Question Concerning Freedom of the Will

Someone has asked, “In Eden, Adam and Eve sinned and rebelled against God. In Heaven where those who are saved by Christ will eternally live we are told that no one will sin. God can create people with free will who do not and cannot sin and this leads to my question, “Why didn’t God create Adam and Eve with a free will who cannot and do not sin?” There seems to be a serious contradiction in the Bible and in biblical theology. If there is an answer can you please tell me?”

Separation

God created Heaven as the ‘final destination’ for His created beings, i.e. angels who remained faithful to Him. Before God created earth we know that the heavens, the sky surrounding planet earth were created long before. For it was from this place that fallen angels fell; Satan and his minions.

The Eternal City

In Revelation 21 John describes what can best be described as the Eternal City. It is to this perfect dwelling place that all who have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb will finally and eternally live in the presence of Almighty God; the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. For every person who believes that Jesus is the Son of God, was crucified, and was resurrected after 3 days, repents from sin and asks God for salvation by His grace and through His gift of faith that person will become a citizen of the Eternal City, the New Jerusalem.

Saved by Grace through Faith

Please read what the Word of God says to us,  “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:5-7. Because of this relationship, anyone can be ”Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”  1 Peter 1:3-5.

If you have not by faith trusted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, the Apostle John wrote the following words in Revelation 22:17,  “The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.” The ‘Water of Life’ is Jesus, the crucified, risen and coming again, Savior.

Freedom to Choose

I have written to answer a question concerning ‘freedom of the will’ which God has given to everyone who has ever lived, beginning with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Everyone has the freedom to choose or to deny God and is capable of and does sin, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.” Romans 5:8-9. We sin because we are free to choose to do so. And, in John 3:16-18, we find a very short phrase spoken by Jesus to His friend Nicodemus, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” We are saved or we are condemned because of this God-given freedom to choose.

Practicing Sin is not of God

Because we have this freedom of the will we have this incredible statement, again,  from John, “Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. 5 You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin. 6 No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him. 7 Little children, make sure no one you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; 8 the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. 9 No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 10 By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.” 1 John 3:4-10.

Here, we must have our understanding in ‘high gear’ because many folks become confused when reading this statement. The operative thought that John gives us is, “practices sin” because John writes in verse 9, “No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” This is not a contradiction, but we must understand the context is within the confines of “practicing sin” and not “cannot sin.” John is not talking about sinless perfection as some believe.

Harsh Reality

In the New Jerusalem, the Eternal City, we find a perfect and sinless environment where evil does not exist because when this beautiful city comes into being, Satan and all evil and evil-doers will have been cast into the Lake of Fire, “And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.        21 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.” Revelation chapter 20:10 through chapter 21:2.

Light is NOT in Darkness

No doubt, the afore-mentioned question will never be satisfactorily answered for I have read many articles dealing with the problem of sin. No writer, except the Bible, has given an adequate response. I find it interesting and compelling that many, if not most people, do not accept what the Bible gives us which is the truth of God which can only be accepted by faith. And it stands to reason that lost people will always look to darkness to find their light in which there is none.

Have a blessed day. Jesus is Lord.

 

About Bob Williford

Conservative Southern Baptist pastor, missionary, and personal evangelist. An avid supporter of Texas Tech Athletics. Enjoy oil painting, writing and woodworking. My wife, children, and grandchildren are my joy. Reading and writing are great for relaxing......
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