The Freewill of Man
Freewill offerings are mentioned in the Old Testament 18 times. It is hard to ignore the fact here that such an offering had to be of their own free will!
Numbers 29:39 – These [things] ye shall do unto the Lord in your set feasts, beside your vows, and your freewill offerings, for your burnt offerings, and for your meat offerings, and for your drink offerings, and for your peace offerings.
“freewill” – 05071 הבדנ nᵉdabah ned-aw-baw’ 1) voluntariness; free-will offering.
It is translated “voluntary” in Leviticus 7:16 and translated “a willing offering” in Exodus 35:29. And it is translated “willingly” in Exodus 25:2 – Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering.
But, some will say, mankind has some free will but not unto salvation! Now where does it teach that? Either man has free will or he doesn’t! And if he has free will, then where does it teach that it’s only for some things but not others. I have some more detailed thoughts on this in Section (b) of Does the Calvinist God have a Dual Personality? where I demonstrate that some free will would require some use of God’s foreknowledge (meaning His perfect knowledge of the future, as opposed to the calvinist false doctrine of foreknowledge being predetermined by God).
So, what about commentaries on this use of freewill? There’s not much on this from anyone other than anti-freewill proponents, probably because there’s so much pressure on scholars to avoid the truth that they prefer to say little or nothing rather than face the ridicule of so-called, self-professed calvinist “scholars”. And when is anything proven just because the majority say so? Most people are going to hell; does that make hell the right option? On the internet most supporters of the free will of man appear to be “Arminian”, not quite as bad as calvinists but still following their own religious “football team”. Far better to not have a tag of any such sort! [Although as soon as you say you are anti-calvinist, the calvinists immediately assume (quite illogically, of course, and just as inaccurately) that you must be Arminian. Wrong! I, for instance, claim only to be Biblical!]
Gill says in his commentary on Exodus 35:29 re “a willing offering”….and as there were work and service of God’s appointment to be done in the legal tabernacle, so there are in the Gospel church; such as prayer, praise, preaching, and hearing the word, and the administration of ordinances; and for the support of which contributions are made; and all this is to be done willingly and cordially: the Gospel is to be preached not by constraint, but willingly, not for filthy lucre sake, but of a ready mind; the word is to be heard and received with all readiness, and ordinances are to be submitted to cheerfully, and with the whole heart; and the contributions made for the poor, and the support of divine service, are to be generous and bountiful: and those who have such a willing heart and spirit, have it not by nature or of themselves, but from the efficacious grace of God, which makes them a willing people in the day of his power; and from the free Spirit of God, who works in them, both to will and to do of his good pleasure……
There’s nothing of freewill choice here! It’s all “will”, not “freewill”! Clearly, it is God’s will that we are required to obey, and thus we do obey, according to Gill.
Even the internet (via that calvinist-biased website, “www.gotquestions.org”) tries to set itself up as the correct (yet totally confused!) answer for all your questions.
But how can man, limited by a sin nature, ever choose what is good? It is only through the grace and power of God that free will truly becomes “free” in the sense of being able to choose salvation (John 15:16). It is the Holy Spirit who works in and through a person’s will to regenerate that person (John 1:12-13) and give him/her a new nature “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:24). Salvation is God’s work. At the same time, our motives, desires, and actions are voluntary, and we are rightly held responsible for them. (https://www.gotquestions.org/free-will.html)
That is, we do not have an effective free will, yet at the same time our motives etc. are voluntary and therefore we are rightly held responsible? How can we be held responsible for something we were incapable of having any effective say on?
So what about that “scholar” much overrated by many, MacArthur? How does his great “scholarship” describe freewill for us? In somewhat confused fashion it seems, as the following shows.
There is the classical tradition that is often called calvinism, although that’s a little bit too narrow a definition because this kind of teaching was not exclusively John Calvin’s teaching. So there is a tradition of teaching firmly and strongly on the doctrine of election that comes long before John Calvin and continues today even outside of classic calvinism. There are believers all over the world who view the Bible as teaching the doctrine of election. There is also historically the idea that man has a free will and that he is free to choose and God only chooses man when man first chooses Him. The worst form of that has been called in the past Pelagian, a little less severe view of that is called semi-Pelagian and then it sort of migrates up the ladder a little to Arminianism. But all of it comes down to the idea that God does not in the end determine who is saved, the sinner himself determines that by an act of his own will with which God cooperates. So those are traditions that have been around a long time. (https://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/GTY106/answering-the-key-questions-about-the-doctrine-of-election)
Of course the Bible teaches election! Who’s arguing on that one? It is a Biblical doctrine; however, it is conditional upon the foreknowledge of God. It’s only the unbiblical teaching that the election is unconditional (that man has no free will at all in his salvation) that’s terribly wrong. And the best MacArthur can do here is to name and blame all who oppose his views here as either Pelagian or Arminian? This sort of rhetoric is going nowhere!
And from A Grace Bridge Panel Discussion September 26, 2001 (as per MacArthur’s church website), Dr Mayhue speaking:
……. nowhere in the Bible does it suggest that man has a free will ……..
I don’t know what this Dr Mayhue is doctor of but it apparently isn’t in Biblical interpretation nor learning in Greek! From the same source we have the following spoken by Dr Mayhue:
Sure. Well, the word that’s translated “foreknowledge” (noun!) is the Greek verb “proginosko,” which just literally means “to know before.” And when it’s talking about relationships, it’s talking about something that occurred before something. And in this case, it goes back to the word “predestination.” And that is that God had a predetermined relationship before time; that He had determined by unconditional election of those upon whom He would shower His grace, from a pool of those whom He knew would have fallen, and all were undeserving of anything that He might offer.
What!? He doesn’t even know the difference between a noun and a verb? “proginosko” is a verb and cannot be translated as a noun! The word “foreknowledge” is a noun, whereas “proginosko” is a verb which has to be translated as a verb in English such as “foreknow” (or “foreknew”). What “Dr” Mayhue apparently doesn’t realise (or doesn’t want to admit!) is that the word “foreknowledge” is the Greek noun “prognosis” – a medical term as used by Hippocrates around 400 BC, meaning the same as we use it today; a doctor gives you a prognosis of your future based upon his or her diagnosis of your current condition. It is literally a “looking into the future” activity, and never to do with relationships! Why doesn’t he want you to know that foreknowledge is actually “prognosis“? Is he trying to hide something?
Another website gives a reasonable explanation of freewill and free choice.
Thus free choice and free will can be used interchangeably in this sense. Choice is simply the exertion of one’s will. If you cannot will to do something, you cannot choose it. You are merely a mechanism in the apparatus of another. Thus, in order for anyone to be culpable of sin, they must have to choose to sin. If they can choose to sin, they have free will.
Yet Macarthur says we do have the freedom to choose our sin.
But within the framework of our sinfulness we could pick our poison. When you talk about free will, we’re talking about the freedom that the sinner has to choose his iniquity. That’s what his freedom is, that’s the sum and substance of his freedom.
Then how could God prophesy (in Zechariah 11:12-13) concerning Judas betraying Jesus for 30 pieces of silver, if He is not permitted to use His foreknowledge?
It seems ridiculous that MacArthur seemingly picks and chooses what freewill we can and can’t have. On one hand we have freedom to choose our sin, and yet we have no free will to choose salvation?? He makes it abundantly clear that we do have free will as long as it doesn’t interfere with the man-made doctrines of Calvin and his unthinking followers. And herein lies the clue to it all: like foreknowledge (which couldn’t be permitted to exist simply because it interfered with calvinism), freewill can only exist as long as it doesn’t conflict with calvinism! Here we have yet another evidence that the lies of calvinism take precedence over the truth of the Bible. To the calvinist, free will can only be permitted to exist where it doesn’t conflict with the calvinist doctrine of unconditional election.
The moment you try to have just “some” free will in just “some” areas and not others, then you have to demonstrate that the Bible teaches, in fact, the difference between free will and non-free will areas of man’s decision-making. But the Bible makes no such distinction; either it teaches free will or it doesn’t. And a Bible that allows so much choice to be made between good and evil would be pointless and irrelevant if free will didn’t exist. Note the following example:
Deuteronomy 30:15-19 – 15See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; 16In that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. 17But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; 18I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, [and that] ye shall not prolong [your] days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it. 19I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, [that] I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
Calvin taught (in his Institutes of the Christian Religion) that every decision that man makes (in particular for salvation) is preordained by God’s eternal decree. Thus there is no free will, yet at the same time we are responsible for sin by our own free will. More confusion!
Institutes Bk III, Ch. 21, Section 5 – By predestination we mean the eternal decree of God, by which he determined with himself whatever he wished to happen with regard to every man. All are not created on equal terms, but some are preordained to eternal life, others to eternal damnation; and, accordingly, as each has been created for one or other of these ends, we say that he has been predestinated to life or to death.
Institutes Bk 1, Ch.16, Section 9 – Let us suppose, for example, that a merchant, after entering a forest in company with trust-worthy individuals, imprudently strays from his companions and wanders bewildered till he falls into a den of robbers and is murdered. His death was not only foreseen by the eye of God, but had been fixed by his decree.
Institutes Bk 3, Ch.23, Section 7 – Nor ought it to seem absurd when I say, that God not only foresaw the fall of the first man, and in him the ruin of his posterity; but also at his own pleasure arranged it.
Institutes Bk 1, Ch.15, Section 8 – Adam, therefore, might have stood if he chose, since it was only by his own will that he fell;
Calvin also is guilty of trying to satisfy both sides of the argument at once: God preordains everything for man, yet Adam, who was ruined at God’s own pleasure, fell by his (Adam’s) will alone!??
The calvinists cannot even make a consistent and logical stand on this, and when it comes to Scriptural accuracy, they have missed the boat completely!
(Does that mean they are not on the ship’s manifest when it sails? pleroma – fullness – see Romans 11:25b – that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness (pleroma) of the Gentiles be come in.) They are clearly confused – just what we’d expect from a religion built upon the lies of satan. Every lie requires another lie to uphold it, and against the truth no lie can stand forever!
So what does the Bible say about free will and the ability of mankind to have a choice, especially when it comes to major situations such as salvation. In other words, what is the truth?
In the beginning, when God created man in His own image, He gave man dominion over the whole earth, including all life. It is also clear that this applied not only to Adam but to his descendants. Note Vs 28 where God says to be fruitful, multiply, subdue the earth, and have dominion over all things. Thus all mankind today still has dominion over all the earth. Nothing in the Bible can even remotely teach or suggest otherwise. It has never been rescinded.
Genesis 1:26-28 – 26And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
So what does “dominion” mean? In Genesis 1:28 it means “to have dominion, rule, subjugate”.
“rule” means : to have control and power over a country, area, group, etc., to have great influence over (someone), to make a legal decision about something (Merriam-Webster dictionary).
Therefore it is necessary to make decisions in order to rule. Why would God put man in charge of ruling the earth, yet refuse to allow man to make any decisions other than what God pre-ordained that he should do? Man’s dominion over the whole earth is a clear statement of the requirement that mankind should rule (and thus make decisions for) according to what he believes he should choose for his dominion (the earth). Without the freedom to choose, man’s dominion is no dominion at all!
Barnes says of Genesis 1:28 – He (man) is therefore authorized, by the word of the Creator, to exercise his power in subduing the earth and ruling over the animal kingdom. This is the meet sequel of his being created in the image of God. Being formed for dominion, the earth and its various products and inhabitants are assigned to him for the display of his powers. The subduing and ruling refer not to the mere supply of his natural needs, for which provision is made in the following verse, but to the accomplishment of his various purposes of science and beneficence, whether towards the inferior animals or his own race. It is the part of intellectual and moral reason to employ power for the ends of general no less than personal good. The sway of man ought to be beneficent.
In other words, man is to use his capacity to think, that is, his intellect, in order to make decisions regarding that over which he is to have dominion (to rule over). This can only be called free will (or free choice) in some degree. Of course, there will always be limits imposed by God, as the supreme ruler of the universe, regarding how far man can go in making such freewill decisions, but they are, nevertheless, decisions based upon man’s freedom to make choices on behalf of the earth. And, all mankind has an equal share of this dominion. Neither satan nor his demons have any such dominion over the earth; thus they have to use mankind in order to be able to access this earth. Satan wouldn’t want to admit it, but he cannot do any of his works without mankind and his dominion over the earth!
The giving of offerings in the Old Testament was freewill. That is, they were to be decisions made by the people, voluntarily, without compulsion. For how can it be a freewill offering if God has already willed that they should give it (as Gill has determined)?
We are also made in God’s image, and we are to be conformed to the image of Christ. That is, we are to be brought back to that state in which Adam was first created, conformed to the image of God/Christ. And if anyone has free will, it is God! Even the calvinists dare not deny this! But we as being made in God’s image are not to have any idea of His free will? There is nothing in the Bible that denies our freewill, except by the demanding that it (the Scriptures) be brought into subjection to the lies of calvinism.
Hebrews 1:3 says that Jesus was “the express image of His (God the Father) person” and Romans 8:29 says that we have been “predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son”.
How are we made in the image of God if we are not to have any free will concerning our love and worship of Him?
Note these verses that refer to free will of choice.
Matthew 22:37 – Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Isn’t this level of loving an act of the will? Why would God require of us that which He has to ordain that we do? Why not just ordain it? If we have no free will, then to what purpose is this law given?
Proverbs 21:5 – The thoughts (plans; inventions) of the diligent [tend] only to plenteousness; but of every one [that is] hasty only to want.
What are thoughts if not an act of the will? And why admonish us to be diligent if it is not a choice we can make? That is, without free will, we can be just as obedient without being diligent!
Isaiah 48:18 – O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea:
And those who don’t heed God’s commandments will have done so (that is, disobeyed) according to God’s will? So it could be God’s will that we disobey Him?
Deuteronomy 30:19 – I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, [that] I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
Heaven and earth (now, that’s a lot to swear by) are witnesses to their choice here. So why would God set such a choice before them if they had no ability nor permission to make such a choice? Thus, when Israel fell into sin, that was God’s choice for them? So being the elect nation wasn’t so good after all!
Joshua 24:15 – 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.
Is Joshua asking them this just for a show of “looking good” as the leader of God’s people? Is Joshua really boasting of his unconditional election by God?
John 7:17 – If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or [whether] I speak of myself.
So how can we want to do His will if we have no free will to do so? Without free will, this verse makes no sense at all, if God has already predetermined our decision.
Also note John 6:44 – No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
This word “draw” is one that the calvinists delight to teach as meaning to drag or impel, against our wills. Note that the following says “seems to indicate” and “Apparently”, not very confident statements at all here!
The word for “draw” is Greek for “helkō” and means “to drag” or to “impel” so this seems to indicate that no one can come to Jesus unless the Father is involved and He “drags” or “impels” them to and so how can we reconcile freewill with that? Apparently, no one can freely come to Jesus of their own freewill unless the Father impels them.
Of course, the Greek word can mean “drag” or “impel” – note the following:
Acts 21:30a – And all the city was moved, and the people ran together: and they took Paul, and drew him out of the temple: and forthwith the doors were shut.
It is clear that Paul was being dragged against his will (as this word can signify) out of the temple.
However, the word can also be used in a moral or persuasive sense, according to both Strong and Thayer, as in John 6:44 and John 12:32. It is interesting to note that according to their definition of “draw”, “apparently” no-one will get lost if all who are drawn are also saved! Their definition of that word “draw” in John 12:32 would make calvinists universalists!
In John 6:44, the calvinists say that God draws only the elect, yet in John 12:32, the same word “draw” applies to all mankind!
John 12:32 – And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all [men] unto me.
So Jesus will “drag” all against their wills to Himself on the cross? (Or will the calvinist in an irrational effort to justify his lies claim that “all” means only the Christians?) Note that the word “men” which calvinists say means “nations” actually isn’t in the original Greek. Leave out “men” and the meaning is clear: it means all individual people, all-inclusive of all mankind! We all have a choice, or else all are saved! The only way out of this self-created confusion of the calvinists is to acknowledge the free will of man!
However, the website quoted above (www.patheos.com) chooses to not mention John 12:32. I wonder why? Perhaps calvinists are selective in what they quote in case they get caught?
Jesus taught free will in the following passage.
Luke 9:23-26 – 23And he said to [them] all, If any [man] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. 24For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. 25For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away? 26For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and [in his] Father’s, and of the holy angels.
“If any man will” can only be seen as a matter of choice, as is to “deny himself”. Why introduce a choice if there is no choice in the first place? If all scripture is profitable (2 Timothy 3:16), then how is it profitable to introduce a non-existent choice? Why bother to ask a question if the answer is already predetermined (preordained)? How many times does the Bible ask us to choose, especially concerning our eternal future? And why bother if it means nothing? For if it means nothing, it is unprofitable, yet all scripture is indeed profitable! Why hold up the impossible dream in front of a lost human race if not to taunt them with what they are missing out on?
Jesus also made it abundantly clear that the lost, far from not being able to come, could come but refused as an act of their wills. Note “would not”, not “could not”!
Matthew 23:37 – 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! (Note well that both words “would” are the same Greek verb of the same case. One applies to Jesus and the other to the unwilling people.)
Note the following calvinist teaching concerning those who go to hell:
Why am I, a Calvinist, so passionate about evangelism? …… First, my Lord Jesus Christ commands me to do so. ……Second, given that my chief duty (and delight) is to glorify God, I am moved by the fact that the Father is honored whenever the Son is honored. Third, I know that when the nonelect reject the gospel, as they are wont to do, preaching leaves them all the more without excuse when they receive the condemnation they justly deserve. …….
This person sounds like a sadist! Are calvinists therefore sadists? Their brand of logic would indicate so!
Some more thoughts:
Ezekiel 18:30-32 – 30Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord God. Repent, and turn [yourselves] from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. 31Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? 32For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn [yourselves], and live ye.
How can God have no pleasure in the death of those who die when He has ordained by His will that they should die? Does this mean that God has no pleasure in obeying His own will? Does this mean that God has no pleasure in what He chooses for the great majority of mankind? This would make God a being in two minds, one that desires life for all, yet unconditionally pronounces death upon those who have no say in the matter!
The same applies to the following two passages where God wills that all should come to repentance, that all men should be saved, yet, according to calvinist teaching, God puts Himself in conflict with that same will by being willing that most of these will die!
2 Peter 3:9 – 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.
1 Timothy 2:4 – Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
MacArthur makes it clear what he believes – God did not intend to save everyone. He is God. He could have intended to save everyone. He could have saved everyone. He would have if that had been His intention. The atonement is limited.
And such talk is blasphemy!
Romans 14:12 – So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
There is a judgement one day. Everyone will face God one day and give account, that is, defend our actions and decisions as in a court of law. In a just court, no-one will be condemned for something they haven’t done. To be found guilty is to be found culpable, that is, to blame, for our actions and decisions.
2 Corinthians 5:10 – For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things [done] in [his] body, according to that he hath done, whether [it be] good or bad.
1/. Why give an account when God has already pre-ordained everything in the first place? That would mean that the account we give of our actions can only be that which God ordains for us to give!
2/. If we haven’t made the decision to sin, but have acted in accordance with our “programming” from God, then how can we be responsible (culpable) for our sin. This is completely illogical! If we were to “obey” God’s “programming” in doing sin, we are guilty, yet if we were so say to God that we could not do such a sin, we would then be guilty because we had disobeyed a command of God.
Yet Calvin says that God wills the same as the criminal but in a different way!
Page 179 But the objection is not yet resolved, that if all things are done by the will of God, and men contrive nothing except by His will and ordination, then God is the author of all evils.
Page 184 Must we then impute the guilt of sin to God, or invent a double will for Him so that He falls out with Himself? I have shown that He wills the same as the criminal and the wicked, but in a different way.
(“Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God”)
Thus Calvin taught that God chose for us to sin by His will, but we get the blame. But the Bible teaches that we have many choices to make, especially concerning our life and future with God, and that our choice determines our destination for all eternity. The free will of mankind, though limited by God’s sovereignty, is clearly taught in the Bible. Nevertheless, we have free will to act within those limits. And we are also fully accountable for every one of those free will choices we make. In this way, God’s sovereignty is not challenged at all by our free will choices for which we will be held totally accountable one day.
Just as a matter of interest, a short description of the truth of the free will of man in matters of salvation is as follows:
Man does have the responsibility to choose his eternal future, yet will not choose God’s salvation without intervention from God. Man is not incapable of choosing right; he just won’t because his will is so set upon disobeying God. It’s not that he can’t come to God; he just won’t come to God! Note the “would not” below:
Matthew 23:37 – 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!
Such intervention is outlined in Romans 10. Man either chooses to trust God’s promises, or to reject them. If he rejects them, he remains lost, and is totally culpable in the judgement. On the other hand, that man who chooses to trust God’s promises of salvation then calls upon the name of the Lord, trusting in God’s promise that he then will be saved. But no man can demand that, just because God has promised, He will also carry out that promise. It is our faith that trusts God to be true to His promises. Faith is our response to the character of God: can we trust One who makes such exceedingly great promises? Our response of faith says, “Yes!”
Thus, when man calls upon the name of the Lord, it is God then who chooses to be true to His promise and consequently chooses to save that man according to His promise, simply because He will not break even one of His promises. When man makes a choice to receive the free gift of salvation, God with perfect foreknowledge knows this from before the creation of the world, and records that person’s name in the Lamb’s Book of Life (see Revelation 17:8). This is the biblical election: God chooses His elect on the basis that they have chosen to trust in His promises of salvation. That is, the election is conditional upon foreknowledge!
1 Peter 1:2a – Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father …
So when MacArthur says ….
But all of it (that is, Arminianism) comes down to the idea that God does not in the end determine who is saved, the sinner himself determines that by an act of his own will with which God cooperates. (https://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/GTY106/answering-the-key-questions-about-the-doctrine-of-election)
…. he (MacArthur) is really trying to make out that those who believe in the free will of man also believe that we can twist God’s arm behind His back, so to speak, and make Him save us, simply because we have gone through the process of choosing Him. That is, we can force God to obey His promises! So now MacArthur is mocking the free will of man? Cannot he do any better? Probably not – as this is the act of a person desperate for a solution to his argument, so desperate, in fact, that he will grasp at anything to prop up his false doctrines. However, note that it is God who tells man to call upon the name of the Lord to be saved (Romans 10:13) so if you disagree, then take that up with Almighty God!
However, this is absolute rubbish from that alleged “master scholar and teacher”. We still cannot choose God without His intervention, which according to Romans 10 is through the preaching of the word of the gospel. And, even when we choose God through His gracious intervention, we still have no right to demand that even a single one of His promises must be adhered to, as if we had some kind of hold over God through this process! We trust God because He is faithful to His Word! This is our faith in action!
God is not obligated by any means whatsoever to respond to our calling upon the name of the Lord, except by His choosing to honour His promises to save us. It remains God’s choice to save us, even when we do what God requires, that is, call upon the name of the Lord. God does not “cooperate” with mankind in salvation; God graciously honours His promises of salvation through His choice alone. MacArthur is unwise to mock the true processes of salvation for in doing so he is mocking God and His sovereignty. It would be blasphemy to do so! The only way man can be found culpable when he is condemned to hell is to have been in some way responsible for his choices while living on earth.
Note that Hell might be a place of punishment but it is not punishment for sin that sends us there. Jesus has already atoned for all the sins of all mankind forever. Only more twisting of the scriptures changes this truth. Man is sent to hell for rejecting a Saviour who died for him. The punishment is for making the wrong choice concerning salvation, not for sin itself. We do not go to hell to pay for our sins!
Note also that the correct interpretation of foreknowledge (prognosis) is required for the above process to be carried out. For that reason, calvinists hate the genuine meaning of “prognosis” because it allows God to elect Christians on the basis of their decision to be saved. But ask any calvinist for a genuine Biblical proof that God cannot or does not use foreknowledge to determine the list of the elect. They will find no such proof at all!
Neither is “common sense” permitted! – Eg. Common sense tells us that no event can be foreknown unless by some means, either physical or mental, it has been predetermined.
The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination Ch.6, Loraine Boettner)
Common sense is a very poor support in any debate!
Calvinists are free to believe that God didn’t give man a free will. They are free to believe whatever they want to believe, as long as they take responsibility for their beliefs. They, too, have freedom of will. But freedom of will requires an accounting one day (the judgment) before a sovereign God. One day they will answer to God Himself for their decision to deny Him His sovereign right to determine for Himself whether or not He would allow man a free will. And God in His sovereignty will condemn them for their lies!
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