One of your best friends sends you a wedding invitation. The instance you were handed one meant you were chosen to go. If it weren’t so, you would have gotten nothing. You made it on the RSVP list but it’s still up to you to go or forgo depending on the circumstances and your priorities, it is within your power to respond to attend or not.
“The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. 3 He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.“Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’ 5 “But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business.”
One would say, “God already knew you wouldn’t go so technically, He destined you not to go.”
You initially planned to go but at the last minute, you changed your mind for some reason and did not go. You still made your choice. He knew beforehand you weren’t going to end up there by your own decision. His knowledge of everything before it happens does not mean He manipulates and coerces one to choose Him. He sees how we can get to the favorable outcome despite all the mess we get ourselves into and in His mercy, gently beckons us to Himself and back to His will (Romans 8:28). There is a difference between total manipulation and wooing. Manipulation gives you no choice while being wooed gives one the choice to accept or reject His love.
How can God hold one accountable for their own actions if there are no choices? No free will? If one acts according to how they have been supposedly “preprogrammed,” then certainly, it would cancel out the verse below,
“But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.”
God’s Will For Humanity
“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”
2 Peter 3:9
“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”
1 Timothy 2:1-4
God’s will is for all of those whom He created in His image and likeness to get saved and know Him. God did not create certain people for destruction. But God knows ALL things, to the very detail of the person who chooses the pleasures of sin over righteousness as stated in John 3:19,
“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.”
The word “instead” is indicative of choice. He grants them the experience of life just the same. He lays out the choices knowing beforehand who will choose His recommendation and who won’t (Deuteronomy 30:15-20). He even tells us the consequences, whereas the enemy gives you only a half-truth (Genesis 3:4). God did not predestine anyone to commit the sins they commit. People sin by their own choice as stated in James 1:14-15, “but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”
Just because God knows one’s decision before a person even makes it, does not equate He fashioned that person specifically to commit certain sins. It is the same as thinking God created Judas just to betray Jesus. Adopting this kind of thinking paints God to be the author of sin and this is NOT in keeping with His character – “You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin.” (1 John 3:5). The one who has a wrong perception of God’s character will act according to that misconception (Matthew 25:14-28).
In an altar call, no one can drag you to the front. You can either stay in your seat or get up and walk to the altar. Even if you think God destined you for destruction, you can’t validate your excuse that it was not your choice to be made in the first place. One can account it to predestination but what one is really saying here is that we only have an illusion of choice. When people argue this, they can’t deny that in our entire lives, all we ever do is make choices. To say we don’t is a complete lie.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Almost everyone has heard of this verse. This was the only piece of Scripture I clung to since I was a little girl and it was the same verse that led me to the feet of Christ. To translate this in a way that changes its original context is blatant error. Jesus died for the sins of ALL humanity, not just the elect.
Everyone, the whole entire world gets the invitation and WHOEVER chooses to accept the invitation gets their name written in the Lamb’s book of Life (Revelation 21:27). Those who do choose to respond, God in his infinite knowledge already knew. Just because God has ultimate knowledge does not mean he predestined people to go to hell, “For there is no partiality with God” (Romans 2:11). People end up there for choosing to reject what was freely offered to them thinking they know better than the One who created them because of pride, the very sin that caused Lucifer to rebel against God.
RSVP, Répondez S’il Vous Plaît… It demands a reply. The offer of Salvation always stands for EVERYONE. Failure to reply however is a reply in itself.
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”
[Image Credit: Search engine result- tweaked. Special thanks to the original poster]