Calvinists will look up the words “decree”, “counsel” or “will” to prove their doctrine, which is why there are so many verses below.
Ephesians 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
Nothing can overthrow God’s sovereignty. So if God wants to give human beings free will, no one can overthrow that. If God is truly sovereign, He can allow people to have free will. He is free to decide.
Joshua 24: 2, 14, 15 And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods.
Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD.
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
What the verses above tell us is that God tells the people to serve Him. But He does not “force” them to serve Him. In verse 15, He clearly gave them that free-will. Here are some more verses: Psalm 33:10-11, Psalm 115:3, Psalm 135:6, Proverbs 16:33, 19:21, 21:30, Isaiah 14:27, Isaiah 43:12-13, Isaiah 46:9-10, Daniel 4:35.
Calvinists will point out that there are passages that say that Judas, Herod and Pilate had already been pre-determined by God to kill Jesus. Imagine God telling Judas Iscariot, “You have no choice but to betray Jesus.” Calvinists insist that if God has foreknowledge of something, He has to make that happen. Bible-believers, however, must see the two things separately; just because an event is foreknown, it does not mean God has to force it to happen.
Luke 22:22 And truly the Son of man goeth, as it was determined: but woe unto that man by whom he is betrayed!
Acts 2:23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
Calvinists made the foreknowledge of God very weak. Because if God can make it happen, then His foreknowledge isn’t really foreknowledge. For example, if I said this bottle is going to fall to the ground, then I push it, it doesn’t mean that I have foreknowledge at all.
Acts 4:27-28, 1 Peter 1:20, Revelation 13:8
Even at the very beginning, God gave us free will, as evidenced in:
Genesis 2: 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
There are more verses that show that God has given us free will (bible verses with “free will”) Ezra 7:13, 15-16, Judges 5:2, 1 Chronicles 28:9, 2 Chronicles 31:14, Nehemiah 11:2, John 15:7, 1 Cor. 9:17, Revelation 22:17.
Saved believers have a will, but God controls it. They call it a righteous will. Unbelievers have a will, and it’s the unrighteous will. However, free will means that it’s literally a free will, uncontrolled by God.
Ezra 7:13 I make a decree, that all they of the people of Israel, and of his priests and Levites, in my realm, which are minded of their own freewill to go up to Jerusalem, go with thee.
Leviticus 22: 18-19 Speak unto Aaron, and to his sons, and unto all the children of Israel, and say unto them, Whatsoever he be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers in Israel, that will offer his oblation for all his vows, and for all his freewill offerings, which they will offer unto the Lord for a burnt offering; Ye shall offer at your own will a male without blemish, of the beeves, of the sheep, or of the goats.
Notice here that Jesus Christ wants his people to be saved, but they would not.
Matthew 23:37 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!
Calvinists like James White claim that “your children will be gathered – not you”. Because the religious leaders are the ones who are culpable, not the children (the people who want to believe in Jesus Christ).
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
Revelation 2:20-21 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
Is Jezebel one of the elect? No.
Calvinists always argue that we are not reading within context, but actually they are the ones who skip different verses and nitpick them in order to make a coherent argument. Bible believers have to read within context, use scripture against scripture because the whole bible is written by God.
Matthew 12: 50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.
Does it mean that the sinners who are murderers, rapists, and other wicked people are doing the will of God (since according to the Calvinists, they are doing the will of God) and they are the brothers and sisters and mothers of Jesus Christ?
God does not plan to make people sin. It has not even crossed His mind.
Jeremiah 19: 4-5 Because they have forsaken me, and have estranged this place, and have burned incense in it unto other gods, whom neither they nor their fathers have known, nor the kings of Judah, and have filled this place with the blood of innocents; They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind:
The argument that Calvinists would use is compatibilism: God uses the sin for good. They argue that the sin that man commits is evil, but we cannot put the evil against God. e.g.
Genesis 50:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
(Also see Isaiah 10:5-17)
But if God decreed the evil, He is also a part of it and connected to the crime. In fact, God considers the person who decreed it to be worse than the actual one who was commanded to kill. The case that we can see is David decreed Uriah to be killed, but he did not kill Uriah. God said that David’s actions were evil.
2 Samuel 12: 9 Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon.
God did offer a solution to our pain/sin problem. But people did not take it up. It’s our fault because we rejected it.