"I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live." Deuteronomy 30:19.
God made man and put inside him a "will", which gives him a right to choose. He can choose either death or life but he must choose.
There are some that teach that God chose some to live with Him in heaven and at the same time He also chose some to die and go to hell. The problem with this teaching is, it is just not so. There is a doctrine of predestination in the Bible which cannot be denied. The ones that God predestinated are those who are "in Christ". They are predestinated to "be conformed to the image of His Son." (Rom. 8:29) Predestination has nothing to do with a lost person.
There is also a doctrine of election in the Bible, but God never elects some to die and go to hell. He elects or chooses according to His foreknowledge. "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ:...." (I Peter 1:2)
Since God has all knowledge (omniscient), then He can and did elect or choose before the foundation of the world. "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love." (Eph. 1:4) Note this verse says "in Him" meaning He foreknew who would be saved (in Him). Therefore, God chose him, wrote his name in the Lamb's book of life before the foundation of the world, predestinating him to be conformed to the image of His Son and works all things together to accomplish this purpose. "And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." (Rev. 13:8) "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren." (Rom. 8:29) "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." (Rom.8:28)
II Thess. 2:13 reveals that God chooses "through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth". This does not do away with the choice that man must make; but lets us know that salvation is of the Lord. Rom. 10:13 says: "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved;" but I Cor. 12:3b says that, "no man can say that Jesus is Lord but by the Holy Ghost." Luke 13:3 says one must repent or perish but one cannot repent until repentance is worked by godly sorrow. "For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death." (II Cor. 7:10) Godly sorrow is the work of reproval of the Holy Spirit (John 16:8‑11) which is called by most, "Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit Conviction."
Acts 16:31 says for one to be saved, they must "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ"; but one cannot believe until faith has been produced by the Holy Spirit through the word, (Rom. 10:17) which is why Acts 16:32 says that Paul "spake unto him the word of the Lord." John 3:27 says, "...A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven."
The Lord has to do the work in salvation, but man has to make the right choice. He has to choose light, about which John 1:9 says, "That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." Every man in the world has light within him that there is a God (Rom. 1:19), and he also has light in creation that there is a Godhead (Rom. 1:20); therefore, he is without excuse. Man must choose to respond to that light or truth if he ever expects to have life. If he chooses right, God will send a man of God across his path with the word of God to give him more light. Again, he must make the right choice and choose light which will allow the Holy Spirit to begin a work of reproval in that individual.
While the Holy Spirit is reproving him of sin, righteousness, and judgment, there will be many more times that he must choose light so that he can be brought to the "end of himself" and be saved. Salvation is easy, but being brought to the end of yourself is the hard part; and it involves making the right choices, many times.
In view of all that has been said in this article, we must conclude that salvation is of the Lord; but God made a man, not a robot, and placed inside him a "will." Therefore, he must exercise the right to choose. Choose light and live, but choose darkness and die a second death in hell. Choose light and the Holy Spirit will finish His work in you and God will say, "I chose him because I knew he would choose light and come to a place to believe on my Son." God will also say, "I predestined him to become like my Son and share in His inheritance one day in glory." (Eph. 1:11) All of this will only take place if you make the right choice.
Moses made the right choice by choosing to suffer affliction with the people of God, rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season (Heb. 11:24‑26), and God met him at the burning bush in Exo. 3:1‑14. Ruth chose to go with Naomi and her God (Ruth 1:16‑17), and met Boaz, a kinsman redeemer and got listed in the genealogy of Jesus in Mat. 1:5. Esau chose wrong by choosing one morsel of meat over his birthright and found no place of repentance. (Heb. 12:16‑17)
It pays to make the right choice.
THE PERSUADER - August-Sept, 1990