I am often asked, “Which is right? Election or free will? Calvinism or Arminianism?” Well, there’s not a clear answer! They’re both right. I know that irritates the hang out of some of you folks, because you’re absolutely passionate that one is right over the other. But you really can’t completely reconcile them. They are both correct in so many of the theological points, but there is an obvious difference over election and free will.
God has shown He does play favorites. Romans 9 is clear on this. Study the stories of Jacob and Esau or His favoritism toward the Jews, His chosen people. At the same time, notice that Romans 10 clearly teaches about the free will we have to decide if we’re going to surrender and submit to God’s plan in faith. We just can’t reconcile these Scriptures in a way that makes perfect sense. But remember, when you try to put God in a box with a neat theological package that a man has developed, you really create a smaller God. Realize that sometimes there will be passages that seem to be in conflict with one another that actually aren’t. So when contemplating the theologies of the sovereignty of God and the free will of man, realize with wonder the greatness of God. Man will never be able to completely explain Him; God is too big to fit neatly into a man-made box.