The temerity of the elitist, know-it-all Bible Answer Man, Hank Hanegraaff, is limitless. Here is a perfect example:
Furthermore, without choice, love is meaningless. God is neither a cosmic rapist who forces his love on people, nor a cosmic puppeteer who forces people to love him. Instead, God, the personification of love, grants us the freedom of choice. Without such freedom, we would be little more than preprogrammed robots.
The Bible does speak to the issue of freedom of choice. But not in a good way. For the free choice made by the unregenerate sinner is always anti-God. Consider the words of Joshua 24:15-16:
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; ……..but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord…….And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the Lord, to serve other gods……
But serve other gods they did. The OT is rife with examples of their spiritual adultery. Consider these words of Jesus:
And he (Jesus) said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.
From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? (John 6:65-67).
Those who freely departed from Jesus were not given the will to remain with Him. They initially chose Jesus, but it was a superficial, carnal choosing. They were not taught of the Father (verse 45), and were therefore not drawn to Christ (verse 44). Instead, they chose to flee when things were becoming too uncomfortable and dangerous.
The Pharisees freely chose to oppose Christ:
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! (Matthew 23:37).
Before regeneration, Saul was a persecutor of Christians, a willing slave of Satan (John 8:34, 44). But now, as a Christian, he is a willing slave of Jesus Christ (Romans 1:1).
Paul’s transference of allegiance was due to the sovereign intervention of Jesus Christ, who changed his will in an instant. Rather than decry the Lord’s intervening, plucking him from the broad road leading to perdition and depositing him on the narrow way which leads to life, Paul enthusiastically and humbly embraced the fact that he was totally depraved, undeserving of any mercy, yet was made a partaker of the heavenly gift of the Spirit by the sovereign will of Him who will have mercy upon whom He will have mercy.