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KINGJ: You assume Lazarus had no say in being raised from the dead? It is God's nature to force us to do as He pleases? That is the gentle nature of God Gal 5:22, 23?

JACK: I'm a tad puzzled by this statement. I would think it natural to assume that Lazarus didn't have any say in being raised from the dead or he wouldn't have been dead.

KINGJ: It is God's nature to force us to do as He pleases? That is the gentle nature of God Gal 5:22, 23?

JACK: I don't think God "forces" anyone to do anything against their will. It is admitted by Calvinists and non-Calvinists alike that a person's acts must be without compulsion and in accordance with his own desires and inclination, or he cannot be held respnsible for them. Yet the will of the Almighty is irresistable and rendered certain, but never forced. For example, centuries before Jesus was born, the prophet foretold that He would be born in Bethlehem. In order to put the Lord in that village, Caesar Augustus decreed that all the [Roman] world should be counted and taxed. Was he forced to do that? Not at all. But that action was in the plan of God centuries earlier and was an essential component in getting Jesus born in Bethlehem. Peter says the crucifixion of Christ was foreordained (Acts 2:23) but it was also carried out "by sinful hands." Did the soldiers hammering the nails into the Lord's hands realized they were carrying out an act foreordained by God before the foundation of the world? I don't think so. If God is limited by either by an outside force by even by his own acts, we have only a finite God. Take a look at Isa. 14:24. There is a great illustration of this point in Isa. 10:5-15. This passage teaches that the King of Assyria, although a proud and pagan king, was but an insturment in the hands of God, just like an ax or a saw is in the hands of a man. Was this pagan king "forced" to do God's will? No! Did he do that will? Yes! God said that Cyrus, the pagan king of Persia, would do all God's pleasure, and he said before Cyrus was even born (Isa. 44:28).
 
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1. We all have free will as was pointed out with the 'God is impartial' scripture in the other thread and the fallen angel logic by Glomung. Luke 4:18 "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free.
2. You are only deaf, blind and dead to the things of God when you are choosing to stay in your cell.
3. You disagree with James 4:8?
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
4. Paul is saying we can all be ''''dead''' and made alive. Don't just take that scripture / passage in isolation.
5. Praying for all is a good habit / in our nature. As for necessity, probably not. God is just. Nobody will go to hell without having fully rejected God / being beyond hope. So I agree with your first part. As for why do I pray? Jesus taught us how to pray and that prayer clearly says why.
While Jesus certainly preached "freedom for the prisoners," was the prisoner free to walk out of prison? He preached sight for the blind. Is a blind man free to see? Can a blind, deaf, and dead corpse choose on his own to leave his cell? I don't disagree with James 4:8 at all, but put it in its proper context. To whom is James writing? "...to the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad, geeetings. Consider it all joy, my BRETHREN...." James is talking to fellow Christians, is he not? I don't believe I'm taking Eph. 2:1 out of context. He is describing the former state of the Ephesian believers. They were dead in sins and trespasses and how did they become alive? "But God being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)...." (2:4-5). Note what it says, "HE made us alive...." My earlier question to you was: if God has done everything He can do for the salvation of a man, and salvation depends upon the free and unfettered will of the person, why do you pray for that person's salvation? What more can God possibily do? If man has free will, isn't praying for his salvation totally useless, because it is all up to him?
 
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and you are completely dodging my point...again. Jesus WOULD NOT have raised Lazarus IF Lazarus had REJECTED Him! Lazarus loved Jesus as Mary did. That is WHY Mary said to Jesus... John 11:3 So the sisters sent to him, saying, "Lord, he whom you love is ill.". Just as was said of Mary in John 11:5.

You need to read this without your Calvinist sunglasses on. Jesus would not have raised someone who had rejected God's law ;). If it was say ''Hitler'' in his evil state you ''may'' have a stronger case.

You assume Lazarus had no say in being raised from the dead? It is God's nature to force us to do as He pleases? That is the gentle nature of God Gal 5:22,23? :eek:

It is because you and others keep repeating lines like that that you now believe that. Scripture does not teach that. Salvation is a gift from God. Having the ability to accept salvation from free will is a gift from God. God is just my friend. Not unjust. As I asked, HOW do you judge a partial God as just? :confused::confused::confused::confused::confused::confused::confused:

But we must have mercy with each other :love:. Grasping the greatness of God is not easy. You have to realize that your mind literally stops at 'God is sovereign'. You need to grasp (as Peter did in Acts 10:34) that God is ALSO impartial. He is BOTH at the same time.
King J--

Please read Mark 5. Did the demon possessed man love Jesus? Had anyone asked Jesus to visit the "man of the tombs"? No--it says Jesus crossed the lake to the Gadarenes. Jesus cast out the demons purely by his Grace. It is another case in the Bible where Jesus heals someone who had never asked to be healed. Jesus did it purely according to God's will. He made the man "alive again"---though he was a demon-possessed, dangerous person.

Did the demon possessed man accept Jesus? Was it BEFORE he was healed, or after? Jesus had to intervene FIRST, then the man could accept him. If Jesus had never crossed the lake, and cast out the demons, the man would never have been a believer, who from that point on went out to share the "good news". He did not CHOOSE to have Jesus visit him---Jesus CHOSE to visit the man.

You keep making this point about "if Lazarus was such and such God would not have raised him". The point of the story about Lazarus isn't about Lazarus---it is about God and his sovereign power. If Jesus had not called him forth, Lazarus would still be in the grave, whether he was the nicest guy on earth or not. Somehow you are missing the whole point of John chapter 11. Perhaps Mark 5 (though not dealing with raising from the dead, but casting out demons to new life) might enlighten you a bit about the sovereign Grace of God.
 

Glomung

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It seems folks are getting caught up in minutia and missing the point.
Is this statement true? God would that all should be saved.
If so, and since that is what the Bible states, the Calvinist attitude CANNOT BE TRUE.
For they state that "God would that only the elect should be saved."
And to Hell with the rest.
 
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It seems folks are getting caught up in minutia and missing the point.
Is this statement true? God would that all should be saved.
If so, and since that is what the Bible states, the Calvinist attitude CANNOT BE TRUE.
For they state that "God would that only the elect should be saved."
And to Hell with the rest.
It would seem to me that if God wanted all to be saved, all would be saved. Where is this passage found? If you are referring to the statement in Peter, he is talking to a Christian audience. God is not willing that any believer should perish and they don't. Is that what you are talking about?
 
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King J--

Please read Mark 5. Did the demon possessed man love Jesus? Had anyone asked Jesus to visit the "man of the tombs"? No--it says Jesus crossed the lake to the Gadarenes. Jesus cast out the demons purely by his Grace. It is another case in the Bible where Jesus heals someone who had never asked to be healed. Jesus did it purely according to God's will. He made the man "alive again"---though he was a demon-possessed, dangerous person.

Did the demon possessed man accept Jesus? Was it BEFORE he was healed, or after? Jesus had to intervene FIRST, then the man could accept him. If Jesus had never crossed the lake, and cast out the demons, the man would never have been a believer, who from that point on went out to share the "good news". He did not CHOOSE to have Jesus visit him---Jesus CHOSE to visit the man.

You keep making this point about "if Lazarus was such and such God would not have raised him". The point of the story about Lazarus isn't about Lazarus---it is about God and his sovereign power. If Jesus had not called him forth, Lazarus would still be in the grave, whether he was the nicest guy on earth or not. Somehow you are missing the whole point of John chapter 11. Perhaps Mark 5 (though not dealing with raising from the dead, but casting out demons to new life) might enlighten you a bit about the sovereign Grace of God.
No, if Jesus had not raised Lazarus, Lazarus would still be in / en-route to Abraham's bosom and not Purgatory.

Regarding casting out demons, you don't look further either. You make exactly the same mistake as what you do with Lazarus....Jesus knew who wanted the demons out. Jesus knew who to lay hands on. Jesus would NOT cast demons out of someone if He knew seven times more would return. Jesus cast demons out of those who of their own free will and choice wanted them out! Think about it. If they didn't they would be hiding and nowhere near Jesus. People brought the possessed because they were there to be brought.

Matt 12:43-45 When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none. Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So also will it be with this evil generation. Mark 9:28,29 And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?”And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.” 2 Cor 7:1 Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God. 1 Tim 5:22 Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands.
 
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No, if Jesus had not raised Lazarus, Lazarus would still be in / en-route to Abraham's bosom and not Purgatory.

Regarding casting out demons, you don't look further either. You make exactly the same mistake as what you do with Lazarus....Jesus knew who wanted the demons out. Jesus knew who to lay hands on. Jesus would NOT cast demons out of someone if He knew seven times more would return. Jesus cast demons out of those who of their own free will and choice wanted them out! Think about it. If they didn't they would be hiding and nowhere near Jesus. People brought the possessed because they were there to be brought.

Matt 12:43-45 When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none. Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So also will it be with this evil generation. Mark 9:28,29 And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?”And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.” 2 Cor 7:1 Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God. 1 Tim 5:22 Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands.
Well---it appears you made a post without really having read Mark 5 as I suggested. No one "brought" the man of the tombs to Jesus. Jesus sailed across the lake, found the man, and cast out the demons. It was the Lord Himself who decided to show Grace and mercy to this man. You greatly misunderstand GRACE. You speak as though the person who receives the Grace somehow deserves it---or did something to receive it.

Grace means "undeserved favor". We don't bring God's favor through our own free will and choice. God's favor is a GIFT. I ask once again that you read Mark 5 and ask yourself when this man accepted Christ---before Christ's intervention in his life, or after? It is clear in Mark 5 that it was God's choice to heal the man---God moved first----then the man was cleansed, and wanted to be with Jesus.

Ephesians 2 shows the true order of things:

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do". Eph.(2:8-10)

Note: we do not do good works to be saved----we are saved to do good works. This is the reverse of how the natural mind thinks.
 
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Well---it appears you made a post without really having read Mark 5 as I suggested. No one "brought" the man of the tombs to Jesus. Jesus sailed across the lake, found the man, and cast out the demons. It was the Lord Himself who decided to show Grace and mercy to this man. You greatly misunderstand GRACE. You speak as though the person who receives the Grace somehow deserves it---or did something to receive it.

Grace means "undeserved favor". We don't bring God's favor through our own free will and choice. God's favor is a GIFT. I ask once again that you read Mark 5 and ask yourself when this man accepted Christ---before Christ's intervention in his life, or after? It is clear in Mark 5 that it was God's choice to heal the man---God moved first----then the man was cleansed, and wanted to be with Jesus.

Ephesians 2 shows the true order of things:

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do". Eph.(2:8-10)

Note: we do not do good works to be saved----we are saved to do good works. This is the reverse of how the natural mind thinks.
Even faith is described as a work in John 6:29, but it is the work of God and not man. Take a look.
 
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Well---it appears you made a post without really having read Mark 5 as I suggested. No one "brought" the man of the tombs to Jesus. Jesus sailed across the lake, found the man, and cast out the demons. It was the Lord Himself who decided to show Grace and mercy to this man. You greatly misunderstand GRACE. You speak as though the person who receives the Grace somehow deserves it---or did something to receive it.

Grace means "undeserved favor". We don't bring God's favor through our own free will and choice. God's favor is a GIFT. I ask once again that you read Mark 5 and ask yourself when this man accepted Christ---before Christ's intervention in his life, or after? It is clear in Mark 5 that it was God's choice to heal the man---God moved first----then the man was cleansed, and wanted to be with Jesus.

Ephesians 2 shows the true order of things:

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do". Eph.(2:8-10)

Note: we do not do good works to be saved----we are saved to do good works. This is the reverse of how the natural mind thinks.
Do you think Jesus would have cast the demons out of the man if seven times more would return??????????

Grace = God opened our cell door. We have free will to walk out or stay in. We had nothing to do with our cell door being opened = 100% grace = 100% God's doing ;).

We are not saved to do good works either...we are saved and good works come naturally. Just like faithfulness from a loving wife. Is she a wife to the dishes? Did I force her to be my wife? We are the bride of Christ. Not the slaves of Christ.

The picture you paint of God is disturbing. I really would love to know how you or any other Calvinist first got saved with the thought / assumption that God is partial.....
 
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KINGJ: You assume Lazarus had no say in being raised from the dead? It is God's nature to force us to do as He pleases? That is the gentle nature of God Gal 5:22, 23?

JACK: I'm a tad puzzled by this statement. I would think it natural to assume that Lazarus didn't have any say in being raised from the dead or he wouldn't have been dead.

KINGJ: It is God's nature to force us to do as He pleases? That is the gentle nature of God Gal 5:22, 23?

JACK: I don't think God "forces" anyone to do anything against their will. It is admitted by Calvinists and non-Calvinists alike that a person's acts must be without compulsion and in accordance with his own desires and inclination, or he cannot be held respnsible for them. Yet the will of the Almighty is irresistable and rendered certain, but never forced. For example, centuries before Jesus was born, the prophet foretold that He would be born in Bethlehem. In order to put the Lord in that village, Caesar Augustus decreed that all the [Roman] world should be counted and taxed. Was he forced to do that? Not at all. But that action was in the plan of God centuries earlier and was an essential component in getting Jesus born in Bethlehem. Peter says the crucifixion of Christ was foreordained (Acts 2:23) but it was also carried out "by sinful hands." Did the soldiers hammering the nails into the Lord's hands realized they were carrying out an act foreordained by God before the foundation of the world? I don't think so. If God is limited by either by an outside force by even by his own acts, we have only a finite God. Take a look at Isa. 14:24. There is a great illustration of this point in Isa. 10:5-15. This passage teaches that the King of Assyria, although a proud and pagan king, was but an insturment in the hands of God, just like an ax or a saw is in the hands of a man. Was this pagan king "forced" to do God's will? No! Did he do that will? Yes! God said that Cyrus, the pagan king of Persia, would do all God's pleasure, and he said before Cyrus was even born (Isa. 44:28).
Jack the scripture you gave made for an interesting read. But I must say, discussion with you is getting painful. You read all scripture with 5pt Calvinist sunglasses on :oops:.

My point of God being gentle is that He IS gentle. He DOES NOT force anyone to do anything! let alone serve Him. God asked if / or knew that Lazarus wouldn't mind being raised. God did not abuse Lazarus! ;) How in the universe can you even suggest that? Did God force you to get saved?

As for the pagans and the pagan king....so what? God is using the devil too. This does not mean that God is forcing the devil to do as He pleases! Even I could predict the possible actions of an evil man. Jesus is to be born, there is a devil, he will use someone to find Him. People who hate Him will kill Him. Hardly rocket science :p.

As for the underlined...you are assuming that if God is impartial, gentle and treats us with dignity that He is then finite? God does what pleases Him Psalm 135:6. Being Gal 5:22, 23 and impartial pleases Him. The mistake you are making is that you literally stop at ''God does what pleases'' and then assume that God literally does whatever he wants like the NSA :(. God is omniscient AND impartial AND good AND just. As opposed to 'God is omniscient' and therefore I assume partial, I assume bad and I assume unjust :sick:.
 
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While Jesus certainly preached "freedom for the prisoners," was the prisoner free to walk out of prison? He preached sight for the blind. Is a blind man free to see? Can a blind, deaf, and dead corpse choose on his own to leave his cell? I don't disagree with James 4:8 at all, but put it in its proper context. To whom is James writing? "...to the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad, geeetings. Consider it all joy, my BRETHREN...." James is talking to fellow Christians, is he not? I don't believe I'm taking Eph. 2:1 out of context. He is describing the former state of the Ephesian believers. They were dead in sins and trespasses and how did they become alive? "But God being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)...." (2:4-5). Note what it says, "HE made us alive...." My earlier question to you was: if God has done everything He can do for the salvation of a man, and salvation depends upon the free and unfettered will of the person, why do you pray for that person's salvation? What more can God possibily do? If man has free will, isn't praying for his salvation totally useless, because it is all up to him?
Look at the saints in the OT. They never received God's grace / got saved / cleansed from sins. Yet they did not go to hades / purgatory. How were they saved? Gal 3:6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness and David was a man after His own heart Acts 13:22. Note it does not say 'Abraham was forced to believe / have faith' and 'David was forced to be a man after God's heart'.

Being a dead corpse does not mean you cannot repent / walk out the cell door. It means if you stay in sin you are dead / blind / deaf to God / righteousness / forgiveness / regeneration.
 
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I'm even more confused over what you saying. Old Testament saints didn't receive God's grace? The very first time the word "grace" appears is in Genesis 6:8 when it is given to Noah. He was rescued out of the condemned earth only because of the grace of God. There is a plethora of OT passages where God grants grace to people including the children of Israel and the patriarchs in a salvic context (Ex. 3:21; 11:3; 12:36; 33:12, 13, 16, 17, etc.). Nobody has said that Abraham was "forced" to believe, but He would not have believed had it not been for the grace of God.

We simply disagree over the state of fallen man. I don't believe a dead corpse can repent or walk out of a cell door.

I would appreciate it if you could address the question that I've asked, why do you pray for the salvation of others if salvation is totally the decision of a man? What are you expecting God is going to do? What more can He do?
 
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I would appreciate it if you could address the question that I've asked, why do you pray for the salvation of others if salvation is totally the decision of a man? What are you expecting God is going to do? What more can He do?
Granted, God is doing all He can. Hence, I pray for God to have continued mercy and patience on the unsaved. As when they are dead, He has given up / all hope is gone. Similar to Jesus saying when on the cross ''forgive them, they know not what they are doing'' as opposed to....''bring your wrath on these clearly un-chosen humans''.

God has done everything from His side. The door is wide open! We had nothing to do with that ;).

What are we the ''chosen'' even doing on earth? If God knows the chosen, why do you preach and evangelise to all? Why doesn't the Holy Spirit just go to them / send you directly to them?
 
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Okay, thank you for your answer.

I preach and evangelize all because that is the Great Commission. I'm under divine orders to do so. Otherwise, I'm not following God's word. I also have no idea who the chosen (elect) are, so it is impossible for me to direct my message only to the elect. I'm not trying to be funny or evasive, but your question about why doesn't the Holy Spirit just send us to the elect; you'll have to ask someone way above my pay grade. There are a lot of things God does or doesn't do that I really don't understand. When Jesus came upon the crowd of sick and handicapped in John 5 at the pool of Bethesda, why didn't He heal them all? Why pick out only one? Does that mean Jesus was lacking mercy? I don't think so. For what reason did God order the slaughter of the Amelekites; men, women, children, and even infants; (I Sam. 15:3) for an incident that happened 300 years earlier? These particular people weren't even alive at the time. I don't have the foggiest idea. Does that mean God was being cruel? No! But I'm not privy to his thoughts, plans, or reasons. Regardless, I expicitly trust that whatever God does--whether I understand it or not--is his will and is always good and holy!
 
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Granted, God is doing all He can. Hence, I pray for God to have continued mercy and patience on the unsaved. As when they are dead, He has given up / all hope is gone.
You're saying that God is doing all He can, but in your view, it appears that God isn't doing much of anything. Does God sit on his throne doing nothing while anxiously and hopefully waiting for us to choose Him, but unable to affect it because it somehow violates our "free will?" Does He say, "Gee, I hope Jimmy exercises his free will and 'accepts me' me today. I'd hate to have to pour my wrath upon him for all eternity if poor Jimmy happens to die before he 'accepts me.'" After all, in your view, God does not wish that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9), right? So in the end, apparently, God doesn't get what he wants. Since God does not wish that any should perish, and you interpret "any" to mean everyone on the planet, then God doesn't get what he wants because we know that not all will be saved. How do you reconcile this with Isaiah 46:9-10?

God has done everything from His side. The door is wide open! We had nothing to do with that ;).
Don't we still have to do the work of exercising our human will by actually walking through the cell door? If so, we are essentially saving ourselves. How much exertion does this require? How do you reconcile this with Romans 9:16?

If you were locked in a cell in Alcatraz, and I pulled a lever which opened the door to your cell, you'd have to get up out of your bed, exit the cell, walk down the cell block, follow one of the guards outside, walk down to the water, swim across the San Francisco Bay, climb up on Pier 39, and catch a taxi home. No intellectually honest person can say that I saved you or I rescued you just by virtue of providing you an "opportunity" to escape. At best, I helped you, but you did the work. And we know it's not a result of works, so that none may boast. (Ephesians 2:9)
 
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"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life". (John 3:16)

"For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. He went on to say,“This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.” (John 6:64,65)

Very interesting. One verse (John 3:16) declares that "whoever believes in him" will not perish----but then another verse(John 6: 64) says that Jesus knew "from the beginning" who did not believe. I remember a long time ago having a very big argument with God in my heart. I had read a book by Arthur Pink which spoke of our total inability to come to God unless He did the enabling. This implied that Jesus had chosen some but not others. I could not accept it--- I was internally frustrated, and bewildered.

But you see, what I had not yet learned was my own total depravity. I was too proud to accept the fact that I truly deserved to go to hell---that ALL of us are CHILDREN OF WRATH (see Ephesians 2) until God steps into our path.

God does not choose some for Heaven, and choose some for hell. EVERYONE is headed to hell--EVERYONE is by nature a child of wrath. The Bible says so. I do not understand election. I simply know that if God had not stepped into my path I would freely walk into hell of my own volition. How God "calls out a people unto Himself" out of these masses I do not understand.

But when I was able to lay aside my pride, and admit that there is a Wisdom far above my own, I came to accept that there is no possible way I could have believed in Jesus if Jesus had not first opened my heart to do so. I realized I was a beneficiary of total Grace--- "my works" or "my efforts" had nothing to do with my accepting Christ. I accepted Christ because he chose me to do so, and the Father enabled me through the Spirit to believe. I then became part of John 3:16, and was part of "whosoever believes in Him".

We cannot understand the workings of an Infinite God. We do not possess His Wisdom or Understanding. "my thoughts are not your thoughts saith the Lord, nor my ways your ways"(Is. 55:10). Sometimes all we can do is say what the blind man in John 9 said "All that I know is that once I was blind, but now I see!" I do not fully understand salvation--but praise God, I can proclaim loudly "I am saved!"----but I know that salvation is beginning to end TOTALLY OF GRACE.
 
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You're saying that God is doing all He can, but in your view, it appears that God isn't doing much of anything. Does God sit on his throne doing nothing while anxiously and hopefully waiting for us to choose Him, but unable to affect it because it somehow violates our "free will?" Does He say, "Gee, I hope Jimmy exercises his free will and 'accepts me' me today. I'd hate to have to pour my wrath upon him for all eternity if poor Jimmy happens to die before he 'accepts me.'" After all, in your view, God does not wish that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9), right? So in the end, apparently, God doesn't get what he wants. Since God does not wish that any should perish, and you interpret "any" to mean everyone on the planet, then God doesn't get what he wants because we know that not all will be saved. How do you reconcile this with Isaiah 46:9-10?
God does all He can WITHOUT over riding our free will. What is so hard to grasp about that? God is fair = God is....fair = NOBODY goes to hell unless they have outright rejected God / Jesus. Please visit the age of understanding thread by Stan.

As for the bold, remember it pleased God to bruise Jesus. Hence, even though it hurts Him inside and He desires for us all to be with Him, it does please Him to be impartial and send those who reject Him to a place where He is not. Impartiality pleases God ;). Think of your wife. If she commits continuous adultery, you will divorce her. The divorce will hurt you....you desire that she never committed adultery...but in the end you cannot live with her unless you make her a stepford wife and completely over-ride her free will....but you are not a sadistic / twisted / evil / partial person...so divorce pleases you.
Don't we still have to do the work of exercising our human will by actually walking through the cell door? If so, we are essentially saving ourselves. How much exertion does this require? How do you reconcile this with Romans 9:16?
Were all those in Abrahams bosom in God's presence or in Abrahams bosom? The free gift of God is taken them / us who love Him and want to be with Him from Abrahams bosom to His very presence. We meet God halfway...just like a proper / good / western / Christian marriage ShOuLd be :love:.

As for Rom 9 it requires taking off Calvinist sunglasses and using very simple / unbiased lateral thought...

Rom 9:14-18

14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”f

Now do NOT place an assumption here!!! RATHER acknowledge that God is not hiding truth / mysteries from us as....we KNOW whom He has mercy and compassion on!!! Psalms 51:17, 1 John 1:9, Acts 17:11 plus millions more.

16It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.

Even though we repent, Christ could have still refused the cross and we all be damned to an Abrahams bosom / Purgatory type place for eternity......but He didn't (John 3:16). He showed (so this is now PAST tense) mercy and love on all of us. This was all God's doing.

We are a mere Creation. He can do whatever He wants...that is the point Paul is making. But Paul ALSO makes many more points...like telling us more about the nature of God...like WHAT pleases Him, whom He has mercy on etc etc. I really don't get why you all ....stop at ....'God does whatever He wants' and then imagine God is evil / partial / twisted....like you forgot to read more scripture or grasp the whole point of God giving us scripture.
If you were locked in a cell in Alcatraz, and I pulled a lever which opened the door to your cell, you'd have to get up out of your bed, exit the cell, walk down the cell block, follow one of the guards outside, walk down to the water, swim across the San Francisco Bay, climb up on Pier 39, and catch a taxi home. No intellectually honest person can say that I saved you or I rescued you just by virtue of providing you an "opportunity" to escape. At best, I helped you, but you did the work. And we know it's not a result of works, so that none may boast. (Ephesians 2:9)
You are now twisting a simple example. Opening the cell door and walking through was freedom in my example....Picture then God breaking through the roof with a helicopter ;) or change the example to...God kneeling on His knees and proposing to us.
 
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"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life". (John 3:16)

"For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. He went on to say,“This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.” (John 6:64,65)
Well done, you have grasped that God is omniscient. Now.....grasp that God is also impartial. Jesus ALSO said Luke 23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. Matt 16:24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. Matt 11:28 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

God is impartial, omniscient, just and fair at the same time. If you stop at half the facts and then draw a conclusion, how are you different from the devil in Matt 4:5-7? 7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.