Free will vs Predestination
1. Does scripture contradict itself by saying we have free will to salvation, yet does God choose who shall be saved. 2. If God chooses his people, and if man is spiritually corrupt because of sin, then WHY also write scriptures of repentance. 3. Are these scriptures of repentance speaking for ALL people or the one's he predestined. 4. Since Romans 1:20 already says God is in creation and they are without excuse then why does the Christian need to spread the gospel. 5. Couldn't Christians just avoid all that persecution by trusting in Romans 1:20 and predestination. 6. Why would a loving God predestine a few people to heaven and the rest to hell. 7. Isn't predestination the opposite of free will. 8. Is it safe to say we cannot know the mind of God and just lean on faith alone. 9. The christian asks "if predestination is truth then why me, why have I been chosen??" Blessings, David. Let us pray for discernment.
Matt 4:17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near."
Romans 10:9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Romans 8:29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.
Romans 9:15 For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."
Matt 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.”
The Bible doesn't say that God chooses who will or will not be saved.
The biblcial doctrine of predestination pertains to what God has predestined believers to become AFTER they are saved; it doesn't say that God predestines some to be saved and others to be lost.
Romans 9 is not about salvation. It focuses on the sovereignty of God in tersm of God's sovereign choice to use people for a particular purpose. Paul, in Romans 9 is defending God's justness in causing a partial blindness to come upon the Jews so that Jesus would be rejected and the promise of salvation could be fulfilled. Paul uses the example of Pharoah through whom God used to show His power.
God did not create Pharoah simply to destroy him. God does not create people to send them to hell. There are incompetent and sloppy theologians who take that heretical view of God. But the notion that God creates some people to send to hell violates the biblical revelation of God's nature and character.
Predistination in the NT is always about service not salvation. The Bible does not take the extremist position that every event is willed by God. There are hyper sovereignty people who think that every action, good or bad, sinful or righteous, is willed by God, but that is an unbalanced and extreme view of God that the Bible doesn't support. IT is not rooted in the Bible at all.
The free will vs. sovereignty debate often gets very contentious because it asking the wrong question from the outset and this leads to confusion and endless debate. The question is usually about whether or not God gives us the freewill to choose to believe the Gospel. But that is the wrong question. The correct question is, "what is the relationship of my choices in life, good or bad, to the sovereign will of God over my and direction it is headed?
Excellent exegesis of the Ro 9-11!!! So often abused and misused.
I agree completely with Shiloh's point about Ro 9-11. If we are to say that passage supports predestination, then I contend it supports what might be called "historical" predestination, and not "ultimate/salvific". In other words, Paul is dealing the perplexing issue that more Gentiles are coming to Christ than Jews. But Jews are the elected people of God!!! His main contention is that God is free to elect Gentiles to do the work once assigned Jews--to be a light in a dark world (or service in Shiloh's terms).
I turn away from the exegetical problem to a philosophic one:
One of the chief verses among early theologians (starting I think with Origen) that played a part in the freewill discussion is in Exodus, where it says that God hardened Pharaoh's heart. This troubles us: how can Pharaoh be held responsible for enslaving the Hebrews if he had no choice?
I think the question involves what philosophers call a category mistake....I'll try and explain briefly...
I do not know how to exegete that text; but I am sure of one thing...I am sure that Pharaoh did not have an initial benevolent impulse to free the Hebrews; then, God, violating his freewill, began to force that impulse in the opposite direction. The idea of enslaving the Hebrews was quite congenial to Pharaoh from start to finish. The psychological situation was not one in which he felt inclined to free them, then felt a foreign power (like a possession) in his psyche, moving against this inclination....against this he strains with all his mental will to be gracious...he wants to be benevolent!!................. but this opposite power is too much......
and finally, his heart is hardened. He denies Moses' request.
That is nonsense; psychologically impossible as a contradiction is impossible.
The category mistake (but then I am never quite sure what philosophers mean by that) comes in when we ask, "Can God violate freewill?" In ordinary usage the phrase "violation of freewill" typically involves 3 elements, and I will use as my illustration an abduction. There is Person A who wants money and therefore wants the body of Person B in the car; there is Person B who wants freedom, and therefore desires his body NOT be in teh back of the car. Both wills are concerned with a 3rd thing: namely Person B's body.
But in this question we have removed that 3rd entity: we are talking about One UNCREATED Will operating upon, and DIRECTLY upon, a created will. And nothing in our categories of thinking will enable us to comprehend this situation. It consitutes the mysterious frontier where the Infinite and the finite interact. It is profoundly unknowable.