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45

Once we attain heaven, we will be given a new nature, purged of our old sinful nature. 2 Peter 1:4 (NIV) Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. Once we escape this corruption, we will gain the ...


18

Even if we can't pray away someone else's free will or convince God to bend the rules regarding the requirements of salvation, there can still be merit in praying on behalf of others with a slightly different attitude. Perhaps "let them have experiences that will lead them to the truth," or "let their hearts be softened, that they may give heed to the Holy ...


14

The reason that something may be considered a sin primarily because it hurts your relationship with God. When God has ordered the world in a certain way, or decrees that certain things are not to His will, then going against it is a sin. A sin isn't something that is bad for others. It's bad for ourselves. So to judge something as sinful because it hurts ...


13

Lucifer and his angels do indeed appear to have independent will. Revelation 12 describes the fall of the angels: Revelation 12 7 Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8 But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. 9 The great dragon was ...


13

First of all, Calvinists do believe in free will. This point is often mis-understood by non-Calvinists; but the position that men don't actually have free will and control over their own choices is not Calvinism but hyper-Calvinism -- a deterministic view that goes far beyond that of it's namesake Calvin and the general constituency. With that out of the ...


13

St Thomas Aquinas asks in Summa Theologica 3.1.3, "If man had not sinned, would God nevertheless have become incarnate?" (Latin: Si homo non peccasset, nihilominus Deus incarnatum fuisset?). His answer is "no", while acknowledging that God could have still chosen to become incarnate for other reasons; although he recognizes a diversity of thought on the ...


12

From a purely practical standpoint, ie removing all theological considerations for a moment, we have free will. I can decide to get up and have a glass of water right now. I can flex and relax the muscles in my fingers to make a fist or open my hand. Perceptually I am controlling my body, my thoughts, and making decisions. When I interact with other people, ...


12

The point of the illustration is to reconcile God's sovereignty in salvation with man's free will to choose salvation. I believe it originated from H.A. Ironside: It has been pictured in this way. Here is a vast host of people hurrying down the broad road with their minds fixed upon their sins, and one stands calling attention to yonder door, the ...


11

I can only speak from a Wesleyan-Arminian perspective. A classical Arminian may have a slightly different understanding. God is both creator and ruler of the universe. As creator he has exercised complete sovereignty; God made all the decisions in setting everything up (Genesis 1), including setting up the means by which we could be saved (Romans 3:21-26). ...


10

When the world was first created, humans (Adam and Eve) had free will and there was no suffering. It was through their decision to disobey God that they allowed evil to enter the world. I believe that there will be free will in Heaven. By trusting our souls to Jesus now, we are in the process of being changed. I believe when the time comes I will be ...


9

Yes, people in Heaven will have true free will - but it will not be a free will that allows them to sin. People living under sin are described in the bible as being enslaved to sin. Thus true freedom is not freedom to sin but freedom to serve God and not sin. Be aware that freedom does not equal autonomy. Does God have a free will? Yes, otherwise he would ...


9

Yes. Jesus' own words to Peter are relevant here: Matthew 26:52-54 (ESV) 52 Then Jesus said to him, "Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword. 53 Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then should the Scriptures be ...


8

With all due respect to Mark Hausam, the logic just doesn't hold water. That sounds like a category error. Category Errors These fallacies occur because the author mistakenly assumes that the whole is nothing more than the sum of its parts. However, things joined together may have different properties as a whole than any of them do ...


8

The mainstream Christian answer is that there is no chance for repentance after death. The Scripture used to support this is Hebrews 9:27 which says And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment The protestant answer goes further saying this: (From http://www.gotquestions.org/second-chance-salvation.html) While ...


8

That is a great question, and sometimes I have pondered that myself. Through study of the scriptures and church resources I have come to this conclusion: What is Agency? Basically, agency is the ability and privilege God gives us to choose and to act for ourselves. Agency is essential to God's Plan of Salvation. Without it, we could not make the choices ...


7

I would argue that the premise that free will is "the ability to act apart from one's nature" is essentially flawed. Free will is the ability to act within your power according to your nature. However, regardless of your definition of free will, the question is also influenced by a finite viewpoint. God is both infinite and perfect. He has free will, and ...


7

A simple answer given by the Orthodox seems to be that God foreknows, but that simply means he knows what we are going to choose before we choose it. This does not mean that he makes the choices. As an example of this approach we have a few quotes: St. Methodius of Olympus ca.260-martyred 311 a.d. Now those who decide that man is not possessed of ...


7

As each plague struck, Pharaoh was more than willing to let the Israelites to relieve the plague. But as each curse was lifted, his pride took hold and his heart was hardened out of stubbornness, not because of God deactivating his free moral agency. God knew the type of man Pharaoh was, and what his reaction to the plagues (and the lifting of each plague) ...


7

In John Piper's talks on Calvinism, he addresses this very point - why pray or even evangelise the non-saved since God has already elected who will be saved and who not. His answer is that our action is the means by which God often achieves His will. So if God has ordained that Bob will be saved through the witness of Jim, then Jim will witness and Bob will ...


7

Short Answer: No, John 6:44 does not imply that there is no free will when it comes to salvation. What the text itself implies (theology aside) is that a person can only come to Jesus if the Father draws him. It says nothing about whether free will plays a part in salvation, or (if so) how it does. (In fact, it doesn't even really say anything about ...


7

I'm not sure if the Church has an explicit doctrinal position on this question, but I can give you the view of classical philosophy, as originally expounded by Aristotle and then developed chiefly by St. Thomas Aquinas. This view undergirds the thinking of most orthodox Catholic theologians, historically speaking. In this way of thinking -- assuming you ...


6

I would say that yes, through free will a man can accept God's offer of grace and salvation. I believe God gives us the freedom to choose so that when we do choose to accept His grace, it is a conscious, humble, obedient choice. That does not mean that God cannot force someone to accept his grace, but I'm not sure there is any evidence of God doing that. ...


6

Sin is not defined as such by any level of hurt caused to a human being. Sin is, in fact, "missing the mark"; the word has it's roots in the target-shooting of an archer - sin is, in effect, to miss the bulls-eye. First and foremost sin is any failure to live up to the perfect law of God, including all it's moral statutes. For the Jews, this included the ...


6

In Calvinism, it's a paradox. God absolutely chooses whether a person can be saved, but a person is also responsible for his choice to serve and obey God. Obviously, it's crazy to deny any free will at all - Christian or Non-Christian, we make choices every day, some good and some bad. Total Depravity tells us that we will always (and effectively this means ...


6

Well, let's have a look at the actual text. Genesis 2: 16-17 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. Verse 17 is particularly ...


6

The Christian position is this: The Old Testament is just as much God's Word as the New Testament is. There are differing Christian positions on how much we should consider the Old Testament to be history. The majority position would be that most of it is considered roughly historical. A substantial number would consider it all to be 100% historical, and a ...


6

I think this question can be answered without becoming lost in all the differing views of what is ‘exactly’ free will and what is ‘exactly’ predestination. From a high level the church is basically divided on this subject between the thinking of St Augustine (or what protestants think he believed) versus Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, or Assyrian church views. ...


5

The sidran's reply was nice, just more one point is: 1 Corinthians 10:11 KJV Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Some commands are decreed as "a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things" (Hebrews 10.1). Look at that ...


5

I would say your argument is entirely backwards. If the Lord has total sovereignty, then he can choose to let humans decide for themselves whether to accept salvation if that is what He wishes. Saying that God cannot possibly let humans freely choose whether or not to accept salvation is saying that God does not have total sovereignty. The question is ...


5

It is difficult to use specific scriptures off hand to answer this question. However, I will try to take an approach that takes into consideration that as it was in the beginning, so shall it be in the end. In the beginning Adam and his wife (before being named as Eve) were without sin, and and still had free will, as we see demonstrated in God having Adam ...



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