Can you, or can you not choose to sin or do evil if you wanted?
That is not the argument, you will say I am shifting ground but what I say is the choice is a deception, it is THE deception.
You may choose, Paul chose, but that choosing does not enable you to DO, all the time Paul was choosing is was messing up after God intervened in his life all choosing was at an end. He surrendered to the will of God.
He never chose to be an apostle, that was God's choice, he had no choice but to preach the gospel "woe is me if I preach not the gospel"
The church is FULL of people making choices of their own "free will" doing stuff God never appointed them to do and making a mess.
God distributes His gifts and enablements and ministries as He wills not according to our "free will"
Whatever I may choose does not give me the enablement to do it, that's what I mean when I say it is a deception.
I will tell you the preacher may say "choose Christ" but that does not enpower anybody to do so, and they may bring everybody to the front and "pray the prayer" but if the Holy Ghost does not do a work in the heart they will not be saved.
All Christ's apostles and ministers are by His personal appointments but christians hear a stirring sermon and they are up and they are "going to serve the Lord"
And they can be a right pain in the neck, they make everything so onerous and hard.
One of the biggest influences on me before I was saved was a catholic nun who had become an atheist, boy she was bitter, having spent her best years cloistered up wearing black, lying serviley in prayer and fasting for hours and all the lot of it
That is the free will way, it is not God's way, you will say but that is Catholicism yes but it creeps into the church by a different name. Hard service, the old soldier act, and it makes everybody sick, people run a mile from it.
Jesus said "learn of Me, I am gentle and lowly of spirit, take My yoke upon you for My yoke is easy and My burden is light".... "Come unto Me all ye that do labour and heavy of spirit...."
The Jesus way is the joy way, it is the way of the gladsome heart. I want His choice, if His choice is that I should be persecuted He will supply the strength AND the joy for me to do it.
I've given up the deception of "free will"