- Some passages you might want to look at
- Full passages can be listened to in context here:
The term 'free will' isn't actually a word directly used in the Bible. The concept of free will (partially) stems from the concept where love isn't love, unless it is given freely. And that's why God gave Adam and Eve the choice - to choose between disobeying God and giving in to temptation (eating of the forbidden fruit).
However, if God really is God, and knows everything, from the stars in the sky (Ps 147:4) to the past, present and future (Matthew 6:8), then wouldn't he know that Adam and Eve would sin, and subsequently whether or not we would choose to repent or go to hell?
There are many verses in the Bible where the word 'elect' was being used, supporting the idea that all this was already in God's plan. In fact, how could God be God above all, if He was just as uncertain about the future as all of us?
Paul E. Eymann brought up an interesting thought - that God frees man's will by exhorting them repent, believe, obey and turn to God. But if God already knows who will respond to these exhortations, then aren't the respondents also part of the 'elect'?
That leads us to the point - Isn't God a very cruel God, to create a huge bunch of people whom He knows will die in the end?
John E. Bailey wrote an interesting article about predestination and what it means. It's one of the better articles that I've found so far, and the picture he painted was that many of us have interpreted 'free will' in an inaccurate light. His position stands with predestination, and God's 'cruelty' is put down to the fact where "Everything that God has ever done, and everything He ever will do, He does primarily to Glorify Himself." This might sound obnoxious, but it has been mentioned repeatedly in the Bible that our God is a jealous God - one that is unwilling to share His Glory with anyone else. However, he also went on to say the following:
"We can see that in his ultimate wisdom He could elect some for heaven, pulling them out of a situation that only He could save them from, in so doing showing his glorious might and ability to save. While at the same time leaving some to their own wicked hearts, and eternally punishing them for their crime of not loving Him. And in so doing glorify Himself by upholding for all eternity the great worth of His being by demonstrating the severity of the crimes against Him by eternally punishing those guilty of these crimes."Now, this is absolutely cannot accept. If we are condemned to 'our own wicked hearts', where did this wickedness come from? Which brings up another interesting point - if God didn't create evil, where did evil come from? (But let's leave this for another post)
Of course, it might also be the tone of writing, but doesn't creating a bunch of people and condemning them to eternity for the sake of glorifying oneself sound a little juvenile and egoistic to you? Like a three year old kid creating a Lego town, then getting 'Godzilla' (no pun intended) to crush the town and establishing himself ruler over it all?
Would you really want to love, worship and serve a God like that?