If God gives us free choice, why does He punish for disobedience?

Author: BibleAsk Team

Free Choice

God created humans with free choice (Deuteronomy 30:19, 20) because only creatures with freedom could have a real loving relationship with Him (1 John 4:19). If we choose Him, we have life eternal which is goodness and happiness beyond that which we can imagine. On the other hand, if we don’t choose Him, we have only this earthly life to live (Romans 6:23) which is marred with sin, suffering, and death.

Since the very nature of freedom is to be free from coercion, any decisions made by the creatures are their own and the Creator is not responsible for them (James 1:13). God is both merciful and just (Exodus 34:6; Isaiah 30:18). Justice demands that those who have broken the law of love must receive their due punishment. But the good news is that the Lord has provided a way by which a person may always make the correct choice so that he will never be punished (Romans 8:37).

When Satan tempted Adam and Eve and they chose to follow him, they fell (Genesis 3) and he became the ruler of this Earth (2 Corinthians 4:4). All the pain, suffering and death we have in the world today is the direct consequence of the devil’s rule (Romans 8:22). But the Lord in His infinite love planned a way of redemption through Jesus. God sent His innocent Son to receive the punishment of man’s sin. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13).  

The Lord will eventually destroy the devil and his followers only after every being in the universe has seen that the devil’s government is deadly (2 Thessalonians 2:8). And when the controversy ends, everyone will see the difference between the love of God and the cruel hate of the devil (Philippians 2:10). Freedom of choice is the basis of God’s government (Joshua 24:15). While the Lord took upon Himself the role of saving humans and giving them a second chance, they alone are responsible for their own decisions (Romans 14:10,12). 

The question is: Why would anyone reject God’s offer of salvation? Although the idea of eternal happiness and peace is irresistible, some may still choose to reject it. This is the mystery of sin that blinds the human heart (Ephesians 4:18). But when people choose to accept the light of God’s love (John 1:5), the darkness is cast away and people are able to make the right choices.

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In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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