Random Thoughts Concerning Election and Free Will

[A while ago a friend of mine gave me a paper that someone handed out in his Bible Study class glorifying the mythical free will of man.  It has 18 points.  4 on election and 14 on free will.  He asked me if I would critique and comment on it so he could go back to his Bible Study class and refute these 18 points which threw the class into confusion.  While my commentary is not the most definitive nor exhaustive on the subject, it may help some who are facing the same type of free will proponents in their walk.  Please feel free to copy and paste or print this article. - Dr. Ken Matto]

1. Defined - A gracious sovereign act of God whereby from all eternity, he chose for salvation all those He foreknew (Romans 8:29; 1 Peter 1:1-2; Eph 1:4) would respond to his Common Grace.
Response - The above statement claims that God had elected to salvation all those who He knew would respond to common grace. Now the first problem with this assertion is that there is no such thing in Scripture as “common grace.” There is only one type of grace in Scripture and that is “electing grace.” The term common grace is a theological theory which has been taught in Reformed circles referring that the grace of God is “common” to the entire human race. It is called “common” because it teaches that all people receive benefits from it without the requirements of salvation. This theory is nowhere taught in the Bible. The reason the term “common grace” is a misnomer is because it is confused with the creation of God being available to all humans, such as sunshine, rain, the seasons. Etc. All the human race shares in the creation of God which is common to mankind. One of the verses which shows this plainly is Matthew 5:45:
(Mat 5:45 KJV) That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
The distinction must be realized between the grace of God in salvation and the providential care given by God to His entire creation.
The second problem with this statement is that if God knew who was going to respond to Him, then what would have been the purpose of electing them. That would be a futile action. It is like being in the military. The CO asks for ten volunteers out of 25 soldiers. The ten come forward and volunteer for duty. Then the CO says that he is going to elect them. If they have already volunteered, then election is not necessary. Therefore the idea that God elects those who He knew would accept Him is a very fallacious teaching.
(Rom 8:29 KJV) For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
(1 Pet 1:1-2 KJV) Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, {2} Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
(Eph 1:4 KJV) According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
The author uses these three verses to somehow fit his belief system into. However, it will not stand. Both Romans 8: 29 and 1 Peter 1:1-2 speak about the foreknowledge of God. The word “foreknowledge” is the Greek word “proginosko” which simply means “know beforehand.” Romans 8:29 teaches that God foreknew who he was going to predestinate unto salvation. The word for “predestinate” is the Greek word “proorizo” which means “to appoint or determine beforehand.” 1 Peter 1:2 speaks of God electing to salvation those He foreknew. There is nothing in either of these verses which speaks of a person responding to electing grace. The only action a person has in salvation is a passive one whereby they receive salvation without reaching out or responding positively. Ephesians 1:4 speaks of the believer being chosen in Christ from before the foundation of the world. For an understanding of this we need to look at two verses in Revelation:
(Rev 13:8 KJV) And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
(Rev 17:8 KJV) The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
If you notice in both verses it speaks plainly about true believers having their name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life which is a synonym for those who are predestined to eternal life. So from the foundation of the world, God already foreknew who He was going to save. Eph. 1:4 speaks of the believer being chosen in Christ. The word “chosen” is the Greek word “eklegomai” which means “choose, select, or elect.” There is nothing in this word to indicate a needed response from a person for salvation, it is given to the person whom God has chosen.
2. His “election” of me is not based on something arbitrary, impulsive or in ignorance of His omniscience but knowing who would respond positively to grace.
Response - As we previously saw the foreknowledge of God is not focused on who is going to accept Him rather it is focused on who He plans to save. There is not one shred of evidence in the Bible of anyone “accepting the Lord.” Look at the following verses:
(Mark 2:14 KJV) And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed him.
If you notice in Mark 2:14, Jesus said to Levi “Follow me,” and he immediately arose and followed Jesus. There was no “decision” or “acceptance.” Levi heard the call of Jesus and obeyed because he was of God’s Elect.
(Acts 22:9-10 KJV) And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me. {10} And I said, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said unto me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do.
Acts 22:9-10 gives us one of the accounts of the conversion of the Apostle Paul. An interesting thing to note in verse 9. Those who were with Paul had seen the light but did not hear the voice. Why? Simply because God was calling Paul and not the others. If there was such a thing as “common grace” then why didn’t the Lord allow the others in Paul’s company a chance to “accept Him” at that moment. The reason is that God’s callings are qualified in that only those who are predestined to be saved will spiritually hear the call.
(Mat 11:15 KJV) He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
In Matthew 11:15, the Lord uses a phrase concerning those who have ears to hear. Now everybody has ears and can hear but what is in focus here are the spiritual ears needed to hear the things of God. Those spiritual ears are only given to the Elect and that is why those who were with Paul did not hear what was being said. It is the same in our time. Two people sitting in church listening to a sermon, one is sitting there in tears and the other sits there looking at his watch waiting for it to be over. One has spiritual ears to hear and the other does not.
3. God is the basis and source of salvation - not Man’s will (John 1:13)
(John 1:12-13 KJV) But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: {13} Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Response - This is a true statement that God is the sole basis and source of salvation. This means that man has nothing to do in the process of salvation except receive it.
4. Foreknowledge and Election are co-extensive activities. When He elects He knows and when He knows He Elects. He knowingly determined & determinately knew who would believe.
Response - If God determined who was going to believe, that simply means that God predestined that person for salvation. Foreknowledge comes before election. God already knew who He was going to elect before the foundation of the world as we have already read in Revelation. Foreknowledge and Election are not co-extensive activities but rather are consecutive activities which were determined before the foundation of the world and carried out in time.
5. We cannot deny Election. It is Biblical. We are chosen!!!
Response - This statement is true however the author of these points is denying true biblical election by inserting points into it that are not found in Scripture. He is using the inductive method of study. The Inductive Method starts with a conclusion and then verses are made to fit within that framework of belief, whether those verses truly fit or not. For us to arrive at truth, we must use the deductive method of study which allows the Bible to teach us and give us the true conclusions.
Free Will
1. Election alone does not save me but assures me that I will be saved. I must exercise faith. - Eph. 2:8-9
(Eph 2:8-9 KJV) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: {9} Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Response - The author is trying to prove that a person uses their faith to become saved. If you notice that this verse is teaching that faith is not of man but it is the gift of God. The word “faith” in the entire New Testament is always a noun and a noun describes a person, place, or thing. It is the word “pistis.” Faith is something which is given to a person who is elect to be saved. Remember those spiritual ears? A person cannot respond to God without spiritual ears. Once a person receives salvation, with that gift of salvation, they receive the gift of faith. (Gal 5:22 KJV) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Galatians 5:22 teaches us plainly that faith is a fruit of the Spirit and only those who are saved have the Holy Spirit indwelling in them. (Rom 8:9 KJV) But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. Romans 8:9 teaches us that only a true believer has the Holy Spirit dwelling in them and that means that only those who have the Holy Spirit indwelling them will have faith. This means that a person who is unsaved cannot exercise any faith simply because they are without the Holy Spirit and without the Holy Spirit the unbeliever has no faith. They are spiritually dead which will be discussed in point 7. Those who are the Elect of God are guaranteed salvation at some point in their life but who they are, are known only to God.
2. Defined - God given power of moral & spiritual self-determinism. My free will allows me to reject or resist God - Acts 7:51; Romans 1:18-32
(Acts 7:51 KJV) Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.
Response - The author once again misuses another verse to attempt to prove something we do not have. It must be remembered that there is a vast difference between freedom and free will. In freedom we are allowed to buy whatever car we want, eat what foods we want, go to whatever church we want but man does not have a free will because we are enslaved to sin because of the fall. (Rom 6:20 KJV) For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. The Bible clearly teaches that those unsaved are servants of sin. The word “servant” can also be translated as “slave.” Now back to Acts 7:51. The Scripture does teach that the Holy Spirit can be resisted but we must look at who is being addressed. The “stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart” is the focus of this verse. These two words are synonyms for those who are unbelievers. The Holy Spirit is resisted by those who are the non-elect or in other words, the unsaved. (Rom 8:7 KJV) Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. Romans 8:7 tells us that the carnal mind or basically the unbeliever is at enmity with God, in other words there is hatred between God and the unbeliever as noted by the following verses:
(Psa 5:5 KJV) The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.
(Psa 7:11 KJV) God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.
(Psa 10:3 KJV) For the wicked boasteth of his heart's desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth.
This hatred is permanent unless God chooses to save someone and then the hostility between God and man is over. (Rom 5:1 KJV) Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: Romans 5:1 teaches us that when we become saved, we have peace with God and the war is over.
The author attempts to inject two foreign ideas into the Scriptures, moral and spiritual self-determinism. Self-determinism basically teaches that an action is determined by the person doing the action. As we will see in point 7, the spiritually dead can do nothing except remain dead. As for morality in the heart of unsaved man, if God did not restrain sin, then man would have destroyed himself already. If you stand an unsaved man in front of two buildings, one being a church and the other being a nightclub, which one would he go for? Self-determinism is chiefly man-centered and the Gospel of Jesus Christ is God-centered. This makes the theory of self-determinism a foreign idea to the Scriptures.
3. Free will does not cancel out the God’s sovereignty. He sovereignly chose to give me free will (so my free will is a gift) & permits me to exercise it freely.
Response - Nothing can ever cancel out the sovereignty of God. He remains sovereign over His creation. The idea that God gave free will as a gift is nowhere found in Scripture. He mistakenly exchanges the idea of freedom for free will as we have already discussed. If a man has free will and has the ability to reject God, then that definitely cancels out the sovereignty of God. It means that God is only sovereign if man allows Him to be and this is not the definition of sovereignty.
Here is the Merriam-Webster definition of Sovereignty:
Supreme power especially over a body politic b : freedom from external control : AUTONOMY c : controlling influence
If you notice “B” that true sovereignty is free from external control. If man has the ability to reject God, then that is external control and that would negate the sovereignty of God. Not only does this author have a misunderstanding of theology, he cannot even understand properly the words he is using.
4. God sovereignly knows the results of my free actions & determines the consequences of my choices but doesn’t force me to do anything.
Response - God knows the actions of every believer and non-believer in the world and consequences are definitely determined by God for those actions. If I smoke I can get emphysema or lung cancer, if I drink I can get into a car accident, if I do drugs I can get AIDS. I sin by the fact of my desires and will face eternal consequences for them. We have all heard the saying “God is a gentleman and won’t impose Himself on us.” What about the following impositions, how do these play out in that belief system:
(1 Sam 15:3 KJV) Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.
(Exo 13:15 KJV) And it came to pass, when Pharaoh would hardly let us go, that the LORD slew all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man, and the firstborn of beast: therefore I sacrifice to the LORD all that openeth the matrix, being males; but all the firstborn of my children I redeem.
(Gen 38:7 KJV) And Er, Judah's firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD slew him.
Here are three situations where the Lord slew or commanded to be slain people who were disobedient or enemies of Israel. Did God ask permission to do this or did He order it and it was accomplished? The author uses the word “force” to describe God’s actions in dealing with salvation. God does not force a person to become saved, He opens their spiritual eyes to salvation and then they realize they are a sinner. (Luke 24:45 KJV) Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, Luke 24:45 is describing the disciples on the road to Emmaus and how the Lord Jesus opened their understanding to the events which happened in Jerusalem. Did Jesus force Himself on them or did He grant them salvation? In the Christian life there are times when God will force an issue on a person. Have you ever read the book of Jonah? When Jonah refused to go to Nineveh the first time, God could have commissioned someone else but instead took the circumstance of Jonah and turned them around and made him be obedient. Even to the end Jonah complained but God had accomplished His purpose for and through Jonah. There are times that God will force an issue on His children.
5. Freedom is not contrary to grace. God, in grace, gave me a free will, permits me to use it and even helps my free will to overcome sin if I want to. I receive grace by my free will.
Response - The author has contradicted his own statement. If God, in grace, gives me a free will, then how could I receive grace by my free will if He has already given me that free will in grace? Then another question arises. If I already have a free will before salvation, then why is God giving me another free will? This is another statement by the author which cannot be found in Scripture. The only type of grace found in Scripture is electing grace. We do not receive grace by free will we receive it if we are the elect of God. Why would God give people an extra ability to be able to choose Him. This makes God out to be the beggar and man the sovereign and that is nowhere found in Scripture. In Scripture, when the subject of grace comes up, it is always speaking of salvation or unmerited favor in someone‘s sight.
(Gen 6:8 KJV) But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
(John 1:17 KJV) For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
(Acts 15:11 KJV) But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.
(Acts 18:27 KJV) And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace:
There are many more verses dealing with Grace. Look at the verse on Noah. Did Noah receive salvation or a free will? Acts 15:11 states that the only way we become saved is through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. Acts 18:27 teaches that we believe through grace. Grace is the door of salvation and then comes faith as a spiritual gift.
6. I am not only horizontally free (man to man) but vertically (man to God). I cannot separate the two.
Response - We can see in the world today what freedom from righteousness can do and how being a servant of sin has affected our horizontal relationships. Here the author makes another false statement in that he is equating human relationships with relationship to God. First of all, I can walk up to all humans and not fear being consumed by their holiness. God is a thrice holy God and we cannot approach Him except through the Lord Jesus Christ. The unbeliever pays more attention to his horizontal relationships because he is spiritually dead and wants nothing to do with God. The fact of the matter is that our horizontal relationships with man and our vertical relationship with God are two totally different things. When dealing with man, we are dealing with flesh and blood. When we deal with God, we are dealing with the invisible things such as man’s soul. (1 Tim 1:17 KJV) Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
7. Being “dead” in sin (Eph. 2:1) does not mean annihilation. If so, the 2nd death (Rev. 20:14) would be annihilation. I am not dead with respect to my being, consciousness, knowledge or free will but in a moral sense of being separated & isolated from God & not finding it possible to overcome those barriers unless God breaks through to me.
(Eph 2:1 KJV) And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins:
(Eph 2:5 KJV) Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
Response - I have no idea why this author brought in the false teaching of annihilation. The word for “dead” in both verses is the Greek word “nekrous” which means “dead, useless, or lifeless.” The unbeliever is spiritually dead and cares nothing for the things of God, because he cannot understand the things of God being spiritually dead. When God warned Adam that if he ate of the tree of knowledge he would die, that death was first of all a spiritual death which was the reason they needed to be clothed and then afterwards came the physical death. In Ephesians 2:5, we read that when we were dead in sins, God quickened us. The words “quickened us together with” means “made us alive.” Here we see that for those who are the Elect of God are “made” alive. It is not possible for any human being to make themselves alive, it must be done from an outside source. God loved us when we were dead in sins because we were predestined to be saved from eternity past. The difference between the life of the unbeliever and believer is literally “life and death.” Romans 6:13
There are many who believe that we cooperate with God in our salvation. They believe that God did His part and now it is up to us to do our part, which is to accept. Let me give an illustration as to how ludicrous that belief is:
The undertaker takes a dead body and prepares it for burial by placing it in the casket. Then at the end of the funeral service the dead person closes the lid on the casket. Ridiculous isn’t it? The physically dead person is akin to the spiritually dead person. Both can do nothing to regenerate themselves or make themselves alive. Did Lazarus raise himself from the dead or did the Lord Jesus from the outside? Of course, we know it was Jesus who raised Lazarus. Just as the physically dead cannot do anything to bring about life, neither can a spiritually dead person bring about their own salvation. It must come from God who resurrects the dead soul within the person.
If you notice the end of the author’s statement he states that God must break through to him. Why does God have to break through when in this entire article he is proclaiming that we can use our free will to save ourselves. Again he contradicts himself.
8. Scripture is replete with issues of free will:
A. (Gen 2:16 KJV) And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
Response - Genesis 2:16 is speaking of a time before the fall when God told Adam he could eat of every tree. What Adam did by exercising free will was to disobey God and plunge the entire human race into slavery to sin.
B. (Gen 3:13 KJV) And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
Response - This also shows that Eve used her free will the way every human does, to disobey God.  Before the fall, man had free will but after the fall, that will was now in bondage to sin. (Rom 6:20 KJV) For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. Those who are free from righteousness are servants of sin. That is not a free will but a slave’s will in bondage.
C. (Josh 24:15 KJV) And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
Response - It must be kept in mind that Joshua was a saved man and able to serve the Lord but the nation of Israel was a stiffnecked and rebellious people which would be well illustrated later in time. Proverbs 1:29 describes the attitude of the nation of Israel of which the extreme majority were unbelievers except for the Messianic line which ran through it. (Prov 1:29 KJV) For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:
D. Acts 16:31 - In the imperative; I’m responsible to believe
(Acts 16:31 KJV) And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
Response - The author is correct that the word “believe” is in the imperative mood. This makes it a command. Now this brings up an interesting point. Who will respond to that command? Countless numbers have read the story of the Philippian Jailer and have read those words of command to believe. Yet, the extreme majority who have read them have never believed. Are the commands of God null and void or are the commands of God qualified? The answer is that the commands of God are qualified and only the true believer (those with spiritual ears) will hear the commands of God. Remember that we read in Scripture that the unbeliever is dead and the only way they can hear the things of God is when they are qualified to do so through salvation. (1 Cor 2:14 KJV) But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. The unbeliever cannot discern the things of God because they are spiritual and he is carnal. So the commands of God are for the believer only.
E. (John 3:36 KJV) He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
Response - The word “believe” in the Greek is the word “pisteuo” which is always a verb in the New Testament. A verb denotes action. John 3:36 states that unless we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, the wrath of God abides on us. Who are the only ones who will believe on the Lord Jesus Christ? As we have already seen, the unbeliever is spiritually dead and unable to comprehend spiritual things. In fact, unbelievers don’t even give death or hell a second thought. Once again we must bring in everything we have learned so far and realize that the only ones who can truly believe on Christ are those whom God raises from spiritual deadness unto salvation. Once a person is saved, they can believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and exercise the faith which is given to us through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The spiritually dead person can do nothing until God raises them to newness of life. (Rom 6:4 KJV) Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
F. (Luke 13:3 KJV) I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
Response - The author attempts to use this verse and create the illusion that a person has the ability to repent of their sins. The word “repent” means a change of mind. However, as the leopard cannot change his spots, the unbeliever cannot change his mind. Repentance, which is another biblical synonym for salvation is also initiated by God. (2 Tim 2:25 KJV) In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 2 Timothy 2:25 teaches us plainly that repentance comes from God and not from within the person. This makes repentance God-centered and not man-centered which is the true nature of salvation. Biblical salvation starts with God but religion starts with man and we can plainly see what religion has done down through the ages.
9. Exercising my free will - RE: Salvation does not mean I’m getting any credit for God’s gift. Receiving is not a meritorious act. The one who paid or worked for it gets all the credit.
Response - I have heard countless numbers of testimonies where the people will always mention that “they gave their heart to Jesus” or the best one I have heard is “I made Jesus Lord of my Life.” How can a dead sinner make the creator God of the universe Lord of their life. This means that the sinner has enough power to place God on the throne of their lives and it also means that they have enough power to displace Him. Who does man think He is playing with? The free will gospel lowers God and Christ to the point that they can be bossed around by mere sinners. Free will testimonies always include the work of man in “acceptance.” In election, God gets the glory and in free will, man gets the glory. (Isa 42:8 KJV) I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.
10: Praise and blame (heroism & cowardice) are meaningless unless one could have chosen to do otherwise, They’re only meaningful if I am free.
Response - This statement is kind of unclear. Previously the author stated that no one gets the credit for salvation except the Lord but here he seems to be speaking of heroism and cowardice as being a result of a person’s free will. He does not explain himself here but it seems that he is stating that a person who “accepts” Christ can be a hero. There are no heroes in Christianity just faithful Christians. It seems that he is stating that if a person accepts Christ, in some aspect can become a hero as a volunteer in becoming a Christian. This concept of hero and coward is not found in Scripture and is a figment of the imagination of the writer. Every Christian has a function to perform on this earth prior to their home going. Those who need to divide the body between cowards and heroes are really making an unbiblical comparison which can polarize the body of Christ. All Christians stand on an equal footing at the cross. He states that Praise is meaningless unless one does it out of their free will. We have already read that unbelievers do not praise God because they want nothing to do with Him. This idea of true praise being initiated by free will is a very foreign concept to the Bible.
11. Grace is persuasive but never coercive.
Response - Grace is neither coercive or persuasive because grace is not a force. The Jehovah’s Witnesses see the Holy Spirit as a force and not the third person of the Triune God. Grace is God’s fulfillment of His promise that He made to the elect before the foundation of the world. Grace is the means whereby God pardons the sin of the sinner elected to salvation. There is not a thing in Scripture where God tries to persuade a person to become saved. Either they become saved or they do not. There is no such thing in Scripture as “Let me get back to you” or “I’ll have to think it over.”
(Acts 26:28 KJV) Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.  Some may try to use the above verse as a sample of Grace being persuasive. The conversation between Paul and Agrippa was very intense and it was Agrippa’s response that Paul almost persuaded him to become a Christian. If Agrippa was elect, then he would have become saved at some time in his life and if not it would be just another unbeliever resisting Christ in the deadness of their spirit.
12. A lover cannot force his lady to marry him. Jesus did not force people to freely love him. (Mt. 23:37)
(Mat 23:37 KJV) O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
Response - The author makes another vain attempt to compare the electing grace of God to the city of Jerusalem. Jesus did not stand over Jerusalem and command that city to accept Him. If they did, they would not have sent Him to the cross and we would still be in our sins. Jerusalem at the time of Christ was very hostile to Him. The religious leaders wanted nothing to do with Him except to kill Him which was God’s plan all along. Their hatred of Christ was based on the fact of their spiritual blindness. By the time of Christ, the Old Testament had been amalgamated with the Babylonian Talmud and Rabbinic law which so darkened and neutralized the truth that the leaders could not recognize Christ when He came on the scene. It was a time of spiritual darkness except for the elect line which was promised by God and it was known as the remnant. (Isa 1:9 KJV) Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah. To equate the apostate city of Jerusalem with the electing grace of God is very poor comparison, one of apples and oranges.
13. I’m saved when I exercise my faith (Eph 2:8-9). In this text “Faith” is not the gift. “It” is neuter while “faith & grace” are feminine.
(Eph 2:8-9 KJV) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: {9} Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Response - We have already read that faith is both a gift from God and a spiritual gift. The author never tells us where his faith is sourced in. How can a dead sinner have a living faith? What is the source of the spiritually dead man’s faith? The answer is simple, he cannot have a living faith for his source is dead and must be regenerated from an outside source! For a person to have faith, God must save them and with that salvation comes the indwelling of the Holy Spirit who gives the fruits of the Spirit which one of the gifts is Faith. Once a person becomes saved, they will have all the spiritual blessings needed to fulfill the task that God has for us. (Eph 1:3 KJV) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
14. Just as election is biblical, so is free will. Both are equally true and both come from God. I cannot choose the one & disregard the other. Both are in perfect harmony although difficult to understand.
Response - We have gone through many verses and have seen plainly that free will does not exist in salvation. Those whom God elected are not given free will as the author tried to impose on the Scriptures. There is only one way a person becomes saved and that is through the electing grace of God. Free will and election are not harmonious but are diametrically opposed to each other. If a person can choose salvation then why would God elect them? If God elects them, then why do they need to choose? These are two foreign concepts and cannot be homogenized as they are like water and oil. We have seen enough Scripture and they all point to the election of God’s Saints who were named before the foundation of the world. Again just because I can chooses to wear a red shirt does not mean I have the same freedom in the spiritual world as I do in the physical world. A spiritually dead person cannot raise their soul to salvation. This must be done by God and God nowhere in the Bible speaks of a person’s free will.
Final Thoughts
We have looked at many verses and have found that election is the biblical method of salvation and that the free will concept for man to accept or reject God is not found in Scripture. Those who reject Him in the Scriptures are those who are unsaved. The unsaved will always reject the things of God because as we saw they cannot discern spiritual things because of their spiritual deadness. It must be understood that spiritual deadness and physical deadness are two different things. A spiritually dead person can be alive physically and they can be seen in the world as unbelievers. However, a physically dead person is found in a cemetery (obviously). So to compare these situations and call them harmonious or equal is ludicrous. You can speak to a spiritually dead person but you cannot speak to a physically dead person. Like the physical dead on the last day will be resurrected as seen in the following verses:
(John 5:28-29 KJV) Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, {29} And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
The spiritual dead who are the Elect of God will become saved some time during their life.
(Rev 20:6 KJV) Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
The first resurrection is the resurrection of our souls. As you can see in Rev. 20:6 that those who experience the first resurrection will be untouched by the second death and that is speaking of Hell. No person can resurrect their dead souls by mythical “free will.” This must happen from an outside source and that source is Christ. Salvation is always from the outside in and not from the inside out.