"THOU SHALT SURELY DIE!" (PART 13)
The apostle Paul, in writing to the Ephesians, tells how God has made alive those who were once dead in their sins: "And you hath He quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins" (Eph. 2:1 cf. Psa. 80:18). "And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses" (Col. 2:13; cf. Jn. 5:25). Noticeably, these Scriptures are not saying, ‘And you hath He made well, who were sick in trespasses and sins’, nor do they say, ‘And you being sick in your sins hath He made well’. The word used in both the above verses to describe man’s spiritual condition in sin is DEAD, and the Lord is said to have quickened, made alive, and not merely made well, the formerly dead, not sick, sinner. Here we see clearly the two conditions that man can be in before God: either dead in his sins or MADE alive unto, and by, God. No one wills themselves alive, but must be made alive by the will, and power of God. The word quickened in these verses means ‘to make alive’, ‘give life’, ‘vitalize’. The word vitalize means ‘to make living’, or ‘alive’, or ‘to endow with life’. It comes from the Latin word 'vita' meaning life, and can only be used when referring to someone, or something that had previously been without life, lifeless, dead. The word for dead in Ephesians 2:1 is nekros meaning ‘a corpse’, or ‘dead’. A man would be foolish to even contemplate arguing against such clear, and unmistakable language when faced with such irrefutable evidence as this. The word quickened is primarily used in the New Testament of raising the dead to life (Jn. 5:21; Rom. 4:17, 8:11; 1 Cor. 15:22,36), but is generally used in reference to salvation, the "Impartation of spiritual life and the communication of spiritual sustenance" (Jn. 6:63; 1 Cor. 15:45; 2 Cor. 3:6; Gal 3:21).
God is as much the sustainer as He is the cause of spiritual life. God is as responsible for keeping the sinner alive as He is in having made the sinner alive (see 1 Pet. 1:5). The antithesis of the word quickened is ‘to put to death’, ‘to kill’. The language here is not that of the sick being made well, not that of the wounded being recovered, but that which was once DEAD being now made ALIVE to God by God Himself. Notice the Scriptures' use of the phrase made alive and not came alive. which could imply something done by the sinner. Scripture speaks not of man coming alive to God, but of being made alive by God which strongly suggests that prior to his regeneration the sinner was in no condition to do anything for himself. Where once the now saved man was dead in sin, and dead to God the born again man is now dead to sin and alive to God (see Rom. 6:2,11; Col. 3:3). How can any choose God from an alleged free will before being made alive by Him? And what need is there to choose God after one has been MADE ALIVE TO HIM, AND BY HIM? No wonder the false gospel of Arminianism rejects the true Gospel doctrine that man is spiritually dead in sin. For the truly saved man there is no need to decide whether one should see the Light or not, FOR ALL HE CAN SEE IS THE LIGHT! GOD is the One Who saves, and by HIS will a man is made alive to see the Light. What a saved person now has is what he did not have prior to being born again, to being made alive by, and unto, God. A saved person is one who has been made alive by God from his former spiritually dead state. To understand what being spiritually dead entails, simply refer to what it is to be made spiritually alive to God by God. Those who are dead to God must be made alive by God, and if not, shall forever remain in their lifeless state. Eternally alienated from the Life-giving God. These are not my interpretations of Scripture, but are in fact the Scriptures' interpretation of themselves. The Word of God makes an absolute mockery of the teachings that man is not dead, but has a free will to choose God at anytime.
Paul the apostle refers to the now saved Ephesians as at one time being "...by nature the children of wrath, even as others" (Eph. 2:3). Before their salvation, whilst children of Wrath, the Ephesians were also said by Paul to have been "...at that time...WITHOUT CHRIST, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having NO HOPE, and WITHOUT GOD in the world" (Eph. 2:12). If that is not being spiritually dead then there is no such thing! How can anyone with a mind, able to discern truth from error by the Scriptures, possibly read into this Scripture that somehow man has a free will intact, unaffected by the Fall, and, therefore, some hope that he will one day choose God? To be without God is to be without hope. To be without God is to be without will for the True God. To be without God is to be without life, and to be without Christ is to be without the Savior. To be without God is to be without grace. To be without God is to be without Righteousness. To be without God is to be in an utterly hopeless and helpless spiritual condition. To be without God is to be dead to God which in turn reveals absolutely no hope at all residing in a spiritually dead person of ever being able to do anything about it. To be without God is to be without hope. Man without God has no chance of salvation. Man needs to be made alive before he can come to God, but that coming to God is not of his own doing because all of salvation comes under the umbrella of God's grace: God doing. NOTHING CAN HAPPEN BEFORE GOD ACTS! NOTHING CAN HAPPEN BEFORE GOD'S GRACE! Man is not made alive in order that he may then choose God, for his being made alive is obvious, and undeniable evidence that God has chosen him!!!
Man can do nothing before life. He can do nothing before being made alive. He cannot choose to be made alive, for he is dead. To ‘choose’ God is to choose to be alive, but once a man is made alive by God he does not have to choose to be alive, for he is already alive. The choice has been made for him. The choice could only ever have been made for man, not by man. God has chosen him to be made alive again to Him. Due to his spiritually dead state man cannot come to God, therefore, the coming is all about God, by grace, coming to the man, and the choosing is done via the free will of God. God chooses, God makes alive and God saves. If the free-willer is right, and man is not utterly, spiritually, dead to God, how does this verse of Scripture in Ephesians 2 possibly fit with that skewed theology? How can a person who is without God, who has no hope in this world, and who is in need of being made alive to God, of being resurrected from his spiritually dead state, be free to choose God? How can such a one have the ability to come to the True God of his own volition? The entire premise is ludicrous! The absurdity of man coming to God in, and of himself by his free will is compounded by the fact that by nature man does not even know Who the True God is. Not being able to recognise the True God is very much a part of what being dead to God entails. Man is without hope, and without God. Man does not seek God, nor does he desire the True God. What on earth does being spiritually dead mean if this is not God's description of it? And if that is not enough to convince the Arminian and Pelagian, and all variants thereof, man needing to be made alive by God is an irrefutable indication that prior to this being done, man is WITHOUT LIFE, and, therefore, WITHOUT ANY HOPE.
The word without in the context of Ephesians 2 is as strong, and clearly distinct a word as the word die. To be without something means to not have it. It means the complete absence of whatever is being referred to. To be without something also means “Not having the use, or benefit of”. To be without hope is to not receive any benefit from that which hope contains. To be without God is to not receive the benefits of what having God brings. To be without salvation is to be without God. Whatever current spiritual state you are in, either dead to God, or made alive by God, that state is eternal. A man can do nothing to escape either condition, for the saved are saved eternally, and the lost are eternally lost as long as they are without God. Unless the Sovereign God of grace intervenes in a person's life that person will remain spiritually dead to God, and be without God, for all eternity. The gospel of Armianism is a death gospel, for it says God does not interfere in a man's free will decision. If God does not intervene in a man’s life, then death is all that he will ever have. Arminianism shuts out grace, for it teaches that God's grace does not interfere with a man's free will, for if it did, if man's decision was because of grace, or by the grace of God, it would no longer be by a man’s ‘free will’, but God's free will. God’s Sovereignly choosing by His free will, and by His grace is what Arminianism is so dead against. This is what it so desperately, and wickedly opposes. Arminianism is not Christianity. If you do not know God, and believe His Gospel you are currently in an eternally lost state if God, by grace, does not put a halt to that eternality, and save you. If you know God, and believe His Gospel then you are currently, and eternally in a saved state being made so by the free will, and grace of God through the faith of God which has been given you to believe the True God of the eternal Gospel, and none can ever pluck you out of His Hand. Nothing a man can do in, and of himself can rescue him from his spiritually dead state before God, for he is without hope, and without God. Being without God is being dead to God. Having God, believing in His Gospel (see 2 Jn. 9), is to have been made alive, and kept alive by God. Being without God is being without the Truth of God. Man is in such a deplorable state of spiritual lifelessness that he actually believes he is perfectly ok, and can come to God at any time he so chooses. Like the drunkard who insists that he is not drunk, the spiritually dead man asserts that he is not surely dead. Jesus said no man can come to Me except the Father. God is the only hope there is, God is man’s only chance of salvation, but man can do nothing to come to God, not even will to come to God, for he is without God, does not know God, and is, therefore, in a hopeless state. Though God is the God of hope, man’s utter hopelessness is revealed in the fact that he is without the only hope that exists. There is HOPE! But no man, by nature, has that hope, or will ever appeal to that hope, for he is without God. How can any man will to come to God, in and of himself, when Scripture states that no man even seeks God? The Word of God is clearly describing the spiritual state of man when it presents such graphic evidence as this.
To be without Christ is to be eternally separate, or apart from Him. To be without God is to be ‘Godless’. It is to be "Destitute of God and therefore devoid of (spiritual) reason. It is to be without Divine help, forsaken by God and excluded from communion (or communication) with God." If one is forsaken by God, which is clearly the case with fallen, and accursed man, how can any man get back to God when God obviously wants nothing to do with him. To whom will man turn? To what will man turn to that will make him alive again to God? Man has no option but to vainly turn to his imagined gods, borne out of his spiritual state of death and madness, and to his own feeble attempts at becoming Righteous. To be a child of Wrath is to be without hope, which is to say, without God. To be without God is to be without LIFE! Not physical life. You can still walk around in perfect health and not be a child of God, but no one is alive spiritually to God if they are without God. Some may think one can be without God, but not without desire for God, however, this conflicts with the clear statement in Romans 3 which declares that there is NO ONE THAT SEEKETH AFTER THE TRUE, AND ONLY GOD! To not have God is to be in a hopeless state, and to live in a helpless existence. To be hopeless and helpless is to be without God, except for His Wrath. Man by nature is in a God-less state, and is, therefore, powerless, and utterly without hope for he is without God Who is the Author, and Foundation of hope. Carefully considered, such a scenario paints the most daunting of pictures. In fact, just as the Word of God shatters the rock like a hammer (see Jer. 23:29), these verses from Ephesians 2 and Romans 3 demolish any notion of free will, as well as any basis any man has ever dared to have upon which has been pinned the slightest confidence in ever thinking that he can, by his own power and will, choose to come to God.
To be without God is to truly be without any spiritual life. God is the Source and the Sustainer of all life, be it physical or spiritual. "...all things were created by Him, and for Him: And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist" (Col. 1:16,17). There is no hope of salvation for man without God, just as there is no hope for man to avoid his eventual physical death. Man can do nothing which can recommend him to God, nothing which can attract God's attention, or gain His favor, for salvation is purely a work of God (grace), and not a work of man's. Salvation is not something which is brought about by man's performing an action which then causes God's reaction. Man is not the cause neither God only the effect. God is the cause AND the effect! God instigates the action, and is the cause behind the response, or reaction. THAT is grace! Man cannot react whilst dead in sin, therefore, God causes the reaction, or response by making the man alive (see Psa. 65:4). Any intrinsic reaction by man to God would suggest an interaction between he, and God. This, of course, could never be, seeing man is dead in sin, and has no inherent desire for the True God. God’s Grace is all-encompassing, for God is the Author, and Finisher of all spiritual life. When the apostles asked the Lord Jesus who it is that can be saved, Jesus answered with the following, sobering, words: "With men this is IMPOSSIBLE; but with God all things are possible" (Matt. 19:26). If all things, including salvation, are possible with God then nothing, including salvation, is possible without Him. In other words without God man has no hope of salvation. There is nothing he can do and no one he can turn to. Substitute the word men with works, and the word God with grace, in Matthew 19, and we perhaps get an even clearer picture of the impossibility of salvation without God. 'Salvation by works, by anything a man does, is impossible; but by grace all things are possible, even the salvation of a man.' Only by grace means only by God. Without God, and the means He uses to save a man, salvation is impossible. Just as salvation is impossible without God, so too, salvation is equally impossible without the means God has chosen to save His people from their sins. God saves by Grace through the Faith He gives to believe only His Gospel. One of the consequences of having no hope is to not have a clue as to how a man is saved. This is clearly evidenced for all to see in every religion out there, including Arminianism which is no different to any other religion in, and of the world, for they all condition salvation on various acts, and degrees, of obedience. The spiritual reality is: IT TAKES GOD TO SAVE A MAN. Salvation is not God's response to a man's action, for with man, that is by a man's action, salvation is truly something impossible. Man is not the catalyst of his salvation. The fact that a man must be made alive by God is proof that man is not saved by any act on his part, but solely by the mercy, and grace of Almighty God. Every aspect of salvation is something which is completely outside the realm of man's capability. Salvation is that which happens to a person, and not something which a person makes happen. Salvation is not about man asking to be saved, but God showing love toward, making alive, and granting grace to, those He has chosen to be vessels unto honor “…which He had afore prepared unto glory” (Rom. 9:23). Salvation being God's response to anything a man does is something as impossible as man’s being able to love God before God loves the man.
Salvation is creation. Salvation is resurrection (see 2 Cor. 5:17). Salvation is not something which can be initiated by the creature, but only by the Creator. No man can will himself to be physically born, let alone be conceived. So too, no man can will himself to be reborn into God's Kingdom. Man must be made a new creature in Christ, so how, it must be asked, can something which does not yet exist, do anything? Man, being the fallen creature that he is, can do nothing. Man must be made a new creature, not so he can then do in order to come to God, but so that God’s grace in salvation may be evidenced. Salvation is being made alive, made a new creature in Christ. Without the creation of a new and LIVING man, salvation is quite impossible. A man without God can never be saved. Salvation is a miracle of God. And, just like a miracle, salvation is totally outside the scope of man. Notice, too, that not even man’s fabled free will, according to the Lord Jesus, can help man out of such a dilemma as being spiritually dead, and without God! Christ did not say, but with free will all things are possible, but rather only with God are all things possible, even the salvation of a man.
Arminianism says man does not need to be made alive to God before he can choose God, but, the Lord Jesus counters this with a veritable Tsunami of Truth contained in His statement that SALVATION IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH MAN! Yes, man must repent, and believe the Gospel, but he cannot repent of himself, for godly repentance is a gift from God (see 2 Tim. 2:25). So too, no man can, of himself, choose to believe whilst he remains in a spiritually dead state. In order for Arminianism to ensure some acceptableness of its free will doctrine, it has to deny man’s need to be made alive by God, for if it did not deny the necessity of regeneration there would be no way it could convince anyone that man has a free will by which he can choose God. HAVING to be made alive is the unassailable truth which abolishes man’s non-spiritual death, as well as the doctrine which espouses his alleged free will. Man MUST be made alive, man needs to be reactivated before he can believe. Anything other than this method of salvation designed by God, is works. If man must do something to THEN be saved, all you have is a works gospel whether one attributes this doing to the grace of God, or not. A salvation dependent upon what a man must do and not solely on what God does, is NOT salvation by grace. Salvation depends entirely upon God and not at all on man, for man without God can do nothing. This is what Grace dictates. Anything outside of these parameters set by God, is works.
Please show me from the Scriptures any man who actually 'chose God' by his free will before God chose him from before the foundation of the world. Before God came to the man, and enlivened him. Please tell me that man's name!!! Was Paul the apostle that man? Do you find anything in Scripture which even remotely suggests that Paul chose God? Immediately prior to his salvation, Paul was walking down the road to Damascus "...yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord..." (Acts 9:1). Paul, or Saul as he was then known, intended to capture any believers at Damascus, and bring them bound to Jerusalem for examination, and punishment. One could not find a person any further removed from wanting to choose Christ as his God and Savior than that man Saul walking down the road to Damascus. Paul did not know the True God, and, therefore, did not have any desire for Him. He hated Him, and approved of the fatal stoning of any who professed faith in Jesus. God came to Paul and caused him—chose for him—to see the Light. Paul was told: "....the God of our Fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know His will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the Voice of His mouth" (Acts 22:14). God caused Paul's salvation just as He causes the salvation of every one of His elect children. They are all chosen to know, see and hear the True God. The fact that a man is chosen by God shows that no man can choose God, and if man cannot choose, he cannot possess free will. How can one choose without a free will? God reveals Himself to His children, for He has chosen them to see the Light, so that they should hear and understand, know and believe, the Gospel of His Son. What more perfect example of the spiritual deadness of man, and his need for the glorious grace of God which alone can save him! What more perfect example of man's deadness to the True God, being lifeless toward Him, than that of Saul filled with hatred for God's people, and the One they worshipped. What more perfect example is there of man's playing no part in his own salvation.
Clearly, Scripture says that if left to himself man has nothing in him that can motivate him to seek the True God, want the True God or even know the True God. Every fibre of his being is constantly pulling him further and further away from God. The law of gravity keeps us on the ground, and the law of spiritual death keeps a man from the True God. Nothing man can do will profit him, in any way, for there is no work which can justify him before God. Nothing within him that can prompt him to choose the True God. In fact, all man’s personal efforts at recommending himself to God exacerbates his situation, and further condemns him, for all his efforts are indelibly tainted with the stain of sin, and are a constant reminder of his fallen, hopeless and cursed state. The Arminian, far from being 'close to the Kingdom of Heaven' could not be further from it. The worst of the lost are not those who do not believe in the existence of God, but those who believe that man is not spiritually dead to God, and in a hopeless, helpless and free will-less state before Him. Woe unto those who follow a false god believing him to be the True God. Those who believe themselves to be Christian, but are not, have the worst of horrors awaiting them. The torrent of Scriptures which show plainly the condition of man before a Holy God are not seen or understood by the Arminian, for the true Gospel of God is hid to them. They are deader than dead, for they believe they are alive, and have come to God by their own free will choice. In an unequivocal satanically inspired moment the Arminian not only denies Christ's words that with man salvation is impossible, but adds that he cannot only choose God, but can actually make this ‘choice’ without being made alive by God! To not see the Truth, is to live a life of fantasy, fuelled by ignorance. This is the state of all those who agree with Satan that man is not dead, but alive.
Man’s righteousnesses, all the ‘good’ works he performs, are all imperfect, and are seen as nothing but filthy rags by a Holy God. "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags..." (Isa. 64:6). Even the best a man can do is nothing but vanity. "...verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity" (Psa. 39:5). And, a few verses later, Scripture says "...every man IS vanity" (Psa. 39:11). Only the Righteousness of Christ can recommend a man to God. Only by the obedience of Christ can salvation take place, not by any effort at obedience by man. Nothing a man does can attract, or draw, God to him. To believe is to obey, and if salvation is dependent upon man then it is by his obedience, and not Christ's by which he is saved. The free will doctrine reveals just how desperately wicked the heart of spiritually dead man is. Everything man does, and seeks to offer to God as some sort of recommendation that he is worthy of salvation, has within it that which condemns him—the awful mark of sin. Anything man seeks to do to recommend himself to God reveals an inherent wickedness against God which rejects His Truth. To 'choose God' and then be saved, is to perform a work, whether a person claims their choosing is by the grace of God, or not. Man choosing God is nothing but a doctrine of works. IF A MAN MUST DO SOMETHING BEFORE GRACE CAN TAKE EFFECT IN HIS LIFE, IT IS A DOCTRINE OF WORKS. If a man must do something before salvation can take place, it is a doctrine of works. If a man must do something which can only be done with the assistance of grace, yet is nevertheless something upon which his salvation is dependent, it is a doctrine of works. SALVATION IS NOT DEPENDENT UPON MAN DOING, FOR THEN IT WOULD NOT BE A GRACE-BASED SALVATION! A grace-based salvation is something which is conditioned only upon what God has done not on what man must do. Salvation is by grace, and, so not at all by works (see Rom. 11:6). TRUE GRACE IS SALVATION DEPENDENT ONLY UPON GOD. Whichever way you look at it, man's choosing God is NOT what the Scriptures teach is the Grace of God. Grace saves! It is the grace of God upon which salvation is dependent. It is WHAT GOD DOES, and not what a man must do, that saves a man. Salvation is not God enabling a man to do what he cannot do. Salvation is all of God, for man can do nothing. Who makes a saved man to differ from a lost man? GOD (see 1 Cor. 4:7). Whenever you see the word grace you are actually seeing the words GOD DOING. A man's believing the Gospel of God is God's grace in action coupled with the gift of Faith given to believe God's Gospel, and no other. Whenever you see a saved man you are seeing a person that was ordained, appointed by God, to believe the Gospel of God, and no other. A saved man is not one who believes the truth and is then ordained to eternal life. People say, 'But we are told to believe', indeed we are, but that believing can only come by the grace of God through the Faith of God, and never without it. Man is ordained to eternal life, and, in time, believes. Believing is not something which must be done in order for a man to get saved, but is the evidence that one is saved, and that by the grace of God alone. Believing is not a condition for salvation, but is the immediate consequence of a man being made alive by God. “…He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life” (Jn. 6:47). One does not have life because one believes, but one believes because one has life. There is no condition, or qualification, which man must meet before God can save Him. God’s will waits for no man’s will! God does not wait for man to do something which he is utterly incapable of doing. The cause of salvation is God alone, and the first fruit of salvation is belief in Him as He is revealed in His only Gospel. Salvation is not dependent upon believing, but believing is completely reliant on being saved by God.
Just when man thinks he has done something, or reached a level which he thinks will impress God, and that none, including God, could deny him a place in heaven because of his efforts, and intentions, the Scriptures, like a bucket of ice-cold water, bring sobriety to the man’s thinking by revealing the reality of his evil, and insipid nature, thus the hopelessness of his efforts, and his being wholly unacceptable in the sight of God no matter what man does, or can do. No other word could more fittingly be used than, ‘dead’ to describe man’s spiritual state before a Holy God. Which other word could better describe man’s spiritual state before God than ‘dead’? In light of all the Scriptural evidence of a man's spiritually dead state, what other word could rightly be used to describe the state of the man who insists that man has a free will to choose God, than the word dead! Man, by nature, is dead to God, and dead to His Truth. Man is not in right standing with God, he does not seek God, therefore he does not desire God, and consequently could never choose God. The nightmarish dilemma facing man is that in his natural, sinful state he cannot even recognize the True God.
The Fall has plunged man into a world where he will not come to God because he is dead to God. Man cannot come to God because man is spiritually dead, and, therefore, without God, and, consequently, without any hope. Man’s situation is not one in which he cannot come because he cannot will to come, for this would imply that he would come to God if only he could will to come. Christ said salvation is impossible with man, which is the strongest statement yet that a man cannot will to come to God because man is dead in sin and, therefore, does not even seek the True God. The impossibility of salvation being that which follows a man’s choosing God, is due to man's spiritually dead condition, and not because of something man wills to do, but cannot. Man’s spiritually dead state is not properly defined by man wanting to do something which he cannot do, but by the fact that he does not want to do it at all. Man cannot come, he cannot will to come, he does not know God, he does not seek God, he does not want God, etc. "...man has, of himself, neither the power nor the will; being dead in trespasses and sins, and impotent to everything that is spiritual..." Christ said no man can come and then taught that God must draw, or drag, the man to Him (see Jn. 6:44). In John 6:65 Christ again teaches that no man can come, and that it is only by the Father's will that the gift of salvation is given. Man cannot will to come because he has no will in him that can change, or seeks to change, his spiritually dead state. Man is without any intrinsic, or extrinsic help, for he is without hope, and without God. MAN HAS NO WILL TO COME! HE IS IN A SPIRITUAL PRISON OF DEATH! MAN IS DEAD TO GOD, AND SO MAN’S WILL IS DEAD TO GOD. Not only is man without the ability to come to God, he is without the will to do so, thus, he is without any desire to do so. Man's sinful dead condition shows that he is utterly without the capacity to will to come to God. The whole of the heretical free will doctrine is inextricably linked to another doctrine of devils which says that man is not spiritually dead to God. Both teachings are diametrically opposed to what the Scriptures say. No Christian man has ever held on to such beliefs after he has been saved by grace, but has repented of them forever. Free will, and man's non-spiritual death are not Christian doctrines. They have never been part of the Christian Church's beliefs for they are anti-God, anti-grace and anti-Scripture.
Man's will is not being held back from choosing the True God, for man has no will to come to the True God. That will, like man, died at the Fall. Some folk have the quite bizarre notion of people wanting to come to God, but being prevented from doing so because God has not predestinated them to salvation. Christ cancels out any such inane thinking by pointing out that only those the Father has given to the Son shall come to Him, they are the only ones who will want to come to the True God, for they are the only ones made alive by God: “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me…” (Jn. 6:37; cf. Jn. 10:27-30; Jn. 17:2,6,9; 2 Tim. 2:19). I don’t see anyone complaining that they are ‘stuck with being an atheist’, or bound within their particular religion ‘unable to escape, and come to the True God’ because God won’t let them. People are quite happy following their gods insisting that they have the True God. People do not complain about what they believe. People believe what they believe because they believe it to be true. Man's desire for the True God was obliterated at the Fall which is why Scripture teaches: "...there is none that seeketh after God" (Rom. 3:11), meaning, there are none who crave, or desire the True God. No man comes to God without God, and so without God no man, by nature, seeks or wants the True God. This is something which is readily observed in that throughout all his religious pursuits, man is only following the dictates of his sinful nature, for none seek after the Righteousness of Christ, but only go about trying to establish a righteousness of their own (see Rom. 10:1-4). Doing something before salvation to procure salvation. One can argue the ins and outs of whether a man is incapable of choosing God because he is unable, or that he is unable because he is incapable, the fact of the matter is that man in his natural fallen state is without desire for the True God. Spiritually dead man is not capable via his ‘free will’ to choose God, for this would in essence deny the fact that he is spiritually dead in the first place. Man's capacity for free will is zero just like the fuel tank filled with cement has no capacity for fuel. Man may well have the ability to choose between drinking alcohol, and soft drink, but that ability does not extend into spiritual matters, for man is spiritually dead. He cannot choose God, for man is dead in sin. Man's spiritual state of madness has him constantly looking to what he can do rather than to the fact that he is dead in sin, and does not, indeed cannot, seek God. This is the natural state of all men, and what drives and motivates their unceasing religious zeal which has no knowledge of the Truth, or the God of Truth. Man's ability to come to God was not merely hamstrung by the Fall, it was utterly taken away by man's disobedience. Salvation is not by man's will but only by God's Will. "Of His own will begat He us with the Word of Truth..." (Jas. 1:18). The Scriptures have made it perfectly clear that man has no intrinsic will that desires the True God, let alone the capacity to choose Him. The True God holds absolutely no attraction to the spiritually dead, and His glorious Gospel is hidden from them. The world hates the Sovereign God because ‘He does nothing to stop the evil and destruction in the world’. Because He has elected some, and not all. Professing Christians hate the True God for they hate the Sovereign God of election. Dead man looks in vain hope to that which he believes is God, and then turns to works as his savior.
One very important factor which has been overlooked by the majority in this whole issue of free will, is the assumption that not only can man by nature choose God, but that it is always the True God he chooses. That spiritually dead man somehow automatically knows the True God, that all one needs to do is 'choose God' and call out to 'Him' and that the True God will then naturally and magnetically be drawn to the 'chooser', anyone who happens to call out His name, who summons Him. This, of course, runs counter to what the Scriptures say in that no man is righteous before God, no man seeks the True God so how could he ever choose Him, and the biggest 'elephant in the room' being that man is dead in trespasses and sins, and needs to be made alive by God. None who promote the doctrine of free will have ever, with that will, come to the True God, for every true Christian out there knows that they are saved because of God's free will, and not their own. Looking at the gods which have been chosen with this alleged free will is another telling factor of this false teaching’s carnal origin, for by ‘free will’ none have ever chosen the True God. Again, none can come to the True God without God so how could anyone ever choose God who is without hope and without God in this world. No man who has been chosen by God to be among His people ever claimed that he came to God by his own free will! (see 1 Cor. 2:11,14). Man in his spiritually dead state can choose any false god he wills, but he can never choose the True God. The will which man has "...hath a natural freedom for natural acts, as he is a reasonable creature; but he hath no free will for spiritual acts, though he be a reasonable creature. For these are acts above his capacity as a natural man (see Jn. 6:44). The will of man in unregeneracy is a dead will, a hard, stony, inflexible will. The wills of all natural men are at enmity with God (see Rom. 8:7,8). Their wills cannot freely bow to will that which God wills. No will can say, without eminent sanctification, not my will, but thine be done (see Lk. 22:42). The will of the creature is of itself a blind, enslaved, disobedient faculty; and for this will to be put immediately upon making use of Free Grace, and coming to Christ as He is the Great Physician, is putting it to act spiritually before it is made spiritual. It is bid to discern and look while it is blind. To come, while it is tied and bound with the chain of its own sin. Vitally to look to Christ before it is quickened by Him".
Man by nature does not know the True God, and yet this has not stopped man from believing that just about whoever he calls God, is God. Even saying 'God, the one who created everything', is not necessarily speaking about the True God, for if one is referring to 'God' who created everything, but insists that He sent His Son to pay for the sins of every individual that would ever be born, one would be speaking of a false god. There are not a few false gods who have been attributed with that which only belongs to the True God. How can man choose that which he does not know? How can a man choose God when he is without God? When he is without hope. How can a man with a carnal mind choose the True God when there is no man that even seeks after God, let alone desires Him. Being without God, and, therefore, without hope includes within its scope the fact that having no hope is to have no hope whatsoever of coming to the True God. No hope within you and no hope without. NO HOPE SURELY MUST INCLUDE NO FREE WILL. Being without God and without hope is evidence in itself that man is dead to God, and operates only with a carnal mind! Paul the apostle speaking of his unregenerate past described himself as "...carnal, sold under sin" (Rom. 7:14). "Sold under sin," i.e., as fully under the domination of sin as a slave is under his master." No man in such a state can come to God which is why Scripture clearly teaches that it is God Who comes to the man first. It is the Shepherd Who seeks His sheep until He finds them, and not the sheep who search for Him for the sheep do not even know they are lost (Lk. 15:4,5; cf. Ezek. 34:11,12).