Revelation 22:17 “WHOSOEVER WILL, let him take the water of life freely.”
Revelation 22:17 “WHOSOEVER WILL, let him take the water of life freely.”
Does Revelation 22:17 contradict the multitude of other Scriptures that clearly teach that God and not man does the electing unto salvation? Does the Bible contradict itself by teaching on the one hand that “God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation” (2 Thes. 2:13), and “that He should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given Him” (John 17:2), and then turn around and teach or imply that it is finally and ultimately up to a man’s individual will and freedom of personal choice that is the determining factor in who gets saved and who doesn’t?
This seems to be the thinking of so many Christians today. They read into verses like Revelation 22:17 what they WANT IT TO SAY, rather than taking the whole counsel of God and putting it together into a consistent doctrine. The Bible does not contradict itself, and the truth is very clear to all whose spiritual understanding God has opened.
John 1:11-13 clearly and unequivocally tells us that the new birth is NOT of man’s will, but of God’s. “He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 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. Which were born, not of blood, NOR OF THE WILL OF THE FLESH, NOR OF THE WILL OF MAN, BUT OF GOD.”
Words cannot be any clearer. The will of man or of the flesh has no part in the new birth, nor in the receiving of Jesus Christ as Saviour, nor in believing. Faith is a sovereign gift from God given to His elect people and His sheep.
Of others the Lord Jesus says: “But ye believe not, BECAUSE ye are not my sheep.” John 10:26.
Notice that these words from our Lord Jesus Christ Himself do not say "you are not my sheep because you don't believe", but the very reason they do not believe is "because ye are not my sheep."!
See the article on The Origin of Saving Faith here: -
See also the article about ‘As Many as Received Him’ here: -
God further develops the doctrine that the natural will of man has no part in his own salvation when the apostle Paul takes up this theme in the book of Romans. In Romans 9:13-16 we read: “As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then IT IS NOT OF HIM THAT WILLETH, nor of him that runneth, BUT OF GOD that sheweth mercy.”
How much clearer can God make it? It is “not of him that willeth”, but of God.
So how then do God’s elect people become “willing” to come to Christ? Well, Scripture also answers this question for us too. In Psalm 110:3 the King James Bible tells us: “Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power”, and in Philippians 2:13 we read these wonderful words of truth - “For it is God who worketh in you BOTH TO WILL AND TO DO of his good pleasure.”
God makes us willing to do His will. “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth”. God needs to remove the stony heart and give us an heart of flesh. “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, AND CAUSE YOU TO WALK in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” (Ezekiel 36:26-27)
So when we read a verse like Revelation 22:17 that says: “Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely”, it means what it says and nothing more. Man, woman or child, Jew or Gentile, rich or poor, free or bond, black, white, yellow or brown, people of every nation and color, if you are willing to drink, it is because God first made you thirsty and then He made you willing to come.
I have always found it to be of great interest how the Arminian "free will" point of view is blind to so many obvious truths found in God's word. An example of this blindness is found in a commentary by a "free willer" when noting the beautiful "type" found in Genesis chapter 24. There we see Abraham (The Father) sending an unnamed servant (the Holy Ghost) to seek a bride (the church) for his son Isaac (the Son of God).
This Arminian brother states: "Rebekah had free will not to follow the servant of Abraham (Rev 22:17)".
Well, let's take a closer look at this beautiful Biblical type found in Scripture.
In Genesis 24:5 the servant says to Abraham: "Peradventure the woman WILL NOT BE WILLING to follow me unto this land: must I needs bring thy son again unto the land from whence thou camest?" Abraham then tells him in verse 8: "And if the woman WILL NOT BE WILLING to follow thee, then thou shalt be clear from my oath: only bring not my son hither again."
However, there is much more good theology to be found in this "type" right here in Genesis 24. In verse 14 of this same chapter the servant prays to the LORD God and says: "And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink: and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: LET THE SAME BE SHE THAT THOU HAST APPOINTED for thy servant Isaac..."
The same idea is repeated in Genesis 24:44 where the servant rehearses what had just happened to Rebecca's brother Laban. There he says: "...let the same be the woman WHOM THE LORD HATH APPOINTED OUT FOR MY MASTER'S SON."
The simple biblical reason that Rebecca was willing to go was because God had already appointed her to be the wife of the Son.
The same truth applies to verses like “whosoever believeth”. It means only what it says. The verse cannot have a meaning that goes against all the other verses of Scripture where we are clearly taught that Faith is a gift from God, and the reason some do not believe is because they are not Christ’s sheep and God Himself has blinded their minds that THEY CANNOT BELIEVE. See John 12:39-41.
If you believe that you are a wretched sinner whose heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, and you cannot possibly save yourself; if you believe that God Himself took on a human body and went to the cross of Calvary to shed His precious blood as an atoning sacrifice for your sins to save you from an everlasting hell, then the reason you believe these things is because it is God Himself who gave you this faith - “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:8-10)
“That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:31
Objection: Doesn't the Bible itself talk about man's "free will"?
Some of my "By my own free will I chose to believe on Christ" brethren object to the doctrines of sovereign, electing grace by bringing up the fact that the Bible contains the word "freewill" and so they say these doctrines I and multitudes of other Christians have believed through the centuries are not Scriptural.
Let's take a closer look at what the Bible actually teaches concerning the "freewill" of man.
They are correct when they say the Bible has the word "freewill" in it. In fact, it occurs 17 times in the King James Holy Bible and all are found in the Old Testament. (See for example Lev.22:18, 21, 23; Numbers 15:3; 29:39; Deut. 12:6,17 and Ezra 1:4, 3:5 and 7:13,16.)
However, what should be pointed out is that 16 of the 17 times the word occurs it has to do with the "freewill offerings" the people of God offered in their service to Him. In every case the word "freewill" is used, it is always in a good sense (never in a bad or sinful sense) and it is always done BY THOSE WHO ARE ALREADY GOD'S REDEEMED PEOPLE.
There is not a single verse in the entire Bible that teaches that unregenerate, fallen man has a "freewill" to choose God. In fact, natural man is described as "there is none that seeketh God, there is none that doeth good", spiritually dead and we all were in bondage to sin.
Let's look more closely at the ONE place where the word "freewill" is used when it does not refer to a "freewill offering". We find it in the book of Ezra. The book of Ezra deals with the Jews returning to the land of Israel and rebuilding the temple.
It starts off with a clear teaching of the sovereignty of God when it tells us "the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia" (1:1) and this king says: "The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem". (1:2)
Then verses 1:5-6 tell us of the reaction of the Jews to this announcement saying: "Then rose up the chief of the fathers of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites, WITH ALL THEM WHOSE SPIRIT GOD HAD RAISED, to go up to build the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem. And all they that were about them strengthened their hands with vessels of silver, with gold, with goods, and with beasts, and with precious things, beside ALL THAT WAS WILLINGLY OFFERED."
The reason given in Scripture as to Why the people offered "willingly" is simply because it was God who stirred and raised the spirit of the people! "For it is God which worketh in you BOTH TO WILL AND TO DO of His good pleasure." Philippians 2:13.
Later on there was opposition to their re-building the temple and the question came up before a new king, Darius. This king then looked in the court records and found the previous decree made by king Cyrus. So Darius again gave the Jews permission to continue rebuilding. But notice why Darius did this.
It's found in 6:17 where it says: "for the LORD had made them joyful, AND TURNED THE HEART OF THE KING OF ASSYRIA UNTO THEM, to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel."
Then Ezra requested to take a party of fellow Jews back to Jerusalem to continue the work "and the king granted him all his request, according to the hand of the LORD his God upon him." (Ezra 7:6)
It is in this context that we read the only instance of the word "freewill" that doesn't have to do with an offering. In Ezra 7:13, this same Gentile king whose heart God had turned made a decree "that all they of the people of Israel, and of his priests and Levites, in my realm, WHICH ARE MINDED OF THEIR OWN FREEWILL to go up to Jerusalem, go with thee."
Then in 7:27 Ezra rejoices saying: "Blessed be the LORD God of our fathers, WHICH HATH PUT SUCH A THING AS THIS IN THE KING'S HEART, to beautify the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem."
Why were the people of God willing to go up to build the temple? If we simply compare Scripture with Scripture we see that it was because it was God Himself who both "stirred up their spirits" and "put it in their heart" to do so.
Thus our wills are "free" when God moves upon our hearts, minds and will to liberate us from the bondage of indwelling sin and frees us from its power to be able to do something good for Him. "For IT IS GOD WHICH WORKETH IN YOU BOTH TO WILL AND TO DO OF HIS GOOD PLEASURE." Phillipians 2:13
Let's look at another example found in the book of 2 Chronicles 29 and 30. These chapters describe the great revival that took place under king Hezekiah. The king issues a decree from Dan to Beersheba that the people should come to celebrate the passover, which had not been done of a long time as it was written.
It is in this context that we read in 2 Chronicles 29:31 "And the congregation brought in sacrifices and thank offerings; AND AS MANY AS WERE OF A FREE HEART burnt offerings."
And just how did these people of God get this 'free heart"? Verse 36 tells us - "And Hezekiah rejoiced, and all the people, THAT GOD HAD PREPARED THE PEOPLE; for the thing was done suddenly."
Then king Hezekiah sends out an invitation to all of Israel to return unto their God. But what was their reaction? It was very mixed. "So the posts passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh even unto Zebulun: but they laughed them to scorn, and mocked them. Nevertheless divers of Asher and Manasseh and of Zebulun humbled themselves, and came to Jerusalem. Also in Judah THE HAND OF GOD WAS TO GIVE THEM ONE HEART TO DO THE COMMANDMENT of the king and of the princes, by the word of the LORD." (2 Chron. 30:10-12)
Those upon whom the hand of the LORD gave a heart to do His commandments came, and the others did not, but mocked and laughed them to scorn.
My friend, it is God who works in the hearts of men, both of the wicked and of the righteous, to bring about His purposes. "The kings heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water; He turneth it whithersoever He will." Proverbs 21:1
Even when a wicked man refrains from sinning, God says to him: "Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; FOR I ALSO WITHHELD THEE FROM SINNING AGAINST ME; therefore suffered I thee not to touch her." (Genesis 20:6)
God works even in the hearts of the wicked. In Psalm 105:25 we read that "He (God) turned their heart to hate His people, to deal subtilly with His servants." and in Revelation 17:17 we read: "For GOD HATH PUT IN THEIR HEART TO FULFILL HIS WILL, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled."
The greatest sin every committed by mortal man against God was the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ. Men are sinners by nature and they are responsible for their sinful actions and God will be just in punishing these sins.
However, in spite of man's greatest sin against God, we see that God was in perfect control. In Acts 2:23 we read: "Him (Christ) being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain."
And in Acts 4:27-28 we further read: "For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done." This is the true God of the Bible before Whom we stand and Whom we ought to fear.
Additional Notes -
The first historical record of a true "free will" is that recorded in Isaiah chapter 14 where we read of the fall of Lucifer. Satan said,"I will ascend, I will exalt, I will sit, I will ascend above, I will be like ......."
Satan said "I will" five times. Whenever there is an independent free will, it will eventually come into conflict with God. It happened with Adam and it happened first with Satan. That is why there will only be one will in heaven - God's will.
The first historical example we have in the Bible of "free will" is Lucifer. The second one is Adam in the garden where he chose Eve over God. That was the fall of man and since that time we are in bondage to sin and dead towards God. Only God can make us a new creation.
"Then WILL I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, WILL I cleanse you. A new heart also WILL I give you, and a new spirit WILL I put within you: and I WILL take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I WILL give you an heart of flesh, And I WILL put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them." Ezekiel 36:25-27 Notice the seven "I will"s of God in this passage.
Don't become a "will worshipper" - "the commandments and doctrines of men. Which things have a shew of wisdom in WILL WORSHIP...not in any honour to the satisfying of THE FLESH." Col. 2:22-23.
What about the word “Whosoever”?
Revelation 22:17 “And WHOSOEVER will, let him take the water of life freely.
A similar phrase is found in John 3:16 “…that WHOSOEVER believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
I have heard the objection raised that both of these are not the right translation. They tell us that the “literal” expression in Revelation 22:17 is “the one willing, let him take the water of life freely” — ο θελων
and that John 3:16 “literally” says “the one believing should not perish” — πας ο πιστευων εις αυτον
Yes most Bibles in history have translated these two phrases as “whosoever”.
A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament by William Arndt and F. Wilbur Gingrich, University of Chicago Press 1957 on page 553 discusses the use of the relative pronoun “o” and tell us that it is often used in places like Matthew 5:22 “whosoever is angry” = “EVERYONE who is angry”; Romans 2:1 “whosoever thou art that judgeth” and they say for Matthew 10:40 “WHOEVER receives you”, though here the KJB has “he that receiveth you.”
The idea is that the specific is applied to the general. If we were to translate Revelation 22:17 in a strictly wooden literal manner, it would come out to teach error rather than truth.
It “literally” would be “And HE THAT IS WILLING, let him take the water of life freely.” Yet there is not just one individual who is willing and all the others are not.
There are some versions that do translate it this way - “and he who is willing, let him take the water of life freely.” or even “he who desires”. Among these are Young’s, the RSV,
Others like the Complete Jewish Bible 1998, the New Living Translation 2015, New International Reader’s Version 2014 have “LET ANYONE WHO DESIRES drink freely from the water of life.”
Likewise in John 3:16 wouldn’t even make sense if it were “literally” translated. “πας ο πιστευων εις αυτον” would then come out to read “ALL THE ONE BELIEVING into him” or possibly “EVERYONE THE ONE believing in him”
So the specific is put for the general, and no particular person is in mind. So both phrases correctly become “WHOSOEVER”.
Not only does the KJB translate Revelation 22:17 as WHOSOEVER will, let him take” (Or, Whoever is willing, let him take) but so too do the following Bible translations -
Tyndale 1534, Coverdale 1535, The Great Bible 1540, Matthew’s Bible 1549, the Bishops’ Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587, The Beza N.T. 1599, Mace N.T. 1729, Haweis N.T. 1795, The Revised Translation 1815, Webster’s Bible 1833, Living Oracles 1835, The Pickering N.T. 1840, The Longman Version 1841, The Commonly Received Version 1851, The Boothroyd Bible 1853, The Revised N.T. 1862, Noyes N.T. 1869, The Alford N.T. 1870, The Revised English Bible 1877, Weymouth N.T. 1903, The Clarke N.T. 1913, The Moffatt N.T. 1913, the NKJV 1982, Amplified Bible 1987, Good News Translation 1992, The Word of Yah N.T. 1993, 21st Century KJV 1994, The Third Millennium Bible 1998, God’s First Truth 1999, New Century Version 2005, The Resurrection Life N.T. 2005, The Pickering N.T. 2005, Holman Standard 2009, the Jubilee Bible 2010, Expanded Bible 2011, The Mounce N.T. 2011, The Bond Slave Version 2012, The Pioneer’s N.T. 2014, and The International Children’s Bible 2015.
Versions like the NASB translate the same form of Greek words as “whoever” in places like 1 John 5:1 - WHOEVER believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and WHOEVER loves the Father loves the child born of Him.
And the ESV in places like 1 John 5:10 - WHOEVER believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. WHOEVER does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son.
Or Dan Wallace’s NET version - Romans 2:3 - And do you think, WHOEVER you are, when you judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself, that you will escape God’s judgment?
Or the NIV in places like John 3:36 - WHOEVER believes in the Son has eternal life, but WHOEVER rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.
There is absolutely nothing wrong at all with the way the King James Bible (and many others) has both John 3:16 and Revelation 22:17 as WHOSOEVER believeth and WHOSOEVER will, let him take the water of life freely.
Notes from the Internet
A Christian sister wrote asking - Did Adam and Eve have a free will?
You bring up a good question about Did Adam and Eve have a free will?
All I can tell you is what I understand at this point. I believe that the Godhead has a perfectly free will and it will never change. I also believe that Satan had a free will at one point, but no longer. We see him saying his 5 "I will"s in Isaiah 14 - "I will exalt my throne above the stars of God...I will be like the most High." etc.
And I believe that Adam and Eve had a free will. I think the big lesson God is teaching us is that anytime there are two independent wills in the universe, eventually they are going to come into conflict, and thus the origin and cause of sin.
I believe that it is actually man's most boasted and proud ability - his "free will" - that is in fact the reason for the fall of man and his ruin. God is teaching us that only when there is just One Will - the Will of God - only then do all things work together for the good of all.
That is why the perfect Son of man Jesus said - "Not my will, but thine be done." (Matthew 26:39) and "For I came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me." (John 6:38) And this is why he taught us to pray "Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. THY WILL BE DONE in earth, AS IT IS IN HEAVEN." (Matthew 6:9-10)
He, as the 2nd man and the last Adam, did what the first Adam did not do. He submitted his human will to that of God. (I also believe He is fully God as well; but that is a different issue)
So, Yes, I believe Adam and Eve both had a free will. But their free will eventually came into conflict with God's will and since the Fall of Adam and all mankind in him, all men and every individual born since then does NOT have a free will. We are born in bondage to sin and dead spiritually. A dead man in bondage has no free will.
In carnal, physical things we can choose to wear the blue shirt or the red one, or pick a Ford over a Chevy, or eat pie or cake or both, but when it comes to anything spiritual and pertaining to the true God, as Jesus says: "Without Me, ye can do NOTHING." And "Ye have NOT chosen Me, but I have chosen you." John 15:5 and 16
I hope this helps some. I used to see two sides to these theological questions as well and they were in constant conflict with each other. I do not claim to understand all truth by any means. There are a multitude of things I do not know or understand. But I no longer see two sides to most of these issues anymore. I see the sovereignty of God at work in all things, even though I do not fully understand them.
Here is a great verse for us all to think about - "And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and He doeth according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay His hand, or say unto Him, What doest Thou?" Daniel 4:35
The "Free Willers Prayer" by C. H. Spurgeon
This Free Willers Prayer formed part of a sermon by C.H. Spurgeon that he preached on December 2, 1855 concerning John 5:40 "And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life."
Here is the link where you can read the complete sermon -
Lord, I thank thee I am not like those poor presumptuous Calvinists. Lord, I was born with a glorious free-will; I was born with power by which I can turn to thee of myself; I have improved my grace. If everybody had done the same with their grace that I have, they might all have been saved. Lord, I know thou dost not make us willing if we are not willing ourselves. Thou givest grace to everybody; some do not improve it, but I do. There are many that will go to hell as much bought with the blood of Christ as I was; they had as much of the Holy Ghost given to them; they had as good a chance, and were as much blessed as I am. It was not thy grace that made us to differ; I know it did a great deal, still I turned the point; I made use of what was given me, and others did not—that is the difference between me and them." C.H. Spurgeon.
Notes from the Internet
March 7, 2013
Hi saints. As some of you may know, I have been in sort of a theological fight with many of my "free will" brethren. The more I see of their arguments, the more convinced and passionate I become in my convictions. Their arguments are shallow, poorly thought out and are self contradictory in nature. This is a spiritual issue and only God can open our eyes to spiritual truth. It is staring us in the face, but they still don't see it.
Here is one recent interchange I just had with one of them. I will remove his name, but this is the type of reasoning the free willers are forced to use once they believe the lie of "free will" and try to defend it.
Mr. P says: "Will Kinney, no one is glorifying free will by any means yet TULIP exonerates everyone from their choice to sin and puts all the responsibility on God since he *supposedly* created vessels for destruction with no chance to repent and be saved. "
Mr. P, this statement of yours shows that not only are you totally blind to the truth here, but are close to blasphemy as well.
First, according to your "I chose of my own free will to believe" false theology, it is your "free will" that is THE deciding factor on who gets redeemed and who doesn't.
Christ has already done His part at the cross. But according to the false theology of "free will" NOTHING that Christ did at the cross is of any avail or profit until YOU "decide of your own free will" to make it yours. The whole deciding factor in your false theology IS the "free will" of man. That most definitely glorifies man's "free will". Without it (according to your erroneous view) the death and resurrection of Christ mean nothing and accomplish nothing more than a "potential" redemption.
Secondly, you completely misunderstand what we are saying. Man very definitely IS GUILTY. We are sinners by choice and by nature. We deserve God's wrath. Man WANTS TO SIN and wills to sin. We take pleasure in sin; we like it.
And thirdly, where you are on dangerous ground is your growing contempt for the word of God when you say "God "SUPPOSEDLY" created vessels for destruction."
Mr. P, there is no "supposedly" about it. That is what the word of God says. I didn't write the book and neither did you. GOD says He is the Potter and we are the clay and of the same lump He makes the vessels of mercy which He AFORE prepared unto glory, AND He also makes vessels of wrath fitted to destruction.
If the vessels of mercy go to glory, then where do the vessels of wrath go? None of you have answered this yet, because you don't want to accept what the Scriptures say. You would rather hang on to your man made doctrine of "I chose of my own free will to believe".
More Notes from the Internet
Free will theology is a false doctrine and it ALWAYS creates numerous contradictions within the Scriptures. Once God opens a persons eyes to see the obvious truths of His electing grace, the Bible begins to make a lot more sense and all the pieces begin to fall into place. God ALONE is exalted and receives ALL the praise and man is humbled in the dust where we belong.
I believe that one of the main purposes of God is to humble us before Him and to break the natural pride of man. After all, it was the pride of Lucifer that moved him to exalt himself with his 5 "I will"s in Isaiah 14 where he said "I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne, I will sit..., I will ascend..., I will be like the most High."
I believe God hides many of these doctrines of His electing grace so that in that coming day when we stand before Him and know even as we have been known, there will be many who finally realize just how wrong they were in so many things they taught and believed and they will be humbled by the fact that they have fought against the truth of God's revealed word. Every mouth will be stopped and man's vain pride will forever be destroyed and brought to nothing.
Notes from the Internet
“The LORD of hosts hath purposed it, to stain the pride of all glory” - Isaiah 23:9
"And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low; and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day." Isaiah 2:17“I am the LORD; that is my name: and My glory will I not give to another...” - Isaiah 42:8
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Here is a 5 and 1/2 minute video by a recently departed black evangelist named D.J. Ward, (he went Home to be with his Lord in 2006) who preached the truth of sovereign grace. I particularly like a couple of his quotes. He says: "If Jehovah goes after ya, He's coming back with ya." and "If God had not chose some, heaven would have none." Really good preaching.
Another Great Sermon by Elder D.J. Ward called "According to the Election of Grace" from Romans 11:5-6.
"Limited Atonement"? or "Particular Redemption"? See this 2 and 1/2 minute Youtube response by Charles Spurgeon. Which side really limits the atonement? According to free-will Arminian theology, the death of Christ actually saved no one!
Long after I put this article together I came across a link to a teaching series by R.C. Sproul where he addresses the question: "How can you truly have free will if God predestinates you to salvation?" It is about 30 minutes long, but it is very good and interesting. It even address such minor issues of why we might choose to sit in a certain place in a room or why we might choose certain foods over others.
The Roman Catholic Church has always taught "free will"
This is from "Our Catholic Faith"
A major difference between Catholic and Protestant theology is belief in free will, in which both Luther and Calvin deny. Because of the Protestant creation of the doctrine of "sola fide", or that faith alone is sufficient for salvation, these reformist taught that each person does not cooperate in their own salvation. In essance, Protestant doctrine is that all of our moral choices are predetermined. Salvation is ours to accomplish, it is not something that we have no control over. The doctrine of "sola fide" directly contradicts many scripture passages and leads many astray.
"I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live, by loving the LORD, your God, heeding his voice, and holding fast to him." Deuteronomy 30:19-20
Not only is each individual free to choose, he is obliged to choose.
Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent
Canon IV. If any one shall say, that the free will of man moved and excited by God, by assenting to God exciting and calling, nowise co-operates to the end that it should dispose and prepare itself for obtaining the grace of justification; and that it cannot refuse consent, if it would, but that, like something inanimate, it does nothing whatever, and is merely in a passive state; let him be anathema.
---Canon V. If any one shall say, that, since Adam's sin, the free will of man is lost and extinguished; or, that it is a thing with a name only, yea, a title without a reality; let him be anathema.
Catechism of the Catholic Church
1730 God created man a rational being, conferring on him the dignity of a person who can initiate and control his own actions. "God willed that man should be 'left in the hand of his own counsel,' so that he might of his own accord seek his Creator and freely attain his full and blessed perfection by cleaving to him."26
Man is rational and therefore like God; he is created with free will and is master over his acts.27
I. FREEDOM AND RESPONSIBILITY
1731 Freedom is the power, rooted in reason and will, to act or not to act, to do this or that, and so to perform deliberate actions on one's own responsibility. By free will one shapes one's own life. Human freedom is a force for growth and maturity in truth and goodness; it attains its perfection when directed toward God, our beatitude.
1732 As long as freedom has not bound itself definitively to its ultimate good which is God, there is the possibility of choosing between good and evil, and thus of growing in perfection or of failing and sinning. This freedom characterizes properly human acts. It is the basis of praise or blame, merit or reproach.
1736 Every act directly willed is imputable to its author:
II. HUMAN FREEDOM IN THE ECONOMY OF SALVATION
1741 Liberation and salvation. By his glorious Cross Christ has won salvation for all men. He redeemed them from the sin that held them in bondage. "For freedom Christ has set us free."34 In him we have communion with the "truth that makes us free."35 The Holy Spirit has been given to us and, as the Apostle teaches, "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom."36 Already we glory in the "liberty of the children of God."37
1742 Freedom and grace. The grace of Christ is not in the slightest way a rival of our freedom when this freedom accords with the sense of the true and the good that God has put in the human heart. On the contrary, as Christian experience attests especially in prayer, the more docile we are to the promptings of grace, the more we grow in inner freedom and confidence during trials, such as those we face in the pressures and constraints of the outer world. By the working of grace the Holy Spirit educates us in spiritual freedom in order to make us free collaborators in his work in the Church and in the world:
1743 "God willed that man should be left in the hand of his own counsel (cf. Sir 15:14), so that he might of his own accord seek his creator and freely attain his full and blessed perfection by cleaving to him" (GS 17 § 1).
1744 Freedom is the power to act or not to act, and so to perform deliberate acts of one's own. Freedom attains perfection in its acts when directed toward God, the sovereign Good.
A note to free willers - Welcome to the Whore of Babylon.
But God says: "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." Rev. 18:4 "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear." Luke 8:8
Myth of Free Will by Walter Chantry