Saul was using his free will as a zealous Pharisee to commit religious genocide, murder, persecution against the early followers of Christ. He was on the way to carry out more of these choices of his will, when, if you believe the account in Acts, God exercised His own free will and overwhelmed Saul with a demonstration of His power and mercy on the road to Damascus.
It was still Saul's choice after that how to respond to that intervention, but God had the choice to intervene. Man has his free will; but God has His free will to outmaneuver us, to overwhelm us with a demonstration of Love, in His way, in His time. The chessmaster doesn't need to strip his novice opponent of the ability to make his own moves in order to ultimately win the game -- with victory in this case meaning that Love wins.
Saul responded, with his own free will, to an act of God's free will, and became known as the Apostle Paul. It's not either-or; it's both-and. :)
This is partly why I am confident that in the age to come, all will be reconciled:
- a God of Love never gives up on winning a person back to Love
- even with the most difficult case, the hardest of hearts, the most defiant of wills, the most desperately wayward of prodigals, I believe at some point God's free will intervention will break through all of that and achieve a 'road to Damascus' moment for each and every one of the creatures whom He loves, for them to respond to Love with their own free will. :)
Both human and divine free wills are preserved and achieved.
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