Dear Salvationist, Does Freewill Conflict with God’s Foreknowledge?

We sing songs in our Army that speak of God’s plan for us.
We recognize that there is a plan in place…we just don’t always understand it.
A part of the question came becomes specific and personal – Is God’s plan specific, is that they way He works in every individual on the planet?  Or is it more of a general plan that God has for every person – that all of them might choose Him and live according to His will?

songThere are some phrases that might suggest that God’s plan is specific.  For instance, in the song “I’m in His hands”, the writes states: “The days I cannot see, have all been planned for me...” (Stanley Ditmer)

Does this suggest that God already knows the outcome of our lives?  Is everything then, predestined to occur?  Is every step that we take, every decision made, has it already been decided for us?  Is free-will a farce?  Or is this out of context?  Is it specific to believers who have chosen to follow Christ?  Is it more to do with Holiness than it is to do with the choice of man?

More to Ponder….

predestinedHow do we understand passages like:
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” Romans 8:29

and;

Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,…”  Ephesians 1:4-5 ESV

Does this cancel out our supposed freewill?
Do we really have a choice in this world?
How do we reconcile our Free Will and God’s Foreknowledge?

Undoubtedly someone will take me to task (again) for using a beloved song from The Salvation Army to ponder this question.  Some might read only the first few sentences and assume I just thrown down some sort of gauntlet in the face of what is “Army”.

My Take:
Does it limit God when we consider that we have freewill? freewill
Does this then mean that God is not all powerful and all knowing?
Can we really put limits on God like that?  -Absolutely not, that sounds ridiculous doesn’t it?

Does Freewill conflict then, with God’s foreknowledge?
I do not believe this to be the case.
Can we have both a God who is omniscient and His creation who, through His amazing love, is given the freedom to choose?  I believe so.
God can know us completely, even the decisions we might make in the future.
But, He doesn’t force us to make the decisions that He desires for us, and knows will bless and benefit us.  This is truly the defining love of a wondrous God!

A Parent’s Perspective: 
Your child is about to make a crucial decision in life.
You, being older and, perhaps wiser, can see the variables in each decision.  You can see the outcomes that will transpire in each.  Do you help them make the decision?  Do you force them to make the right one and then they resent you for it?  Or, out of love do you direct them, but ultimately leave the choice in their hands, which allows them to learn in the process?

Now we can begin toparents scratch the surface of this God – Creation/Human existence.  We can begin to see how hard it must be for God to watch us make our choices sometimes.
He hopes that we choose Him.  He hopes that He will be included in our life choices.
How it must break His heart for Him to see His children to go astray, knowing the choices that got them there could have been altered.

Ponder This: 
Does Freewill and God’s Foreknowledge conflict with one another? ponder
Are there really an Elected few?  Those He specifically chooses?
Do we limit God when we perceive Him to not be omniscient?
And what of His involvement in our lives – does He have a specific plan for you and me, or is it more generalized?  What do you think?

Please leave your feedback, ponderings and thoughts below or on this social media thread.
I look forward to hearing your take on this topic.

Something more for the Army world to Ponder today !

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2 Comments

  1. Scott,
    I always love reading your ponderings. This is a difficult topic to grasp because it reveals the light that the Lord has given us. I’m going to take issue with two sentences “He hopes that we choose Him. He hopes that he will be included in our life choices.” While some may not agree, I am certain in my heart that He knows what we will choose and does not need to hope for it. He allows us to choose but knows what our choices will be.

    A follow up article might include where does choice and predestination intersect? Good writing and good for you challenging us all to think critically.

    Dad

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