What are your thoughts on predestination vs. “free will” or the sovereignty of God vs. man’s accountability?
I see that God Predestined Good only (James 1:17).
Regarding “Evil”, God allowed Creation to make ‘the choice of evil’ (even before the ‘fall’, Genesis 2:17) but He doesn’t influence creation to do evil at all (James 1:13). Creation may influence each other to do evil as the case of the Serpent in Genesis reveals as well (Ephesians 6:12, Genesis 3:4 – 6, 1 Timothy 2:14, Psalm 82).
The ‘test’ to Abraham is to be understood as thus (a ‘choice’) where Abraham is allowed to make a choice but God never allows Abraham to do the evil and stopped him (Genesis 22:11 – 12).
The choice of creation to do evil is the “Vanity” (Romans 8:20) which will end by the Predestination of God (Romans 8:21) and this being BORN AGAIN will affect ALL CREATION (Romans 8:22).
So, I see that God allowed “choice of evil” (Vanity) but has also Predestined it to be defeated by His Will as claimed to set Creation Free from all Evil and sin eventually as Romans 8:20 – 22 reveals where He rewards us (especially believers) greatly whenever we do His Will in our lives (e.g. Romans 8:19).
Since Salvation is God’s Work Alone, He Will Succeed. However, God’s Will to be Done by Creation (e.g. we are to ‘keep His Commands’) —> of which we may fail if we make the wrong choice. Please note the difference in these two cases as follows:
God Doing His Own Will —> Always Will Happen eventually in the END (Isaiah 46:10) —> e.g. Romans 8:19 – 22 aforementioned.
Creation (e.g. Man) doing His Will —> may ‘fail’ at times as we are NOT Perfect —> e.g. ‘our sins’.
These Two Cases are Distinct as per Holy Scripture reveals and that’s how I understand Predestination, Choice (not exactly ‘free will’) and God’s Will in a nutshell.
Here’s a Post explaining a little of that (the rest are ‘Scriptural details’):
P/S: Ancient Biblical Koine Greek Analysis
Example: The Verb-MERCY in Romans 11:32 which is promised to ALL is an AORIST tense in Greek which is actually ‘indefinite in regards to both time and completion’.
So, the Force of the Completion of the AORIST-MERCY of God (in Romans 11:32) to ALL eventually —> is only dependable on the SUBJECT of the Matter –> which is GOD HIMSELF in this case, and thus it WILL COME TO PASS eventually because He Does NOT Fail to Fulfill His Own Will.
Similarly, in regards to the “indefinite time” aspect of the AORIST-MERCY (in Romans 11:32 again) —> is only dependable on the SUBJECT of the Matter –> which is GOD HIMSELF again and so in this aspect as well, —> it WILL COME TO PASS eventually because He Does NOT Fail to Fulfill His Own Will.
So, that’s how the Greek Works here as simple as that in such AORIST tenses where the CONTEXT is ONLY Determined by the SUBJECT ALONE.
“Declaring the END from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have NOT been DONE, Saying, ‘MY PURPOSE will be ESTABLISHED, And I will ACCOMPLISH ALL My GOOD Pleasure’;” – God Speaks (in Isaiah 46:10, NASB)
“For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.” – apostle Paul (Romans 8:19 – 22, NASB)
All Creation (Romans 8:22) —> will be BORN AGAIN (as the Greek Word in Romans 8:22 refers to ‘Birth Pangs’ Implying this, and has the Word ALL in front of ‘Creation’) —> in the Aspect of ‘liberty from Vanity or Decay, the corruption of sin’ causing ‘sin to cease to exist eventually’ as it is mentioned first in Immediate Consecutive Verses (Romans 8:20 – 21) —> where we, the ‘believers in faith’ (of ‘church’) are ‘more special’ inheriting more than just that (as the Verse earlier in Romans 8:19 describes the ‘rest of creation’ awaiting this).
To quote also (His GREATEST AORIST-MERCY):
His GREAT MERCY is Promised to ALL Prophetically in Verse below:
“For God has shut up ALL in DISOBEDIENCE so that He may show MERCY to ALL.” – apostle Paul (Romans 11:32, NASB – the Last Word or Conclusion of ALL Judgment of God)
or in another ‘Manuscript’:
“For God hath concluded them ALL in UNBELIEF, that He might have MERCY upon ALL.” (Romans 11:32, KJV)
*Maybe? There are NO “maybe’s” in the Original Biblical Koine Greek here. It’s ‘added’ in translation. The Meaning in Greek is that ‘it will come to pass’ [Mercy in Greek here is ‘Aorist Subjunctive ACTIVE’ – Let’s ‘go figure’]. Explained above too.
God’s MERCY is the FINAL WORD on EVERYTHING (Which will Overcome and END any afterlife Judgment Sentence too, be it ‘even if it’s the eternal Hell sentence that we deserve first’ as James 2:13 reveals):
“For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; MERCY triumphs over Judgment.” – apostle James (James 2:13, NASB)
“For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy” = Afterlife Judgments are to be endured first (be it even the eternal Hell sentence in the Lake of Fire).
But somewhere during that Sentence, as God does NOT repay us according to our sins (He does NOT change and has NO Partiality, Psalm 103:10, Ezra 9:13, Lamentations 3:22 —> Hence, His Mercy is toward all is Likewise in accordance to this Perfect Principle. Romans 2:11, Acts 10:34):
“MERCY triumphs over Judgment” = MERCY ends that afterlife Judgment Sentence eventually.
The AORIST tense is a ONE TIME OCCURRENCE usually and thus it APPLIES at the POINT of SALVATION when His Ransom applies to each of the ALL in its OWN TIMES (1 Timothy 2:6, Ephesians 1:9 – 10, Acts 3:21) as He Makes ALL [Created] THINGS NEW as He Promises where some have to endure the Lake of Fire First (Revelation 21:5 – 8) —> but will be Reconciled from the Lake of Fire too (Revelation 22:17, Colossians 1:16 with Colossians 1:20).
Reconciliation from the Lake of Fire is Prophetically mentioned in the Mysterious Verse below (after their Judgment first in the Lake of Fire, ‘their part’ in Revelation 21:8):
“The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.” (Revelation 22:17, NASB)
Please note that the ‘Bride’ (His Church, believers) are calling out to the “thirsty” ones (from the ‘lake of Fire’, post Judgment) to be ‘relieved of their thirst’ (as ONLY those being punished in the Lake of Fire can feel thirsty, right?). Believers can never thirst in the afterlife (John 6:35, John 4:14) and thus cannot be the ones referred to in the verse above (Revelation 22:17) especially since ‘all believers of faith’ are His BRIDE (mentioned distinctly in Revelation 22:17).
Indeed, this is thus an IRREFUTABLE BIBLICAL TRUTH —> His MERCY (due to His Unfailing LOVE-AGAPE) is His Ultimate Truth, to Quote:
“So then IT [God’s Election or God’s Chosen: Context, Romans 9:11] does NOT depend on the man who WILLS [e.g. ‘our faith’] or the man who RUNS [e.g. ‘our works of the Law – good works’] , but on God Who has MERCY.” – apostle Paul (again, in Romans 9:16, NASB)
Our faith and our works gives Justification unto REWARDS (not Salvation) —> Verses: James 2:24 with James 2:18 – 26, Galatians 3:10, Romans 3:20, Romans 3:28, Galatians 2:16, Romans 2:6, Matthew 16:27, Job 34:11, Revelation 22:12 —> where one becomes ‘least’ or ‘greatest’ in His Kingdom accordingly (Matthew 5:19).
Things to Come – IN THAT DAY
“And the wolf will dwell with the lamb,
And the leopard will lie down with the young goat,
And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
And a little boy will lead them.
Also the cow and the bear will graze,
Their young will lie down together,
And the lion will eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra,
And the weaned child will put his hand on the viper’s den.
They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain,
For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD
As the waters cover the sea.
Then IN THAT DAY*,
The nations will resort to the Root of Jesse,
Who [Lord Jesus Christ] will stand as a signal for the peoples;
And His Resting place will be Glorious.” (Isaiah 11:6 – 10, NASB)
*Not in that “age”. This is Referring to the 1000 Milennial Reign of Lord Jesus Christ after the First Resurrection during the LAST DAY of this CURRENT AGE (AGE1 – Revelation 20:4 – 6).
A DAY for the Lord is like “1000 years”, right (2 Peter 3:8, Psalm 90:4)?