Do we have the freedom of choice or are we predestined?


This post is also available in: हिन्दी (Hindi)

Human beings do have the freedom of choice. God created mankind in His own image, and that included the ability to choose or reject Him. Adam and Eve exercised their freedom to distrust God and our world today is the natural result to that decision.

In the Old Testament

God appealed to Israel to make right choices and then held them accountable for the choices they made “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19).  God didn’t predetermine or predestine the outcome of their choices.

The command to serve the Lord does not preclude choice. Joshua gave a similar message to the Israelites, “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). Any worship to God that is not voluntary is useless. God sets before men life and death and calls them to choose life, but He does not interfere with their contrary choice, nor does He protect them from its natural results.

In the New Testament

We see the same principle of accountability and the freedom of choice, Christ said: “For every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:36). God will have us answer for our actions “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10; Romans 14:10 ). Again, God does not predestine our choices.

While Salvation is offered freely to all, sadly, not all accept the gospel invitation “Many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14; 20:16). And salvation is not forced upon us against our will. Sinners are called to “repent” and “believe” (Matthew 3:2; 4:17; Acts 3:19; 1 John 3:23). Every call to repent is a call to exercise our freedom of choice. Jesus showed that sinners can choose to rebel against Him, “You refuse to come to me to have life” (John 5:40). People can decide what action they want to take “A man reaps what he sows” (Galatians 6:7).

How can sinners ever choose what is good?

It is only through the grace and power of God that they can choose what is right (John 15:16). It is the Holy Spirit who gives the believer “both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). The Holy Spirit gives the new nature to all who seek it. They will be “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:24). Salvation is God’s work but we use our freedom of choice to accept it.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

This post is also available in: हिन्दी (Hindi)

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