20 January, 2012 20:20

by pastortimfowler

This will be my last blog for a week. Do not panic. Do not run off and find another blog to follow. Do not pass go and do not collect $200. My wife and I are taking our first cruise ever and I have been told to forget about cell phones and internet. I am a good husband so I will.
Last night I sat in on one of our Bible studies at our church. There had been some questions about whether or nor God predestines someone to heaven or hell. I was asked to come in and talk about my point of view on this subject, so I did.
I can already tell that most of you are leaning closer to your computer to hear what I have to say. Please sit back; this is not audio.
Let me start off by saying that there are a lot of people who are smarter than me that struggle with this subject. But because I never claim to be the smartest light bulb to ever be hatched, I have little to fear by tackling this tough and controversial subject. I have a few verses of scripture that I like to refer to and then a few lines of my opinion, and then I will wait with baited breath for your responses.
The root of the confusion is based on the characteristic of God known as omniscience, or all knowing. If God knows everything, then He must know who is going to heaven and who is going to hell. But there are those who claim that free will supersedes that and others just take it as a mysterious fact that some will never make it to heaven because God knows that they will never be saved. My opinion is, that if God knows that you are going to hell, then He is a cruel God and His claims to want to save us are false. Everything that I know about God says that He is loving and desires to save us from our sin.
2 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. This clearly says that God does not predetermine that someone goes to hell. It is not His will that ANY should perish. It is His desire, not predetermined will, that ALL come to repentance, which is an act of our will.
God did not create us as robots, but as His most precious of all creation and made us with an ability to chose. You can not force someone to love you. Love is reciprocated and learned and is a choice. 1 John 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us. We can chose to reject that love or choose to reciprocate it. But first we must understand our standing as sinners. In the following verses we are told that righteousness is by faith in Jesus to ALL. ALL have sinned, thus are subject to judgement and condemnation, but can be redeemed through faith in Jesus, because God is patient and gives every possible opportunity to call to Him for salvation. This salvation is to whosoever will call on Him.
Romans 3:22-25
22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Knowing everything does not mean controlling everything. God gave us freedom to chose to accept His love and somehow that requires Him to not predestine and know who will be saved and who will not. The Holy Spirit is who convicts us and draws us to salvation. We can reject that calling and face the destiny of our choosing and God will honor that choice. But, God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life. He does not decide ahead of time who goes to hell and who goes to heaven.
Now, it is time to pack because I chose to go to the Bahamas!

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