The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Category Archives: His Will vs. Human Choice

God, Evil, & Human Choice Q&A

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What is God’s relationship with evil?  Just how important is human choice?  These two questions alone have been the source of endless debate within the Christian community, and they will continue to cause division until this world is destroyed.  When you’re at a point in your own spiritual journey where you want to start really chewing on these topics, it can be tough to find any serious discussions that don’t just do the usual “God is good” brush off.  Because questioning is a critical part of spiritual development, we enjoy helping you dig deeper into topics that you’re currently wondering about.  The purpose of our Q&A posts is to provide answers to series of questions which are often asked by souls who are pondering certain topics.  God’s relationship with evil and the significance of human choice are the themes we’ll be talking about in this post, so now let’s get into it. Read more of this post

Salvation Concerns: Why does God block some souls from coming to Him?

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According to Yahweh, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, one of the most important elements in your relationship with Them is the element of choice.  Your Gods give you choices in life.  They are always limited choices.  You never get to choose between an infinite set of possibilities.  Instead, you can only ever choose between a range of options that your Gods give you.  Your life is a mix of elements that you have the option of changing and elements that you are stuck with.  For example, you can change your hairdo, but you can’t change the fact that you need oxygen to live.  You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your biological family members.  Read more of this post

Understanding Divine Election: Jacob I Loved, Esau I Hated (Malachi 1 & Romans 9)

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MALACHI 1

The prophetic book of Malachi begins with this disturbing passage in which Yahweh is speaking to Jews living in the land of Judah:

“I have always loved you,” says Yahweh.

But you retort, “Really? How have You loved us?”

And Yahweh replies, “This is how I showed My love for you: I loved your ancestor Jacob, but I rejected his brother, Esau, and devastated his hill country. I turned Esau’s inheritance into a desert for jackals.”

Esau’s descendants in Edom may say, “We have been shattered, but we will rebuild the ruins.”

But the Sovereign Yahweh replies, “They may try to rebuild, but I will demolish them again. Their country will be known as ‘The Land of Wickedness,’ and their people will be called ‘The People with Whom Yahweh Is Forever Angry.’ When you see the destruction for yourselves, you will say, ‘Truly, Yahweh’s greatness reaches far beyond Israel’s borders!’” (Mal. 1:2-5)

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Understanding Divine Judgment: Illumination, Empowerment & A God Who Delights In Mercy

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Most Christians are in a confused muddle about how God judges them. When we believe that God expects more from us than He does, we end up trapped in an endless cycle of pain, shame, and despair. We conclude that God is impossible to please, and this leads us into all sorts of harmful activities. Do you repent for the same sins over and over again? Do feel the need to injure your body or deprive your life of any joy as a means of atoning for past sins? Do you avoid a lot of subjects in your prayer life or do you avoid praying altogether because you’re afraid of God blasting you with some wrathful response? All of these are common symptoms of believing that God is impossible to please, and that belief stems from not understanding what God expects from you. To get yourself out of this cycle of misery—or to prevent yourself from getting sucked into it in the first place—you need to learn about two concepts that are critical to gaining a proper view of Divine Judgment. Those two topics are spiritual illumination, and Divine empowerment.  Anyone can gain a clear idea of how God judges them if it’s explained to them properly, and as a Christian, it is vital that you understand where the lines of responsibility fall. Read more of this post

God’s Will vs. Human Choice Q&A

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1. IF GOD ALWAYS GETS WHAT HE WANTS, DOESN’T THAT MAKE OUR CHOICE INVALID?

No, because part of what God wants is for us to have choice. The key to understanding how God can have His way without turning us into automatons is to realize how limited our choices are and how many scenarios please Him. Suppose you’re going out to lunch with a friend. You say to her, “Do you want to go to Italian or Mexican?” You’re giving her a choice, but it’s limited. You could easily enjoy either food at the time you ask the question, so though you’re giving her some degree of choice, no matter what she chooses, you’re going to feel satisfied. Read more of this post

If God controls everything, how is it fair that He punishes us for making certain choices?

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God’s control over this universe is absolute—this is something He makes quite clear in the Bible. But also in the Bible, we find God talking to people as if they are making a bunch of independent choices. So how does that work? If God is really controlling everything, how can our choices be more than that of automatons? And if God has preprogrammed us to like certain things, and think certain ways, then how can He blame us for making choices He doesn’t like? Aren’t we all just living out some prewritten script? These are the questions we’ll answer in this post.

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The Complexity of God’s Will

The Complexity of God's Will

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The topic of God’s will is far more complex than it seems at first glance. We can make the statement “God always gets what He wants,” and this statement is absolutely true. But when it comes to defining what God wants, we rely on verbal statements from God which we then view as comprehensive explanations of His will. This is where we completely go astray, for God’s agenda is far too complex to be summarized by simple statements.

Whenever we find God declaring His will in the Bible, what He’s really doing is communicating His heart to us. Not realizing this, we tend to interpret these statements as hard facts about what God really wants to happen in the human realm. When those things don’t happen, we find ourselves forced to conclude that God didn’t get His way after all. Suddenly our all-powerful King seems less than all-powerful, and this doesn’t sit well with us. It shouldn’t, because it isn’t true. God ALWAYS accomplishes His own will. Whenever it doesn’t seem like it to us, it is because we have misinterpreted what God’s will is. God helps us into many of these misinterpretations by intentionally not spelling out His will to us. Why does He keep us in the dark? Because our Sovereign King has no desire to fully reveal Himself to the creatures He makes. He only gives us glimpses and then tells us that is enough. We are never invited behind the scenes to see all of reality from the Creator’s perspective. Even if we were, we would find it to be a terrifying experience—far too overwhelming to be edifying, for we are not designed with anywhere near God’s level of cognitive skills. While we marvel over how He can possibly hear all of our prayers at once, He doesn’t try to explain it to us. He just smiles at our wonder and assures us that with Him, all things are possible. Read more of this post

Can God force us to obey?

Can God force us to obey?

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Can God force us to obey Him? He can and He does all the time. We are not independent from God. We depend on Him for every breath. We literally can’t make a move without Him, so when God doesn’t like the move we’re planning on making, He simply prevents us from making it. As Proverbs 16:9 says, “The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.”

There are two main reasons why we don’t obey God. One is that we can’t, the other is that we won’t. God uses different methods to handle each of these situations. Read more of this post

Can God force us to sin?

Can God Force Us to Sin?

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Can God force us to sin? This is quite a serious question to ask, and we’d all like to think the answer is “no.” However, anytime we set out to define the limits of God’s abilities, we will end up forced to conclude that no such limits exist. God most certainly can force us to sin. Even more disturbing is the fact that He does. Read more of this post