Sunday, January 5, 2014

Free Will

A doctrine taught by some ministers is that believers don’t have free will. Recently a friend wrote on her Facebook wall, “When love invades your heart, where is the choice, the so-called free will? You turn into LOVE!” I wrote in response, “If Christians no longer have free will, then how come God doesn’t make every one of them take part in free-will offerings?”  

That reminds me of one preacher who had someone tell him, “God makes people do whatever He wants them to do.” This preacher replied, “If that’s true, then how come He won’t make you pay your tithes?” Hebrews 10:25 commands us not to forsake “the assembling of ourselves together.” Yet when I’m out evangelizing, I regularly meet Christians who don’t go to church for a variety of reasons.

A believer who truly loves the Lord will want to obey Him in all things including giving, attending church and witnessing. Jesus said in John 14:15, “If you love Me, keep my commandments.” But until we die or are raptured, we will continue living in a fleshly body still capable of disobeying God’s laws. Even the Apostle Paul had struggles in this area. He wrote in Romans 7…

15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. 
16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 
17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 
18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 
19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 
20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.

One dictionary defines free will as “the power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one's own discretion.” When a couple exchanges wedding vows, they respond to questions by answering, “I do” or “I will.” If you’re married, I’m sure you didn’t want your spouse to feel coerced into tying the knot with you. True love is a decision. 

The Lord feels the same way about us. Jesus said to the church of the Laodiceans in Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” Notice He didn’t say, “When everyone hears My voice and opens the door…”  

God made man a free moral agent. Every day He gives us choices regarding His direction for our lives. What will you choose to do?

“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

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