Friday, July 11, 2014

Does "Whosoever Will" Mean that Anyone Can Become a Christian, Just by Willing?

I have watched a certain well-known TV evangelist make fun of Calvinists a number of times. One of his subordinates even said one time, "'Whosoever will,' that disproves it [i.e., Calvinism] right there!" And I suspect that the majority of American evangelicals would simply nod their heads in unthinking agreement.

But is that actually what the Bible says? I happen not to think so.

Let's begin with the words of Paul. Consider Romans 3:11 (quoting Psalm 14:2), "No one seeks for God." Why is that? Ephesians 2:1, for we "are dead in the trespasses and sins." A dead person cannot will or choose anything. Jesus makes the same point in John 6:44, "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him." For (Matthew 11:27), "No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him." So, whose will is the deciding factor? Not ours, but His (see also John 1:13)!

So, how does "whosoever will" (Revelation 22:17) fit in? Again, Paul explains (Philippians 2:13): "It is God Who works in you, both to will and to work for His good purpose." Thus, we see that it is true that "whosoever will may come," but it is only because God works in us to create that will! So, TV preacher, that settles it right there!

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