I believe that the Bible clearly shows that in the beginning, God created man to love and worship Him. He knew, in His Sovereignty, that man would sin and allowed them, in their 'free will,' to do so.
If He predetermined each person's salvation, why were all destroyed in the flood?
I maintain that the scriptures show that God foreknew and predestined a group of people, who of their own free will, would respond to His call and invitation to "drink of the water of life freely" (Revelation 22:17)
It is obvious that He directs history, that He knows the hearts and minds of people and that accordingly He sets people in positions, knowing beforehand what will happen, so that His will is accomplished, but that is not the same as choosing from the foundation of the earth who will go to Heaven and who will suffer eternal damnation. This contradicts His Word and His character.
Take Israel as an example: They are His chosen people and He loves them, yet he 'foreknew' that they would reject Him. If He determined the will of the people, wouldn't His "elect" have received Him?
He led them out of captivity and away from death (freedom from sin and Hell), He showed them His mighty works and a means to be saved from slavery, He showed them His goodness and His mercy. They were His chosen, yet, after they had been called out by Him and led away from slavery, despite being called out, they "chose" to create their own god and reject Him.
This is the path that all follow. He calls us, shows us His goodness and mercy, but in the end, we make the choice.
Those who choose to drink the water of life are those that He predestined and foreknew, they are his adopted children, "whoever" believes on Me.
To have found You, and still be looking for You, It's the soul's paradox of love. You fill my cup, I lift it up for more. I won't stop now that I'm free. I'll be chasing You Like You chase me.- Newsboys