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Do we have free will, or is everything already planned for us?

This whole free will thing is bugging me

Postby Nic J » Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:16 pm

Okay, this whole free will concept is bugging me, or i am not getting it, or it's both. So, we have free will to chose to surrender our lives to Christ and start that relationship with him. Did we choose him or did he chose us? How does that work? Does everyone in the world have the same opportunity to hear the gospel, then? Because if they don't, that's not fair. That doesn't sound like free will. Why would God chose only certain people to follow him?
Nic J
 

Re: This whole free will thing is bugging me

Postby jimwalton » Sun Feb 04, 2018 5:11 am

"okay this whole free will concept is bugging me .or i am not getting it. or it's both. so we have free will to chose to surrender our lives to Christ and start that relationship with him.”

Yes, we have free will to surrender our lives to Christ and to start a relationship with Him. It’s up to us.

"Did we chose him or did he chose us? How does that work?” Both. God chose us first. The Bible always portrays God as taking the initiative. He reaches out to us, He seeks us, He draws us toward Himself, and He calls us. He issues the invitation. But now it’s up to us to respond. We have free will to say yes or no, to respond with faith or with unbelief. Here are some verses:

Matthew 22.1-14: The Parable of the Wedding Banquet
John 1.11-12
John 3.16-21

"Does everyone in the world have the same opportunity to hear the gospel then? because if they don't that's not fair .. that doesn't sound like free will.

No, not everyone has the same opportunity. We in America have far more opportunity than an indigenous tribesman in Borneo. But why is that unfair? The Bornean will not be judged by the same standard or the same criteria as the American. Romans 5.13 indicates that we’ll all be judged according to what we have been given. Those who didn’t have the law won’t be judged as if they did; that wouldn’t be fair. They will be judged by a different criteria that is fair for them. Each person will be judged fairly based on (1) what information they had, (2) what they did with it. If I give someone a million dollars and ask them to invest it wisely, and if I give another person a thousand dollars and ask the same thing, it’s not fair for me to make hitting the $2 million mark the standard of success, but it might be fair for me to make doubling your money a standard of success.

"Why would God chose only certain people to follow him?” The Bible is clear that the ones who have been chosen for salvation are not chosen to be the insiders while others are stuck being outsiders (poor babies, they never had a chance! They weren’t chosen!). Instead, the Bible says that the whole reason of being chosen is to go recruit others and invite them into the family.

Why was Abraham chosen? So that the world through him might be blessed.
Why was Israel chosen? So that the light of God might shine in the whole world.
Why were the disciples chosen? To go and make disciples of all nations.
Why was Paul chosen? To be the ambassador to the Gentiles, so that the nations would come to Christ.
Why are any of us chosen? To be agents to reconciliation to be part of what God is doing in the world to reconcile the world to himself.

We’re chosen to be recruiters, not to achieve a certain status while others are left out.


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