5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
“I will give unto him that is athirst...” There are many passages in the Bible that are similar in nature to this phrase, and all make it sound as if Christ’s redemptive work on the cross is universal - or some would say “not only limited, but ALSO universal.” The problem is those who think this way have given fallen man an ability he does not have. The “thirsting” about which God is here referring is a spiritual thirst, not a physical thirst. Man, in his fallen state, is spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1, 2:5; Colossians 2:13) and can not thirst for spiritual things. Nor can he hear or even see spiritual truth. Jesus said that a man can’t even see the kingdom of God unless he is born again (John 3:3). Just as a physically dead man will never be thirsty, neither will a spiritually dead man, a lost man, thirst for the water of life that only Jesus Christ provides.
The Arminian may keep saying or thinking, “That’s wrong, ‘him that is athirst’ means whoever thirsts.” Absolutely! The question is, “Who will be thirsty? Will every man be thirsty?” The emphasis is on the word “be” - as in who will be in that state? The answer - Only those whom God has quickened. And God quickens the dead spirit in a lost man based on nothing that man did (2 Timothy 1:9, Titus 3:5). God quickens only those He chose in Christ before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4).
I will still hear arguments from Arminians who say, “A lost man can choose to believe, he just has to have faith.”
You’re right, he just has to have faith. The problem for the Arminian is the only faith that saves a man comes from God, and God does not give every man faith (2 Thessalonians 3:2). A lost man’s faith will not save him.
The only faith or belief that saves is the faith and belief that God gives a man (Romans 12:3; Ephesians 2:8, John 6:29; Philippians 1:29). And if God gives a man faith and belief, that man IS saved. A lost man has no saving faith on his own (2 Thessalonians 3:2) and if a man uses his own belief, that which is not from God, it is vain belief and will not save him (1 Corinthians 15:2).
The rejoinder I get from Arminians is then some like this: “Then why does God tell a man to repent when he can’t do it?” God commanding all men to repent is not for the purpose of giving them the opportunity to be saved, but to show those who HAVE been saved the utter futility of the flesh (which is the only thing a lost man has) generating anything toward his own salvation. Jesus said the flesh counts for nothing (John 6:63).
Let me give you an example: you and a lost man are standing on the top of a 10-story building. God has miraculously given you the ability to fly (like Superman). You show the lost man your ability and tell him he can fly too if he will just have faith and believe he can do it. Sorry, it will not happen. He will either laugh at you and walk away (the normal reaction - John 3:20) or he will take that step and fall 120’ to the ground (those that believe in vain - 1 Corinthians 15:2). God just proved to YOU that without Him working in that lost man, he is NOT going to fly. What better way to prove to you, not to the lost man but YOU, what better way to prove to YOU that man can’t fly other than by us telling him to do it? THAT is one reason for God commanding all men everywhere to repent, NOT to give them an “opportunity” to be saved.
And since God determined the time and place for every man to live (Acts 17:26), did not God determine who would even hear the Gospel? How did the hundreds of millions who lived before Christ have an “opportunity” to be saved? Answer - they didn’t, they had no opportunity whatsoever to be saved. Obviously the vast majority of them were NOT chosen in Christ (for salvation) before the foundation of the world.
The bottom line of this Bible Truth is that a spiritually dead man will NOT thirst for something spiritual.