How valuable to God is man's free will choice? After all, if God had wanted to create a world of robots that had no choice except to worship God, He certainly could have done so. He even gave the angels the power of choice. We know that to be a fact because eons ago there was a war in heaven when Lucifer and a third of the angels were subdued and cast out of heaven because they chose to rebel against God.
I will never forget the first time I heard Pastor Dave give the illustration that made me understand how much value God places on man kinds free will choice. He said, If God was ever going to override mans power of choice, He would have done so when Adam was about to take a bite from the forbidden fruit. Think of the pain and suffering that has been endured because of that single choice. Not only did mankind fall because of that decision, but the whole of creation is still groaning under the weight of sin because God valued mans right to choose so highly.
Rom 8:20-22 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
The power to choose is something mankind takes for granted. Every day is made up of hundreds of choices regarding everything from What will I eat for breakfast? to What shirt will I wear today?.On a more serious level we make moral choices every single day. Every day we make the choice to read our bible or not. We decide whether to spend time in prayer or not. We decide whether to pray in public and give thanks for our meal at the restaurant or not. We make quick choices regarding telling a little white lie or not, watching a questionable television program or not, witnessing to our neighbor or not, helping somebody in need or not hundreds if not thousands of choices each day. And we take it for granted that we will always have the power of choice.
Recently I have been hearing this phrase within my spirit; When choice is lost. When the Holy Spirit keeps bringing a phrase like that to me it is because He wants me to meditate on Gods Word to bring teaching on the subject. In this lifetime, there is power of choice regarding virtually every subject. People have the power to choose whether they are going to live for God, the devil, or for themselves. God will honor whatever decisions they make and will not override them because He places such high value on mans free will choice. He tells us in His Word His ways are best for us. We are still free to choose Gods ways or the worlds ways. He is not pleased when we choose to ignore His Word and choose the world instead. But He still allows us to make the choices for ourselves.
We are not told a lot of detail about the new heavens and the new earth that believers will live in forever. No doubt they will be vastly different from this present fallen world. We know the lion will lie down with the lamb, for example. We know little children will be able to safely play around the hole of an asp (a poisonous snake in this present world) without fear of being harmed. I feel fairly confident there will still be lots of room for free will choice in that new heaven and earth for believers, but those choices will revolve around righteousness instead of sin. It will be wonderful for the believer in the world to come:
Eph 2:4-7 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
But what about the unbeliever? The power of choice ends at physical death for the unbeliever. I have heard the statement (and I believe it is true) that there are no atheists in hell. Remember the rich man who stepped over the sick beggar Lazarus? [Luke 16:19-31] He died and went to hell. He was certainly sorry for his life choices then, but it was too late. He wielded great power and influence through his riches while on earth, but in hell he could not even obtain a single drop of water for his parched tongue. He was no longer an unbeliever in hell, but it was too late. When choice is lost is a very scary phrase indeed. For the unbeliever, God allows them during their lifetime on earth to choose to reject the gospel again, and again, and again perhaps a hundred times or more. But at their death, the power of choice is lost forever.
This is the last letter of 2008. I wish there was a way for us to share with you all the testimonies we have received from people around the world who have been helped to make Godly choices because of the teachings they have received free of charge through this ministry. That is only possible because of the free will choices you have made to help us through prayer and financial support. We know every time you pray for us and every time you give of your finances, you made a choice from your heart.
Sue and I love you and appreciate you. We thank God for your generous and giving heart. God bless you!
Your friend and co-laborer,
Gary Carpenter Ministries|
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