In John 15:16, Jesus said,
“You didn’t choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit…”
Now, some have argued that this doesn’t apply to everyone, only the Disciples. God appoints His messengers, but He does not appoint people to believe in that message. So, when Paul said,
“But when He who bad set me apart before I was born, and who called me by His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son to me in order that I might preach…” (Galatians 1: 15-16)
Or when God said to Jeremiah,
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5)
That’s unique to them, because they were messengers, but God doesn’t choose anyone to receive the message against their will, right?
The only way we can receive God’s message is against our will!
“For we know, brothers, loved by God, that He has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply in word but also in power, with the Holy Spirit and full conviction.” (1 Thessalonians 1:4-5)
In other words they were not only chosen to hear the message, but they believed it also.
As Moses said to the Israelites (Deuteronomy 29:4, 30:6), as Jesus said to Nicodemus (John 3:1-8), and as Paul said to Romans and Corinthians (Romans 8:5-11, 1 Corinthians 2:9-16),
You’re only able to understand God’s message when the Spirit of God has made you to understand.
Consider this another way,
On your own, you cannot believe in the Gospel
“The natural person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14)
“The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God… Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Romans 8:7-8)
If Romans 3:12 says:
“No one does good,”
How can any person choose on their own to obey and follow God which would be a good thing? By God’s wonderful, amazing grace,
“He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world…” (Ephesians 1:4)
He absolutely does work against our will to receive His Gospel. We would perish if He didn’t!