First, we will go with the presupposition that man does have free will. We will also assume that this free will can "over-ride" God's own will/desire. We must assume this since the "free will" position is that God really wants to save everyone, but He cannot or does not because of their free will. This, if only for the purposes of salvation, puts man's will over God's will (whether it be because man's will is superior or simply because God allows it).
Given this understanding, we are able to conclude that man can gain salvation of his own free will, and he can also lose salvation of the same free will.
Given man's free will, and his proven propensity to exercise this free will in opposition to God's desires (laws), we must conclude that man cannot go an eternity without incorrectly excercising his free will (sinning). Our shining example of this truth is Adam in the garden. He had the exact sceranio before him that we see here. He was not condemned, and [supposedly] had free will. The logical basis for this conclusion is that if man could go an eternity and not sin of his own free will, he would be in essense perfect of his own free will. This puts him equal to God in the perfection department.
Conclusion #1: man must sin in eternity if he has free will
Reason for Conclusion #1: man is not God, man is not perfect
Conclusion #2: because man will sin in eternity, and God will not exercise His own will to stop this, man will be kicked out of heaven for sinning
How do we fix this problem we have? There are two obvious ways I see:
1) Man's free will can be perfect and can be exactly equal to that of God.
2) God will override man's "free will", imposing His own perfect will upon man's so that man will not sin and can spend eternity with God
#1 is blaspheme, making #2 is the obvious choice, the conclusion must be that God will abolish free will in heaven. If free will is lofted to such a height and worshipped so readily here, and people would not think of being rid of it, how will such a person feel about being rid of it in heaven? Oh the horror!
Presuppositions and playing "what ifs" is fun and all, but we know that we do not have "free will", even on earth. It is either enslaved to sin or enslaved to God. How I wish that He would reign me in ever tighter, that I might not sin against Him. I hate my will but love His.
That's interesting. I agree with a big part of it but I do believe that He has given us
free will here on Earth. If you CHOOSE to allow your free will to go towards evil or good,
you still had the opportunity to choose.
When I screw up, it's not enslavement that causes it, it's just me. I don't have anyone else
to blame for it. Wish I did
And yes I think you're spot on that, if you manage to get there, in Heaven you no longer exercise
this free will because you don't need to.
The argument can be made that at least one human has had total control over his free will and that
was Christ. Many take the argument that Christ did not actually KNOW he was the son of God
until the end, and that the use of the term "my Father" was the same that any of us use when
talking about our Creator. He was tempted by sin, just as we all are. In the report we read in the
Bible it was difficult for him, but he held on. If he truly was aware that he was the Son of God
and the Messiah why would it be hard for him?
I believe that until the crucifixion Christ lived as just one of us, and believed that he was one
of us. The miracles were performed because in his mind Faith was strong enough to
do these things. That is why it was so important for Christ to return AFTER his death
to communicate his instructions, as FULLY AWARE GOD on earth.
The idea of Christ living his life knowing his true identity sort of takes the wind out of the
whole thing. The example of Christ leading a sinless life is an example we should all TRY to
emulate, of course it will be impossible, but we know that at least ONE person has done so,
and that gives us hope that we can come close.
That pesky Free Will keeps getting in our way
Jesus on this earth had free will. Yet He was without sin.
Because He had no desire for sin. Sin is not a part of His NATURE.
Sin IS a part of our nature as a result of the fall. In heaven, our sinful nature will be no more, and we will again have a Divine Nature just like God's.
We get to that point by CHOOSING to have faith in, and to obey God despite our sinful nature on this earth.
In heaven there will be no more sin because sin will have no more appeal to us. I can't tempt you with a cigar if you think they taste disgusting. I can't tempt you with alcohol if the taste of it makes you sick. Neither will sin be tempting to us because our adamic nature will have been completely and totally removed from us by God's saving work.
We will still have the power to harm others and to disobey God as we always have had. But there will be no desire in us to do such things, because we will be changed by God to fully walk in His image rather than our own.
We DO have free will. We CAN choose right or wrong. We CAN choose faith or to reject it. The promise of salvation is that one day our struggle with the darker aspects of our nature will be over, and we will live in the perfection of God's charachter. We will be so changed by His power that evil will appeal to us about as much as licking a public urinal has to us right now.
God, by definition, has perfect knowledge of all things.
He has perfect knowledge of you, and every aspect of your mind, personality and soul. He would know everything about what makes you tick right from the creation of your soul.
He has perfect omniscient knowledge of everything in the world and everything that happens there.
Given those two facts, God has the ability to anticipate every choice you will encounter in life, and accurately predict how you will respond and what you will choose.
God is placing flawed souls in imperfect world and then condemning them to eternal Hell, even though he knew right from the start that Hell would be the outcome. This called dealing from a loaded deck.
By accepting Christ as our savior.
Cliff notes version:
No creature is utterly free. It is bound to it's own nature. You don't have to constrain a whale to keep it from flying. You can expect that it will exercise it's free will by swimming, which is part of it's nature.
Man's nature is corrupt in mind, emotion and will, since the fall. Even after the new birth, a redeemed person struggles with the habits of the corrupt nature.
Thankfully, in heaven the old nature passes into memory, and we are free to live in perfect communion with our Creator, with no interruption caused by the corruption of sin.
That will be heaven, indeed!
2 Corinthians 5:17 -
Is that not the very definition of pre-destination? In which case, none of your decisions actually matter, as you were bound for heaven or hell from the moment you were concieved. Which sort of defeats the purpose of free will altogether.
At the same time, He wants us to know that it is not futile to seek Him, John 7:37-38
Please bear in mind this is not a popular viewpoint and only reflects my position and I do not speak for anyone but me. Well maybe the Presbyterians (not PC-USA) and some reformed baptists.
I agree that we have a will but it is servant to our nature and thus not entirely free. Our will is a slave to our desires and unfortunately our natural desire is to rebel against God. We need to understand what the will is and what influences our decisions.
I wrote this a long time ago when I was more studied.
even older stuff
Thank you CM and WB both for posting what I would have.
CM, it's not just Presbyterian, Sola Gracia is a doctrine common to all "reformed" (systematic) denominations, AFAIK.