Faith

Our Free Will Choices and God’s Response

Have you ever heard God described as a “gentleman”? When painting this picture pastors and teachers generally refer to how God is unwilling to force Himself on anyone. He will always allow the individual to choose whether or not to accept Him.

The same is true of God’s hopes for our daily lives. There are ideals He wants us to live by and goals to fulfill. Yet if we choose a different path than what He would have us choose, He allows us to go as far as we dare.

In a previous post I wrote about how God saw all of time before time began, and He recorded, finalized, the outcome of history. We call this predestination. But what does it really mean when God allows us to be creatures of free will, allowing us to choose and then sealing our decisions?

Continue reading “Our Free Will Choices and God’s Response”
Faith

The Uncanny Partnership of Free Will and Predestination

Predestination is a theological term full of meaning. Unfortunately, it is often misunderstood, leading to a false representation, which ends up with most people choosing to ignore it or write it off.

Free will is considered the hero fighting against the evil of Predestination. We consider how we are thinking beings, making decisions all of the time. We are not preprogrammed or piloted by someone else, not even God.

But these two ideas are not enemies. Rather than battle or work against each other they work in tandem partnership. In fact, Predestination is the ultimate result of Free Will.

Continue reading “The Uncanny Partnership of Free Will and Predestination”
Bible, Christian Living

Sola Scriptura: How One Rule Keeps Us Straight when it Comes to God

There is a moment from my opening days of Bible College that I love to share. It comes from the first day of our Systematic Theology course. Who knew such a simple exercise could have such an impact on my heart?

The professor asked us to take out a sheet of paper. We were given a few minutes to write out everything we knew about God. After we finished and the papers were collected, we were told to expect the same assignment at the close of the semester. Sure enough, that day came and we wrote new descriptions about God, and they were much longer, filled with the theological words and ideas we acquired over those months of study.

Young man reading small Bible

It is incredibly helpful to take a course in theology. Doing so forces the student to “unlearn what he has learned” on his own in order to grow and accept what Scripture actually shows about God and how He relates with humanity. So many don’t have such an opportunity. Left to develop an understanding of God on their own, there is a great danger that can cause serious problems for us. Thankfully there is a simple rule to keep us safe.

Continue reading “Sola Scriptura: How One Rule Keeps Us Straight when it Comes to God”

Bible, Book Reviews

Book Review: “Erasing Hell” by Francis Chan & Preston Sprinkle

erasing_hell_coverThere has been a lot of discussion over who said what and what the Bible says about Hell. If you have taken note of the discussion, or are just curious, this book will interest you.

But there is far more at stake than the “Hell” debate, and Chan & Sprinkle make it clear right from the beginning. This is about more than doctrine; it is about the destinies of human beings.

Erasing Hell is not a direct response to Rob Bell’s Love Wins book that started the recent rounds of debate. While Chan & Preston refer to Bell in a couple of chapters, it is not a Bell-bashing book. It is an investigation into the biblical description of Hell.

Continue reading “Book Review: “Erasing Hell” by Francis Chan & Preston Sprinkle”

Bible

Exploring Hope – 6

If you’ve been following through our Exploring Hope posts, you might be glad to hear that this will be our last one. Some might have felt like we were going through a course to learn Klingon (a comment I received when preaching this sermon a few weeks ago). But these are the words from the Hebrew that we translate to “hope” in the Old Testament. Here is one last word that delivers an intense picture of our hope.

Continue reading “Exploring Hope – 6”