17 Sections
Choice –Part 4: Do We Really have a Free Will?


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Chapter: 14.44
(Section 14: Selective Salvation)
Copyright © Michael Bronson 1998 - 2005

As mentioned at the beginning of this section, a cornerstone doctrine of selective salvation is the sovereignty of God. Selective Salvationists contend if we could choose our own destiny, it would be the same as us telling God Almighty what to do. They say God would not be a sovereign God if He does not exercise control in every aspect of our lives. Storm says the following about this:

  • "By making election conditional upon something that man does, even if what he does is simply to repent and believe the gospel, God’s grace is seriously compromised." (Chosen for Life, p. 55)

Free will has become a four-letter word with Selective Salvationists (well, actually two four-letter words). To say we have a free will is the same as saying God is not on the throne. Listed below are comments from Selective Salvationists about free will:

  • "Free will is nonsense." (Spurgeon, Free Will – A slave, p. 3)

  • "Free will is the invention of man, instigated by the devil" (Wilmonth, The Baptist Examiner, Sept. 16, 1989, p. 5)

  • "Free will makes man his own savior and his own god." (Ross, Abundant Truth, p. 56)

  • "The heresy of free will dethrones God and enthrones man." (Best, Free Grace Versus Free Will, p. 35)

  • "If the theory of free will were true, it would give the possibility of repentance after death." (Boettner, Predestination, p. 221)

  • "Man does not have a free will when it comes to the matter of salvation." (Kober, Divine Election or Human Effort, p. 31)

  • "The will of the natural man is opposed to God, and he has no will God ward until he has been born again." (Pink, John, p. 30)

This stance on free will has forced many Selective Salvationists into a very unique position. If God controls everything and we don’t have freedom to make our own choices, then God controls all of our actions. If God controls all of our actions, we have to conclude we are forced to sin. The following chapter (The Choice to Sin) provides several quotes from Selective Salvationists about how God has forced us to sin.

Although not all Selective Salvationists have taken this extreme position, it is still a predominant view. This view, of course, raises some very serious issues. How can we be held responsible for our actions if we are forced to do them? How can we be punished for sins we are forced to commit? More importantly, how can God be holy and righteous if He is forcing us to do these evil deeds? Basically, it would be the same as if God had done those evil deeds.

Obviously, we do have a free will to make choices; both good and evil. As we saw elsewhere in this section, God can give us a free will and still be sovereign. The following chapters will expand on this issue further. They will show our actions actually do provoke various responses from God. They will show God can be moved by our choices and requests.



Other Chapters in this Section

PART 1: What is Selective Salvation?
PART 2: What Does the Bible say about Selective Salvation?
PART 3: Problems with Selective Salvation
PART 4: “Choice” –The Achilles’ Heel of Selective Salvation

Choice 1: The Contradictions of Selective Salvation
Choice 2: Can You Force Someone to Love You?
Choice 3: Is Choice Really a Choice Without a Choice?
Choice 4: Do We Really have a Free Will?
Choice 5: Can Prayer Change Things?
Choice 6: Can God be Grieved by Our Sins or Moved by Our Repentance?
Choice 7: The Choice to Sin
Choice 8: Are We Incapable of Choosing God?
Choice 9: Choice and the Moral Standard
Choice 10: The Purpose of Choice
Choice 11: The Suffering of Job
Choice 12: Why is God Pleased with our Obedience?
Choice 13: The Rich Young Ruler
Choice 14: Why was God so Excited when the Lost Sheep was Found?
Choice 15: A Man After God's Own Heart
Choice 16: Choose You this Day whom You will Serve
Choice 17: Appointed as a Ruler over many Cities

PART 5: Difficult Questions Answered
Appendix: Foundational Documents used by Selective Salvationists

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