God is a gentleman … or is He?

A common rebuttal to the doctrine of God’s sovereignty in salvation by people who insist that man can “choose Jesus” is the statement,

“God is a gentleman and would never force Himself on anyone.”

This statement is supposed to support the notion that man can enact salvation for himself by ‘accepting Jesus’ or some such notion. God might make it available, enticing, even, but ultimately, we choose.

Not so.

I wrote about God’s sovereignty in salvation in 2015, rebutting the ‘God is a gentleman’ notion, here:

Is God a gentleman? The illusion of a Gentleman God

Today I want to look at other cases besides salvation where God is certainly not a ‘gentleman’ (a foolish statement anyway, because God is God and not man, even a gentle man).

So I ask the question, using reverse logic, if God is a gentleman and never forces someone to convert, then why is He not a gentleman in these situations?

The spirit:

So the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul king of Assyria, the spirit of Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, and he took them into exile, namely, the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, and brought them to Halah, Habor, Hara, and the river Gozan, to this day. (1 Chronicles 5:26).

The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will. (Proverbs 21:1).

The heart:

But the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he did not listen to them, as the Lord had spoken to Moses. (Exodus 9:12).

for God has put it into their hearts to carry out his purpose by being of one mind and handing over their royal power to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled. (Revelation 17:17).

The mind:

As Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to attack Israel. But the LORD thundered with a mighty sound that day against the Philistines and threw them into confusion, and they were defeated before Israel. (1 Samuel 7:10).

God can and does intervene in man’s affairs. He governs man’s spirit, man’s mind, and man’s heart. He does so in man’s life, his salvation, and his death. God is God and there is no other.

I will extol you, my God and King,
and bless your name forever and ever.
2 Every day I will bless you
and praise your name forever and ever.
3 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,
and his greatness is unsearchable.
Psalm 145:1-3