Someone I know and love told me that she was taught that God knows which people will be saved and which ones will be sent to hell. So she professes that if she is to be saved she will be saved, if she is not to be saved she won’t be saved, and there’s nothing she can do about it. She claims to have no personal responsibility for deciding whether to follow Jesus or not.
She had an Afghan dog that could jump very high. So high in fact that she had to put a leash on him because he could jump over the high fence in her back yard. He would then be gone for days and in danger of getting hit by cars. I said to her, “You know that if you put him outside without a leash he will jump the fence right?” She said “yes.” “Because you know what he will do, does that mean you want him to jump the fence and get hurt? Or, that you are forcing him to jump the fence?” She said “no.” “If you know what your dog will do if given a free choice, how much more does an infinitely wise, all-knowing God know what we as people, His creation, will do given a free choice? But that does not mean He has decided what we will do or forces us to do it,” I concluded.
God said that he wants no one to perish but all to turn away from sin; He wants each one of us to turn to the love and life and meaning found only in Jesus. But, Jesus also said that no one seeks Him on their own initiative. So, God gives us circumstances and relationships to try to influence our decision; to help us to learn that sin harms and His love benefits; and to come to seek Him and to trust His character. God loves us first and he desires our love in return. He enables us to choose Him if we want to choose Him. But he leaves the decision up to us. Love cannot be forced. Love is always the choice of a free will.
You may be reading this wondering if God loves you, if God wants you in heaven with Him. Jesus willingly took the punishment for your sins and mine so that we could spend forever with Him in heaven and with all who love Him. Freely choose Him today. Accept His death as full payment to God for your sins. Let Him lead you today. He will fill your life with other people who love Him and love you and take you on an adventure you cannot imagine.