Do we really have free will? Does the Bible tell us that we really have the ability to make our own choice? The philosophy of free will has been divided among religions, and even among the religions who claimed to be Christians. The truth about the existence of free will on humans is very important because it determines the way to our eternal salvation. The concept of free will is contrary to the concept of theological predestination for the reason that the latter believes that God decides the eternal destination (salvation or destruction) of a person regardless of that person’s choice. The Holy Bible talks about predetermination. But does this concept of predestination really deny the existence of our free will? Will our salvation and eternal destination depends on our choice or not? Let’s find out the answers.
God has given us the ability to choose between life and death, and between blessings and curses.
Deuteronomy 30:19 (NIV)
This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live
He also gave us the choices between salvation and condemnation, and between eternal life and salvation. We have the free will to believe or not to believe in Jesus Christ.
John 3:16 (NIV)
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Mark 16:16 (NIV)
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
And to choose to believe in Jesus Christ is to choose to know Him.
Romans 10:14-15 (NIV)
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
We can only enter the kingdom of heaven if we choose to do the will of our Almighty Father.
Matthew 7:21 (NIV)
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
We can have eternal life if we choose to obey the commandments of God.
Matthew 19:16-17 (NIV)
Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”
“Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.”
God curse the person who chooses wickedness, but blesses the person who chooses righteousness.
Proverbs 3:33 (NIV)
The LORD’s curse is on the house of the wicked,
but he blesses the home of the righteous.
But God, who is faithful to us and abundant of love and kindness, wants us all to be saved.
2 Peter 3:9 (NIV)
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
Ezekiel 18:32 (NIV)
For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent and live!
1 Timothy 2:3-4 (NIV)
This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
God’s abundance and faithfulness doesn’t only give us curse for our sins and blessings for our righteousness – He also gives us mercy and forgiveness for our sins and grace for our righteousness. This is why God has sent us Jesus Christ, who is the power and wisdom of God, destined for our glory before the beginning of time.
1 Corinthians 2:6-7 (NIV)
We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began.
1 Corinthians 1:23-24 (NIV)
but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
God gave us grace in Christ Jesus before the time begun, to wash our sins and save us.
2 Timothy 1:8-9 (NIV)
So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,
God give us this grace through Jesus Christ, but we are to choose to access and receive that grace from Him. We can receive this grace by choosing to be faithful and to have an undying love with the Lord.
Romans 5:1-2 (NIV)
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
Ephesians 6:24 (NIV)
Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.
To be faithful and loving is also to be humble. For it is written, God gives grace to the ones who choose to be humble.
Proverbs 3:34 (NIV)
He mocks proud mockers
but gives grace to the humble.
Finally, to the ones whose sins are forgiven and once saved from the death of sins through the power and grace of God, and through faith in Christ Jesus – they must choose to do and continue to work out this salvation with fear and trembling, for God works in us to choose His will – and we are His co-workers to fulfill that will.
Philippians 2:12-13 (NIV)
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
1 Corinthians 3:9 (NIV)
For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.
We have free will to choose between eternal life and destruction. But God, who loves us and is faithful to us, wants us to choose life. That’s why He works for us, so that we may choose life. He predestined us with wisdom, power and mercy so that we may have the greater chance to be saved. Our Lord Jesus Christ, through the mercy and grace of God, once saved us and washed our sins. We should choose to continue to work out that salvation until the Judgment Day. We should not receive this grace in vain.
All the goodness of humans came into God’s mind – but not all their evilness. Free will does exist.
Jeremiah 7:31 (NIV)
They have built the high places of Topheth in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to burn their sons and daughters in the fire—something I did not command, nor did it enter my mind.