Jesus came, and died as the sacrifice for sins for everyone (1 John 2:2), absolutely everyone (1 Timothy 2:3-6, 1 Timothy 4:10). Regardless of whether you choose Him or not, He died on that cross with you on His mind.
Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Joel 2:32, Acts 2:21, Romans 10:13) for salvation and forgiveness is a free gift for all (Hebrews 10:10, Psalm 145:9, Romans 5:18-19, Romans 3:11-12, Romans 6:23), for the water of life is without price (Revelation 22:17) because Jesus paid for it with his blood (1 Corinthians 6:20, 1 Corinthians 7:23). Salvation is an open invitation (Luke 14:16-23, Revelation 19:9, Matthew 22:1-4), a signed peace treaty with God (Colossians 1:20-22), a price that has already been paid for our ransom (1 Timothy 2:6), a reconciliation waiting with open arms (2 Corinthians 5:18-19, Colossians 1:20), a death that has already been died for us (Hebrews 2:9, 1 Corinthians 15:51-57). We have been abundantly pardoned (Isaiah 55:6-7) from the sentence of death, and our jail cell door stands open and unlocked by Jesus (Luke 4:18). We only have to believe (John 6:29, John 8:24) and push past the unlatched gate – push through the clouds of disbelief (Mark 9:23-25) and ask where the ancient paths are (Jeremiah 6:16).
THE NARROW ROAD
At the crossroads we are to ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is (Jeremiah 6:16) for it is there, where the paths meet, that wisdom takes her stand (Proverbs 8:3). We are to look straight, not swerving to the left or the right (Proverbs 4:25-27) and our ears will hear a voice behind us saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:20-21).
When we trust in the Lord with all our hearts, not relying on our own understanding, and in all our ways acknowledging him, He will make our paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6). There is only one path for the upright to walk. Along that path is immortality (Proverbs 12:28), it is the path of life that leads upward (Proverbs 15:24) and it shines like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter (Proverbs 4:18). It it is a narrow, clear, level, smooth (Isaiah 26:7, Luke 3:4-6), straight road that few find (Matthew 7:13-14); a path we can run where our ankles will not turn (Psalm 18:36). It is a highway (Proverbs 15:19) we can run and not stumble on (Proverbs 4:11-12), because our hearts are set free (Psalm 119:32 NIV 1984). We are to walk in obedience to Christ’s commands – walk them in love (2 John 1:6). Walk this road, it leads to life (Matthew 7:13-14); walk it, for we are told we know the way home (John 14:2-4). Jesus is “The Way” – He is our way home (John 14:6). There is no other way; no other name under heaven that will save us (Acts 4:12).
A CAPTIVE HEART WITH THE ABILITY TO ALWAYS CHOOSE
We plan in our hearts to accept His truth and come back to Him, or reject His truth and remain separate from Him (John 3:36, Isaiah 59:2, Mark 16:16). God gives us the choice to believe in His son, to love His truth and be saved, or reject His son and remain condemned (John 3:18). Every person has been given the gift of choice (Deuteronomy 30:19-20, Joshua 24:15, Proverbs 1:29, Isaiah 1:18-20), for the plans of the heart belong to men (Proverbs 16:1, Proverbs 16:9).
Know though, that whatever we choose to allow to capture our heart (God’s truth, or Satan’s lie) we will become a slave to: a slave to obedience and righteousness, or a slave to sin and unrighteousness (Romans 6:16-23). We belong to the power we choose to obey, and it will control us (Romans 6:20) and master us (2 Peter 2:19). It will be the either the will of Satan (2 Timothy 2:25-26, Romans 6:12-13) or the will of God ( Philippians 2:13, 2 Corinthians 2:14, Romans 12:1-2) that we will be captive too. When we are captive to Satan we remain as servants and slaves, but when we are captive to God we become His children and He calls us His friend (John 15:15).
Regardless of whether we are captive to Satan’s will or God’s will, God’s purpose will always prevail (Proverbs 19:21), Satan is captive to God to do His will, and Satan can do nothing without God’s permission (Job 1:2, Revelation 20:7; Luke 22:31-34). Whether our hearts are being tested (1 Thessalonians 2:4) or we are under heavy spiritual attack from evil (1 Peter 5:8) in all things God works for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).
WHO’S CHILD ARE WE?
The Scriptures reveal that there are ultimately only two types of people in this lifetime:
- CHOSEN & ADOPTED CHILDREN OF GOD: John 1:12-13, 1 John 3:1-3, John 14:15-16, Ephesians 1:4-6, Ephesians 1:11, Isaiah 43:1, John 15:16, Colossians 3:12-14, Psalm 65:4, 1 Peter 1:1-2, 1 Peter 2:9, 2 Timothy 2:19, John 15:19, Romans 8:14-24, Galatians 4:4-7, Romans 9:8, Matthew 22:14
- DISOWNED ORPHANS & ILLEGITIMATE CHILDREN OF THE DEVIL: 1 John 3:7-10, Matthew 10:33, Matthew 13:38-43, John 8:40-47, Acts 13:8-12, Hebrews 12:5-8, Deuteronomy 32:5, Hosea 5:4-7). The King James Version of the Bible even says “Children of Belial” (KJV – Judges 19:22, Deuteronomy 13:13, 1 Samuel 2:12, 1 Samuel 10:26-27, 1 Samuel 30:22, 1 Kings 21:13, 2 Chronicles 13:7) which the New International Version (NIV) translates as “wicked” or “evil men.”
The difference between who we are a child of lies in the internal motivation of each of our hearts. All God asks of us is to believe (John 6:29) and He will give us the gift of faith (Ephesians 2:8-9) so that no one can boost as we are not save by our works. It is possible for us to believe and still struggle with unbelief (Mark 9:23-25) which is why we need this gift of faith God gives to continue to follow Jesus. Our choosing of Jesus is the first step of faith – God then gives us the gift of faith, thus enabling us to come fully to Christ (John 6:65,John 6:44, Ephesians 2:8-9, 1 Timothy 1:12 KJV).
From what I understand of the Bible, it is the calamity or victory of our own choice that is the basis for God’s omnipotent sovereign choice—His decision of our predestination is based on our heart’s choice (John 15:16, Ephesians 1:4-6, Ephesians 1:11, Romans 8:11-24, Colossians 3:12-14, Acts 13:48, 1 Peter 1:1-2). God is outside of time, and knows in advance what we will choose, which is why the Bible says He elects, appoint our predetermined destiny. God has a purpose in election (Romans 9:11-16, 1 Timothy 1:16) and His purpose will always prevail (Proverbs 19:21). Our eternity does not depend on our own desire or effort, but on God’s mercy (Romans 9:16, Romans 11:32). What is up to us though is, will we choose Jesus (2 Thessalonians 2:13-15, Romans 10:14-18) and pursue God’s righteousness in faith (Romans 9:32-33)? Or will we refuse to love the truth (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12) and exchange it for a lie (Romans 1:18-32)?
In order to wrap our heads around the concept of God’s purpose in election and our ability to choose through belief and faith, read all of Romans 9:1-33, Romans 10:1-21, and Romans 11:1-36.
HEART OF FLESH OR A HEART OF STONE?
Jesus is the sign to be spoken against that reveals our heart (Luke 2:34-35, John 15:22-24). God weighs each heart and reveals our motives (Proverbs 21:2, Proverbs 16:2). Our revealed heart and the choice we have made will do one of two things:
When we choose to believe (Romans 10:8-13) our act of faith and our obedience activates God’s blessing (Deuteronomy 28:1-14) and God will enable us (John 6:65) and draw us (John 6:44) to come back to Christ and obtain eternal life
When we choose to not believe and refuse to love His truth, our act of disbelief, rebellion and disobedience leaves the curse (Deuteronomy 15-68, 1 Corinthians 16:22, Matthew 25:41-46) and the condemnation over us remaining (John 3:17-18). As a result of our choice to rebel, we give ourselves over to sin and darken our own heart (Ephesians 4:17-19, Romans 1:18-25, Psalm 106:39), our consciences are corrupted and seared as with a hot iron (1 Timothy 4:1-2, Titus 1:15-16). God then rejects us (2 Timothy 3:1-8) and pushes us further away from Him by giving us over to shameful lusts and a depraved mind (Romans 1:26-32) and we sink further into sin. God gives us over to enemy captivity (2 Chronicles 6:36-39). God also further hardens our heart (John 12:40, Romans 9:16-20, Isaiah 6:9-10, Isaiah 63:17, Ezekiel 11:19, Ezekiel 36:25-27, Exodus 9:12, Exodus 10:1-2, Joshua 11:20, Judges 7:22) and gives us a spirit of stupor (Romans 11:8) so that we cannot see or hear. The truth of the gospel is then veiled as the god of this age – Satan, blinds the minds of unbelievers so that we cannot see the light (2 Corinthians 4:3-4). Although it is not impossible to return to God, it is harder to return to Him the longer our hearts stay hardened in outright rejection of Him.
THE ABILITY TO RETURN OR FALL
God does in the supernatural with us, what He did in the natural with the Israelites (Psalm 106:40-41). In 2 Chronicles 6:36-39 and 1 Kings 8:46-50, Solomon declares the consequence for sin as physical captivity to the enemy with the ability to return to the promised land when they repent with all their heart and soul. This is a spiritual truth that has supernatural application as well. When we continue to sin against God, He will give us over to the enemy, who takes us captive. But if we have a change of heart while we are held captive by Satan, and we repent and turn back to God with all our heart and soul, God will forgive us and enable us to return to Him (Joel 2:12-13, Ezekiel 18:21-23, 1 John 1:19).
When we turn away from God, God turns His face from us (Deuteronomy 31:17-18, Deuteronomy 32:20, Job 13:24, Psalm 13:1, Psalm 44:24, Psalm 88:14), but when we repent and return to God, He will return to us (James 4:8-10, Zechariah 1:3, 2 Corinthians 7:9-11, Revelation 3:19, Isaiah 1:18). God overlooked the time of ignorance, but that time has passed, it has been fulfilled, and He calls on all people now to repent (Acts 17:30, Mark 1:15, Acts 3:19, Ezekiel 18:21-23, 2 Peter 3:9, Acts 8:22, Joel 2:13, Matthew 4:17, 1 John 1:5-10, Matthew 9:13, Revelation 3:3, Luke 15:7) – God does not want us to perish for lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6) because now that Christ has come, we are all without excuse (John 15:22-24, Romans 1:18-20, Romans 10:14-18, Colossians 1:23, Romans 1:32, 1 Peter 4:3-6, Romans 2:12-16).
The Old Testament and what happened in the physical to the Isrealites is left to us as illustrations (1 Cor 10:6-12) so that we learn from their example and not set our hearts on evil. We are not to give the devil a foothold (Ephesians 4:26-27) or heed to the suggestion of his voice and allow him to speak through us (Matthew 16:23) – we do this by taking every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5). If we think we are standing firm, we are to be careful that we do not fall into the temptation of sin (1 Corinthians 10:11-13).
HE DID IT FOR LOVE
God did everything for love: for the love of us, and the love we give Him (John 3:16-17, 1 John 4:19, Romans 8:39). God the Father is love (1 John 4:8, 1 John 4:16), and He created us to be in relationship with Him – Jesus calls us His friend (John 15:15). God created us to be loved and to love him in return (1 John 4:7-10, John 14:15). Had we not been given a choice, our love for Him would have been involuntary, and our worship of Him contrived. He loved us enough to give us a choice. Even though humanity broke His heart when we allowed sin to enter into into our hearts at the fall (Romans 5:12, 1 Corinthians 15:21), God loved us enough to let us go so we could choose to return to Him and He could have mercy on us (Romans 11:32).
God never let His children out of His sight though, as He takes full responsibility for enabling (John 6:65, 1 Timothy 1:12 KJV, John 6:44, Ephesians 2:8-9) the ones who love His truth to come back to Him.
Like a man who is waiting to know if the woman he loves will return his love, God has put His love letter on the threshold of every soul’s heart—our names are on it, in His handwriting and sealed in his blood – He has made it personal. We can choose to read it and believe and let him into our heart, or we can choose to reject Him. That decision is ours. God loved us enough to let us go and let us choose; because love that is forced is not love at all.