesians 2:8-10;

      8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

      Titus 3:5

      He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,

      So that God’s purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls, it was said to her, “The older will serve the younger.” it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires (Romans 9:6-33).

      God is the author and perfecter of our faith and salvation.
      Hebrews 2:10

      10 In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering.

      Hebrews 12:2

      Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

      Some want to believe that we have a choice to be saved or not because God said we must believe to have eternal life. It seems to me that God gave a choice because some within the group were intended to hear and respond affirmatively, or at least be prepared to do so in the future – but not all were intended to respond affirmatively. Let me give an example: Let us say I own a soup kitchen and would love to feed everyone. But I know most people are too proud to do so. I know someone within a group is hungry and no one else is, but that someone else will be in the future, and I say to the group, “Everyone who chooses to go to the soup kitchen will be fed.” I know no one else but the one person is hungry will go. The choice is available to all, but none but those for whom the message was intended and who would chose to go right then will actually go when I first make the choice available. Now let us say that later someone else within the group is fired from their job (and that I knew it would happen), gets hungry and recalls the message (as was intended) and choose to go to the soup kitchen. Now we have two people in the group who heard the message who responded affirmatively – one immediately after hearing the message, and one later (after undergoing an experience which prepared them for the message they had already heard). The others were not prepared for the message, were never intended to take up the invitation, and never did take up the invitation, yet the invitation was made available to all.

      It is all God, not us. God foreknew us. God chose us. God moved us to repent. God gave us faith. God saved us. Not because He saw we would choose Him, but because He is who He is and its what He wanted.

  4. With your soup kitchen analogy – are you saying that God says “whosoever will may come” but does not mean it? Because if He said “anyone who wants to can come” then did not provide for that to be possible, it is not true – they can’t come. Thus God would be lying.

    You said “First, you are making an assumption which is extra-biblical – no where does scripture tell us we have free will. Just because God has said you have to believe does not mean you have that ability without God.” There are many passages teaching that we have a free will. For example, the parable of two sons in Matthew 21:28. Both were commanded, and only one chose to do the will of His father.
    A free will is defined by the ability to make a choice – so if God commands that we choose (as in “choose life” or “choose ye this day”) then we must have a free will.

    All those verses can be simply answered with this: God draws everyone (the Bible declares this – 2Pe 3:9 ;I Tim 2:4;Jn 12:32 ) and all who repent and believe He gives to Jesus Christ and are forgiven. As to the passage in Romans 9-11, God makes it very clear that God chose a NATION, Israel, but all individuals within the nation still had the ability to choose. Rom 11:28 makes it clear that the “election” there spoken of is concerning the blessing of God on Israel, and NOT the salvation offered through the gospel.

    If you would really like to know more on this subject, I wrote my Th.B. thesis on these issues and would glad to share what I have learned. If your mind is set – well, I don’t believe that will send you to Hell if you do truly believe in Christ. I just hope you will have some grace towards your brethren who hold a position that they firmly believe Scripture declares.
    One last question for you – if God wants all to be saved (I Tim 2:4), and He is the one that makes someone come, why are not all saved?

    • Daniel,

      No. I am saying what God said is often misunderstood. He said, “let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.” But who wishes? Only those God has called. That’s not a lie. Just because you think God has to make it possible for someone to wish it does not make it so. Please provide scripture to support that idea.

      Being told to choose does not mean you will choose any differently than God has decreed. From our perspective, we have a choice. But that is because we do not know who God has hardened.

      I can tell my children “Whoever chooses octopus can have it”, but that does not mean any of them will choose it. It depends on GOD’s will, not ours. Before the twins were born, God chose Jacob, the second born, over Esau the first born. In fact, God said it does not depend on the man who desires or the man who runs (works for something), but it depends on God, not man. In fact, God hardens those HE desires and has mercy on those HE desires.

      Romans 9:11-18

      11 for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God’s purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls, 12 it was said to her, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 Just as it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

      14 What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! 15 For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I raised you up, to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth.” 18 So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.

      Esau was not allowed to repent, even though he desired to.

      Hebrews 12:17

      For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears.

      I DO agree that anyone who repents and turns to God will be forgiven and saved (Acts 26:20). But I think you misunderstand what it means when Christ said He will draw everyone to Himself. This does not mean that God the Father draws everyone to be saved. Just because God would like something does not mean God makes it happen.

      Here is something I wrote concerning the will of God: https://wbmoore.wordpress.com/2011/01/19/the-will-of-god/

      We see that all the Father gives to Christ will come to Christ.

      35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”

      In fact, no one can come to Christ unless the Father enables them.
      John 6:43

      “Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered. 44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.

      John 6:65

      He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him.”

      God the Father draws people to Christ for salvation, but Christ draws people for judgment.

      John 12:31-33

      31 Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. 32 But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.” 33 He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.

      Scripture is clear that not everyone will be saved.
      Matthew 7:21-23

      21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

      So, the term ‘draw’ is used for different purposes – one to be saved, the other at the end times to be judged.

      Romans 9:6-8 tells us that the nation of Israel is NOT Israel, but those who are children of the promise.

      6 But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel; 7 nor are they all children because they are Abraham’s descendants, but: “through Isaac your descendants will be named.” 8 That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants.

      Each person is told to choose (this is the gospel message presentation, the external call). But only those God has predestined to choose will do so – in accordance with His pleasure and will (this is the internal call, the effective work of God inside people who will decide to accept what God has to offer – salvation).

      Ephesians 1:5

      he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will

      Ephesians 1:11-14

      11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

      Romans 8:28-29

      For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

      Obviously, some are NOT called to be saved, or Christ would not be a stumbling block to them.
      1 Corinthians 1:23-24

      23 but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, 24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

      Not all are saved because some are destined to not be.
      1 Peter 2:8

      and,“A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.”They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.

      Look, a dead man can’t do anything – they dont think, breathe, walk, choose to be saved, nothing. But we were dead in our sins. GOD did it. GOD chose us, made us alive, saved us.
      Ephesians 2:1-10

      1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

      GOD works in us to desire and to do His will. If God doesnt work in us, we will not desire His will.
      Philippians 2:13

      for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

      So let’s review: 1) It depends on God, not man. 2) everyone the Father gives Christ WILL come to Christ. 3) ONLY those drawn by the Father can come to Christ. 4) Not everyone will be saved. 5) God works in those who believe to desire and work as HE wills. 6) Some are destined for destruction. 7) Some are destined for salvation.

      • I can see your mind is made up, so I won’t waste time trying to convince you. But since you took the time to respond to me, I’ll address your summary at the end.
        1) what is “it”? Absolutely everything that happens? Did the fall of Satan and sin of Adam depend on God? Show me a verse that says being born again depends on God. Choosing Israel, yes. Drawing, yes. But the command to “come” is given to everyone, and God does not command us to do what is impossible.
        2) John 6:37 comes after verse 36, in which men chose to believe not. This is why the Father did not give them to the Son. The Father owns the world, but the Son’s possession is the Church. He is only given those who enter the Church by believing on the Son.
        3) If the Father is “not willing that any should perish” why does He not draw everyone? The simple answer is, “He does.” Some reject the drawing.
        4) Amen. That is clear in Scripture. But I ask you – why not, if God desires for all men [yes, that is all people, check the Greek and the context] to be saved? (I Timothy 2:4). The only possible answer is that some reject the offer.
        5) Philippians 2:13 says “works in you” instead of “puts in you,” because it is a work and influence of God, not a control as if we are robots. Many things influence us. Satan “works in” the children of disobedience (Eph 2:2), but we do not say he absolutely controls them. Why can’t you find a verse that says God causes us to believe or causes us to will? Because there is not one. He influences us, but will not force us to love Him.
        6) Yes, all who reject Christ are destined to Hell. Why? “You will not come” – that is do not desire to come – “that ye might have life” (Jn 5:40). They don’t choose life (Deut 30:19), so don’t receive it.
        7) All of Christ’s true followers, His sheep, are destined to salvation, and no one can stop that – but who are His sheep? Read John 10:26-27.

        • If you insist on believing you have power over whether you are saved, then feel free to ignore scripture which states otherwise. To have faith, CHRIST must author in you and give it to you.
          Hebrews 12:2

          Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

          Faith is a gift from God.
          Ephesians 2:8

          For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God

          1) In our discussion so far, “it” is our salvation. Our need for a savior and our salvation, depends on God and His perfect and all encompassing plan, and HIS choosing us, and working in us to desire HIS will, and to do HIS will, for HIS purpose.

          Philippians 2:13

          for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

          Romans 9:6-18 tells us that God’s children are those of the promise, and that the child of promise is chosen by God, that He has mercy upon whom he has mercy, and compassion upon whom He has compassion, and He hardens whom He chooses to harden, based upon GOD’s mercy, not man’s desire or effort.

          6 It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. 7 Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 8 In other words, it is not the natural children who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring. 9 For this was how the promise was stated: “At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son.”

          10 Not only that, but Rebekah’s children had one and the same father, our father Isaac. 11 Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: 12 not by works but by him who calls—she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

          14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15 For he says to Moses,

          I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
          and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”
          16 It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.
          17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.

          Some claim there has to be culpability, otherwise how could God blame us, but Paul addressed that in Romans 9:19-24.

          19 One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?” 20 But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?

          22 What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory— 24 even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?

          The ones who are saved were appointed to be saved from the wrath of God.
          1 Thessalonians 5:9

          9 For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.

          And God said He chose us to be saved because we were predestined according to GOD’s plan, so He would get praise. Ephesians 1:11-12

          11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.

          Romans 8:28-30 tells us that those God foreknew (it says nothing about our choice, but a relationship with God), He predestined to be made like His Son.

          28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,[j] who[k] have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

          HE did it for HIS purpose, because HE knew us.

          2) Now, there IS no John 3:37, but this is what John 3:36 tells us that those who reject Christ will not have eternal life – it does NOT tell us we reject because we choose to reject. It tells us merely that we reject.

          36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”

          On the other hand, we see in 1 Peter 2:7-9 that those who do not believe were destined to not believe, to disobey the message, to stumble.

          John 17:12

          12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled

          1 Peter 2:7-9

          7 Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe,

          “The stone the builders rejected
          has become the capstone,”
          8 and,

          “A stone that causes men to stumble
          and a rock that makes them fall.”
          They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.

          9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

          Those who do not believe can not do so for God has not worked in them to choose Christ.
          People do not choose God, GOD chooses them, according to John 15:16

          You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.

          Christ is only given those God has predestined to be conformed to the likeness of Himself, those who have not been destined to not believe.

          One can not come to Christ unless God gives him permission.
          John 6:65

          65 And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless * it has been granted him from the Father.”

          3) and 4) There is a difference between want and will. We see this in 1 Timothy 2:4, and John 6:40. the word translated as ‘want’ in the NIV in 1 Timothy 2:4 is Thelo and is most commonly translated as want or desire (http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/nas/thelo.html). But the word translated in John 6:38-40 is Thelema and is most commonly translated as ‘will’ and it is THIS will which God works to ensure happens. (http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/nas/thelema.html)

          1 Timothy 2:3-4

          3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

          John 6:38-40

          38 “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 “This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. 40 “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”

          God may desire everyone to be saved, but He only works in some to ensure it.

          5) There is a difference between Satan working in someone and GOD doing it. When God works in someone, as in Philippians 2:13, what GOD wants to happen is accomplished. No one can frustrate God’s plan (Isaiah 14:24-27; 19:12; 22:11; 23:9; 37:26; 46:10-11; Jeremiah 29:11; 49:20; 50:45). so that verse IS saying that God causes us to believe and to will.

          6) Those who dont choose life can not choose life, because they are destined to destruction. This is what 1 Peter 2:7-9 (quoted above) tells us.

          7) Those ones who are Christ’s sheep are the ones He knew.
          John 10:26-27

          26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

          We see that it is the ones God FOREKNEW who are saved in Romans 8:28-30

          28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

          We see clearly in Romans 11:2-7 that God did not reject those He FOREKNEW. The elect obtained what Israel worked for, but the rest were HARDENED.

          2 God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel: 3 “Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me”? 4 And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 5 So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. 6 And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.

          7 What then? What Israel sought so earnestly it did not obtain, but the elect did. The others were hardened

  5. There has to be ”Culpability” for a Person! If Some Person has not been Given the Ability to have Faith by God, The Ability to Repent and Choose Life by God in the First Place. Then that Person Can say to God on Judgement day. You never gave me the ability in the First place to have Faith. The ability to Repent and Choose Life.

    A Person is not Guilty of a Murder if he is Incapable of stopping himself to Murder People.
    To deserve Punishment a Person has to be capable by free-will to Choose either way.
    In Duet> God can not say to People Now Choose Life if people are incapable to Choose Life.
    When Jesus says in the Gospels> ”IF” You OBEY my Commands he is giving people a Choice.
    Yes People can not Come to Jesus Christ unless the Father draws them to his Son.
    But a Person has to listen to the father telling him to go to his Son. They can refuse to Listen to the father and refuse to accept the offer of salvation through Christ.

    • Everyone who is without God is a slave to sin.

      John 8:34

      Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.

      Romans 6:20

      When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness.

      In fact, everyone is automatically culpable, because we all earn death by our sin.
      Romans 3:23

      23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

      Romans 6:23

      23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

      But obviously, no one can come to Christ without the Father drawing him to Christ.
      John 6:44

      “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.

      Those who are saved were chosen before the foundation of the world, predestined to be adopted as sons.
      Ephesians 1:4-6

      4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

      But only some people are predestined to be called. Others are not.
      Romans 8:28-30

      28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

      Yet some people are destined to disobey the message:
      1 Peter 2:7-8

      7 Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe,
      “The stone the builders has become the capstone,”
      8 and,
      “A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.”
      They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.

  6. Some people were chosen for destruction so that some would know the glory of God’s mercy.

    Romans 9;10-24

    10 Not only that, but Rebekah’s children had one and the same father, our father Isaac. 11 Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: 12 not by works but by him who calls—she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

    14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15 For he says to Moses,

    “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
    and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”

    16 It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.

    19 One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?” 20 But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?

    22 What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory — 24 even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?

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