Why does one person accept Christ, while another rejects Him?
Notwithstanding God’s prevenient, enabling and intervening grace, free will is reasonably the cause of the aforementioned divergence, and which certainly requires greater explanation, and I believe that there is one. However, the first thing that Arminians point out is Adam and Eve, because the equation of total depravity no longer applies in their situation, and which begs the question: Why did they choose the way that they did? Arminians argue that God presented them with the opportunity to choose well, and by choosing well, to form good moral character. The same matter of free choice also applies to the angels as well, pre-Fall. No issues of depravity applies to their equation either. It is to this point that Calvinists, even such as R.C. Sproul, state the following:
Calvinist. R.C. Sproul, states: “But Adam and Eve were not created fallen. They had no sin nature. They were good creatures with a free will. Yet they chose to sin. Why? I don’t know. Nor have I found anyone yet who does know.” (Chosen By God, p.31)
Obviously the deterministic model has a much simpler answer as to why people chose the way that they do, ala, God made the choice for them, both good and bad, yet as you can see, Sproul chose not to select that option as his answer.
Although God is sovereign enough to dictate all choices, ala determinism, God preferred meaningful relationships over a static creation, in that God values choices, and with those choices, real interaction is achieved, and hence, real fellowship and a real relationship, which determinism (in the mind of Arminians) would be unable to offer. For instance, if all is determined, then people are merely exercising the choices of another, in which God is interacting with Himself through the device of secondary agents. Arminians believe that no meaningful relationship could ever hope to be achieved through such a deterministic system, and instead point to free will as the only mechanism for true interaction. Arminians believe that free will exists in heaven, even with the angels, but that our capacity for right use of free will is enabled by God through the divine nature. The point being is that Arminians view free will as superior to determinism in every conceivable way, in which God could possibly derive joy and glory from His creation. Arminians view God’s choice to create such beings as ourselves is due to the surplus of God’s love, and the joy in pouring His love into such creatures as we, whereas determinism views God’s motive for creation as simply a means to display various divine attributes. Arminians see such a motive as trite and virtually pointless. So Arminians extend very little value to the deterministic model.
As for why people choose the way that they do, in terms of going one way or another, Arminians point to prior experience. For instance, if a person makes a poor choice, they begin to form a certain character, and which continually develops, until the person has hardened their heart, and God warned Israel not to harden their heart. So it all begins with decisions, and decisions pave the way for other decisions, and so on, and so forth, but that is still a dynamic situation, because God intervenes, and this potentially gives rise to a new pattern of choices, which sets in motion a new life course. So to answer the question of why one person might have chosen one way, while another person had chosen the opposite direction, is a factor of prior choices, present environment and God’s intervening grace. God will sometimes turn up the heat, so to speak, in which God had brought Israel’s enemies into the equation (such as with the Assyrians, Babylonians, Egyptians, Romans, ect.) in order to effect a predicament for Israel in order to effect a potentially new range of choices. Free will has complications, but that is a glimpse into what may potentially arrive at the answer.