(7)Freewill or not? There is almost no greater theological debate bigger than the idea of Calvinism vs. Arminianism, or freewill vs. predestination. Do we humans have any choice whether to believe in God or not? Though most Christians acknowledge the differing viewpoints, somehow the fact that the issue is confusing because the Bible is so contradictory on the subject escapes many. (Ten errors in the Bible)
This may be one of the largest, or widespread, theological debates, but it should not be. Neither of the 5 proposed elements in Calvin’s T.U.L.I.P. acronym are scripturally accurate. And certainly not the Unconditional election. God intended for all humans to be free moral agents. He could just as easily have made robotic people who had no say as to whether or not they could sin. God determined before the creation “that we should be holy and without blame before him in love”. (Ephesians 1:4 KJV)
Pick up a full sized Bible. It will weigh over five pounds, made from very thin sheets, printed on both sides. Why would God, or anyone else, choose to have inspired men write so much if it had no meaning as to whether or not one might be saved?
The things Calvin has misapplied, stems from the huge difference in predestination and foresight of God. We acknowledge that God was completely aware of every soul that has ever been on the earth or ever will be, as to who would obey him and those who would not. He is omniscient, which means He knows everything there is to know…but, there is a vast difference in knowing ahead of time who will obey Him, (He makes no mistakes) and being unable to obey Him.
If man can do nothing towards his salvation, why then did Joshua, the man chosen by God to lead the children of Israel after the death of Moses, make this statement to his people?
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. (Joshua 24:15 KJV)
And does it seem realistic that the inspired apostle Paul would be unaware of the fact that he might be lost or saved and not be able to know it if he could not change that? Read what he has to say here:
But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. (1 Corinthians 9:27 KJV)
And the apostle Peter must also have been unaware of this unconditional election thing:
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. (2 Peter 3:9 KJV)
The next ‘error’ on the list of 10, is as follows:
(8)Does God ever change? Ezekiel 24:14: “I the LORD have spoken it: it shall come to pass, and I will do it; I will not go back, neither will I spare, neither will I repent; according to thy ways, and according to thy doings, shall they judge thee, saith the Lord GOD.” (KJV) But God changed his mind about destroying or punishing people several times in the Bible, most notably in Genesis 18:23-33. The Bible also directly contradicts Ezekiel 24:14 in Genesis 6:6: “And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.”
This is another example of striving for something to charge as an error when there is no reason whatsoever for it. One needs only to read the entire chapter 24 of Ezekiel to see the situation which God is condemning and severely so. This is another situation much like the destruction of Jerusalem which occurred in AD 70. But this time God is using Nebuchadnezzar to punish them. They had pushed God to the limit and He simply informs them, through Ezekiel, that the punishment was upon them, in fact, this very day, and he would not change His mind. This is an instance. He does not say or infer that he will never change his mind about anything again.
Jeremiah also tells of this assault on Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar in his book, chapter 52, verse 4.
Yes, it does say that God repented that He had made man on earth, and it grieved him at his heart in Genesis. This was when the earth with millions of people and only 8 were found to be faithful to Him. That would make any one sad, it seems. And there were other times when, in His anger, He would consider killing all of those of whom had abandoned Him, when Moses pled for them, change His mind. I can see no contradiction or even confusion here.
Time is swiftly passing and more than 99% of the people living today will have gone to face the almighty God in less than 100 years. We all need to start a count down. If you are in your forties, you have at best, about 40 or fifty more years. And as you reach your eighties, as is the case of this writer, you realize that you have only today or at the outside 5-6 more years, I am thankful to have been allowed this long to attempt to defend the gospel of Christ. Even if the atheists were proved to be right, I have the same future in store as they. If I am right, and I believe without doubt that I am, then my eternal home with God will be my reward. It appears there is no contest here.