Apologetics may be simply defined as the defense of the Christian faith. The word "apologetics" derives from the Greek word apologia, which was originally used as a speech of defense.

Who Is God? Why Does He Allow Suffering? Will It End?

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    Who Is God? Why Does He Allow Suffering? Will It End?

    1. Does God have a name?

    Although God has many titles, he has only one name. In each language, it is pronounced differently. In English it is usually pronounced “Jehovah.” But some people pronounce it “Yahweh.” (Psalm 83:18)

    God’s name has been taken out of many Bibles and replaced with the titles Lord or God. But when the Bible was written, it contained God’s name some 7,000 times. Jesus made God’s name known when he taught people about God. (John 17:26)


    2. What is God like?

    Jehovah is love. He cares about us all deeply and wishes that not one of us take the path of destruction. (Peter 3:9) We can discern God’s personality from the things he has created and the emotions we possess. For instance, the variety of fruits, flowers and animals, the beautiful landscapes and the warm sun that accompanies them. Joyful tears, love, kindness, compassion etc etc tells us of his love and wisdom. The size of the universe tells us of his power. (Romans 1:20) Jehovah knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows exactly how many hairs we have on our head. (Luke 12:7)

    Jehovah creates rules not for his own benefit, but for ours. If we follow the rules outlined in the Bible. It helps to prevent us from experiencing pain and darkness. He allowed his most beloved son Jesus Christ to die for us.. That should tell us how much Jehovah loves us.


    3. How can we draw closer to God?

    In-order to draw close to the creator of the universe. We need to try and show Love, Honour, Dignity, Loyalty, Humility, Integrity, and most importantly help out your fellow humans.

    Jehovah invites us to draw close to him by speaking to him in prayer. He is interested in us individually. (Psalm 65:2; 145:18) He is willing to forgive. He recognizes our efforts to please him, even if we sometimes fail. So despite our imperfection, we really can enjoy a close relationship with God. (Psalm 103:12-14, James 4:8)


    4. Why does Earth suffer from so much corruption?

    All of Jehovah’s works are perfect; he is not the author of unrighteousness; so he did not create anyone wicked. (Deut. 32:4, Ps. 5:4) The one who became Satan was originally a perfect spirit son of God. When saying that the Devil “did not stand fast in the truth,” Jesus indicated that at one time that one was “in the truth.” (John 8:44) But, as is true of all of God’s intelligent creatures, this spirit son was endowed with free will. He abused his freedom of choice, allowed feelings of self-importance to develop in his heart, began to crave worship that belonged only to God, and so enticed Adam and Eve to listen to him rather than obey God. Thus by his course of action he made himself Satan, which means “adversary.” (Jas. 1:14, 15)

    Why did God not destroy Satan promptly after he rebelled?

    Serious issues were raised by Satan: (1) The righteousness and rightfulness of Jehovah’s sovereignty. Was Jehovah withholding from mankind freedom that would contribute to their happiness? Were mankind’s ability to govern their affairs successfully and their continued life truly dependent on their obedience to God? Had Jehovah been dishonest in giving a law that stated that disobedience would lead to their death? (Gen. 2:16, 17, 3:3-5) So, did Jehovah really have the right to rule? (2) The integrity of intelligent creatures toward Jehovah. By the deflection of Adam and Eve the question was raised: Did Jehovah’s servants really obey him out of love or might all of them abandon God and follow the lead being given by Satan? This latter issue was further developed by Satan in the days of Job. (Gen. 3:6, Job 1:8-11, 2:3-5 see also Luke 22:31) These issues could not be settled by merely executing the rebels.

    So although it may seem horrible that Jehovah couldn't just destroy his enemies on the spot and prevent all this evil from befalling the planet. Jehovah had to allow it in-order to prevent any future questioning of his right to rule, and thus create a perfect paradise free from opposition or doubt. This 6000 year time period has proven without question that any attempt for humans to be peaceful and live in harmony with one another is impossible to achieve without Jehovah lovingly guiding us.

    6000 years of pain > 100,000,000,000,000 years x Infinity of awesomeness.

    If you were a father sat at a table with your family. And one of your sons walked up to you in-front of everyone and questioned your ability / right to guide the family.. Would you simply kill / dismiss the son in-front of everyone? Or would that just lead to questions such as: Maybe he was right, Is he trying to hide something? No.. The ultimately wise decision would be to allow the Son to try and guide the family.




    5. Is the end of the world really near?

    THE BIBLE’S ANSWER: “When you see these things occurring, know that the kingdom of God is near.” (LUKE 21:31)

    The Bible prophets were inspired by God to describe conditions that would indicate an imminent end of the world. Consider some of those prophecies and decide for yourself whether they are being fulfilled in our time.

    * Wars, famines, earthquakes, and epidemics of deadly disease. (Matthew 24:7, Luke 21:11)

    * Significant increase in crime. (Matthew 24:12)

    * The ruining of the earth by mankind. (Revelation 11:18)

    * People who love themselves, money, and pleasures but do not love God. (2 Timothy 3:2, 4)

    * The breakdown of the family. (2 Timothy 3:2, 3)

    * General apathy toward the evidence of the approaching end. (Matthew 24:37-39)

    * The preaching of the good news of God’s Kingdom worldwide. (Matthew 24:14)

    The Kingdom message is reaching all corners of the globe. In 2010 alone, Jehovah"s Witnesses spent over 1.6 billion hours proclaiming this good news in 236 lands. That is an average of 30 minutes in the preaching work each day by every Witness. Over the past decade, they have produced and distributed more than 20 billion items of Bible-education literature.

    As Jesus said, seeing “all these things” lets us know that the end of the world is near. (Matthew 24:33)

    6. What happens at the end of the world?

    THE BIBLE’S ANSWER: “The world is passing away and so is its desire, but he that does the will of God remains forever.” (1 John 2:17)

    “The world” that is to pass away is, not the earth, but the world of mankind whose lives are not in harmony with God’s will. Just as a surgeon might remove a cancerous tumor to save a patient’s life, God will “cut off” the wicked so that good people can truly enjoy life on earth. (Psalm 37:9) In that sense, “the end of the world” is a good thing.

    Jesus called that future period “the renewal of all things.” At that time, he will restore humanity to the conditions that God originally intended. (Matthew 19:28) We will then enjoy:

    * He will swallow up death forever, And the Sovereign Lord Jehovah will wipe away the tears from all faces. (Isaiah 25:8)

    * A paradise earth with security and prosperity for all. (Isaiah 35:1 Micah 4:4)

    * Work that is meaningful and satisfying. (Isaiah 65:21-23)

    * The curing of all disease. (Isaiah 33:24)

    * The reversal of aging. (Job 33:25)

    * The resurrection of the dead. (John 5:28, 29)

    * Find exquisite delight in Jehovah, And he will grant you the desires of your heart. (Psalms 37:4)

    Basically we will be invited to spend eternity in the coolest place imaginable free from pain, death and ageing. We’ll be granted immortality to spend having fun and relaxing under Jehovah’s loving protection.

    And to all those who say living forever would be boring. Perhaps you’re right when you use this current world as a reference. But in Jehovah’s new world there will be everlasting content to enjoy. Jehovah’s creative abilities are infinite.

    If we do “the will of God,” what he asks of us, we need not fear the end of the world. Instead, we can look forward to it.


    7. How can I find the True Religion?

    Illustrating how to tell the difference between those who practice true religion and those who do not, the Bible says: "By their fruits you will recognize them. Never do people gather grapes from thorns or figs from thistles, do they?" (Matthew 7:16) Just as you can distinguish a grapevine from a thornbush by what it produces, you can distinguish true religion from false by its fruits, or by these identifying features.

    True religion teaches the truth that is based on the Bible, not on human philosophies. (John 4:24; 17:17) This includes religious truths about the soul and the hope of everlasting life on a paradise earth. (Psalm 37:29; Isaiah 35:5, 6; Ezekiel 18:4) It also does not hold back from exposing religious falsehood. (Matthew 15:9; 23:27, 28)

    True religion helps people to know God, including teaching them his name, Jehovah. (Psalm 83:18; Isaiah 42:8; John 17:3, 6) It does not teach that he is incomprehensible or aloof; rather, it teaches that he wants us to have a relationship with him. (James 4:8)

    True religion highlights Jesus Christ as the one through whom God grants salvation. (Acts 4:10, 12) Its members obey Jesus' commands and strive to follow his example. (John 13:15; 15:14)

    True religion focuses on God's Kingdom as mankind's only hope. Its members actively tell others about that Kingdom. (Matthew 10:7; 24:14)

    True religion promotes unselfish love. (John 13:35) It teaches respect for all ethnic groups and welcomes people from all races, cultures, languages, and backgrounds. (Acts 10:34, 35) Moved by love, its members do not go to war. (Micah 4:3; 1 John 3:11, 12)

    True religion has no paid clergy, and it does not give high-sounding religious titles to any of its members. (Matthew 23:8-12; 1 Peter 5:2, 3)

    True religion is completely neutral in political affairs. (John 17:16; 18:36) However, its members respect and obey the government where they live, in harmony with the Bible's command: "Pay back Caesar's things to Caesar [representing the civil authority], but God's things to God." (Mark 12:17; Romans 13:1, 2)

    True religion is a way of life, not just a ritual or a formality. Its members adhere to the Bible's high moral standards in all aspects of life. (Ephesians 5:3-5; 1 John 3:18) Rather than being grim, though, they find joy in worshipping "the happy God." (1 Timothy 1:11)

    Those who practice true religion will be in the minority. (Matthew 7:13, 14)

    Members of the true religion are often looked down on, ridiculed, and persecuted for doing God's will. (Matthew 5:10-12.)

    True religion is not just `the right religion for me'

    There is a danger in choosing a religion based solely on how it makes us feel. The Bible foretold a time when people would "surround themselves with [religious] teachers to have their ears tickled." (2 Timothy 4:3) In contrast, the Bible encourages us to follow "the religion that is clean and undefiled from the standpoint of our God and Father," even if that religion is unpopular. (James 1:27)

    When we match up the characteristics of the true religion to every religion ever created. We end up with.. Jehovah's Witnesses.


    8. Conclusion

    We must try our best to help out our fellow humans and to love God as Jesus commanded.

    We need to try and avoid harmful practices such as: Sexual immorality, Greed, Arrogance, Hatred, Selfishness, Anger, Jealousy etc etc

    We must try and promote values of righteousness including: Love, Honour, Dignity, Loyalty, Humility, Integrity, and most importantly help out your fellow humans.

    (Matthew 24:14:) And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

    The Kingdom message is reaching all corners of the globe. In 2010 alone, Jehovah"s Witnesses spent over 1.6 billion hours proclaiming this good news in 236 lands. Over the past decade, they have produced and distributed more than 20 billion items of literature.

    #2
    Originally posted by Timothex View Post
    When we match up the characteristics of the true religion to every religion ever created. We end up with.. Jehovah's Witnesses.
    Not according to this site: Facts about the Jehovah’s Witnesses (The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society) | Witnesses in Transition

    Here is a quote from the site:
    Despite these setbacks, Russell continued to attract people with his fantastic prophetic interpretations and dramatic warnings that Armageddon would strike in 1914. When 1914 came and went, he changed the date to 1915. Russell died in 1916, leaving his followers doubting and disillusioned by his predictive failures. Joseph Franklin Rutherford then took control of the organization.

    Rutherford (1869-1942) also used the threat of Armageddon to intimidate Jehovah's Witnesses. He publishedThe Finished Mystery, a book which predicted that in 1918 God would destroy churches and millions of their members, and claimed that by 1920 every kingdom would be swallowed up in anarchyRutherford taught that the only way to escape the impending judgment and destruction was to join the Watchtower organization.

    Fear of Armageddon motivated Witnesses to work hard selling Rutherford's books and other Watchtower Society literature. When the 1918 and 1920 predictions failed, Rutherford set a new date in his book titled Millions Now Living Will Never Die (1920). It taught that the millennium would start in 1925 and that Old Testament saints like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and David would come back to life. The WT Society even built a luxurious Spanish mansion called Beth-Sarim (House of Princes), supposedly to house these patriarchs. In the meantime, however, Rutherford conveniently moved into the mansion. He also drove an expensive new car throughout the Great Depression, while rank and file Witnesses sold Watchtower books and pamphlets door-to-door, and worked at Bethel headquarters for $10 - $15 a month. Six years after Rutherford's death in 1942, the Old Testament saints still had not arrived, so the Society quietly sold "Beth Sarim," thus closing an embarrassing chapter in their predictive history.

    Here is what the Bible says:

    And if you say in your heart, ‘How may we know the word that the LORD has not spoken?’—when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him.
    (Deuteronomy 18:21-22 ESV)
    Clyde Herrin's Blog
    Comment>

      #3
      When Jesus came, all who accepted Him were given the authority to be called Children of God. And when He taught his disciples how to pray the prayer was addressed to, "Our Father in heaven." That's how we should know Him. Our Father in heaven. And the Title is His alone. That's why Jesus told all His followers to call no man Father [on earth] because we have ONE FATHER [who is in heaven]. As for suffering and God allowing it, it's Adam's rebellion that brought suffering into the world. God is just. He'd warned Adam what would happen if he ate the fruit. What we got are our just dues. Who can say they haven't done wrong? Since suffering is what we get because we are sinful, we shouldn't be complaining. But it all we will end because Jesus came, died for our sins and after we shed this physical shell, our suffering ends. "And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them."
      Comment>

        #4
        Why dоеs Gоd аllоw suffеring? Сlеаrly suffеring wаs brоught intо thе wоrld аs а rеsult оf sin. This dоеs nоt mеаn thаt pеоplе whо аrе suffеring аrе аlwаys thе саusе оf thеir оwn suffеring; оftеn pеоplе suffеr bесаusе оf thе sins оf оthеrs. Аnd thоugh suffеring is pаinful аnd wе shоuld dо whаtеvеr wе саn tо аvоid саusing it, Gоd саn еvеn usе suffеring tо prоduсе gооd.
        Suffеring саn hаvе thе sаmе impасt upоn us thаt it hаd upоn Jеsus Сhrist—it саn аid us in bесоming mоrе Сhristlikе in оur сhаrасtеr аnd in оur livеs. Аs wе just rеаd, Gоd is in thе prосеss оf bringing mаny sоns tо glоry; аnd Сhrist, bеing thе firstbоrn, аrrivеd thеrе first.Сhrist wаs tеmptеd by Sаtаn thе dеvil аnd nеvеr suссumbеd. Hе wаs triеd аnd tеstеd, bеаtеn аnd сruсifiеd, yеt Hе nеvеr sinnеd
        Comment>

          #5
          Originally posted by Timothex View Post
          When we match up the characteristics of the true religion to every religion ever created. We end up with.. Jehovah's Witnesses.
          The true religion is the one founded 2,000 years ago by Jesus Christ, who is the truth, not Charles Taze Russell less than 150 years ago.

          The true religion worships Jesus Christ as true God and true man, not the Archangel Michael.


          Comment>

            #6
            Who is God? Our God is the one who created the heavens and the earth as what mentioned in Genesis chapter 1 verse 1. He is the great God in the Old Testament who was always with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph. Moses, David and all other Old Testament characters..He is Jesus that was born to Mary and Joseph during one blessed night as mentioned in Luke Chapter 2.Until such time in His three years of ministry along with His disciples performing miracles , signs and wonders up to the time He was tried, and sentenced to be crucified and He died and after three days He rose again.He is Jesus who for a little while lived with His disciples after resurrection about forty days and went up to the heavens.Our God is the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost as mentioned in Acts 2 that gave Peter and the rest of the disciples the boldness to proclaim the gospel and thousands at that time believe in the Lord Jesus
            .Why God allowed suffering? One thing suffering resulted because we sinned and as part of the consequences of disobeying God. Another thing, suffering can also be a will from the Lord for us as mentioned in Romans 5:3-4(Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produce perseverance ,perseverance, character and character hope. Take a look of the life of Job in the Old Testament, he was a righteous man but God allowed Job to suffer for a purpose in order to test him and God would be glorified after Job had passed those severe tests. Suffering completes our Christianity imitating Christ while He was here on earth., Christ suffered for our sins, He allowed himself to be crucified for our redemption.
            Will suffering end? Definitely it will end when we will be in heaven after death and if we will not die yet, as soon Christ first return or the rapture we the genuine Christians will be with Him for a while and then Jesus returns here on earth on the Second Coming to fight Satan and the Anti-Christ and bound them for a thousand years to hell.Christ will reign for a thousand years,and after that period Satan will be released and the Lord will finally defeat him and will bound him eternally and there would be no more suffering because Christ will forevermore reign with His glorified saints.
            Comment>

              #7
              Well it looks like you answered your own question. I was always told suffering came about as part of free will. However, I am not sure I buy that whole argument. No one would choose suffering. I don't think God is that punitive either. Maybe God has a hand in some things, but in others, random things happen.
              Comment>

                #8
                YHWH, pronounced Yahweh, is the proper name of God in Scripture. "Jehovah" is a famous mistranslation of the Hebrew. Who is God? What is God like in his own nature? That is a topic of great debate in Christian theology. Traditionally, the church went strictly on Hellenic metaphysics and standards of perfection. That meant God was described as void of body, parts, passions, compassion, wholly immutable. That is sometimes referred to as "classical theism." Since the 40's, the classical model has been under fire. Hence, there is also a neo-classical model of God available for Christians. This model presents a fuller account of God, by adding on dynamic features that enable us to see a fuller, more complete picture of God, by understanding God as eternally creative, continually changing, and responsive to creation. I follow that model. God, as is any true personality, is a synthesis of both consistency and change.
                Comment>

                  #9
                  I have often wondered the same question. If there IS a God out there, a higher being that can control everything, why does terrible things happen to good people? Why do criminals and corrupt officials get away with their crimes, while the poor starve? Years and years of me struggling with the idea, but I really think God works (not to sound cliche) in mysterious ways, and here I was waiting for a grand gesture from God to save me, but I guess I failed to see that I got a job, a home, food at my table every night, and maybe, just maybe, that is God's way of remaining anonymous?
                  Comment>

                    #10
                    Originally posted by OursIsTheFury View Post
                    I have often wondered the same question. If there IS a God out there, a higher being that can control everything, why does terrible things happen to good people? Why do criminals and corrupt officials get away with their crimes, while the poor starve? Years and years of me struggling with the idea, but I really think God works (not to sound cliche) in mysterious ways, and here I was waiting for a grand gesture from God to save me, but I guess I failed to see that I got a job, a home, food at my table every night, and maybe, just maybe, that is God's way of remaining anonymous?
                    There are none that are good and/or righteous:
                    • Mark 10:18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.
                    • Romans 3:10-11 as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; 11 no one understands; no one seeks for God.

                    The question we should rightfully ask is why do we wake each morning? Why did God not take us all in our sleep last night? And more importantly, when we awoke each morning why did we not bend a knee, confessing and praising God for each blessed day?
                    • Matthew 5:44-45 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
                    • Psalm 103:8 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

                    As to why God allows bad things to happen to people... . I cringe and tremble at the thought that one day God may ask us the very same question. Our sins are not always what we do, but what we do not do, or our allowance at the end of each day.

                    Originally posted by OursIsTheFury View Post
                    I was waiting for a grand gesture from God to save me, but I guess I failed to see that I got a job, a home, food at my table every night
                    • 1 Timothy 6: Teach and urge these things. 3 If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound[b] words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, 4 he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, 5 and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. 6 But godliness with contentment is great gain, 7 for we brought nothing into the world, and[c] we cannot take anything out of the world. 8 But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. 9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

                    It is good to recognize this. Let us give thanks to Him!

                    God bless,
                    William
                    Comment>

                      #11
                      Originally posted by Kgord View Post
                      Well it looks like you answered your own question. I was always told suffering came about as part of free will. However, I am not sure I buy that whole argument. No one would choose suffering. I don't think God is that punitive either. Maybe God has a hand in some things, but in others, random things happen.
                      No we don’t choose suffering but others may choose to do things that cause us to suffer.

                      I think giving us free will means that God does not act like a cosmic policeman.



                      Comment>

                        #12
                        We don't choose suffering but we all do suffer because it's a direct consequence of Adam's sin. And even Jesus who overcame the world, warned his disciples that they'd have to suffer in this world. Suffering makes us realize that we aren't in control. It forces us to rely less on our abilities. When we realize we are weak, we'll lean on God when we need strength and that suffering is used to mold us so we can be more like Christ who at all times said, "Father, let thy Will be done."
                        Comment>

                          #13
                          I don't believe that God micromanages our lives. He has given us free will and, with that, comes the freedom of consequences. While God surely does step in from time to time, and miracles do occur, I believe that He does so for His purposes, not ours. If I step out in front of a truck, my life is in the hands of the truck driver. If his reactions are quick enough, I may survive. Otherwise, unless God has some special purpose for me that can't easily be accomplished by another, I will suffer the consequences of having not watched where I was going. Unfortunately, we also suffer the consequences of life, which includes bad things for which we were not responsible in any way, whether it be a careless driver, a serial killer or a simple accident, as well as the consequences of nature, such as storms, earthquakes and disease. Although I'm not convinced that our worst diseases are entirely natural, that's another subject.

                          In most cases, if I get cancer, as I have twice now, my fate is left in the hands of the medical professionals for the most part, although I can contribute to my recovery through a proper diet, etc. Certainly, God could step in if He wanted to and cure me of cancer, and I don't doubt that He has done such things from time to time, but He doesn't make a habit of it. Mostly, God allows things to take their course. We may live a long life free of suffering, or we may live a miserable life that doesn't last very long -- either way, our focus shouldn't be on this life but the next. Even if we were to live to be a hundred, our time here on earth will have been inconsequential as compared to the time we will spend in the next life.

                          God could have made things easier on us by creating us without free will, but He chose not to do so, perhaps because He may as well have been producing a movie as to have created a species whose individuals couldn't do anything but play the part that they were created to play. God created us with free will so that He could have a true relationship with us.

                          Unfortunately, with free will comes the freedom to do a lot of horrible things, whether willfully, out of ignorance, or out of disregard for the consequences on ourselves and others.
                          Comment>

                            #14
                            Originally posted by Ken Anderson View Post
                            I don't believe that God micromanages our lives. He has given us free will and, with that, comes the freedom of consequences. While God surely does step in from time to time, and miracles do occur, I believe that He does so for His purposes, not ours. If I step out in front of a truck, my life is in the hands of the truck driver. If his reactions are quick enough, I may survive. Otherwise, unless God has some special purpose for me that can't easily be accomplished by another, I will suffer the consequences of having not watched where I was going. Unfortunately, we also suffer the consequences of life, which includes bad things for which we were not responsible in any way, whether it be a careless driver, a serial killer or a simple accident, as well as the consequences of nature, such as storms, earthquakes and disease. Although I'm not convinced that our worst diseases are entirely natural, that's another subject.

                            In most cases, if I get cancer, as I have twice now, my fate is left in the hands of the medical professionals for the most part, although I can contribute to my recovery through a proper diet, etc. Certainly, God could step in if He wanted to and cure me of cancer, and I don't doubt that He has done such things from time to time, but He doesn't make a habit of it. Mostly, God allows things to take their course. We may live a long life free of suffering, or we may live a miserable life that doesn't last very long -- either way, our focus shouldn't be on this life but the next. Even if we were to live to be a hundred, our time here on earth will have been inconsequential as compared to the time we will spend in the next life.

                            God could have made things easier on us by creating us without free will, but He chose not to do so, perhaps because He may as well have been producing a movie as to have created a species whose individuals couldn't do anything but play the part that they were created to play. God created us with free will so that He could have a true relationship with us.

                            Unfortunately, with free will comes the freedom to do a lot of horrible things, whether willfully, out of ignorance, or out of disregard for the consequences on ourselves and others.
                            There is no such thing as autonomous or libertarian free will. If I told you to flap your arms like a bird Ken, and rise up towards the heavens - you'll fail. You'll fail because you're grounded in your human nature. God is holy, no man is righteous or good Romans 3:10-11 and can rise above because of his sin nature.

                            Lemme ask you Ken, do you believe God is sovereign? If yes, and God decides to save a man and that man decides no I don't want to be saved, who is soverign? Is it not man that is soverign and God rendered powerless? Regeneration occurs when we are diametrically opposed towards God. Regeneration gives to us a desire that was not previously there for God. Likewise God hardens the hearts of those whom he wills Mark 10:26-27; Romans 9:18.

                            Now, what I do not mean is that man cannot choose to do things that are considered "good according to man's standards", but I am suggesting that our best deeds are nothing more than filthy rags before a holy God Isaiah 64:6.

                            A lot of people look at John 3:16 and think we have choice or rather an autonomous or libertarian free will. John 3:19 "Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God." Why are they condemned already? Why do they not believe in the name of the only Son of God. Read John 6:44 with emphasis on BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT MY SHEEP. Notice the verse does not say you are not my sheep because you do not believe. He has not believed, due to his inability of a sinful nature, and God has passed them over, leaving them to themselves and unregenerated. Note: this does not relinquish man from his responsibility.

                            If by "free will" you mean that all men have a choice, then I agree. We all have choices, but God knows what we will choose, and God knows us better than we know ourselves based on our sin nature.

                            As far as micromanaging one needs to be more specific. I think of verses such as Proverbs 16:33 - The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD. Isaiah 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

                            Do you "think" Ken that you chose a shirt today with no "reason" or that the color of that shirt was truly random from an infinite amount of possible shirts that exists in the universe? Have you considered the Logos? And what and who that means and refers?

                            Originally posted by Ken Anderson View Post
                            In most cases, if I get cancer, as I have twice now, my fate is left in the hands of the medical professionals for the most part, although I can contribute to my recovery through a proper diet, etc.
                            Without the Logos not even Science or the Doctor of your example exists, none of the medicine, and none of the decisions made. I believe God predestines and/or foreordains everything. By the way, Ken, I am praying for you, I hope you are cancer free, and if so, remain so.

                            God bless,
                            William
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                              #15
                              Originally posted by William View Post
                              There is no such thing as autonomous or libertarian free will. If I told you to flap your arms like a bird Ken, and rise up towards the heavens - you'll fail. You'll fail because you're grounded in your human nature. God is holy, no man is righteous or good Romans 3:10-11 and can rise above because of his sin nature.
                              You're confusing free will with omnipotence. If you told me to flap my arms like a bird, I can choose to obey you or not. That's free will. Since I am not a bird, I will not rise up into the air like a bird. But I can decide whether to flap my arms or not. God has created us with free will, but not with the power to do everything that we might will, at least not by our own power.

                              Originally posted by William View Post
                              Lemme ask you Ken, do you believe God is sovereign? If yes, and God decides to save a man and that man decides no I don't want to be saved, who is soverign? Is it not man that is soverign and God rendered powerless? Regeneration occurs when we are diametrically opposed towards God. Regeneration gives to us a desire that was not previously there for God. Likewise God hardens the hearts of those whom he wills Mark 10:26-27; Romans 9:18.
                              God has decided to save us. That's why Christ came to earth, died on a cross, and rose again on the third day. We can, and many do decide to turn down this gift. If He so desired, God could save us regardless of what we think about the idea but I don't believe that is supported in Scripture. I also believe that God created us with a desire to seek Him, but many choose - of free will - to harden their hearts to this and to reject Him instead.

                              Originally posted by William View Post
                              Now, what I do not mean is that man cannot choose to do things that are considered "good according to man's standards", but I am suggesting that our best deeds are nothing more than filthy rags before a holy God Isaiah 64:6.
                              Everyone lives according to standards, and there are many non-Christians who live according to God's standards in many ways, but their deeds do not save them. On the other hand, there are professed Christians who live lives that are barely, if at all, recognizable as God's standards. In such cases, whether we choose to believe that they were never saved at all or that they have walked away from the offer of salvation is really a matter of semantics, and something that God will determine, or has already determined, although we may not know the determination.

                              Originally posted by William View Post
                              A lot of people look at John 3:16 and think we have choice or rather an autonomous or libertarian free will. John 3:19 "Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God." Why are they condemned already? Why do they not believe in the name of the only Son of God. Read John 6:44 with emphasis on BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT MY SHEEP. Notice the verse does not say you are not my sheep because you do not believe. He has not believed, due to his inability of a sinful nature, and God has passed them over, leaving them to themselves and unregenerated. Note: this does not relinquish man from his responsibility.
                              I am not a Calvinist, and can accept such a belief only in the sense that God is capable of knowing what will occur as if it has already occurred, including whether or not we will accept the gift of salvation. However, I don't accept that this implies a lack of free will. I don't know that I even want to accept the idea of a God who would choose to condemn some to hell, and not others, and I don't find that the Scripture requires such an understanding.

                              Originally posted by William View Post
                              If by "free will" you mean that all men have a choice, then I agree. We all have choices, but God knows what we will choose, and God knows us better than we know ourselves based on our sin nature.
                              I can know how a book will end if I choose to look ahead to the end of it, but this does not imply that I was the one who has chosen its ending.

                              Originally posted by William View Post
                              Do you "think" Ken that you chose a shirt today with no "reason" or that the color of that shirt was truly random from an infinite amount of possible shirts that exists in the universe? Have you considered the Logos? And what and who that means and refers?
                              I would guess that you made a choice from among the shirts that were available to you in your wardrobe.
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