WB and Free WillIn Godís word, which illuminates our minds, we find insights into such weighty questions as that of free will, but be advised that in order to fully understand this principle we must know how God knows and thatís not entirely possible in our present state. Remember, we see through a glass darkly.
WB and Free Will
This is part two in a GodSaidManSaid answer to W. B. The first response was titled, "W. B. Asks How Can A Loving God Destroy Billions? You Will Be Shocked By The Answer." The second Biblical concept W. B. questions is free will. He states:
If God was merciful, He wouldn’t have given us free will. Knowing what would happen, He shouldn’t have created man in the first place! Why create mankind and have billions burn in hell? Certainly, even had I believed, and this were true, and I was in heaven, I honestly could not be happy knowing that most of my friends are in hell burning for all eternity with no hope of getting to heaven, ever.
The theological debate for me is much stronger than the scientific debate. This often bugs me because if it was not for this, I would be a Christian. Does anyone have any input?
Why did God create the angels and man with free will? As with W. B.’s first question, the answer lies in the beginning. I surely don’t pretend to have all the answers on the subject of free will—or any other, as far as that goes. I Corinthians 13:9-12:
9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
In God’s Word, which illuminates our minds, we find insights into such weighty questions as that of free will, but be advised that in order to fully understand this principle, we must know how God knows—and that’s not entirely possible in our present state. Remember, we see through a glass darkly. One day, all Christians will leave this life and meet the Lord Jesus Christ. At that point, we will become like He is and then we will know even as we are known.
First, W. B., it is important to understand that God is a God of righteousness and He will surely deal justly and mercifully with all mankind. But, mercy does not mean the compromising of the principle of the first voice as detailed in our first answer to you mentioned above.
We were created in God’s image and after His likeness. Genesis 1:26-27:
26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
Man was created with free will because God has that attribute. Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language defines will in the primary definition as, "That faculty of the mind by which we determine either to do or forbear an action; the faculty which is exercised in deciding, among two or more objects, which we shall embrace or pursue." [End of quote]
It is God’s will that none should perish. II Peter 3:9:
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
Jesus states in John 3:14-16:
14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
It is God’s will that all men should be saved, but unfortunately for most men, this is not their will. Deuteronomy 30:19:
I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
God created man in His image and His likeness with a free will. Men are not as rocks or trees or robots. Man was created to be possessed of the Spirit of God, to be one with the Father and the Son through the quickening power of the Holy Ghost. The nature of God is to bless which is seen in the fact that the earth and the universe have been designed to facilitate man’s blessings. This principle is known in science as the "anthropic principle." For more details, click on to "The Anthropic Principle" on GodSaidManSaid.
Because our once immortal great-grandparents, Adam and Eve, exercised their free will by rejecting the first voice of the God of truth—the God of two plus two equals four—they consequently died, were booted out of Paradise, and all their children and children’s children were spiritually stillborn. As a result of man’s downfall, our God of love created a way of escape and that way is through the blood of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ the righteous. Because the son is not responsible for the sins of the father (Ezekiel 18) who exercised his free will to die, the sons of the fallen Adam are given the opportunity to exercise their free will to live—to be born-again as sons and daughters of God. As our mother Eve—through free will—committed an act of unbelief, she chose to die and bring the curse of the law of sin and death on herself and all her children. Entrance back to life and Paradise requires the exercise of free will unto belief and unto faith in God’s Word, the first voice. At this juncture, we shed our identities as sons and daughters of Adam and are born into the family of God as new creatures, a new kind. We have a new Father, a new name, new understanding, new purpose, and a new destiny. Man was created for God’s pleasure and God’s pleasure and will is to bless His creation.
W. B., you will be surprised to know that God was also highly disappointed with what man did with free will. Genesis 6:5-7:
5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.
This kind of statement by God is not an isolated case. Now it is certain that God knows all things from the end to the beginning. But exactly how He knows defies full discovery. Isaiah 46:9-10:
9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,
10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:
I will offer some abstract thought and Biblical passages in an effort to get a glimpse at the knowledge of God.
1. The concept of time is pivotal. Time is not viewed by God as we see it. God is from everlasting to everlasting. We have beginnings. God does not. We have an end as far as this earth is concerned. God does not. The Word of God declares in Psalms 90:4:
For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.
2. When the children of God enter eternity, time will cease. Revelation 10:5- 6:
5 And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven,
6 And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:
3. The following excerpt (with a few minor alterations) is from the feature article "The Mystery of Every Idle Word" on this website:
Another amazing scientific truth is that life’s actions are also preserved in time. When your eye views something or a camera takes a picture, it receives the image via the reflection of light. As Abraham Lincoln stood at the podium and gave the Gettysburg Address in 1863, the light that struck that setting was reflected into outer space at approximately 186,282 miles per second—the speed of light.
If you traveled into outer space 142 light-years, and if you had a telescope of sufficient quality, you would see Abe Lincoln deliver the Gettysburg Address in exact detail in real time! Travel 6,000-plus light-years into outer space, and if you had a telescope of sufficient quality, you would see great-grandmother Eve eat of the forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Keep in mind that God sits in the third heaven beyond the sun, moon and stars. [End of quote]
4. It was Einstein who theorized that time must get slower the faster you move, and that at the speed of light, time stands still. I John 1:5 says God is light. James 1:17:
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
God is light and God is timeless. Could science be knocking at heaven’s door? In eternity where time stands still, Revelation 21:23-27 reads:
23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.
25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.
27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
5. How does God know everything yet feels sorrow that He made man? Why does the angel of the Lord say the following concerning Abraham and Isaac? Genesis 22:12:
And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.
Why do we find the following statement in Jonah 3:10?
And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.
Therefore now amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the LORD your God; and the LORD will repent him of the evil that he hath pronounced against you.
6. Hell and destruction were not prepared for man but for the devil and his fallen angels. Matthew 25:41:
Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
It was not God’s plan for man to exercise his free will for his own destruction.
7. If, to me, time stands still but to all those around me it does not, what would I see? I surely would see the end from the beginning.
8. It’s as though God puts us down at the beginning of the book but allows us, via free will, to choose life or death. But He also sees the end—the final results. It surely appears Biblically that the general order to God’s spirit world is hands-off free will.
9. Understanding "from everlasting to everlasting" is required to fully comprehend how God knows. Obviously, W. B., we are not there yet, but be sure of this: it is God’s will that all men should be saved. The issue at Judgment Day will be this: which voice have we embraced, the first voice in the garden or the second? This is the classic example of free will.
King James Bible
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Jeremiah 10:23 (KJV)
O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.