Why does the Bible say “whosoever will come” will be saved? The question here concerns God’s sincerity. Does he really mean it? If a person has been “elected”, and the Lord has begun his saving work in you, and you will come to him, you will be saved. It is true that if one believes in Yeshua they will be saved. But, we must remember, the same Yeshua that said “whosoever will” also said “No one can come to me unless it has been granted to him by the Father (John 6.65).”
It is true that we are made in the image of God (Gen 1.27) but that doesn’t mean all will be saved. To be in the image of God has to do with male and female attributes and the family unit (Gen 5.1-2), and the kedusha that was upon man, so that concept does not enter into salvation.
Now, this brings up the question “Can love be forced?” and the answer is that there is a difference between “forced” and “caused.” The Lord works on our hearts (Deut 30.6) and changes our desires to love him. The Lord does not force by external manipulation. It is irresistible after he works on our hearts and we can’t help but love him after he reveals himself and we experience his benefits. The next question comes up all the time and is so misunderstood because the concept of the sovereignty of God and the elect is so misunderstood. The question is “Can a person lose his salvation” and the answer is “no” according to Rom 8.29-30, 11.29; John 10.28; Jer 32.40 and 2 Cor 5.17.
The Lord would have to “reverse” the work he began in us and remove our new heart. He then would have to give back the “old creation” and put us into the position of “unborn” in the Ruach Ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit).
Now, we are going to begin to discuss some of the problems with free will. This view believes that all men are depraved but there is atonement for all. Yeshua’s death satisfied God’s justice, but his grace can be resisted. Man has a free will to respond or resist it. In short, prior to being drawn and enabled, one is unable to believe, but can resist. Having been drawn and enabled, but prior to repentance, one is able to believe, but can resist. After one believes, God regenerates them and one is able to continue believing, but he can also resist. Upon resisting to the point of unbelief, they are unable to again believe and able only to resist.
One of the problems with all this is that God “lovingly and respectively” watches over the destruction of many because he will not violate their “free will.” Election is criticized as “harsh” and that people are “forced to line up with God” and that he “sends people to hell” and so on. When you put it like that, mixed with the concept of our own worth and what we think is “fair” God sounds evil, hard, harsh and unsympathetic. However, the Scriptures say otherwise.
Some say “God is a gentleman and he won’t force himself on anyone” and this means he won’t force anyone to love him. This is noble and chivalrous, but it isn’t accurate. Let’s look at this another way. A father has some deaf children. There are railroad tracks near the home and he warns them not to go near the tracks. Of course, they do anyway and a train is coming. He stops short of the tracks and implores them by sign language that a train is coming and to get off the tracks because he wants them to “freely choose to obey him.” Some come off, some do not and are killed. The father mourns, but doesn’t regret his decision to give his children “free will to choose” because after all, the ones that came showed they really loved him. If the Lord can force us to come to him, he should. If he has the power to save, he should. God controls our hearts (Ezek 11.19; Prov 21.1; John 12.39-40; Psa 105.24-25; Isa 63.17).
God’s inability to force our love, they say, has been reworked into a more clever argument that says “True love can’t be forced.” The problem is, that is not found in the Bible. It comes from the idea that a man can’t force or cause a woman to love him. But, the Lord is not a man and he does control hearts. Proponents of “free will” say that God values free will more than he does peoples lives. Why does God send people to hell? Choice people say “he doesn’t” which solves the problem nicely for them. They don’t worry about that issue, but it creates another problem. He “allows” it when he “honors” their choice and they are destroyed. He wants them to have “free will.” God is faced with a decision. He could limit our freedom and force everyone to be saved, or give everyone free will and billions are lost. So, he chose the latter. They say that God would rather give us free will than to see men saved.
However, election isn’t easier to believe either. However, the point is, free will doesn’t solve the problem either. God has ordained how salvation works and will happen (Rom 10.14-15; Acts 18.6-10). If God cannot change someone, and is not going to override their free will, then why plead for the repentance of anyone? If the Lord can’t or won’t control men’s free will, then why do it? Choice people say “He doesn’t desire that any perish” so we must assume he is doing all he can, right? But then, why ask him to do more if he is already doing all he can? It’s pointless. It would be better to plead with the sinner to use his free will to repent, not ask God to save him and “override” his choice.
In the conclusion, we will continue to discuss this teaching about the sovereignty of God and the elect by pointing out more problems with the concept of free will.