Why this article?
“Will worship” and “will worshippers”. Terms I use on occasion when I write on certain aspects concerning the subject of the salvation of the sinner. It is imperative that followers of Jesus Christ understand Biblical teaching of how salvation of the sinner is accomplished, in order for them to impart the truth of the Gospel to all who would believe in Him and have everlasting life. It is our duty, and it is so because the Word of God instructs us in that matter.
Salvation can either be brought about by the effort of the sinner, or by means of a co-operation between the sinner and God, or it can be by the will and grace of God alone.
Eternal life, or eternal damnation. The biblical comprehension of this matter is ultimately important, because the means by which the sinner attains salvation (eternal life / spiritual life beyond physical death), could be determined either by a subservient God who is reliant upon the actions and decisions of the sinner, or by a sovereign God who acts independently from the eternally damned sinner whom He saves. Theological expressions for these two opposing viewpoints are “synergism” and “monergism”, but I will leave that to remain of academic interest for now, as there are other factors which would need to be included, were we to proceed along that route.
My employment of the terms “will worship” and “will worshipper”, is of course by no means unique to my writing, as there are other esteemed writers who made use of the same terms long before I did. I use the terms with specific intent, because they accurately describe the belief system of those who oppose the biblical doctrine of salvation by the grace of God alone, and who uphold the heresy that salvation is in part or in totality, reliant upon human will, works or values.
I use the terms to describe those who cling to and proclaim the pride-filled heretical and impossible notion, that salvation of the spiritually dead sinner is dependent upon a decision made by that same spiritually dead sinner, powered by his own over-valued understanding of free will and imaginary ability. I do not use the terms in an attempt to belittle, insult or derogate any person or institution. I have nothing to gain from, or reason for such intent and I certainly do not seek to profit from that which I write. I write because I hate lies and because it is good to contend for the truth.
Who are the will worshippers?
Will worshippers defend the deluded principle that the atonement of Jesus Christ is universal and that salvation is attainable by every person born on this earth, yet that it is ultimately dependent on their own wilArminiufleshlful decisions, efforts at self-righteousness, holiness and self-generated faith. In so doing, will worshippers attempt to make salvation reliant upon a conscious decision of their own will, not upon the Sovereign will of God. Some have tried to explain that it is an elaborate combination of the will of man and the will of God.
They attempt to make salvation dependent on an action on the part of the sinner. They place emphasis on a demonstration of the person’s own ill-begotten faith and a consideration of man’s inherent worth. Scripture makes it clear that faith and salvation is solely reliant upon grace, the Sovereign will and pleasure of God and that the deeds, thoughts and values of the sinner are worthless and filthy before Holy God.
Similar to those who are caught up in other false religions, will worshippers such as [*6]Roman Catholics and [*1]Arminians, are reliant on their own designs and perceived goodness and therefore they remain continually unsure of their salvific position in eternity. They harbour an underlying doubt in the sufficiency of Christ’s atonement, and proclaim a submissive and meek God. That much is obvious, as one continually witnesses their concerted efforts at earning salvation by doing certain “good” things or by avoiding certain “bad” things.
While those actions are not wrong in and of themselves and there are some who regard them as admirable character traits, outside of Christ they are of no value other than moral and religious. They do this in an attempt to work their way up toward heaven, during what they believe, is a lifetime of “growing” sanctification through their righteous efforts. Biblical Christianity, however, teaches that Jesus Christ is the believer’s sanctification: http://fortheloveofhistruth.com/2013/09/30/lordship-salvation-or-progressive-sanctification-high-fashion-yes-but-not-for-christians/
Great masses, streaming multitudes of will worshippers are being deceived into thinking that they have salvation, eternal life and acceptance before God because they made a “decision for” Jesus. In tragic desperation they actually believe that salvation is theirs because they responded to an altar call, decided to “allow” Jesus into their life, because they repeated the words of a prayer, or because they are working at being better people. Christ is not theirs to simply accept or reject.
It is evident that they have a warped understanding of the teaching of Holy Scripture that faith is a gift and the sovereign work of God the Holy Spirit (Eph 2:8-9). This gift can in no way be earned, it is produced in the hearts of the chosen, redeemed sinners by the revelation of Christ in them (2 Cor 4:4-6, Gal 1:15-16), by them having heard the Truth of the Biblical Gospel.
Will worshippers are by nature and by necessity, the great legalists. Will worshippers exhibit a disregard for the declarations of Scripture regarding God’s Sovereignty and they voice reservations concerning Scriptural inerrancy. Will worshippers do not accept the absolute Sovereignty of God, nor do they accept that God is in control of every facet of life. They are left with no other choice but to try to convince themselves and others that they are conscientiously engulfed in a process of earning salvation by means of their own free will.
Legalists and will worshippers love their religious laws, rules and fleshly practices which give the outward appearance of devotion, humility and righteousness before God. Of course, in an attempt to defend their version of self-righteousness, they consistently appeal to false interpretation of certain Scripture – this has become the favoured position of the vast majority of what poses as the church. Will worshippers are most often those who pass self-righteous judgement over others who, according to their standards, do not act in a sufficiently ascetic or pious manner. Scripture tells us the following about that aspect of will worship: Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh. (Colossians 2)
Biblical Christianity has rules to obey (do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not lie, etc.) and rituals to observe (water baptism by immersion and the Lord’s Supper). However, observance of these rules and rituals is not what makes a person right with God. Rather, these rules and rituals are the RESULT of the right relationship with God, brought about by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone as the Saviour. False religion is doing things (rules and rituals) in order to try to earn or keep God’s favour.
Deceived churches, some from among those who boast of having the largest memberships in the world, some strictly denominational and yet others which claim to be non-denominational, proclaim variations of salvation by works plus grace (will worship / Arminianism / synergism / seeker sensitivism [*11]/ Lordship Salvationism / Pelagianism / Roman Catholicism). These institutions are bursting at the seams with false converts to Christianity, or true converts to false religion.
There are will worshippers who fervently deny falling into any of the above-mentioned religious categories and claim to be simply Bible believers, or just “plain” Christians. I do agree in many instances, that to categorize and label people, ultimately serves no great purpose. There are really only two categories of people, those who are saved and those who are not. Nevertheless, those who deny the Sovereignty of God in all matters and make man’s choice a part of salvation, are quite simply will worshippers.
[*3] All men who attribute salvation, whether in its entirety or only in part, to the will, the work, or the worth of man, are the most abominably evil idolaters in the world, for they worship themselves. Will worship or free will worship is the worship of oneself. Legalism is the worship of oneself. Free-will, works religion makes man his own saviour, for it makes the will, the work, and the worth of man to be the determining factor in salvation.
What are the heretical beliefs of will worshippers?
Free-will worship which opposes the biblical Gospel, human secularism, dispensationalism and in particular pre-millenial dispensationalism, an over-emphasis of human democracy and tolerance of religious diversity, worldly acceptance of religious and moral freedom, unbiblical laws placing human rights above God’s will, promise of material wealth and physical gain, ecumenicism, public entertainment posing as Christianity, experiential and free will worship are all inter-related and effective money spinners.
These subjects are among those which sensationalist and charismatic public speakers are using to draw the masses into a false religious revival. I refer to them as public speakers, rather than pastors or Christian ministers, because preachers who are called to proclaim God’s Word would not uphold the likes of synergistic will worship. Of course, they advertise themselves, their ministries and publications as “Christian”. In truth they are simply idolatrous opponents of God who place undue value on their own efforts and free will.
Will worshippers believe that they have the right and ability to choose God and to encourage God to accept them because of their obedience to laws and by their own efforts at becoming more righteous. At the same time, they believe that they also have the right and ability to reject God by means of their own ability to perform evil and practice rebellion. Scripture makes it clear that no man has either of these abilities. Will worshippers certainly imagine themselves to be very powerful and significant beings. Humility plays no role in their lives and the beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12) are seen as character traits which should be proclaimed, yet they do not practice them. The truth is that man does not manipulate omnipotent and Almighty God, omnipotent and Almighty God controls all things, including man’s attainment of salvation or his continued death in sin. The only way to salvation is through God’s choice and His grace and by the righteousness of His risen Son imparted to unrighteous sinners.
Virtually all error, whether religious or secular, intentional or accidental, always have much to present in their defence. At times that defence can be very convincing. Criminal trials, political corruption, unjust wars, governmental maladministration, fraudulent schemes and false religions bear stark testimony to this fact. This of course, is the way of the world and it is driven by man’s insatiable pride and over-stated free will. Unregenerate seekers simply love to follow a belief system which allows them to practice some form of free-will worship and pretend to have a hand in their own righteousness. It is “easy believism”.
Protestant Arminianism (Pelagianism / Semi-Pelagianism) which includes modern Pentecostal Charismaticism in many of its forms, Roman Catholicism and its off-shoot religions such as the Eastern Orthodox church, and more recently a steadily increasing contingent from the ranks of what has become known as “new” or charismatic Calvinism, are at the forefront of driving a massively popular religious deception based squarely on will worship. In essence, these movements are all similarly heretical in as much as they deny the Sovereignty of God and make salvation dependent on a combination of works and grace.
Free-will worship has become all the rage in the religious world, as it provides an accessible platform for interfaith ecumenicism and appears to justify all forms of religious tolerance. Free will worship removes the need for biblical directives, as people can decide how and why to worship their gods. It is a mighty cash cow, a goose which lays a great quantity of golden eggs, which unscrupulous so-called evangelists and some denominations are exploiting to the full. In what is fashionably known as the Emergent church, grace and the Creator God have effectively been removed from the salvific picture. Salvation is seen as being grounded entirely on the good works, successes, will and efforts of men.
[*7]It [free will worship] is a worship of “free choice” rather than that of divine choice.
[*8]It [free will worship] is “a self-chosen worship that is willed by the will of those who want it and not a type of worship that is willed by God” (Lenski, 1937, 144).
Describing Will Worship
Simply stated, will worship is an over-emphasis on, and a gross inflation of the worth of man, an attempt to devaluate the atonement brought about by the sacrifice of the sinless Blood of Jesus Christ, and a gross perversion of the reason for God having given man a free will. All men, obviously, do have a free will and I would be among the first to oppose suggestions to the contrary. The fact is undeniable, as all persons, believers and unbelievers alike, make innumerable decisions every day, and these decisions can only be made by means of employing their free will. However, that reality is not the point of this article, for will worship is an entirely different application of free will, with deadly consequences.
It is the application and significance of that free will which is in question here. Will worshippers believe that man’s free will can be superimposed upon the will of God; that man’s free will can be used to encourage and motivate God to grant the sinner eternal salvation, spiritual life and entry into His Holy presence.
In contrast, the Apostle Paul wrote the following to believers in his letter to Titus: Tit 3:3-7 For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
In his opening address in the same letter (Tit 1:1-3), Paul makes it clear that he is addressing God’s elect, those who were promised eternal life before time began. The reason for his making that distinction throughout his writings, is to exclude will worshippers and legalists such as those he describes in Chapter 1:4.
Will worship, which, although not exclusively, can be described as heretical [*1]Arminian thought, has given rise to the Charismatic perversion and anarchy prevalent in the false church. Of course, this deceptive perversion of the gospel of truth, did not have its origins in the relatively recent theological era of Arminius (around 1600 A.D.), but was already prevalent in the earliest church. However, it was formally described and upheld as an alternative religion to Christianity by Arminius.
This has developed to the extent that false preachers and some professing believers boastfully claim to be able to summon and impart God’s Holy Spirit. In addition, they assert to be able to “cast out” demons, heal illness, facilitate salvation and raise the dead. [*9] These and other perversions of the truth are the inevitable result of free will doctrine. God has left those who idolize their own free will, to their own devices and ultimately, to the carry the costs of their evil beliefs.
Will worshipping men proclaim their theories regarding self-justification with prideful fan-fare, while they stubbornly attempt to serve God with their own inventions. These theories are spawned by a wilful misinterpretation of certain Scriptures and include heretical beliefs such as those which advocate that faith in God must, by necessity, precede justification. They have urgent need to feel vindicated in spite of their misguided understanding that their own efforts at pleasing God, such as false repentance brought about by their own efforts and the free will of a dead sinner, had everything to do with their salvation and ensuring that salvation will be maintained into eternity.
Will worshippers stage a convincing and enthusiastic religious show of appearing to be pious, humble, studious, hardworking and dedicated seekers of righteousness, and to that end they construct self-imposed laws, discipline, punishment of the body and an outward display of religious fervour and misdirected faith. Faith in their own efforts as opposed to what the Bible says about faith, that it is a gift from God to those whom He saves and enables. These things which they deem to be Christian traits, are of no value in purifying the sinful flesh or sanctifying the heart. They do not honour God, but only indulge natural flesh and its false concept of righteousness.
Col_2:23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.
Will worshippers refuse to accept that salvation is solely according to the will of God, that God decides whom He will save for eternity and that such adoption is for the sole purpose of His glorification. Will worshippers use their freedom of choice to ignore the following verses:
Eph 1:5,6 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved.
Eph 2:8,9 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.
Scripture makes it abundantly clear that God has no favourable regard, whatsoever, for the works and worth of men, yet will worshippers blindly disregard these truths and stubbornly try to manipulate their way to forgiveness and salvation.
Mic 5:13 Thy graven images also will I cut off, and thy standing images out of the midst of thee; and thou shalt no more worship the work of thine hands.
Isa 64:6,7 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities.
[*4] Will worship is the constant effort of man to accomplish his own will, whether for good or for bad. It is an insidious trick of the enemy to keep God’s people under bondage to their own set of do’s and don’ts, to bring to them self pride for successfully performing their will, and self condemnation for failure. The gratification from success brings pride of accomplishment which leads to worship of one’s own will. When the person sets for himself standards too high for him to maintain, he excuses himself by confessing his “sin”, and going on to the next failure as he trusts in the blood of Christ for his cleansing. He never comes to realization that these laws he makes for himself are the same laws that were defeating him before he was saved. Before he was saved he knew he had to change his life, but could not. After God changed his life he never come to realize that he was free from the law of do’s and don’ts, his sin forgiven, and made a new creation in Christ, a child of the King.
Godless tenets of will worship
Will worshippers are also among those who believe that God can be worshipped in an endless variety of innovative ways and according to their own will and fancy. They believe that God will accept their method of worshipping Him, as long as they feel it has been sincere and according to their heartfelt intentions. All such departures from biblical truth ignore the Saviour’s mandate that worship must be in harmony with the sacred pattern of truth (Jn. 4:24; 17:17).
Underlying the apostasy of will-worship are several godless dispositions.
- Will-worship is arrogant and autocratic. It reflects the self-inflated attitude of Jeroboam the son of Nebat who devised a worship format “of his own heart” through which he “made Israel to sin” (1 Kgs. 14:16).
- Will-worship is a form of rebellion. It is reminiscent of those days of Israel’s judges when every man did what was right “in his own eyes” (Judg. 17:6).
- Will-worship is enslaving; a sense of self-determination is corrupting, intoxicating, and ultimately destructive.
Albert Barnes, the Presbyterian scholar, commented upon the disposition of those who argue on behalf of will-worship.
A large part of the corruptions of religion have arisen from this plausible but deceitful argument. God knew best what things [were] most conductive to piety for his people to observe; and we are most safe when we adhere most closely to what he has appointed, and observe no more days and ordinances than he has directed (1957, 271).]
According to the will worshipper, salvation is accomplished through the combined efforts of God (who takes the initiative) and man (who must respond)—man’s response being the determining factor. They believe that God has provided salvation for everyone, but His provision becomes effective only for those who, of their own free will, “choose” to cooperate with Him and accept His offer of grace. At the crucial point, man’s will plays a decisive role; thus man, not God, determines who will be the recipients of the gift of salvation.
Will worship emphasizes: conditional election based on man’s decision; God’s role being limited to His foreknowledge of what man would decide; man’s free will through [*5] prevenient grace to cooperate with God in salvation; Christ’s atonement being universal; man’s ability and right to resist saving grace; and an ineffective salvation that can potentially be forsaken due to man’s choices.
Will worshippers maintain that God has only limited control over salvation due to man’s freedom to choose. God’s decrees are associated with his foreknowledge of man’s response. They believe that Christ died for everyone, including those who deny Him and oppose Him. Of course “everyone” would have to include those who have been cast into hell throughout the ages, whom according to will worshippers, Christ “failed” to save. To support that heresy, they appeal to a perversion of Bible verses which describe salvation, such as the well known John 3:16. The will worshipper maintains that the Saviour’s atoning death provided the means of salvation for the entire human race, yet they uphold that Christ’s atonement, is effective only for those who apply their free will to choose to believe.
According to the will worshipper, “free will” enables men to resist God’s grace, rendering God restricted and subordinate, and God’s grace ineffectual. Will worship cannot function alongside a sovereign God, as absolute free will in sinful men, is directly opposed to God’s sovereignty.
Will worshippers trust in their own decisions and have confidence in their own goodness. They gain comfort from what they themselves have done and can do, rather than from what Christ has done. Will worshippers believe that their own will and work can re-unite them to God and that the work of Christ can only become effectual once they have decided to allow it.
Will worshipping idolators, are they Christians?
Are will worshippers not Christians and will they certainly go to hell? It would be a presumptuous lie to claim to know the answer to this question, because ultimately it will be God’s decision, even though will worshippers believe they can decide themselves to choose to believe in God, or not. No matter how vehemently will worshippers uphold their belief that their decisions and self-righteous attempts at being “good” and becoming holy will influence God’s decision, their eternal fate rests not in their free will, but on the grace of the Sovereign God.
Only those who trust in Jesus Christ alone for their salvation will go to heaven. It would be impossible to believe in the unbiblical doctrines of universal atonement, conditional election based on one’s own efforts, partial depravity, resistible grace and the possibility of falling from grace, and at the same time to fully trust in Jesus Christ for salvation. To uphold these false doctrines consistently one must believe that salvation depends, in full or in part, on one’s own merit. Those who continue unto death to rely on their own merit, rather than the merit of Christ, are certainly on their way to hell.
If one believes that election to salvation is because God only foresaw who would have faith, then how did anyone come to have faith? Why would God leave the salvation of all men to chance? What if no one chose to “have” faith? Why does another person not have faith? Will worshippers cannot answer those questions from Scripture, they can only concoct unbiblical opnionated answers. The only way to make sense of their belief system, is to believe that faith is meritorious, and not all of grace. But the Bible tells us clearly, “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” (Eph. 2:8-9).
Jesus Christ calls religious legalists and will worshippers, who try to portray themselves as righteous by their own efforts, hypocrites, blind fools, whitewashed tombs, sons of murderers, serpents and a brood of vipers (Matt 23). That is the strongest condemnation of will worship.
All religions require that the sinner plays a role in gaining or maintaining his own salvation, and are nothing other than systems of will worship. Will worship is not Christianity and Christianity is not religion. Trust not in anything you can do to improve your standing before God – trust only in the grace of God given freely those whom He has called to faith in the complete and perfect atonement of Him who alone can save, the person of Jesus Christ.
As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh. (Colossians 2:6-23 AV)
How can we have a free will, yet we are unable to decide to be saved?
We have determined that we have a free will, an obvious conclusion from the fact that we can choose who we talk to and what to say, choose things according to our preferences, what to wear, where to walk, which music we listen to, which party to vote for or whether to read this article or not. To deny the fact that our free will is extensive and that it is wonderful gift, would simply be ludicrous.
We have determined that God is Sovereign from studying His Word; from His Sovereignty being proven to us through Creation; from the accounts of those who have come to know Him personally because He chose to make those people one with Jesus Christ by placing His Holy Spirit in them. If God is not Sovereign, He is not God. If God is in any way reliant on a decision or action of any of His creatures, then He is a subservient and submissive god. [*10] Man is a creature in the Creator’s universe, and as such is subject to the will of the Creator. To suggest otherwise is to elevate man beyond his station and to bring God down to the level of the creature.
So we have an omnipotent sovereign God who has granted us the gift of free will, yet we must not assume that our free will can supersede God in any way. Neither does the fact that we have a free will contradict the fact that God is Sovereign. If we believe God’s Word, the two realities do co-exist, however difficult it may be for us to comprehend.
To understand free will we must consider what the Bible says about God. God is described as sovereign in the Bible, and sovereignty indicates that He has total control. Will worshippers deny this, however the Bible tells us, “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it” (Psalm 24:1). This indicates that God is sovereign everywhere and in everything. God created everything, the entire universe and all things in it. God has sovereignty over it according to Romans 9 which refers to the potter and the clay.
So how is free will compatible with God’s sovereignty? If we look at Proverbs 16:9, we see that it is: “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps”. In this verse we see that man can make decisions regarding his own plans, but only under the control of God.
In another passage we again are told that God is sovereign over all that was, is and will be and that He does as He alone pleases. He will accomplish exactly what He chooses, despite having given men free will: “I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please” (Isaiah 46:9,10). All includes who He will save and who He will not, according to His pleasure, not according to man’s will.
God is not in a struggle for the souls of sinners, hoping that they will choose Him rather than Satan. As I have mentioned previously, that view is one of a subservient and weak God. God is not hoping that man will use his free will to choose Him. It would be a rather pathetic God who does that. Irrespective and in spite of man’s free will, if God chooses to save someone for His pleasure and purposes, that person will be saved, because sovereign God never fails to achieve His purposes. What a wonderful comfort it is to know that, of all those who in truth wish to come home to Him, none can possibly be left out.
We must also realize that we are not simply puppets or robots who react to all situations like machines. We do make real choices, as we have determined, and we are held responsible by God for those choices. We have free will, but that free will is bordered and contained within the enormity of God’s infinite sovereignty.
Before the fall of mankind described in Genesis, man’s free will was not limited by a sinful nature. Man could choose to obey or disobey God. Remember the forbidden fruit and the decisions which led to the permanent stains on man’s original spiritual perfection. After the fall, man’s perfect free will no longer was complete nor perfectly free, it was sullied by sin. Man became dead in sin, and as such lost the ability to do anything which is acceptable to God, or perfectly Holy. God being perfectly Holy, cannot accept anything which is not perfectly Holy and the only way that God can come to accept sinful man, is to accept His sinless Son, Jesus Christ, on man’s behalf in the sinner. God disregards the spiritual sinfulness of those who have been cleansed by the indwelling of His Holy Spirit, and accepts them because they are one with His Son.
God determines all things, how they are to come about and by what means. God determines the outcome of all events, from those which seem of tiniest significance to those with universal consequence, and how they will take place. Man’s free will is one of the means that God uses to achieve His ends. Over and over the Bible tells of what God will have happen to certain people or nations because they have displeased or pleased Him, and very shortly thereafter it tells of how men make decisions which result in God’s will being done. A quick study of the book of 1 Kings reveals this repeatedly taking place regarding the succession of kings of both Israel and Judah after God split Solomon’s kingdom. God’s will is achieved by Him using man’s will.
The Bible makes it repeatedly clear that man is responsible for his own sin and for deserving God’s justice in punishment for that sin. The same Bible also repeatedly rejects the notion that man has unlimited free will. It is our responsibility to believe the Word of God, to obey His will and to trust that He will righteously do for us sinners what we deserve and clearly cannot do ourselves.
To trust in any form of his own free will, is the most foolish thing any man could ever do. Will worshippers are fools. There are no fools in heaven (Psalm 14:1).
[*1]The false religion of Jakob Hermanszoon which formally described and proclaimed the false doctrines of conditional election, universal atonement, partial depravity, resistible grace, and the possibility of a lapse from grace that originate in the pit of hell with the father of lies (Jn. 8:44). http://fortheloveofhistruth.com/2012/11/26/the-dangers-of-arminianism-part-1-of-2/
[*2] from Paul’s Condemnation of Will Worship
[*3] adaptation of an original statement by Donald S Fortner
[*4] from the work of WTL Ministries
[*5] Prevenient grace is embraced primarily by Arminians or Wesleyans who are influenced by the theology of Jacob Arminius (Jakob Hermannzoon) or John Wesley.
[*6] The kinship of these two religions will be discussed in further articles. Related link: http://fortheloveofhistruth.com/2013/04/10/get-angry-its-the-deeply-offensive-bishop-of-rome-part-1/
[*7] (Turner, 1982, 493)
[*8] (Lenski, 1937, 144)
[*10] S. Michael Houdmann
[*11] The seeker-sensitive church tries to reach out to the unsaved person by making the church experience as comfortable, inviting, and non-threatening to him as possible. The idea behind the concept is to get as many unsaved people through the door as possible, and the church leadership are willing to use nearly any means to accomplish that goal.The focus of the seeker church is not Christ-centred, but man-centred.