Mine may not be a deep theological answer to this question, but it has made it quite easy for me to reconcile this debate.
Clearly, we have free will to choose to accept Jesus and follow Him.
John 3:16 NLT
16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life." ...We all get the invitation.
And clearly, there are those who may say the words but did not mean them, or meant it at the time but simply did not make the commitment.
Matthew 7:22-23 NLT
22 On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ 23 But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’
Then there are those who sincerely meant the words, but because we are sinners and we fall, perhaps they've wandered or drifted away from their faith.
Hebrews 8:10-12 NLT
10 But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel on that day, says the Lord:
I will put my laws in their minds, and I will write them on their hearts.
I will be their God, and they will be my people.
11 And they will not need to teach their neighbors, nor will they need to teach their relatives,
saying, ‘You should know the Lord.’
For everyone, from the least to the greatest, will know me already.
12 And I will forgive their wickedness,
and I will never again remember their sins.”
(Since we are to strive to be like Jesus, obviously it means we aren't. Because we are human we fail and we fall.... but if we truly know Him - He is faithful to forgive.)
Does this mean we are not supposed to try to lead other to Jesus? No.
The Bible can be taught. We can learn scripture.
But it doesn't mean that we have received Him in our hearts and that we 'know' Him. We cannot be 'taught' to believe in Jesus.
Jesus leads us and we in turn, let Him lead us. We are then to lead others to Him.
We will, as in verse 11 indicates 'know Him already'.
Does that mean God has 'chosen' who among us will believe and who will not? I don't think that it does. Should we not bother to pray for the salvation of others simply because it's already a 'done deal'? Certainly not.
Matthew 28:19 NLT
19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Why would Jesus tell us to 'go and make disciples', if it was an exercise in futility? He wouldn't.
God is GOD. We are not. He is all knowing. We are not. We do not and we can not, know who will truly know him and who will not. So it is our responsibility to witness, to share, and yes to teach the Word of God.
Because even though we don't know these things. God does.
Because God already knows who will choose Him, He already knows who will be chosen by Him.
That is how the two fit perfectly together.
Psalm 4:3 NLT
3 You can be sure of this:The Lord set apart the godly for himself.The Lord will answer when I call to him.
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