It’s absurd to think that God did not know before…
It’s absurd to think that God did not know before setting out to create that His creation would go sour. He knew full well, and chose to proceed because He desired such an outcome. At His disposal were many options but He settled upon those options that led to the world we have today. All is going according to plan, and one day He will make a new heaven and earth where there will be no sin or evil.
These matters cannot be denied. Many teachers in the church do deny them though. And it’s a lie. God knew all along before He created the universe that His creation eventually would become corrupt with evil and sin. And yet He still went ahead and created it. It’s not as if He could not have created a universe with no sin or evil for He does just that when He creates the new heaven and the new earth.
These matters have occupied many a mind through the centuries.
“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”
Some seek for an escape from these matters by appealing to the belief that humans have free will. And that God respects our free will. But that’s not so. If God respected our will we would have been given a choice as to whether we wanted to exist or not. Along with a choice as to what our lives would entail, such as location of birth, sex, skin color, etc.
God’s will is supreme over our will. No matter what plans we make God always accomplishes what He wants through our decisions and actions.
Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.
– Psalm 115:3
Whatever the LORD pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps.
– Psalm 135:6
In Matthew there’s an account that has spoken to my heart many times as I’ve pondered these matters…
And behold, a leper came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.”
– Matthew 8:2
That leper stated a great truth. If God is willing He can do anything He wants.
Why is God not stopping evil in the world? He’s not willing to do so. Not at this time.
Why is God not saving every person on earth? He’s not willing to do so. Not at this time anyways.
A. W. Pink had this to say…
“To argue that God is ‘trying His best’ to save all mankind, but that the majority of men will not let Him save them, is to insist that the will of the Creator is impotent, and that the will of the creature is omnipotent.”
If God knew what we would do before He created us, and had the option of creating someone else who would make different choices, who is ultimately responsible for our choices and actions?
When God created the butterfly He anticipated the caterpillar. In the same way when He created Lucifer He anticipated the Devil. Or are we to believe that God did not know before He created Lucifer that he would become the Devil? Or are we to believe that He knew but had no choice but to create him? That He could not have created a cherub whom He foresaw not rebelling and becoming the Devil? Was God bound to what He foresaw Himself doing and had no way of escaping His future actions?
God did not just have one option. He had many options. And with each option He could look into the future and see all decisions that each optional creation would make.
He created Lucifer knowing that he would rebel. He could have created a cherub that He knew would not rebel.
He could have created a being whose actions He knew would be faithful. He had the power to look into the future and see all actions of any cherub He was contemplating creating.
He settled upon a cherub that He knew would rebel. Therefore Satan has his origin in God’s decision to create Lucifer.
“A puppet is free as long as he loves his strings.”
– Sam Harris
“You can do what you decide to do — but you cannot decide what you will decide to do.”
– Sam Harris
“Free will is an illusion. Our wills are simply not of our own making. Thoughts and intentions emerge from background causes of which we are unaware and over which we exert no conscious control.”
– Sam Harris, Free Will
“Take a moment to think about the context in which your next decision will occur: You did not pick your parents or the time and place of your birth. You didn’t choose your gender or most of your life experiences. You had no control whatsoever over your genome or the development of your brain. And now your brain is making choices on the basis of preferences and beliefs that have been hammered into it over a lifetime – by your genes, your physical development since the moment you were conceived, and the interactions you have had with other people, events, and ideas. Where is the freedom in this? Yes, you are free to do what you want even now. But where did your desires come from?”
– Sam Harris
“The men and women on death row have some combination of bad genes, bad parents, bad environments, and bad ideas (and the innocent, of course, have supremely bad luck). Which of these quantities, exactly, were they responsible for? No human being is responsible for his genes or his upbringing, yet we have every reason to believe that these factors determine his character. Our system of justice should reflect an understanding that any of us could have been dealt a very different hand in life. In fact, it seems immoral not to recognize just how much luck is involved in morality itself.”
– Sam Harris
“Liberals tend to understand that a person can be lucky or unlucky in all matters relevant to his success. Conservatives, however, often make a religious fetish of individualism.
Many seem to have absolutely no awareness of how fortunate one must be to succeed at anything in life, no matter how hard one works. One must be lucky to be able to work. One must be lucky to be intelligent, physically healthy, and not bankrupted in middle age by the illness of a spouse.”
– Sam Harris
The Westminster Confessional
Of God’s Eternal Decree
I. God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass; yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.
II. Although God knows whatsoever may or can come to pass upon all supposed conditions; yet has he not decreed anything because he foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions.
III. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of his glory, some men and angels are predestinated unto everlasting life; and others foreordained to everlasting death.
IV. These angels and men, thus predestinated, and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed, and their number so certain and definite, that it cannot be either increased or diminished.
V. Those of mankind that are predestinated unto life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to his eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of his will, has chosen, in Christ, unto everlasting glory, out of his mere free grace and love, without any foresight of faith, or good works, or perseverance in either of them, or any other thing in the creature, as conditions, or causes moving Him thereunto; and all to the praise of his glorious grace.
VI. As God has appointed the elect unto glory, so has He, by the eternal and most free purpose of his will, foreordained all the means thereunto. Wherefore, they who are elected, being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ, are effectually called unto faith in Christ by his Spirit working in due season, are justified, adopted, sanctified, and kept by his power, through faith, unto salvation. Neither are any other redeemed by Christ, effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only.
VII. The rest of mankind God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of his own will, whereby he extends or withholds mercy, as he pleases, for the glory of his sovereign power over his creatures, to pass by; and to ordain them to dishonor and wrath for their sin, to the praise of his glorious justice.
VIII. The doctrine of this high mystery of predestination is to be handled with special prudence and care, that men, attending the will of God revealed in his Word, and yielding obedience thereunto, may, from the certainty of their effectual vocation, be assured of their eternal election. So shall this doctrine afford matter of praise, reverence, and admiration of God; and of humility, diligence, and abundant consolation to all that sincerely obey the Gospel.
Do I have Scripture?
Of course I do…
Proverbs 20:24 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
24 How can we know
what will happen to us
when the Lord alone decides?
Proverbs 20:24 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
24 The Lord guides our steps, and we never know where he will lead us.
Proverbs 20:24 English Standard Version (ESV)
24 A man’s steps are from the Lord;
how then can man understand his way?
Proverbs 20:24 Good News Translation (GNT)
24 The Lord has determined our path; how then can anyone understand the direction his own life is taking?
Proverbs 20:24 New Century Version (NCV)
24 The Lord decides what a person will do;
no one understands what his life is all about.
Proverbs 20:24 The Passion Translation (TPT)
24 It is the Lord who directs your life,
for each step you take is ordained by God
to bring you closer to your destiny.
So much of your life, then, remains a mystery!