God can always predict whether any given grace to a particular person at a given time will be accepted or rejected.
There are then 4 possibilities:
- God foresees that grace will be accepted and gives it.
- He foresees that grace will be rejected but still gives it.
- He foresees that grace will be accepted but withholds it.
- He foresees that grace will be rejected and withholds it.
Here’s what I think. (4) is default. Happens all the time. Bad humans! Bad!
(2) did occur at least once: with the angels. Some rejected their grace and became demons. It may occur on occasion, I suppose, if the person who is given grace but rejects it is used for some external to him purpose. Thus, again, Jesus berates Israelites for disbelieving in Him, which would not make sense if, in addition to Jesus’ self-authentication (i.e., “external inducement“), they were also not given grace. This is done for our sake and our instruction, so that we may see their wickedness and not do likewise.
(3) may happen, because grace = free gift. It’s not an obligation. Moreover, God provides for the entire world; perhaps the greatest good for the greatest number will be achieved by denying a specific grace even if it would be accepted, were it actually given.
(1), however, is likely to be God’s usual MO. God should tend to take every opportunity to foster theological virtues in us. I’m guessing such opportunities are scarce and therefore treasured by God.
Note the following: God would never normally give grace that would be rejected the better to condemn a person. He will, all other things being equal, prefer (4). Nevertheless, (4) is just as bad as (2). Without grace, there is no progress in charity which leads to failure at life. If (4) happens all the time with you (though you hardly realize it), it’s your fault still.