Omniscience is a word used to describe God in that He is all-knowing. Many people take this and it gets twisted into the saying that He knows all & He is controlling our every move, and thatís just not true. People into a movement called Calvinism, think we are ďpredestinedĒ to either be saved or spend an eternity in Hell, because they misinterpret verses in the Bible, thus, one reason people think, ďWell, if itís all laid out already, what the point in trying? God already decided.Ē This state of thinking causes lazy Christians as well as a polluted view that makes some people give up all together and go out and live their lives for themselves instead of for God. Godís omniscience and His predestining have nothing to do with that at all.
Letís talk first about Godís omniscience. God knew everything that would happen before the beginning of creation. All the people, their choices, their wants, desires, and prayers. He also knew how their decisions would affect them, how He would use them for His benefit, and how He would answer their prayers. He knows who will heed His call for Salvation and who will not, and what ways He would use to remove scales from peoples eyes, and so forth. Knowing those things, however, does not mean that He is sitting there controlling every move we make. He knew from the beginning, He had to, or He wouldnít be God. If He fixed things as they came along, or got caught by surprise, He would not be God. Prayer changes thingsÖyes indeed, but it is because He knew that prayer you were going to make in ages past and how He would answer that. Sometimes itís a yes, and sometimes itís a no, and itís always for His glory. But you, I, nor anyone else is a pawn on a chess board that He moves around making all your decisions and such for you. If you are a Christian, then your dependence on Him to guide you in decisions was known before Creation as well as how He would guide you. God doesnít control us like that because we have the ability to choose. Why? I mean, He could have created robots that HAD to love and obey Him, and then we would not be in the mess we are now because Adam and Eve would have never sinned. Well, think about it. Is forced love, or robotic made-to-love your idea of REAL love? No! When love is given by choice, then THAT is real love. Thatís pure love. God loves us, He chooses to, and us being created in His image, we are given that same capability. Yes, He knew Adam and Eve would choose not to obey, and He created them anyway. Why not? We have children, every child born, that will not obey us all the time, and sometimes hate usÖ but that didnít stop the love we have in choosing to create them anyway knowing that would happen. Why should God be any different? Just as we make ways to pardon our children, welcome them back, love them and give them opportunity, God (John 1:1), cared enough to step out of Heaven and take on flesh (John 1:14), and make a Way for us to be with Him forevermore (John 14:6).
So finally, is the issue of predestination. The word is spoken by Paul in Romans 8:29-30 and Ephesians 1:5 & 11. Instead of rightly dividing the Word (2nd Timothy 2:15), many have taken on John Calvinís views and said that shows God has chosen who is going to Heaven and who is going to Hell. The problem is they donít understand what we just talked about with omniscience. He knows who is going, but He is letting them make their own choices. Predestinated, in these verses, simply means to make a pathway or destination in advance. Here is an example. An airline company has a special jet that is capable making a flight to the South Pole and landing in the most beautiful area in the world and it is impossible to get there any other way. No other airline has this jet, though some have tried and failed. The airline sets up a price for this trip for all who are willing to do what needs to be done to go. For those who choose, the company has predestined a flight path and where you will go. They made plans in advance. That is all tht is meant in those four verses. When one looks at Godís omniscience, love, and plan for us, being a bench warmer because we think He is moving us like pawns on a chess board becomes a futile thought. It drives home the great commission, and the fact that we need to live our lives as a living sacrifice.
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
In His Grace,
Mike Harris Jr.
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