The issue of freewill has troubled some Christians when it comes to the things of God. Some think that freewill has no part to play in man’s salvation. Well, that always needs a proper explanation since salvation, even though stands accomplished, yet must be accepted in order to enjoy its benefit.
So, yes, independently of man it is an accomplished work but as far as its benefit is concerned, it involves man’s freewill acceptance. Yes, salvation was accomplished by God alone by offering His only unique Son, Jesus Christ. So salvation, before it became a gift offer to man, was accomplished by God. So now, it is being offered as a free gift.
Salvation is offered by God for man’s benefit. The completeness of salvation is not dependent on man’s acceptance. Whether man accepts salvation by faith in Christ or not, it is already an accomplished work. Salvation is not only for man, but also for the earth and animals too.
God’s salvation plan goes beyond saving man from going to the lake of fire, it also include restoration of everything that went wrong from the beginning because of Adam’s sin – enmity between man and animals, enmity among animals, the present suffering of creation. God’s salvation takes all those into consideration.
So there will be a reverse of the curse on creation in Genesis (which will be a salvation because of the already salvation on the cross). So whether man accepts Christ’s work or not, salvation is already accomplished.
So we do not believe in Christ before salvation becomes a complete work, it is already a complete or an accomplished Work. However, one must believe in Jesus Christ in order to benefit from God’s salvation, and one of the benefits include being saved/rescued from eternal separation (death).
So, where freewill comes in is at the point of hearing the appeal to receive the offer by faith. Offering is one thing and receiving what is being offered is another thing.
Your freewill decision to listen, ask questions you don’t understand and believe in the message presented is required by God and that’s why He designed freewill as part of man’s being to enable him accept whatever He communicates to man by faith.
If freewill wasn’t necessary in spiritual matters, God would have “caused” each believer to study or seek His Word independently of their unwillingness or lack of desire to seek Him. But concerning believers, has scripture not said in the book of James that we should “first” draw near to God, and He will draw near to us?”
If freewill doesn’t play any role in man’s walk with God, why such an appeal? Why God doesn’t go ahead to draw the believer to Himself rather than commanding the believer to first draw near to Him?
Freewill was not created by man, neither must it be seen as evil thing that happened to man after the fall, no it existed with man before the fall. So free will was God’s creation and He demands that both the believer and the unbeliever would use it for His glory.