God Foreknows Our Free-Choice
5. God provides sufficient grace to all; pleads with us ("come unto me" Matt. 11.28) so "If any... whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely" (John 7.37, Rev. 22.17).
"For the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all men" (Tit. 2.11).
His grace is sufficient for all men Who came upon all men to be saved whosoever
is willing. "While the promise of entering His rest remains, let us fear lest
any of you be judged to have failed to reach it. For the good news came...but
the message which they heard did not benefit them, because it did not meet with
faith in the hearers. For [only] we who have believed enter that rest" (Heb.
4.1-3). Jesus "became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him" (Heb.
5.9) not "so all will obey him" or "some will be made to obey him."
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel: it is the power of God for salvation to every one who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek" (Rom. 1.16). This verses does not say "the power of God for faith to every one who has been saved." Only the sinners who "received him...them that believe on his name" (John 1.12) become "born again...by the word of God...which by the gospel is preached" (1 Pet. 1.23,25). Indeed, "faith cometh by hearing...the word of God" (Rom. 10.17), showing human participation. There is not one verse that says faith comes by regeneration. Do we dare turn "that believing ye might have life through his name" (John 20.31) into "that having life through his name, ye might believe," or "believe...and though shalt be saved" (Acts 16.31) into "be saved and though shalt believe," or "come unto me...and I will give you rest" (Matt. 11.28) into "all who are at rest come unto me," or "he that believeth is not condemned" (John 3.18) into "he that is not condemned believeth," or "he that beliveth...shall never die" (John 11.25-26) into "he that shall never die believeth"? The Bible is too clear to corrupt.
Man is not regenerated by doing something special but by believing the Lord Jesus as his Savior: "to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave the power to become children of God; who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God" (John 1.12-13). First you must be willing to "receive him" then you may "become children of God" NOT the other way around. There is not some regeneration before salvation, for salvation is regeneration. "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost" (Tit. 3.5). "Saved us" here is "washing of regeneration". To be regenerated/saved one must do what? "Believe in his name"; NOT assume pridefully you were irresistibly regenerated and without prior having had to believe on Him. For that is a selfish salvation.
God is the "Savior of all men, specially those who believe" (1 Tim. 4.10) NOT "Savior of all men [to sustain men but not from Hell], specially those who believe". The "specially those who believe" are included in the "Savior of all men", yet some men included in "Savior of all men" are going to Hell. Do you see the contradiction? It's impossible to claim God is the Savior of all men though some for Hell AND specially those who believe BECAUSE nobody who believes is going to Hell.
Your spirit is your innermost man."The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord" (Prov. 20.27). "The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets" (1 Cor. 14.32). "Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit" (Ezek. 13.3). Man's spirit can go wild; hence a "haughty spirit" (Prov. 16.18) like that of Calvinists. Only a yielding spirit can fulfill the thought of the divine Spirit: "and every one whom his spirt made willing..." (Ex 35.21). "Do not quench the Spirit" (1 Thess. 5.19) with a hardened spirit.
"Jesus told him, 'If you want to be perfect, go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me'" (Matt. 19.21). Calvinists are too selfish to do this with their idol of Total depravity that says they can't, so they won't. He didn't say, I will let you know if you are saved or not by irresistibly regenerating you so that you can follow me, or when you get to Hell you will realize I passed over you. No. The selling is repentance, so you need to repent, believe, follow and receive. Thus, He said "come, follow me." "Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee" (Matt. 19.27). Who followed thee? Peter and the disciples. God provides sufficient grace to be able to do so: "Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible" (Matt. 19.26).
"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit (Phm. 1.25). "You always resist the Holy Spirit" (Acts 7.51). "[The bread...is] my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world" (John 6.51). "I came...to save the world" (John 12.47). Of the brass serpent lifted up on the pole it was promised, "everyone that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live" (Num. 21.8). "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3.14-15). He was lifted up for only the elect? Leviticus presents an entire system of offerings and sacrifices for sin, and not one is compatible with the particular redemption of Calvinism. If the Levitical offerings were for all of Israel who would believe and obey God's Word, so the cross of Christ to which the sacrifices pointed must be to all of Israel, and thus to all the world. All of Christ's blood had to be shed and the full penalty of sin paid to save even one sinner.
Since God provides sufficient grace to all of us then how can we be totally depraved? Therefore, total depravity is false, an idol you erect that keeps you eternally separated from God which says you can't repent, so you don't, and that is selfish. You want an easy-believism in a selfish salvation, accepting any old spirit that simulates God's saving grace as a facsimile of God's design. You worship a false Christ, because you are unwilling to repent and believe in Christ to be regenerated (new birth, initial salvation, born-again, receiving eternal life). That's why you are going to Hell which makes me very sad for you.
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3.16). "For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved" (John 3.17). "Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time" (1 Tim. 2.4-6). "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2 Pet. 3.9). "And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world" (1 John 2.2). "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me" (Rev. 3.20).
Grace is not sufficient if it is not sufficient for the whole world. Even if God did not provide ample grace to only person, then it would not be sufficient. In Calvinism it is not sufficient for all, only an irresistible elect. So the blood of the Christ of Calvinism pales in comparison to the blood of Jesus Christ. The blood of Jesus can save everyone if everyone was willing, but the blood of the Jesus of Calvinism cannot. And of course the blood of the true Jesus is sufficient for all: "Who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe" (1 Tim. 4:10). "If any man eat...my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world" (v. 51). "Not wishing that any should perish" (2 Pet. 3:9). You are "without excuse" (Rom 1.20). How can you be without excuse if grace is not provided to all? And doesn't "specially those that believe" indicate that as "Savior of all men" there are some men that don't believe even though they received sufficient grace?
You can't divide up the blood of Christ to segment a portion for each person as you try to do in Calvinism. That's very legalistic. That's not how the blood works. The blood is for eternal forgiveness by an infinite God, so the blood is never wasted when God is perfectly righteous in His administering the blood to whoever is willing to receive it, sufficient for all the world. "And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world" (1 John 2.2). "The whole world lieth in wickedness" (1 John 5.19). So "faith is spoken of throughout the whole world" (Rom. 1.8).
"According to the good pleasure of His will" (Eph. 1.5) the Father "himself is righteous, and that he justifies him who has faith in Jesus" (Rom. 3.26). Only those who have "received him...[and] believe on his name" become the sons of God (John 1.12-13). Jesus is offering Himself in John 6 not to an elect but to the entire unbelieving multitude, showing the gospel is for all. Pleading with you Jesus says, "My Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.... I am the bread of life" (vv. 32,35). The offer is to everyone, but the partaking is willingly from the heart. God pleading with Israel and mankind to repent are nonsensical if there are those from whom He withholds the grace to repent and the faith to believe. "If ye be willing and obedient" (Is. 1.19). God predestinates by foreknowing our willingness and obedience.
What is the point of, "Choose you this day whom ye will serve" (Joshua 24.15) if you could not receive God's sufficient grace for all? If Christ imposes faith upon the elect without their choosing, why does He say to the woman, "Great is thy faith" (Matt. 15.28), or to the centurion, "I have not found so great faith" (Luke 7.9), or to two blind men, "According to your faith be it unto you" (Matt. 9.29)? What is the purpose of judgment, either for the saved or the damned, if everything is God's doing? How much clearer must God be to convince the Calvinist to receive Christ? To be able to accept salvation by faith or reject it no more gives any credit to the believer than accepting a gift of a million dollars gives to the recipient credit for earning the money. Never think because a person refuses the drawing of God when they "draw back unto perdition" (Heb. 10.39) that God is a failure. He does all He can do righteously, and if the person still refuses, that is their choice.
"He that cometh to me...that believeth on me" (John 6.35); "Every one who seeth the Son, and believe on Him" (v.40); "Every man...that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me" (v.45); "He that believeth on me" (v.47); "If any man eat...my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world" (v.51); "Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life" (v.54); "The words that I speak...are spirit, and they are life" (v.63). These passages explain how "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out" (v.37) and "the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day" (v.39). "Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost THAT COME UNTO God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them" (Heb. 7.25).
"Not wishing that any should perish" (2 Pet. 3.9). I'm aware some might try to say this only applies to the elect, but the unassuming position should be to both the elect and non-elect. That God would want a person to perish, and from birth given no grace whatsoever to have the opportunity to be saved, makes the god of Calvinism an evil tyrant and sadistic. What love is this?
"Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you" (1 Pet. 1.23,25). You are born-again (regenerated) through believing the gospel upon it being preached unto you; not regenerated then it is preached unto you to believe.
"As many as were ordained to eternal life believed" (Acts 13.48). How were they ordained to believe? By God foreknowing their free-choice. "Seeing YOU put the gospel form you...we turn to the Gentiles" (v.46). "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate (Rom. 8.29)...elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father" (1 Pet. 1.2). "As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name" (John 1.12). Who gets to be a son of God? What precedes becoming a son of God? Those who receive Him, even those who believe on His name; not by the will of the flesh (passion) or the will of man (planning) (v.13). First you must believe: "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God" (1 John 5.1). "In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise" (Eph. 1.13). When is a person sealed (regenerated)? After trusting and hearing and believing. How does this election take place? "Whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate (Rom. 8.29)...elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father" (1 Pet. 1.2). Salvation is promised to all ("Repent, and be baptized every one of you" [Acts 2.38]), contingent upon individual faith ("Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" [Acts 16.31]).
"They that hear shall live" (John 5.25). "Ye will not come to me, that ye may have life" (John 5.40). "Every one who seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life" (John 6.40). "Believing ye may have life" (John 20.31). "Believe...and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16.31). If you are Totally unable, then why would God plead with you to hear, come, see and believe? And if you could not respond to the gospel because of an alleged Total depravity (Total inability), then God is being cruel and unjust even abusive by blaming those for not receiving Him when they were born into sin and are not responsible for the sins of their fathers. The Calvinist accuses the OSAS Arminian of a "works-oriented system" despite the fact that faith is contrasted to and the opposite of works and that the requirement of salvation is sola fide (faith alone). What glorifies God and who is really claiming, "because I was better than those who did not believe"? Those who with repentance and faith agree, "Boasting...is excluded by the law of faith" (Rom. 3.27); or those who without any prior repentance and faith, assumed pridefully, "I have peace with God because God in eternity past chose this undeserving sinner and placed His grace and love upon me"? Which do you think is true grace, peace and love? Make your choice.
"Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, 'The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel'" (Mark 1.15). "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out" (Acts 3.19). Conversion (salvation, new birth, regeneration, born-again) follows repentance and belief in Christ. "Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, that you and your descendants might live!" (Deut. 30.19) "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men" (Tit. 2.11). "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2 Pet. 3.9).
"As surely as I live, says the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live. Turn! Turn from your wickedness, O people of Israel! Why should you die?" (Ez. 33.11) If God says to turn from their wicked ways, but they cannot because they are totally depraved then what does that make God? (Read all of Ezekiel 33.) "But I know! I, the LORD, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve" (Jer. 17.10). God's actions depend on what we do even faith and does not take away from God's sovereignty but actually makes it bigger! For who can do this except God Almighty? God doesn't want to be a sovereign dictator, but He wants a personal and synergistic relationship with us.
"Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life" (Rom. 5.18). "Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth" (1 Tim. 2.4). All men can be saved "whosoever believeth" (John 3.16) "to the knowledge of truth" and "unto justification of life." This is a parallelism. Same "all men."
Does God offer us salvation when He says "come unto me" (Matt. 11.28) because we have free-will: "whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely" (Rev. 22.17)? "He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him" (Heb. 7.25). Are faith and works contrasted as opposites? "By grace are ye saved, through faith;...not of works" (Eph. 2.8-9); "But to him that worketh not, but believeth..." (Rom. 4.5). Christ repeatedly gave such invitations as "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matt. 11.28), and "If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink" (John 7.37).
Do you believe Jesus died for the sins of all? "The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1.29); "we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world" (John 4.42); "we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world" (1 John 4.14); "He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world" (1 John 2.2); "He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone" (Heb. 2.9); "Since we believe that Christ died for everyone, we also believe that we [Christians] have all died to the old life we used to live" (2 Cor. 5.14); "...we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe" (1 Tim. 4.10); "For God so loved the world...that the world through him might be saved" (John 3.16,17). "Killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you" (Matt. 23.37a) is not because of Total depravity. Rather, it is the free will of evil men committing these acts. They were not forced to do it by the god of Calvinism, the author of evil and sin, which we know to be Satan. "How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!" (v.37b) describes for us the sufficiency of God's grace. The Calvinist does not know the love of God. And that's why Jesus doesn't know Calvinists.
"What must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved" (Acts 16.30-31). "We have also obtained access by faith into this grace" (Rom. 5.2), "for by grace are ye saved through faith" (Eph. 2.8). Faith comes before salvation (regeneration). Paul repeatedly says, the sinner is "justified by faith" (Rom. 5.1) not by regeneration since faith precedes regeneration. Anyone can access or obtain this faith as a gift from God. Conditional election exists for all souls (unlimited atonement) since every person is made in the image of God (Gen. 1.26,27) and God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10.34). God predestinates the "Elect according to the foreknowledge" (1 Pet. 1.2), foreknowing (Rom. 8.29) our free-choice as in Abel's free-will offering. To be drawn by God is His part in convincing (and convicting) a person of salvation. He would be called as long as he does not "draw back to perdition (Heb. 10.39). God can draw or lead a horse to water, but can't make him drink. "Willingly offered" is found five times, such as "the people willingly offered themselves" (Judges 5.2); "willingly offered a freewill offering unto the Lord" (Ezra 3.5). The offer of salvation to Nicodemus, "whosoever believeth" (John 3.16) would not be given if he could not actually receive the cross by faith as a helpless sinner. Can people choose the cross, giving glory to God, without having to save (or regenerate) them first? Would it be unrighteous for someone to be saved (or disallowed salvation) without regard first for their choice? Can the spiritually dead repent of their sins, and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior? "Everyone that thirsteth, come ye to the waters.... Let the wicked forsake his ways, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon" (Is. 55.1,7).
Do you agree there are no verses in the Bible for total depravity? All cases, propensity to sin and willfulness are in view, not total inability and a necessity to be unable. Is it a contradiction to claim man who is dead in sins can be regenerated without first repentantly believing in hearing the gospel of salvation? "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live" (John 5.24-25). Though man is spiritually dead, do we find he is incapable of making right choices, doing good and receiving the gospel of salvation? Jesus says, "...you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children" (Luke 11.13). If people were as evil as they could possibly be, they would not desire to give good things to their children, but Jesus still says that they are evil. Evil people still give good gifts and do kind things. If "spiritually dead" meant man was "totally depraved" "moral corpses," how can man make any moral choices and do any good? That they can, though, is undeniable. Yet the spiritually "dead" person, even though able to do some good, is unable to seek God and believe in the Gospel? That distinction is never made in Scripture. "He [Jesus] said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16.15). It would be irrational for God to send His servants to suffer and die in preaching the gospel to those who were incapable of understanding and believing it. In all the Calvinist writings there is not one verse from Scripture cited that clearly states the doctrine, "Only when the Holy Spirit regenerates man and makes him alive spiritually can man have faith in Christ and be saved." It's only because of TULIP, invented by man, used by Satan, such demands are placed to convince your flesh not to be saved God's way.
That the unsaved, spiritually dead-dead in trespasses and in sins-can be reasoned with and can understand and believe the gospel unto salvation is clear from many passages such as the following: "Knowing...the terror of the Lord, we persuade [unsaved] men" (2 Cor. 5.11); "and he reasoned in the synagogue [with unregenerated men]...and persuaded the [unregenerated] Jews and Greeks [to believe]" (Acts 18.4); "he mightily convinced the [unregenerated] Jews...shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ" (Acts 18.28).
Do you agree that even though no one, not a one, in their flesh will choose life, we can still come to the cross or continue to resist His grace, because we were given this limited ability when we were created? Otherwise, the cross would be of no effect because it could not be availed. God is the provider of all things including our ability to have faith and be justified by faith, that is not in question; but, do you believe God desires your choice first since Jesus died for the sins of the whole world? Would it be evil for God to not be willing to change the hearts of some, disallowing them any recourse to be saved and blaming them for that which is not their fault? How would that be sufficient grace for all? Surely then it is also evil to save some against their own free will who reject God by not giving them an option, otherwise, it is coercion which is not love. Therefore, we believe in conditional election and resistible grace.
Would Jesus draw "all men" to Himself (John 12.32)? God is love and ever merciful to all and wants all to come to the knowledge of the truth. Should all who are Christ's true followers accept gratefully and joyfully that this good news would be proclaimed to the whole world as Christ commanded?
Consider Christ's words: "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me" (John 6.37) does not say that "all that the Father draws shall come to me." Nor does "No man can come to me, except the Father...draw him" say that all that the Father draws come to Christ. And surely "I will raise him up at the last day" (John 6.40,44,54) refers to those who actually come to Christ, and not all who are drawn-certainly not those who are drawn and then "draw back unto perdition" (Heb. 10.39). All that the Father giveth shall come, but not all that are drawn are given. Let us accept what Christ actually says.
Does faith in Christ through the gospel precede regeneration and is the condition for new birth (salvation)? "For even if you had ten thousand others to teach you about Christ, you have only one spiritual father. For I became your father in Christ Jesus when I preached the Good News to you" (1 Cor. 4.15 NLT).