I've found it so remarkable how people into "free will" will avoid the simplest thought experiment possible.
I don't use the words "everyone knows" lightly, but it actually applies in this case: EVERY functional human being, for survival purposes, understands that people's choices come out of who they are because they distinguish between someone they "know" and "trust" versus a stranger. Everyone understands that you don't trust a stranger in ways that you would someone who you've "gotten to know," as understanding who a person is allows a much more accurate prediction of what kind of choice that they will make per situation, whatever the category; the most relevant type of choice that one needs to predict from a person they "trust" is a moral one, like trusting that they are not the kind of person who would (say) choose to steal your car if you let them borrow it for something, which is to say, you also come to understand the pattern of someone's "moral" choices just like any other category of behavior.
Every functional human being simply must understand this to survive, but as soon as the "free will" discussion begins, it goes out the window. The implication is straightforward, obvious, and "everyone knows" it in reality because it's just a matter of functioning as a person: the choices that a person makes simply comes out of what kind of person they are.
And now the parable of the sower, a perfect example of a heredity-meets-environment model: two things combine to (potentially, depending on the heredity) create something completely different, like a caterpillar into a butterfly, heredity of something allows the person/thing to change completely. Jesus describes four different kinds of soil in which a seed may fall; before it falls, nothing grows, but certain soil is able to respond to the seed in such a way that the seed can grow into fruitfulness while in other kinds it cannot; the seed is the same in each case, but the soil -- or the sort of person who received the word -- is fruitful with it r not based on its condition.
But here is what is key: in this model, the seed is the same every time and the state of the soil is NOT described as fluid; heredity is NOT fluid, and the influence of the environment is the same every time, but depending on the heredity, the scattered word may or may not cause the new thing to come up and be fruitful, but if the heredity is fertile soil, a completely new thing comes to life as the person becomes born again.
Is choice excluded from this model? Not at all, but it's just not the terms of the model; choices are simply caused by the heredity of the person, cause-and-effect, and (depending on the heredity) the person can change in response to what is introduced to it by its environment. The choices that will be made in response to the word being introduced depends on the heredity of the person and so does the ensuing fruitfulness; with the example of the plant being choked by thistles, this remains part of what existed in the first place that would later hinder the productivity and growth of the word.
The Bible does not deal in hypotheticals as are the case in the above post.
Humans have one great surmounting choice - to obey the LAW of God or to reject it, to accept Jesus Christ as lord and savior or to reject Him. This is not a hypothetical. It is fact.
Martin Luther once wrote that humanity is like a horse. It can choose its rider - satanic self-destruction or Godly direction by the Holy Spirit.
If there is no real choice, then what is all this discussion about? Why is it going on if there is no choice regarding the one we choose to save us?
If there is no real choice, then why are there so many religions and churches and people willing to tell us we need to choose their particular church over all others?
Sounds like Madison Avenue to me, not the Bible.
Sounds like authoritarian dictatorial religious extremism to me, not the liberty granted by God's Holy LAW.
that's me, hollering from the choir loft...