Allan wrote:You have to remember God gave us free will. He did not make us robots. This age we are living in is a time for each of us to show (from how we act and think) for whom we are going to serve God or satan.
That is why we are here. God wants to know which side we will choose to be on
It is that simple.
Yes indeed Allan and thank you for responding. I say we are not robots. We have autonomy. But not 100% autonomy. We have autonomy in all things except for one. We cannot control whether or not our hearts and minds respond to the calling of Christ through the Holy Spirit. This work--and only this work--God
is responsible for. And if you'll allow me, I'll try to explain.
First: Is anyone born a believer? No. No man or woman is ever born in a believing state. Therefore, we are all, until some point in our lives, a part of "the World."
Second: Are those of the world capable of responding spiritually? No. Paul argues in Ephesians that anyone who is of the World, is "spiritually dead." Completely dead, spiritually. Unable to respond.
Third: What did Jesus say we must accomplish before we can be with God in heaven? He said we must be "born again." Think about that. You can't be born unless you're dead.
Fourth: What did Jesus do right after saying these words? He raised Lazarus from the dead. Lazarus was in a state of death and decay, unable to respond, unable to do anything on his own power. Jesus did all the work; raised Lazarus from the dead; and obviously emphasized the point He was making in doing so.
Conclusion: We are all born in a state of disbelief, a part of the World, spiritually dead, "children of wrath" according to Paul, incapable of responding to spiritual callings. It takes the work of God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, and by the saving work of Christ our Lord, to cause us to be born again, into a state of life in Christ.
I will add two last thoughts. Since everyone of the world is a child of wrath, essentially under the influence of Satan, spiritually dead, do you really think we--in that state--would ever choose
Christ? Given the facts, every person who ever lived, if left on their own completely, would reject Christ outright. Do you think Christ would have gone through all of the effort, difficulty, and pain... only to have His invitation rejected by the entire World?
And lastly, didn't Jesus make it clear when He spoke in parables, confusing the Jewish high priests? He said quite clearly that His message is intended to be understood only by those HE chooses to understand. Think about that, please. It's deep.