Dabar [theme]

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou find refuge: His truth is a shield and buckler
Psalms 91:4

Be it ours,when we cannot see the face of God, to trust under the shadow of His wings. C.H. Spugeon

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Free-Will; Free Choice

 "But I do not wish to be freed from the consequences of sin... I wish to be freed from the very thought of sin." Gandhi

"Apocalyptic imagery, visions of a final Day of Judgment, arise in Israel’s prophetic imagination as it becomes clear that this world order will not bring God’s vindication of God’s people. When penultimate reality fails to produce the rewards and punishments that God promises, then the sphere of their fulfillment is transferred to a more ultimate “heavenly” reality. Apocalyptic judgment undergirds hopes of resurrection, for example, when a new body in a new creation becomes the only means by which someone who has been faithful to the point of death can receive the blessings of a land flowing with milk and honey. Apocalyptic judgment is The End in the sense of wrapping up the narrative of this world, and The New Beginning in the sense of leading into the age to come." Daniel Kirk

In the discussion of the eschatological there are points of view which wish that all will be saved from eternal damnation and reject a view which only allows an elect selection of people access to an eternal life with God. The premise is that God is love and therefore punishment for sin is beneath His will, His mandate and diminishes His integrity. There are many articulate arguments presenting the case and I admit they are very persuasive as rhetoric.

The universalist position is one which would declare 'Live life and leave the consequences to God' without fear. "I thus find it interesting that from the people for whom free will is a non-negotiable in all our dealings with God that universalism is an increasingly popular option. After asserting that everything is entirely up to us, that God would never force anyone to choose God or love God, in the end we are not willing to accept that there might be grave, even eternal consequences to this act of freedom. In the end, we are asking for God to overcome our freedom by a mighty act of universal election.

If we are going to so stridently insist on a God who is willing that his creatures choose or reject God in freedom, I think we need to have the courage to posit a God who is willing to live with the consequences of that freedom—a God who, in the end, is willing to say to us who have rejected God, “Your will be done.”

Colossians 1:12,13 "... giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins."

The universalist position has no use for a doctrine of deliverance, redemption or the existence of Hell or Satan. Why should these things become 'flies in the ointment' of a concept of a loving God Who will bring all into His Kingdom. However the Bible and Jesus continually address the issue of our free-will, our free-choice, the advancement of Satan's rule through those attributes and the existence of Hell as an eternal address for all who reject God's salvation offered through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Throughout Christian history the story has always been about the character of God as He delivers: meaning 'to draw (pull) to oneself' or 'to rescue', and this action meaning liberation from Satan's rule and authority.
This, God's character, is mirrored in the lives of His saints as they grow and mature in sanctification, 'being holy for God is holy' and reviling the things of this world and their power and authority in their personal lives, striving to fulfill their true freedom in Christ.

Acts 26:18, "... to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me (Jesus)."

There are many who will claim obedience, many who will claim salvation, many who will proclaim their sanctification, many will expound their knowledge, but the proclamation on the Day of Judgement will be from Jesus Christ and will be based upon His Word "...dwell(ing) in you richly in all wisdom,..."

The share of the inheritance is an unmerited favour, unearned, granted by grace and given by Jesus Christ, God's Son and however ludicrous it sounds it is rightfully attained in this life, not specifically by how we live but determined by that value nonetheless, it is a birthright, a sonship, an act of grace unprecedented in this world or in the world's understanding.

If you have received Christ as your Saviour, you know, "... and let the peace of God rule in your heart,..."

If you have not, fear ... all the persuasive rhetoric in the world will not save you ...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ayn RandThe word "We" is as lime poured over men, which sets and hardens to stone, and crushes all beneath it, and that which is white and that which is black are lost equally in the grey of it. It is the word by which the depraved steal the virtue of the good, by which the weak steal the might of the strong, by which the fools steal the wisdom of the sages

All humans live amongst others, but their attitude about life and what makes for meaning is what makes for the differences. Some see the "We" as an attitude of "Comaradie", "Team", "Care", which makes for "society", "company", and "organization". But such thinking can enable, as much as enoble, when individuals are not taking their own responsibilty for and about their life. Instead, they compromise, or ignore their own values so that others might not be "left out". But, in doing so, they loose their own distinctiveness. And soceity suffers for it.

Such is the Christian, when facing the inevitability of the Day of Judgement and the many who will perish and the many who are his neighbour