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Scottish minister: God is sovereign over everything -- even war
BP NEWS ^ | Apr 8, 2003 | Jeff Robinson

Posted on 04/08/2003 3:45:52 PM PDT by Dubya

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)--The sovereignty of God as presented in the Book of Revelation should remind Christians that God is in control of all the events of history, including warfare, Scottish minister Eric Alexander noted in a two-sermon series at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Alexander, a Presbyterian minister, said Revelation 4-5 paint three pictures that should give believers assurance during uncertain times. The chapters unpack God's kingship, His guidance over the history of creation and the central act of history -- God's redemption of sinners in Jesus Christ, Alexander said.

"We are conscious that these are critical hours in which we live," he said at the Louisville, Ky., campus in mid-March. "We are aware of the question, 'Where is the hand controlling the events we are passing through?'

"The relevance of the Bible at such a time as this and the relevance of Revelation is that it takes us to this throne of God. It [Revelation] is not there to satisfy our curiosity, but to give us a perspective on the world in which we live and the whole of history, so that we are able to see it [history] from a different vantage point from the rest of the world."

The apostle John presents the throne as the central feature of his vision in Revelation 4, Alexander said. This is highly significant because the eternal kingship of God is evident by John's pointing out that the throne is constantly occupied.

John penned Revelation while suffering in exile on the island of Patmos, which Alexander described as "a kind of Alcatraz in the ancient world." Paul's audience -- the seven churches in Asia -- also were undergoing intense persecution. John shared his vision to encourage the churches and to remind them that God was still on the throne despite their suffering, he said.

Alexander recalled where he was when terrorists attacked America on Sept. 11, 2001 -- in the clubhouse at St. Andrews golf course in Scotland.

Alexander remembered how a fellow golfer reacted to the news after learning Alexander was a minister. The man's words echo the very thought that sometimes enters a believer's mind during seasons of suffering, he said.

"He said to me, 'I guess your God has gone for a holiday,'" Alexander said. "And that is the deep fear that lies even in the hearts of some trembling, faithful souls: 'Is God really on the throne?' And John clearly gives us the answer in the outset of his vision."

In Revelation 5, John's vision includes an angel holding a scroll. This scroll is the record of human destiny and divine purpose for the world, Alexander said. The scroll is both complete -- it contains no blank spaces -- and is sealed.

This points to the fact that, while every event in history is in God's hands, it is sealed from the sphere of human speculation or knowledge, Alexander said. It also shows that there is God-ordained purpose for every event in life and that all God's purposes in the world are a closed book to human beings.

"John weeps. It has made him deeply sad and the mystery of life is beginning to engulf him," he said.

Believers should note that John points to the climax of history in Revelation 5:6. The "Lamb standing, as if slain," is Christ, who is the key to history," Alexander said.

During times of war and suffering, Christians must look to the Lamb and take comfort in the fact that His purposes - even though mysterious from a human perspective - will not be thwarted, he said. This should lead Christians to worship God in awe and wonder, he added.

"That Lamb is the crucified, risen, exalted and now reigning Lord Jesus Christ," Alexander said. "He is the key to history, the key to life. Christ is the key to every mystery that life brings to us because He was slain and with His blood purchased a people for God.

"That is the central thing about the whole of history. It is the building of the church, which is the central element in history. When that work is done and when the church of Jesus Christ is complete, that is when God will bring down the curtain on the affairs of this sad world. May God help us that we may have that special view of the world which comes from dwelling near the throne."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: faith; godisholy; iraqifreedom; sovereigntyofgod; thegospel
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Eric Alexander

1 posted on 04/08/2003 3:45:52 PM PDT by Dubya
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To: Dubya
"God is in control of all the events of history, including warfare"

Absolutely, No amount of technology or power can be counted on. If the Lord turns against you, "All your technologies are His" and can and will be used against you.

2 posted on 04/08/2003 3:53:54 PM PDT by DannyTN (Note left on my door by a pack of neighborhood dogs.)
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To: DannyTN
Thats true. Thanks for bring it out.

Saddam craped in his own mess gear and its all over for him on this earth.
3 posted on 04/08/2003 4:00:11 PM PDT by Dubya (Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father,but by me)
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To: Dubya
"Thy will be done..."

Though I pray too for goodness, right and truth in us to carry it out.

4 posted on 04/08/2003 4:04:05 PM PDT by onedoug
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To: onedoug
Thanks onedoug.
5 posted on 04/08/2003 4:06:02 PM PDT by Dubya (Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father,but by me)
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To: DannyTN
If so, God really screwed up on 9/11.
6 posted on 04/08/2003 4:07:38 PM PDT by RJCogburn (Yes, it's bold talk)
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To: RJCogburn
"If so, God really screwed up on 9/11. "

Really! How so? What do you know of His ways and purposes?

Being sovereign doesn't mean that everything bad in this world is His fault. He allows evil to exist for a time, for His purposes, which I suspect are many. He gave man free will. And He gave man dominion over the earth. But He still grants and removes authority according to His will.

7 posted on 04/08/2003 4:13:49 PM PDT by DannyTN (Note left on my door by a pack of neighborhood dogs.)
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To: DannyTN
Really! How so?

Without getting into some theological argument, it is pretty obvious how.

8 posted on 04/08/2003 4:22:12 PM PDT by RJCogburn (Yes, it's bold talk)
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To: DannyTN
I would suggest that he knows exactly the same as you, or anyone else, do on the subject.
9 posted on 04/08/2003 4:27:39 PM PDT by US admirer
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To: US admirer
I would suggest that he knows exactly the same as you, or anyone else, do on the subject.

Not exactly, but relatively about the same amount. One small difference. I know that I don't know enough to accuse God of "screwing up".

10 posted on 04/08/2003 4:32:17 PM PDT by DannyTN (Note left on my door by a pack of neighborhood dogs.)
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To: BibChr
Ping...
11 posted on 04/08/2003 5:13:58 PM PDT by MikeD (Why yes, I AM a rocket scientist)
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To: RJCogburn
RJCogburn (Yes, it's bold talk)

Also fairly arrogant!

Come out and play Rooster!

12 posted on 04/08/2003 5:15:36 PM PDT by STD
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To: DannyTN
Got to agree with you. God doesn't screw up. He NEVER has. He is incapable of "screwing up" because He is perfect.

Anyone who believes in GOD knows that.

Also, if we acknowledge there is GOOD, we must also believe, just as strongly, that there is EVIL.

Man (mankind) was given free will. It is how we live our lives that determines our "eternal" outcome.

God didn't screw up on 9/11, evil did, evil men did. "EVIL" happened that day. Those who committed that EVIL crime against humanity and I might add to God that day, have met their eternal fate. I bet knowing what they know now, they would change their decision. They are finding out first hand how long eternity is...

This life is but the "blink of an eye" compared to eternity. Knowing that, and having a "free will".. we are all to strive to do things which are pleasing to God. Even knowing that, some people choose the dark side. It really is as simple as that.

I'm not saying those that are questioning "why God would let this happen" are bad people or non-believers, NOT AT ALL. I just think if they search the Bible a little more, they will find the answers. Do some research on Christian sites asking the question "Why do bad things happen to good people". There are tons of scripture out there to help all people through times that are hard to understand.

Even when there doesn't seem to be answers, when we just can't find the answer to our questions,.. there is scripture that will comfort peoples hearts. But I honestly believe that if a person keeps reading, they will find scripture or verse that will answer their questions. Many answers are in how Jesus responded to things. Like when Lazarus died. Jesus CRIED out. He mourned him. (Which to us is proof that you are not an unbeliever if you mourn the loss of a loved one,..after all Jesus did!! Then Jesus raised him from the dead. Which was proof that our loved ones will live again).

Hard times.. for sure. Confusing times too. But we must always keep our eye on the TRUTH.

God is great.

Vets
13 posted on 04/08/2003 5:21:58 PM PDT by Vets_Husband_and_Wife
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To: MikeD
thanks
14 posted on 04/08/2003 5:26:41 PM PDT by BibChr (BILL CLINTON: obscure 20th-c fig, name eventually struck from Presidential role [22nd Cent Enc])
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To: All
And I am glad that our President understands this. We are more blessed than we deserve by far....
15 posted on 04/08/2003 5:30:39 PM PDT by rwfromkansas (God Reigns!)
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To: DannyTN
There is really no point in talking to folks like RJ....they can't consider the things of God.
16 posted on 04/08/2003 5:31:28 PM PDT by rwfromkansas (God Reigns!)
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To: Vets_Husband_and_Wife
Good reply! Free will means men are free to choose good as well as evil, though God weeps to see it. And sometimes good grows out of evil. While (as C.S. Lewis says in one of the Narnia books) we are never told what would have happened, consider that 9-11 as horrible as it was may have shocked this country out of its complacency lest worse befall us (Smallpox? Nerve gas? Nuclear obliteration of large cities?)

This minister sounds like he knows what's what. One of the faults of the Episcopal Church is a deficiency in really good preaching. In our fairly large church, we have two priests who couldn't preach their way out of a paper bag, one talented newbie who needs some experience, one reasonably good preacher, and one genius who is on fire for God. (I guess I shouldn't complain.)

I don't know what it is about the Scots Presbys, but they seem to have more than their fair share of really good preachers. My complaint with our average Southern jackleg preacher is that they bring plenty of emotion but insufficient scholarship to the task, but Scots preachers always seem to come loaded for bear as far as scholarship is concerned. At the same time they have that fire that Episcopalians and Catholics often lack.

The cool accent doesn't hurt either. :-D

17 posted on 04/08/2003 5:35:56 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother (. . . there is nothing new under the sun.)
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To: AnAmericanMother
I would alter your statement somewhat. We do choose our actions, but our actions fall within God's plan ultimately; they never fall out of his plan and fulfill a predetermined course for the world that is not just a big overview necessarily, but more. A sparrow can't fall out of a tree without God ALLOWING it to happen.
18 posted on 04/08/2003 5:39:44 PM PDT by rwfromkansas (God Reigns!)
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To: Dubya
During times of war and suffering, Christians must look to the Lamb and take comfort in the fact that His purposes - even though mysterious from a human perspective - will not be thwarted, he said. This should lead Christians to worship God in awe and wonder, he added.

"That Lamb is the crucified, risen, exalted and now reigning Lord Jesus Christ," Alexander said. "He is the key to history, the key to life. Christ is the key to every mystery that life brings to us because He was slain and with His blood purchased a people for God.


Amen!
19 posted on 04/08/2003 5:44:21 PM PDT by k2blader ("Mercy, detached from Justice, grows unmerciful." - C. S. Lewis)
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To: Vets_Husband_and_Wife
Man (mankind) was given free will

Uhh, where is that written?
20 posted on 04/08/2003 5:55:36 PM PDT by Gamecock (As seen on Taglinus FreeRepublicus - 5th Edition)
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To: rwfromkansas
Well Said!
21 posted on 04/08/2003 6:02:44 PM PDT by Gamecock (As seen on Taglinus FreeRepublicus - 5th Edition)
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To: rwfromkansas
I'll have to let Prof. Lewis do my talking:

"Ye can know nothing of the end of all things, or nothing expressible in those terms. It may be, as the Lord said to the Lady Julian, that all will be well, and all will be well, and all manner of things will be well. But it's ill talking of such questions."

"Because they are too terrible, Sir?"

"No. Because all answers deceive. If ye put the question from within Time and are asking about possibilities, the answer is certain. The choice of ways is before you. Neither is closed. Any man may choose eternal death. Those who choose it will have it. But if ye are trying to leap on into eternity, if ye are trying to see the final state of all things as it will be (for so ye must speak) when there are no more possibilities left but only the Real, then ye ask what cannot be answered to mortal ears. Time is the very lens through which ye see -- small and clear, as men see through the wrong end of a telescope -- something that would otherwise be too big for ye to see at all. That thing is Freedom: the gift whereby ye most resemble your Maker and are yourselves parts of eternal reality. . . .

"Ye cannot know eternal reality by a definition. Time itself, and all acts and events that fill Time, are the definition, and it must be lived. The Lord said we were gods. How long could ye bear to look (without Time's lens) on the greatness of your own soul and the eternal reality of her choice?"

And suddenly all was changed. . . . .

C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce.
22 posted on 04/08/2003 6:23:08 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother (. . . there is nothing new under the sun.)
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To: Gamecock
Uh, Genesis chapter 3, for starters . . . and I think St. Paul has a good deal to say about it as well.
23 posted on 04/08/2003 6:24:46 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother (. . . there is nothing new under the sun.)
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To: Vets_Husband_and_Wife
Please see: Omnipotence and Other Theological Mistakes, by Charles Hartshorne
http://www.uua.org/uuhs/duub/articles/charleshartshorne.html


One of the most celebrated and arguably profound deist philosophers in the history of this country thinks otherwise. (see above) You would have a tough time convincing this man that he did not believe in God.

24 posted on 04/08/2003 6:47:22 PM PDT by US admirer
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To: AnAmericanMother
I don't see that any where in Genesis 3. While Adam and Eve had will to eat or not eat from the tree, once they did we became slaves to sin. They had the choice, once they ate, our relationship with God changed. Only by the power of the Holy Spirit working on out hearts do we want to change our lives. Keep reading to hear about our will.

"I think St. Paul has a good deal to say about it as well."

Paul actually says the exact opposite:

Romans 9:17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: "I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth."

Doesn't sound like Pharaoh had a free will to me, God made him for this purpose. The next set of verses from the same chapter talk about the fairness of what God chooses to do with us:

Romans 9: 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?
22 What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath--prepared for destruction?

Want more?

Ephesians 1;3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.

You see, it is His will, not ours!


25 posted on 04/08/2003 6:51:47 PM PDT by Gamecock (As seen on Taglinus FreeRepublicus - 5th Edition)
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To: Gamecock
It is inherently contradictory: "Work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God that worketh in you." Hence the Lewis quote - there's no point in trying to separate out the contradiction between man's temporal life and God's eternal purposes.

As a priest once said to me, "It's not our problem - it's God's problem. And He's got it under control."

26 posted on 04/08/2003 6:58:10 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother (. . . there is nothing new under the sun.)
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To: RJCogburn
If so, God really screwed up on 9/11.

And some were present at the same time reporting to Him about the Galileans, whose blood Pilate mixed with their sacrifices. And answering, Jesus said to them, Do you think that these Galileans were sinners beyond all the Galileans, because they suffered such things? No, I say to you; but if you do not repent, you will all perish in the same way. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell, and killed them, do you think that these were sinners beyond all men who lived in Jerusalem? No, I say to you; but if you do not repent, you will all perish in the same way.--Luke 13:1-5

27 posted on 04/08/2003 7:07:55 PM PDT by CrosscutSaw (God is sovereign -- Jesus is Lord.)
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To: Gamecock
You are kidding, right?

Tell me you are not saying God did not give us free will or that it was not mentioned in the Bible. Because if you are.. then everything you say in this thread is mute and irrelevant. No offense meant,.. just fact.

FRegards, Vets
28 posted on 04/08/2003 7:10:32 PM PDT by Vets_Husband_and_Wife
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To: AnAmericanMother
Philippians 2 12: Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence--continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

There is nothing contradictory here. All through the Bible, people trembled when called. The nakedness of our sin is exposed. Verse 13 makes it clear that it is God in control, not I! God, gives me the will. That shows it is not my will.

If we deny God's soverenty, we wrongly perceive we are in control, not God.
29 posted on 04/08/2003 7:15:13 PM PDT by Gamecock (As seen on Taglinus FreeRepublicus - 5th Edition)
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To: Gamecock
I just read some more of your replies. By your theory God would be responsible for all things evil. Like men sodomising little boys, or raping little girls, or murdering them. Or for anything people do that is evil.

Is this what you mean to say? Because that goes totally against "free will" and whatever it is that "you" propose that God does (Which I vehemently disagree with).
30 posted on 04/08/2003 7:15:44 PM PDT by Vets_Husband_and_Wife
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To: Vets_Husband_and_Wife
Tell me you aren't going to argue with scripture! Because if you do, you are the one who is irrelevant. Please consider what I posted in 23.

31 posted on 04/08/2003 7:19:34 PM PDT by Gamecock (As seen on Taglinus FreeRepublicus - 5th Edition)
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To: Gamecock
Want more?

Ephesians 1;3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.

You see, it is His will, not ours!

How can you ignore the scriptures that tell us mankind has free will and yet pick and choose the scriptures you want to make your point?

The truth is when we balance ALL scripture, we find that the Bible teaches BOTH God's sovereignty and man's free will when it comes to world events and salvation.

While men might have problems reconciling these two concepts, the Bible teaches both are facts.

32 posted on 04/08/2003 7:21:39 PM PDT by Jorge
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To: DannyTN
All your armies belong to me.
33 posted on 04/08/2003 7:23:51 PM PDT by miele man
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To: DannyTN
To be totally politcally incorrect and to parrot this... "God is in control of all the events of history, including warfare"

Does anyone doubt on which side GOD has sat? I'm an agnostic as in, I'm a fence sitter about GOD of the Bible..but SHEESH EVER battle entered by the United States has entered has been against SADISTIC regimes. Hitler Kim Jong et. al. Pol Pot(Vietnam types) Stalin and his ilk Noriega and his drug dealers The list continues. It seems that the United States is the voice of a fair and Just god. The rest of the world uses either NO GOD(commies) or a Wahhabist god(Islam) to slaughter people. If there is a force for good, the United States of America is the hand of God. It's military victories support that supposition to the chagrin of the followers of Mohammad the pedophile of the year 700. If there is an Anti-Christ, he is actively using Islam to thwart the forces of Good. Time is telling. Does anyone question it at this point? -Mal
34 posted on 04/08/2003 7:24:38 PM PDT by Malsua
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To: Vets_Husband_and_Wife
I just read some more of your replies. By your theory God would be responsible for all things evil. Like men sodomising little boys, or raping little girls, or murdering them. Or for anything people do that is evil.

Good point. His replies on regarding predestination were just as far off the mark...implying God picks who He wants to save and sends others to Hell just for His pleasure.
This is a warped interpretation of scripture that smears the Holy character of God.

35 posted on 04/08/2003 7:24:51 PM PDT by Jorge
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To: tinacart
Pinging myself...
36 posted on 04/08/2003 7:25:23 PM PDT by tinacart
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To: Gamecock
While God indeed has an eternal purpose and sees all in His eternal present, we nevertheless have free will and choices to make temporally.

Otherwise, you fall into the predestination trap. As it says in the 39 Articles,

As the godly consideration of Predestination, and our Election in Christ, is full of sweet, pleasant, and unspeakable comfort to godly persons, and such as feel in themselves the working of the Spirit of Christ, mortifying the works of the flesh, and their earthly members, and drawing up their mind to high and heavenly things, as well because it doth greatly establish and confirm their faith of eternal Salvation to be enjoyed through Christ, as because it doth fervently kindle their love towards God: So, for curious and carnal persons, lacking the Spirit of Christ, to have continually before their eyes the sentence of God's Predestination, is a most dangerous downfall, whereby the Devil doth thrust them either into desperation, or into wretchlessness of most unclean living, no less perilous than desperation.

37 posted on 04/08/2003 7:26:33 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother (. . . there is nothing new under the sun.)
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To: Dubya
bump......thanks for the post.
38 posted on 04/08/2003 7:30:53 PM PDT by Lady Eileen
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To: tinacart
ROMANS 13!
39 posted on 04/08/2003 7:30:55 PM PDT by tinacart
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To: Gamecock
Doesn't sound like Pharaoh had a free will to me, God made him for this purpose. The next set of verses from the same chapter talk about the fairness of what God chooses to do with us: Romans 9: 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?
22 What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath--prepared for destruction?

Want more?

Heres's some more for you;

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.

1 Timothy 2:3-4:
"This is good, and pleases God our savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth".

Contrary to your claims...these verses tell us that NOBODY goes to Hell simply because God wants them to.

40 posted on 04/08/2003 7:36:47 PM PDT by Jorge
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To: Gamecock
From Bibleanswer.com

Fregards, Vets
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Bible reveals that regarding free-will and predestination, it is not one or the other, but rather, both. That is, the Bible teaches both the free-will of man and God's election or "predestination."


Unfortunately, the teachings and creeds of men have misdefined these Biblical concepts so that the impression is left that one cannot have both, only one or the other.

We must accept the the "whole counsel of God on this subject instead of the wisdom of men (Gal. 1:6-10; 1 Cor. 1:18-21).

Many men teach that man either has no free-will (fatalism), or limited amounts of it. The Bible teaches that every person with a moral capacity has the freedom of will to decide whether or not to obey God.

Simply put, the Bible teaches that God elected predestined or set in place) to save every soul who "fears God and works righteousness" (Acts 10:34-35).

That is, before time eternal, God predestined that men would be saved "in Christ" (Eph. 1:3-4, 7-12). God predestined the "plan" of human redemption (cf. Eph. 3:10-11).

God also determined that man would have free-will, the ability and responsibility to choose to obey Him (cf. Gen. 3:1-6; Josh. 24:15; Matt. 11:28).

God did not predestine the man (which individuals would be saved & lost), He predestined the plan (how men would be saved) - read again Acts 10:34-35; Eph. 1:3-12; Rom. 8:28-30; 10:9-17.

Some do not understand the above passages on predestination. They think that if a person is not of those predestinated, he is just out of luck, is eternally damned, and there is nothing he can do about it. However, it is a particular group or class of people that God chose before the foundation of the world and not individuals. It is up to us to be part of that class (of those "in Him") if we want to be of the chosen.

Let me illustrate it this way:
A school teacher on the first day of class told his students that some would pass and some would fail the course they were about to take. He then described the things necessary for one to be of those who would pass. At the end of the school year, just as the teacher had said, some passed and some failed. Since the teacher had predestinated the outcome before he began, does it mean that he caused each individual to either pass or fail and there was nothing they could do about it? Certainly not!

It was up to each student to be of whichever group he desired. Likewise, God predetermined before He made the world that He would choose those "in Christ" and now it is up to us to be of those in Christ.

By using our free-will we choose whether to be "in Christ" and thus saved (Gal. 3:26-27).

So, we see God's part (His gracious plan of human redemption which is accomplished through the death of Christ), and man's part (faith in Christ, cf. Jas. 2:14-26; Matt. 7:21-23) combining to complete the equation of salvation (Eph. 2:8-9).

41 posted on 04/08/2003 7:40:14 PM PDT by Vets_Husband_and_Wife
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To: AnAmericanMother
Meant to ping you to my post 41.

FRegards FRiend, Vets
42 posted on 04/08/2003 7:44:59 PM PDT by Vets_Husband_and_Wife
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To: Gamecock
Romans 9: 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?

This does not mean that God creates evil. Every person has equal opportunity to be saved and fulfill his destiny in the Divine Design of God. However, God knows that some people will reject Salvation and the Divine Design of God. He knows the end from the beginning. And He allows some people to reject authority and express their negative volition to the maximum to become vessels of dishonor.

43 posted on 04/08/2003 7:49:06 PM PDT by Jorge
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To: Jorge
Check the context of those verses.
44 posted on 04/08/2003 7:50:35 PM PDT by rwfromkansas (God Reigns!)
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To: Jorge

Rom 9:22-26
22 What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath-- PREPARED for destruction?
23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in ADVANCE for glory--
24 even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?
25 As he says in Hosea: "I will call them 'my people' who are not my people; and I will call her 'my loved one' who is not my loved one,"
26 and, "It will happen that in the very place where it was said to them, 'You are not my people,' they will be called 'sons of the living God.'"
(NIV)

45 posted on 04/08/2003 7:55:06 PM PDT by rwfromkansas (God Reigns!)
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To: Jorge; RnMomof7
How can you ignore the scriptures that tell us mankind has free will and yet pick and choose the scriptures you want to make your point?

Your question can be turned right back to you, how can you say that man has free will when scripture shows we don't?

Where are these verses? I am still waiting for someone to show me where in the Bible free-will is presented.

When I read the Bible, I see God choosing Noah, God choosing Abraham, I see God choosing the Children of Israel.

I see God bringing up the Pharoah to display his power. I see God choosing Jacob over Esau.

I see people trying to exert free will and getting smacked down (Jonah)

And let's not forget the Diciples: John 15:16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit–fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.

Help me, where does it say I come to God on my own free will? ?

Think back to the exact moment you accepted Christ. When you accepted Christ, was it comparable to a decision to buy a life insurance policy? I'll guess that your heart was layed bare, that you had no choice to answer the call! How do I know this? It is written: Rom 8:30 - "And those he predestined, he also called."?

Did you choose, or did God? John 6 44: No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.?

Don't you see, you cannot come, unless you are drawn, you are not drawn unless he chose you!

46 posted on 04/08/2003 7:55:59 PM PDT by Gamecock (As seen on Taglinus FreeRepublicus - 5th Edition)
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To: Jorge
One of the immutable attributes of God is His omnipotence. If God's will in anything is subservient to man or the will of man, God's will is, by extensition, not sovereign in that area. Accordingly, God is made, so to speak, less than omnipotent. Therefore, God would no longer be immutable. Real Bad theology Jorge.

You must reconcile God's holiness as well as His sovereignty and omnipotence. Howya gonna do it?

47 posted on 04/08/2003 7:58:52 PM PDT by Don'tMessWithTexas
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To: AnAmericanMother
Article 39? Let's talk Scripture, not some man made creed.
48 posted on 04/08/2003 8:01:12 PM PDT by Gamecock (As seen on Taglinus FreeRepublicus - 5th Edition)
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To: Gamecock; AnAmericanMother
Please read this article and the one I posted before. I realize it is a complex question, and the debate rages on. But I can choose to do good, or to do evil. To be a Christian or an Atheist. Eternal salvation or ....

At any rate.. we are both predestined and have free will. If I don't recognize the "responsibilities" of free will as a Christian, then I'm more likely to sin and say "Well, I'm a Christain and I'm not perfect, and I have no choice if I'm going to heaven anyway.. so what the hey".

I think it is important to recognize good choices and sinful choices, and that we can all be tempted, and we have the FREE WILL to defy evil as individuals. Which also allows me to PRAY for sinners, if you get my drift. How else can we "forgive" or help others become Christians who have sinned? We teach them how to make "choices" by their own FREE WILL. Good choices!!

Anyway.. read on. And believe me.. I definitely take into consideration any of your views. I'm able to admit if I'm wrong.

Vets
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Serving Christians Seeking to Live a Holy Life



FREE WILL
Leon L. Combs, Ph.D.
June 5, 2000
Free will was defined by Augustine as the ability to make voluntary decisions (choices) free from external constraint or coercion. Our choices are then based upon who we are at the moments of the decisions. We will make the decision toward one choice or another based upon the dominant internal desire at that moment. These desires are cultivated by the development of our senses of choice, and such development is dependent upon our innate desires and the influence of our society upon those desires. The societal punishment for some choices (robbery, murder, bribery, etc.) will make those low probability choices for many people in our society. Thus most people tend to choose among choices which are among various acceptable communal morality options.

Now we need to distinguish between morality and ethics. Morality is whatever is acceptable by the current society whereas ethics is based upon some code external to the society. Morality tends to change with each advancing generation and from culture to culture, whereas ethics should stay the same since the external code does not change. Thus what is not an acceptable moral choice today may be an acceptable moral choice in a few years (or months). Certainly we in the U.S. have witnessed quite a shift in moral standards in the last twenty years, and an even greater change in the last few years. However what was ethical yesterday should still be ethical today. I do not think that the U.S. has an external code for ethical behavior anymore, unless it is the Darwinian code.

However to the Christian the external code of ethical behavior is the Bible. Therefore to the Christian there has not been any change in acceptable ethical behavior because the Bible has not changed. We Christians would, of course, prefer that the moral behavior of our society were the same as an ethical behavior based upon the Word of God.

Now what about the topic of free will regarding Biblically based choices? Is a person "free" to choose God's way or Satan's way at any time? The Bible tells us that people are first born as a people who are slaves to sin: Rom 6:20 "For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness." "Free in regard to righteousness" means that righteousness had no place in our lives regarding our choices. The non-Christian has the free will to choose among many choices, some moral and some non-moral and he/she made choices depending upon whatever inclination was the strongest at the time of the choice. However he/she lacks the liberty to choose righteousness - before regeneration there was no inclination within us toward choosing righteousness. Liberty of choice refers to the choices that are available among which to freely choose. If we are locked in a jail cell we don't have the liberty to take a walk in the park whenever we wish - the choice is not available. We have the liberty to only choose among the choices that we have available. The non-Christian has free will to make many choices but will not freely choose the ethical standards of the Bible. He/she has free will but not the inclination to choose God's choices for he/she is free in regard to righteousness as a consequence of the fall.

However once a person becomes a Christian, he/she is now righteous and thus now has the liberty to freely choose righteousness or sinfulness. Our liberty has been restored to that originally possessed by Adam and Eve. God has to work in us initially and continually for us to will and to work for His good pleasure:

Phil 2:12-13 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

The underlining in the quotation is added for emphasis in this discussion. Before the work of God in my life, I did not have the inclination or the ability to will or to work for His good pleasure.

There is only one Scriptural reference to "free will" and this is in a letter addressed to Christians who thus possess the righteousness of Jesus Christ:

Philemon 1:14 but without your consent I did not want to do anything, that your goodness should not be as it were by compulsion, but of your own free will.

From the above Scripture and our definition of free will, we see that Paul wanted them to have progressed to such a state that by their free will they would choose God's will for their actions rather than obeying God because of a command from Paul. Paul wanted their motivation to solely be their love for God and their desire to please Him.

When I was about 15, my mom wanted me to want to take out the garbage rather than just doing it because she told me to do it. Her desire for me to have a change in my desire was very good and Biblical. However, I have to confess that I mainly took it out because I knew that I had to do it. My free will choice would be to read a book or go for a ride rather than taking out the garbage. We should honor our parents; and we certainly honor them when we obey them, but we honor them much more when we love them so much that we spend much time seeking to understand them so that we can do those things that we know that they would want us to do before they ask us to do them.

But now let's take the scene to an entirely different level as we understand that the above text says that our goodness should be by our free will, for the goodness here is God's definition of goodness. Our free will should then guide us to learn as much about God as possible so that we can anticipate His desire for us and that our actions should then all be guided by a free will choice of God's will in all areas of our lives. Before regeneration that aspect of our free will is just not present and I think most people would freely admit such.

So what is free will? It is the ability to make voluntary decisions (choices) free from external constraint or coercion. The free will of the unregenerate person will allow for many different decisions, but none of them will include the driving desire to choose God's will as the basis for his/her actions in all areas of his/her life. To properly understand free will, we have to understand that our wills are always a slave to one area or another. Our wills are never really free, meaning totally free from an internal constraint for we are either serving sin or serving righteousness:

Rom 6:16 Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?

The only hope for any of us is the hope based upon the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ so that:

Rom 6:6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin;

It is only through regeneration that we can have the liberty to choose either His way or the sinful way. After conversion we will then always want to choose God's way, but we will not always make that choice. It is only after we are totally sanctified that our choices will always be God's way. Until that day there will be conflict between our sin nature and our regenerated nature.

This topic has been, and will probably continue to be, discussed by many theologians and lay people. Many books and articles have been published about it, and below I recommend a few for your edification. As in any Christian concept the only way to approach the issue is to first set our mind "free" of prejudicial concepts relating to the topic and let God tell us the answer.


Suggested Books:
"The Freedom of the Will", Jonathan Edwards, Soli Deo Gloria publishers, 1996 (book first published by Thomas Nelson in 1845)
"The Bondage of the Will", Martin Luther, Baker Book House Company, 1976.
"Willing to Believe", R. C. Sproul, Baker Books, 1997.
49 posted on 04/08/2003 8:09:25 PM PDT by Vets_Husband_and_Wife
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To: Jorge
Amen to post 32. Well said. Thanks

This is a subject that has perplexed and confused many a good Christian.

FRegards, Vets
50 posted on 04/08/2003 8:11:28 PM PDT by Vets_Husband_and_Wife
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