Friday, August 3, 2012

Did Lazarus Have Free Will?

"It is no violation of the will of a prisoner to open the prison door and remove his chains. It is no violation of the will of a dead man to bring him back to life. It is no violation of the will of a baby to have it conceived and brought into the human race. When Jesus stood before the tomb of Lazarus, after he prayed he loudly said, "Lazarus, come out" (John 11:43). Think about this scene. Jesus commanded Lazarus to do what he was unable to do. If Lazarus had the ability to come out of the tomb, he would not have needed Jesus to be there. But it was as the Word of the Lord was accompanied by the power of the Lord that the dead man was made alive. And when Lazarus was awakened, he responded and came out.

"This is exactly what we do in evangelism. We call spiritually dead people to come to life. We call on those who do not have spiritual ability to repent and trust Christ. As we preach the gospel, we know that the Word of the Lord must be accompanied by the power of the Lord or no one will be saved. When God graciously does this saving work, it is not a vitiation of man's will. It is a gift of resurrection. Can you imagine Lazarus complaining that Jesus had vitiated his free will by granting him life?"

~Tom Ascol, in this blog post.

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