God's sovereign decree of predestination and man's responsibility to actively use God's means of grace are both truths that are emphasized in Scripture. Rev. Spurgeon spoke of these two truths as two parallel lines which come together in God in eternity. While we cannot fully understand with our limited minds at present how these two fit together, we must preach and teach both as biblical truths.
(Decree of Predestination)
No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him; and I will raise him up at the last day.
- John 6:44
Ye have not chosen Me buz I have chosen you, and ordained you.
- John 15:16a
So then it is not of him that willeth or of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
- Romans 9:16
For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him that calleth.
- Romans 9:11
According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love:
Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.
- Ephesians 1:4-5
(Active Use of God's Means of Grace)
Seek ye the LoRD while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LoRD, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.
- Isaiah 55:6-7
And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you,- seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
For everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
- Luke 11:9-10
Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.
- Revelation 3:20
And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
- Revelation 22:17
Picture a railroad track with two parallel rails. If one rail is removed or misplaced, what will happen? Similarly, scriptural truths must also be placed in proper balance. If not, we err. If only the truths of God's sovereignty are emphasized, then we will fall into the error of fatalism (a "what will happen will happen" attitude), and we will neglect the active use of God's means of grace. If only man's responsibility is emphasized, we will fall into the error of Arminianism (a "free will" belief - a belief that we can decide, accept, and turn to Christ of ourselves), and we will miss the necessary, humble dependence upon God to bless His means of grace in our lives. We must strive to avoid falling into the ditch on either side.