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Sunday, 9 September 2012

God HAS Given Us Freewill. It IS Revealed In The Bible.



Note:  Added More Material 14 Sept 2012

The purpose of this article is to refute the "no freewill" arguments of Calvinists (and others who hold to a similar reformed theology) demonstrating that the Bible DOES teach freewill.

I will start by laying a foundation. The Bible teaches us that God is full of Love, Compassion, Mercy, He is Just and Righteous in all His ways. Those who teach that we have no freewill in our salvation and that only those who God chooses through His predetermined plan, will be saved, actually defame God’s character by (effectively) teaching that God in His predetermined plan has created many people deliberately predestining them to an eternal torment of hell. This is actually blasphemy because it teaches something about God's nature which is blatantly untrue!

Romans 8:32 says “He who did not SPARE His own Son”. Therefore, why would He (out of a nature of love) create humans to then send to an eternal hell (without them being capable to choose God)?  Surely that would be the case, if (as they teach) some have no chance of repenting because they are not of the elect. If they are incapable of choosing God because they are DEAD, then EFFECTIVELY God has created souls to be tormented for eternity. How can God be a God of Love and also be Righteous and Just if He did such things? How can you trust a God like that?

No wonder Atheism has taken on in a massive way because “how can you believe in a God like that?” No, I cannot believe in a God like that because that is NOT His nature.

What about 2 Peter 3:9 “it is not God’s Will that any should perish but that ALL should come to repentance”. If we do not have
 free will and cannot choose God (unless He chooses us) then everyone would be saved because that verse says that it is not His Will that any should perish. “who can resist the Will of God?" Romans 9:19.

However, we know that the Bible teaches that many are on the wide road of destruction and many will not go to Heaven. Therefore, something does not add up.

We know that the Bible is inerrant, but our line of reasoning (systematic theology) is fallible. Therefore those who teach in “no freewill” must be wrong (in the light of the above verse) and are effectively defaming the character of God by teaching that God is a liar because they would have to teach (to be consistent) that ALL would be saved, when elsewhere it teaches that not all would be saved. So establishing there is a problem with their theology, we must consider what the WHOLE bible is ACTUALLY teaching.

Regarding election, I believe that means that God knows the end from the beginning, so He knows in advance ALL those who will choose Him. They are therefore all (pre) destined to become children of God and therefore effectively are the elect. In the same way that God foreknew “before the foundation of the Earth” of His redemption plan in Jesus. “the lamb that was slain before the foundation of the Earth” Revelation 13:8 , i.e. He knew the end from the very beginning.

It is not God’s Will that any should perish but God has clearly given all men freewill to choose or reject Him. This is why not all are saved although God loves the WHOLE world (John 3:16).  God wants everyone to choose Him and has reached down to us to reveal His amazing love and sent His Holy Spirit to convict all men of sin (John 16:8), but they can still (out of freewill) resist God despite everything God has done to aid us in choosing Him. This is blatantly obvious in REALITY! Despite that He still demonstrated His amazing love by giving us His Son as a sacrifice.

The scriptures are clear (to me) that those God saves are eternally kept by Him as shown in my article 

Why True Believers Are Eternally Secure In Their Salvation



Those who preach against free will start by assuming that Adam and Eve lost their freewill when they sinned because they spiritually “died”.  It is true that they died spiritually, but is it true that they lost their free will?  What actually happened?

Their bodies were designed to live forever, but their sin had a massive affect on them. From that moment physical decay was set in motion in their bodies, but worse was that they became separated from God spiritually. They experienced spiritual death which was in essence the spirit within their bodies dying. It is the spirit of man that can connect with God, but that was now broken resulting in a dead spirit. This is not to be confused with the soul of man which remained alive but became a slave to the sinful desires of the flesh. The scriptures are clear that man is made up of body, soul and spirit - but that is another subject.

In Ephesians 2:1 it says “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins”. The question is at what point were they made alive? Was it before they received Christ into their hearts or afterwards? 2 Cor 5:17 states it was AFTERWARDS “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new”.


A person becomes saved when they believe in Jesus and receive Him into their hearts. Basically the Holy Spirit makes us alive when He comes within us and makes us a new creation. Beforehand our spirit is still dead within our sinful nature but our soul is still ABLE to make the freewill decision to receive Christ BEFOREHAND.

These preachers state that after Adam and Eve sinned they no longer had freewill. But, what about Cain who came along afterwards? Read Genesis 4:6-7

”So the Lord said to Cain, 'Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.' "

Sounds like Cain had freewill???

They also quote from John 6 and John 15. However, they do not consider the context. It is important that we do consider the context.

In John 6 Jesus is discussing the conditions that cause people to choose or reject Jesus. The so-called “righteous” Jews had hardened their hearts to the message of Jesus. Jesus then explained (in possibly the most poignant verse in the chapter – verse 44) “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him”.

However, Jesus also stated “many are called but few are chosen”. If we consider the verse which says “it is not God’s WILL that ANY should perish but that ALL should come to repentance" then that implies freewill because God wants everybody to be saved. When Jesus said “many are called” I am sure that means (comparing scripture with scripture) that EVERYBODY is called. However, few respond to the call i.e freewill prevents them. The chosen are those who DO respond.

What about John 15:16?
 “ you did not choose me I chose you” Jesus was speaking directly to the apostles about their calling as apostles. But there again, God calls and chooses everybody and gives enough grace to enable them to repent but many (using free will) decide to reject Christ.

Absolutely no-one chooses Christ without the work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit convicts us of righteousness, sin and judgement and reveals the truth about Jesus and His love, but He never forces conversion because God gave us freewill. Jesus chose the apostles and drew them after Him. 

Before Jesus called them to follow Him, they were not interested. In fact Peter told Jesus to depart from him. However, as God saw into the heart of David “a man after my own heart” so He saw into the hearts of the apostles and knew that these men would be worthy to be His apostles. He chose them – they did not choose Him initially but were won over to follow Jesus. BUT they still exercised free will.

Jesus "chose" the apostles to be special ministers for spreading the gospel throughout the world. Jesus is not talking about the “elect”. Verse 19 says:

“If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you”.

The emphasis of this teaching is that Jesus SEPARATED and empowered the apostles from the stains of the World for a special ministry. He chose to separate them. It is not talking about “election” here. God’s eternal plan is that ALL who come to Him will be subsequently expected to be separated from the “love of this world” and will be enabled to do so by the power of the Holy Spirit.

God reveals His love to many and by HIS power convicts them of sin but despite all this STILL few respond to it because they DO have freewill as was shown in the above example of Cain.


The conclusion SURELY must be that God HAS given us free will to choose or reject Him, but if we choose Him, He then enables us to receive Him and then empowers us to be kept by Him eternally.

When the bible discusses predestination and election I understand it to mean that God knew in advance who would receive or reject Him. He knew from the very beginning of time! Therefore, effectively the elect are predestined, chosen because God sees the end from the beginning.

The key to understanding these things properly is by having a correct approach to our theology.

I use a systematic approach by studying the WHOLE Bible to understand the whole counsel and eternal plan of God with all its micro and macro parts BEFORE I formulate my theology. First I formulate FROM SCRIPTURE the essential starting points of my position

For example, that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, effectively written by God therefore is fully true and can be trusted. God exists and consists in 3 persons as a Godhead, that He is eternal, omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent (all of these are clearly taught in Scripture). That man is a sinner who needs to be saved and Jesus died to save us from our sins. Then, what the Bible tells us about God’s Character, eg He is Holy, Perfect, Righteous and Just and is LOVE. He is faithful and His plans and purposes are irrevocable (of course these are just a few examples of many certainties).

These certainties are the foundation for interpreting all other scripture. We must always bear these things in mind. Regarding the various theologies like Calvinism , Arminianism etc., they go beyond these things and assume other things to be true (gnostic philosophies) BEFOREHAND and then go about proving it from scripture.

The right approach should be to formulate theology from the starting position of the Biblical certainties and then continuously modify and re-evaluate the overall theological position as we go along, whenever we are proved right or wrong by scripture. My overall position had already been determined by many years of studying the Bible, so I systematically examine, re-evaluate and modify this position in the light of newer scriptural revelation. For example, I constantly readjust my eschatological position and thereby am able to learn SO MUCH MORE regarding the end times

When I use the term macro I mean the external general outworkings and by micro I mean its individual specific internal working and how it can be applied to us specifically. As an example, macro could refer to “the eternal redemptive plan of God” including “once saved always saved” whereas micro could refer to “all things work together for our good” Romans 8:28 or “we are being changed from one degree of glory to another” 2 Corinthians 3:18.

I believe the value of my approach is that I am open enough to remain teachable by the Holy Spirit (not brainwashed into any specific systematic theology) and humble enough to adjust my theology. My approach enables me to examine EVERY word, sentence, passage, chapter, book, in the Bible, specifically getting these words into their right context and NOT ignore anything.

Please Click here for part 2 of this article entitled "Romans Chapter 9 DOES NOT Disprove Freewill but Actually Reinforces It. Looking At The Context Of The WHOLE Book of Romans".

For even more on this subject please consider this article 

New Calvinism. Explaining And Exposing This Latest Ecumenical and Apostate Movement Which Is Taking The Church By Storm

11 comments:

John Chingford said...

I received an email which claimed that Ephesians 1:4 settled the matter regarding proof of individual election.

Ephesians 1:4 states "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:"

Does this prove election of individuals?

The emphasis is on the "that we should be holy and without blame before him in love".

My understanding of that verse is that Paul is stating that the Ephesian church (not any specific individual and can be applied to ALL Christians collectively as "the church") had been chosen to become holy and without blame.

It is not clearly stating election of individuals here or election as the thrust of the message! It is saying that before the foundation of the Earth God had planned that His redeemed people would be holy and without blame before him in love.

This is how I read this by studying exegetically: getting verse into context, comparing scripture with scripture and considering the whole council of God as revealed through the whole Bible.

John Chingford said...

The Calvinist says that faith comes to us AFTER God has already regenerated our souls. Put in another way, we believed because God had already saved us prior to our faith.

Effectively that says that we first experience grace and then we believe. How does that match with "taste and see that the Lord is good" Psalms 34:8 In that verse it is saying taste first and then you will see that the Lord is good.

Taste is an act of faith, whereas seeing is a result of that faith = experience. Here we see that faith results in experience.

Throughout the scriptures the principle is always the same, faith comes first and then experience follows. It doesn't say "see and then taste that the Lord is good" but "taste and then see".

It is true that there are some isolated cases where God in His amazing grace and mercy granted some to experience first but it is not the norm. For example Thomas, but listen to the words of Jesus in response "blessed are those who do not see and yet believe".

Throughout the book of Acts we see the normal process was faith first (with repentance) followed by regeneration. For example in Acts 2 Peter preached the gospel and thousands believed. As it says in Romans 10 "faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God".

They believed first and then their response AFTER believing the message was to repent and be baptised (an act of faith) followed by the regeneration of the Holy Spirit as they received the Holy Spirit.

Romans 8:9 says "if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ". This means that receiving the Holy Spirit is part and parcel of being saved. Receiving the Holy Spirit within us comes alongside or after the act of faith AND NOT BEFORE.

Regeneration is by the Holy Spirit and can only occur once we have actually received the Holy Spirit into our hearts permanently and that cannot happen UNTIL we believe in/accept Jesus as our Saviour. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believe on Him shall not perish but have eternal life" John 3:16.

It is crazy to say that a person can be regenerated by the Holy Spirit BEFORE they have believed in/accepted Jesus as their Saviour.

The calvinists need to teach in regeneration before faith because they insist that we have NO FREE Will because we are too dead to even believe without this prior regeneration.

Instead of being open to learning directly from the WHOLE Bible alone, they simply ignore anything which does not fit in with their preconceived Calvin bible (i.e Augustinian, Catholic influenced) theology which is basically fatalism.

John Chingford said...

For those who do not think Calvinist teaching is too bad, let us consider how they decimate John 3:16

All reputed Bible versions are translated from the original manuscripts and basically all give an identical message which is:

"for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes on Him shall not perish but have everlasting life"

However, this is how the calvinist "bible" reads as interpreted by them:

"For God so loved His elect (the chosen few) that He gave His only begotten Son so that none of the elect will perish but have everlasting life"

Can you see the problem with this?

Not only is it deliberately twisting what the scriptures clearly teach, i.e. that God loves EVERYBODY and does not want any to perish but that ALL should come to repentance and that He has made a way for everybody to be saved from our sins by believing in Jesus BY FREEWILL, but their interpretation makes no sense anyway.

If they were correct and that God had already chosen them before Jesus died on the cross and that they were regenerate BEFORE coming to faith then why do they need Jesus to die for their sins?

Secondly, why does it state that they will not perish if it is impossible for the chosen few to perish anyway because they were saved "before the foundation of the Earth"?

Sorry, but Calvinist teaching is nonsensical, illogical and irrational at best and at worst blasphemous.

I will explain why it is blaspemous and why I have serious concerns about what they teach:

Calvinists paint and declare a god who's good pleasure is to create people to use and then send to hell to be tormented for eternity. Therefore, they present a god who is unmerciful, a tyrant, uncaring towards those he has not chosen.

If this is the god they believe in then how can they have assurance in their hearts that their god will not later turn on them too in heaven?. How can they trust their god if his character is as they (as calvinists) describe it?

For the scriptures says that "God does all things for His good pleasure" eg's Psalm 135:6, Eph 1:5, Phil 2:13 and "who can resist his will" Rom 9:19

This means that (with their interpretation)god creates multitudes to send to eternal hell and eternal torment for his good pleasure.

Their god is not the same God that I worship and adore because according to the Bible, God DOES NOT delight in the death of the wicked. Ezek 33:11:

"I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways"

Well ........ if it is their god's choice to send many to eternal hell and torment and they cannot do anything about it, then clearly it is their god's delight to do so.

Do you see how their doctrine is dangerous and has too many contradictions and too many "tensions". Their god appears to be struggling with schizophrenia.

Why can't they be honest with themselves and in humility accept that there are far too many inconsistencies in their theology? Why can't they cease ignoring all those contradictions and admit that somewhere within their theology they MUST have got it wrong.

My God loves ALL mankind and everybody and is not willing that ANY should perish and HAS given them freewill to choose or reject. It is out of His love that He gave us freewill rather than making us robots.

Loved ones in heaven said...

In critical time of our life whether it is about the strong decision like abortion of choosing the right partner referring the Bible can be the best suggested way to deal such situation. Thank you very much.

Anonymous said...

Reading your article,
I quote (just one statement) verbatim "Absolutely no one chooses Christ without the work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit convicts us of righteousness, sin and judgment and reveals the truth about Jesus and His love, but He never forces conversion because God gave us freewill."
What you have said above is a total contradiction in terms (if plain English makes any sense, anymore?)
In the first part of your quote, you are telling your readers that no one can CHOOSE Christ, then you go on to say that "He never forces conversion"! Which is it?
B.Lever.

Anonymous said...

Reading your comment dated 12th September 2012.
You say "...God loves everybody and does not want any to perish..."
Clearly, one very notable example among a great many, stands out, the case of Judas; does God love him?
God is Sovereign, Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnipresent. There is nothing He doesn't know, no where He hasn't been, and nothing He can learn!
Yet where is Judas at this very moment?
If God "Does not want any to perish", as you so clearly say, then what you are saying is that God is NOT Sovereign? To say that God "Does not want any to perish", and yet as we well know "Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." Matt 7.14.
How can this be?
We know that many are going to hell, well, I ask you, to use that great non-theologian's words, Dave Hunt "What love is this"? If God loves everyone, why ever do so many go to hell?
Certainly God does love His elect, that is His chosen.
Many focus on the "God of love", and ever forget that He is a "Consuming fire" Hebrews 12.29. Deuteronomy 4.24.
B.Lever.

John Chingford said...

Hi B Lever (aka James?)

There is no contradiction.

Without the work of the Holy Spirit no-one could repent and be born again, because we are clearly told that the Holy Spirit convicts the world concerning righteousness, sin and judgement.

This conviction brings a sinner to a place where they are awakened sufficiently to choose or reject Christ. If they accept Christ then the Holy Spirit completes the work of salvation and new birth. If they don't receive Christ, then they effectively harden their hearts against Christ.

Can you not see that it is possible to come under great conviction/realisation of need for salvation and yet still ignore/reject so great a salvation?

It clearly happens! Surely you have experienced people like that. They seem like they are so under conviction, recognising that Jesus is the only way of salvation and seem just seconds away from receiving Christ and yet find some reason to not choose Christ. Why is that? Basically it is because the Holy Spirit always allows for freewill.

John Chingford said...

James

As I stated before on another article, I will not post any more of your comments if your only intention is to be destructive. I welcome constructive debate if both parties are willing to learn, but you have demonstrated that you have no intention to learn because your mind is immovable and stubborn - the mark of pride.

However, I will answer your last comment. Like all other calvinists I have met, you like to use straw man arguments.

What I am saying is that God so loved the world (the whole world) that He gave us His only begotten Son that WHOSOEVER believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.

It is a freewill choice. It is not God's will that any should perish (including Judas) but that ALL should come to repentance. Who can resist God's Will? If God's will is for none to perish and yet they do, then the reason MUST BE because of freewill - the choice of sinners to reject Christ.

God knew before the foundation of the Earth who would receive Him and who would not. He also knew the heart of Judas before he was born and knew that he would become possessed. This is probably why he chose Judas to fulfil the scriptures.

Can you not see that it is freewill that answers all the objections of your last comment. God out of His sovereignty chose to give sinners freewill PERIOD!

That does not detract from God being a God of love who does not want any to perish and will reach out His hands daily to a stubborn and rebellious people (like we are told in the OT regarding Israel).

John Chingford said...

James

Your closing comment is so blasphemous. You are basically stating that God only loves those He chooses but the rest of mankind He hates and deliberately hardens their hearts to send them to hell without having any option otherwise. What sort of God are you serving? That does not sound anything like the God that I adore.

How can you be certain that God has chosen you? How do you know for certainty that you are born again? What if God hasn't chosen you and you therefore have your heart hardened later and end up in hell because He actually hates you? How can you trust a god like that?

Praise God, He IS NOT LIKE THAT! God can eternally be trusted as a God who ALWAYS loves and reaches out His hands daily through the Holy Spirit to convict and convince the whole world of the need of salvation.

Mari Natha said...

I heard a Calvinist pastor just yesterday make the statement in support of Limited Atonement that Hitler, Judas, Stalin and other evil people in history are in hell because Jesus did not die for them. Also, he said that God has the right to send every one of us to hell but He chose to die for those He has elected for salvation.

These are such ludicrous statements by blinded and misguided men who are leading others into the pit.

They also made irreverent and inappropriate statements meant to be “cute”. They have twisted Scripture to create a “god” who creates people who He is consigning to hell from birth with no chance of redemption.

This goes against the very nature and character of God Who is perfect love. In fact, one could go so far as to say that it insults the holiness of our Lord and Savior. This is dangerous ground.

They misunderstand why Jesus went to the cross and malign those who maintain that God created man with a free will. Man did not conjure it up himself.

They distort the concept of “depraved” to an extreme, saying that the sin in the Garden rendered man incapable of responding to the Holy Spirit and that God picks and chooses whom He will bestow the Holy Spirit upon and thereby grant eternal life.

Utter nonsense!

John Chingford said...

James/B Lever

As stated, I will no longer be posting your comments on this blog as they are nothing short of destructive and unhelpful and are not conducive to the objectives of the blog.

However, if you would please email me privately (you will have to email me as you have not provided your email address) then I will be happier to reply to your comments there, instead of here.

I have kept a record of the unpublished comments, so once you supply your email address, I will reply to your comments there.

Having said that, I do not presently have much time on my hands to get into a long great debate, but will reply as/when I have time. It may take quite a while, but surely that is better than none at all?