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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

More on Predestination vs. Free Will

I have just finished re – reading my last two posts titled ‘Did God Create Evil’ and ‘Predestination vs. Free Will’. In order to rightly divide the Word of Truth as we are admonished to do in 2 Tim. 2:15, we have to tackle such difficult topics as the origins of evil and the subject of free will and predestination. In these last two entries I have proven, I hope; that God alone is sovereign whose will (purpose) alone is absolute. He has created all things for his purpose, and no one can alter His will but rather every one is subject to that will. As far as salvation is concerned, it has been pre – determined by God as to who will partake of it, and who will not. By salvation it is to be understood that once this life is over, some will continue to exist in a state of life, and some will continue to exist in a state of death. What the differences are between the state of life, and the state of death is a topic best left alone for another time, but it will be addressed at a future date. While attempting to understand the topic of predestination it may be misunderstood that God does things rather arbitrarily without justification. However, this is far from the truth; if anyone is just, if anyone is fair, if anyone is patient and longsuffering, it is God.

Let us consider the world we live in and think about the following facts:
1. God created the earth we dwell upon. (Genesis 1)
2. God equipped with earth with everything we need for our well being. (James 1:17, 2 Peter 1:3)
3. God is our maker. (Gen 1:27, Psalm 100:3)
4. God it is that gives us the very breath that we breathe to stay alive. (Gen. 2:7, Psalm 22:29, James 2:26)

Just on the basis of the above 4 facts it is apparent that we neither created the earth to dwell on, nor do we have any control over our own breath, we cannot even keep ourselves alive. Life is a fleeting vapor, like the dew of the morning that vanishes even before the noonday sun reaches its zenith, yet we consider not to whom we owe our very existence. What are people all over the world occupied with? A visitor from outer space would be amazed at the fact that people on earth are merely concerned with fulfilling their bodily desires: they spend most of their time doing meaningless jobs that earn them a little bit of money so that they can have food and shelter. If they are blessed enough to be born in a wealthier part of the world, they spend any left over money on entertainment; going to football games, bars, and vacations. They do not stop for a moment to consider their own mortality as to what lies beyond the mortal coil. They make no preparation for the most important journey they will ever embark upon, and have idea of their destination on that journey. They are so engrossed in their mundane lives that they actually believe, or pretend to believe that these topics are too mysterious for them to understand, that there is no way of knowing or understanding their own origins or what lies beyond this present life. People go through life with a dazed look, like they are hypnotized, which they are, like there is a fog surrounding their minds that prevents them from seeing clearly, which also happens to be a sad fact.

If they do not ask the question then they have no right to expect an answer. If God has revealed himself to his creation but if the creation is more interested in NFL Sundays or American Idol, then when the day of reckoning comes for them is God unjust in not giving them any more life? Has he not clearly shown us what we need to have ‘eternal life’? Eternal life, everlasting life, are these just meaningless words in the bible or is it the most priceless gift that anyone can ever receive? If God himself subjected himself to mortality and suffered the humiliating of deaths just to free us from the bonds of death; and we continue to deny him by our actions, even if not in words, then is God not fair because we refused the life he freely offered to us, at no charge? All that was required of us was to believe that we had been emancipated from death by Jesus Christ who bore the penalty of death on our behalf? If we refuse him who sacrificed himself so that we could be saved, then do we not make ourselves responsible for finding a way into life on our own? Now if we discover, too late, that there is no escape from death, that we needed to have accepted the free gift of life before we embarked on the journey at the end of this life; then whose fault is it if we are forever lost, so to speak? Once again I say look at the world around you, try telling people that their priorities are backwards, that they need to think of eternity before the present for they do not know how much of a present they really have, and observe how many, or rather how few, if any will listen to you. I wonder how many in their youth, how many in the prime of life will depart today from this world who thought that they had years and years ahead of them. My dad just turned 91, and people say that it is such a long life but if you ask him he will tell you that it all went by in the blink of an eye, so the time people have is much shorter than they realize yet they never stop to question their priorities. Psalm 90:12 So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

The mystery is not that some will be lost; rather the mystery is that some will be saved. This is the true grace of God, none of us are worthy of ‘eternal life’ yet not only did he make the way, he draws us to himself to show us the way. The wickedness of this world is not comprehended by most people because they are too busy living the good life or trying to make enough money so that they can live the good life, no matter at whose expense this life is lived. ‘Ignorance is Bliss’ they say and thus their days are spent discussing sports or soap operas, amusement has become the purpose of life. If they had no time for their creator, is the creator to blame for the end that shall befall them; an end that he clearly warned them about, and even made the way for them to avoid? Those of us who do believe ought to thank God day and night, forever and ever, for were it not for his mercy, his lovingkindness, and his grace, we would all be lost forever. Even when judgment is at the doorstep, God is more than willing to repent, which means he is willing to change his mind, if we are willing to change our hearts. He will withhold his hand even at the eleventh hour, all he requires is for us to turn to him with all our heart. Study the following scriptures for yourself and believe that our God is a tender – hearted, loving, kind and merciful God who does not take pleasure in the destruction of the creatures that he has created with his very own hands. It grieves him at the heart that this horrible fate must befall some but who is to be blamed for their end? Ezekiel 18:23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?

Joel 2:12 Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: 13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. 14 Who knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the LORD your God?

The above scriptures prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is ever willing that none should perish, though he knows that some will, but that all should come to repentance and be saved. So you do have a choice, make your before it’s too late!

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