freewill vs. Sovereignty of God

Is Your Heart Right With God?

 “Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Rev.22:17). But who is —“whosoever will?” Is it those who have the strongest, natural “willpower?” No, because according to Scripture it’s not even the will that determines our choices, it’s the heart and it moves our will to act. So the condition of our heart determines whether we will come to Christ in truth or not (e.g. Psa.119:10, Prov.4:23, Acts 8:37, Rom.10:9-10).  

The problem is that since the Fall of mankind, “the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked” (Jer.17:9, Matt.15:18-19, Mk.7:18-23). Due to the extreme corruption that sin causes, just one sin in a lifetime is destructive enough to earn an eternity in hell (James 2:10). “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God,” which causes people to refuse to come to Christ. Therefore, the human will is not sovereign, but a servant to sin (Rom.3:23, 6:18-23; Jn.5:40).

Our will is free only in the sense that it’s free to choose according to our heart’s desire. And a truly godly choice for Christ cannot possibly come from an evil heart (Lk.6:45-46). So whether or not we do what Jesus says to do and come to Him in truth depends upon whether God has cleansed our hearts from the love of sin and filled it with love for Him, so we’ll be willing to “take the water of life freely” (Job 14:4, Psa.51:10, Prov.16:1, Ezek.36:26, Jn.3:27, 8:44, Phil.2:13).

Still, every person will be held responsible for how they respond to the gospel call, for its everyone’s duty to their Maker to repent, believe and receive Christ, whether they have heavens help or not. God doesn’t lower His standards just because our sin has caused us to fall short of His glory. That would be like a criminal going before a judge and making the excuse that he can’t help but break the law and the judge corrupting justice by letting the criminal go due to the criminal’s inability to abide by the law! 

The truth is that we all deserve hell and God could have chosen not to save any and still been righteous in His judgment. There will be no one in hell that doesn’t deserve to be there, because God has never and never will force anyone to sin. Even God’s act of reprobation causes no one to sin (Rom.1:28). As Scripture says, “God hath made man upright, but they have sought out many inventions” (Eccl.7:29). 

Yet, God is merciful and He has revealed this to us at the cross, where His justice and mercy meet. God can pardon the vilest of sinners and still be righteous because Jesus Christ has purchased them, redeemed them and paid their sin debt in full. The gospel of Christ “is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth” (Rom.1:16).

Jesus said, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (Jn.6:37). So come to Him today friend and taste His free grace. You don’t have to earn it because it’s free to all who truly believe with their whole heart that Christ Jesus is their Savior and their only hope in this life and for eternity. Don’t follow after those who try to come on their own terms or those who think they can bribe God with their own works, for the only way to take the water of life —-is freely.

Sis. Lee Anne—emails are always welcome at gospel4life@live.com

freewill vs. Sovereignty of God, Newspaper Articles

Jesus’ Birth

During the holiday season, I can’t help but be moved by thoughts of Jesus’ birth.  Not because it was the “reason for the season” or a “birthday” in the worldly sense, but because it was when the long awaited promise of the new covenant of grace was presented as blessed Bread from Heaven.  Just think of the theological significance of God placing baby Jesus in a feeding trough within the little town of Bethlehem, which meant “House of Bread” in Hebrew.

Yet, there are two sides to God’s divine providence. First, Jesus is living bread to those who upon realizing their starving sin sickness, begin to hunger and thirst for righteousness (John 6:51).  Yet, He says those who are whole don’t need a physician, only the sick, and that He doesn’t call the righteous, but sinners to repentance (Matt.9: 12, 13).  He also said to go and learn what this means, which may seem to be a no-brainer for believers, but the self-righteous who haven’t had their understanding opened by God to realize the extent of their fallen condition, can’t even begin to grasp this truth. 

The truth is that Jesus becomes a sword to the wicked, but food to the weary who mourn over their sin against God.  In Matt. 10:34-36 Jesus says, “think not that I am come to send peace on earth; I came not to send peace, but a sword”……”And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.”  Wow, not something we’d like to think about around the holidays, with all the family gatherings!  Yet, Jesus makes it clear that He only brings peace to those who are His, and those who aren’t will be turned against us.  Jesus does the dividing, for we can only be united by the true gospel, not by false religion.  And all of this is a revelation so spectacular that even angels desire to look into it (1Pet.1:12, 13, Gal.1:6-8).

So while appearing to common field shepherds the night of Jesus’ birth, rather than “high society,” the heavenly angels gave all “Glory to God in the Highest!” Far beyond a commercialized celebration that exalts the basic “goodness” of man.  And rather than prompting people to “be good” for “goodness sake,” they brought tidings of great joy and peace to God’s fallen (not so good) people, from every tongue, tribe and nation, by revealing GOD’S GOOD will toward all the recipients of His mercy. 

How great is our God to regard the weak and lowly spiritual state of His people by granting them what He commands.  For what God requires, Christ provided thru His virgin birth, virtuous life, vicarious death, victorious resurrection and vigilant intercession!  Praise be to God who is worthy of all honor and year-round celebration of the highest caliber! Words fail me to express the magnitude of God’s grace through the Lord Jesus Christ.  His free gift far exceeds all the material gifts in the world.

So dear friend, apart from this gracious work of God, you can never know the power and joy of the true gospel and the true meaning of peace (Eph.2:14-17).  And no amount of “kumbaya” singing, Christmas caroling, shopping, feasting, decorating, giving, getting, church attending, candle lighting or card sending will ever make up for it in all eternity.  Therefore, by the grace of God, along with the Lord Jesus Christ, thru the Holy Spirit, I plead with you to lay down any work-righteous, superstitious, religious idols and seek first the kingdom of God and His peace, which are NOT of this world (John 14:27, 16:33, 18:36).

Sis Lee Anne —-Readers with questions or comments are free to contact me at gospel4life@live.com