Predestination – part 3

So you think God actually creates people to go to Hell?

My answer would be yes.  And I know that sounds stunning, but please bear with me, and you’ll see why I answer the way I do.  We’re gonna take a look at the parts of a story, and as strange as that sounds, it will make things fall into place for you.

It’s like this:  God has written a love story.  It’s the Story of Life.  And we have all studied how a story is *built* back in high school.  First there’s a point of view – in this case, it’s God’s.  That’s where the trouble starts – because man sees things from his own perspective, not God’s.  It’s like the Matrix (yes, here she goes again) – when plugged into the Matrix, there’s no knowledge of a ‘real world’.  No one needs saving, there is no threat of evil, everything revolves around the person within the Matrix.  But once they take the red pill and find Truth, they see that there is so much more than what they knew before.  Christians today walk around just like everyone else – eating, drinking, marrying, being given in marriage.  We don’t see the world from God’s perspective, and we try to make ourselves the center of our existance.  This is the heart of Arminianism, btw.  It’s a wrong point of view – because the focus is on man, and not God.

Then there’s a setting, and God’s spans the reaches of time and ecompasses all that is.  There are characters – God Himself is the protagonist… but there is also an antagonist, Satan.  Mankind was written into the story, as well.  Satan set out from moment one to destroy man’s relationship with God.  This – in literature – is called a plot, and there is plot structure to every story:

Creation is the exposition – the introduction to the characters, setting, and situation.  The rising action is the initial introduction to the conflict – that would be the fall of man.  When Adam ate the fruit, sin was introduced to mankind, and became the bane of his existence, the seal to his doom.  He was helpless to escape, and needed a Savior.  God’s righteousness needed to be made attainable to man again, or he would perish eternally with no hope.  The climax  – the point in which all tension culminates – is the defeat of sin by Christ Jesus on the cross.  He bridged the gap sin had created that separated man from God, and showed man the way to eternal life.  The falling action has been going on ever since – the slow degeneration of society, morals, and the ongoing battle to bring salvation to as many as would recieve Christ.  There will be resolution – Christ is going to come back and end the existance of sin and destroy all in its control.

Now… having said all of that, I have something to confess.  I skipped Romans 9 verse 23 yesterday.  Intentionally.  Because I wanted to follow thru on a thought, and 23 would’ve headed me in a different direction, not because I was ‘taking scripture out of context’, as I’ve so often been accused of.  It fits here better, though, so I held off on it so as not to break thought:  And that He might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had afore prepared unto glory.

Now in light of the Story, this explains why He didn’t just scratch it all and start over.  He gave Himself the perfect opportunity to show how glorious and gracious by extending mercy to mankind.  And yet He is also just and righteous, which means wickedness will be punished, too.  There are casualties in any conflict.  His goodness is in that He didn’t leave all of mankind to die eternally – but rather saved a remnant.  Now, does that seem to contradict the following verses?

1 Timothy 2:4 – God desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. [Note: This is the same “all men” for whom we should pray.  vs. 1]
2 Peter 3:9 – The Lord is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

How can God desire all men to be saved, if He’s already decided that they won’t be?  Isn’t that kind of conflicting?  And further, how can He say that He doesn’t want them to perish if He’s set it up that way?  Good questions, eh?  It’s no wonder people get all pretzeled up in this sticky debate!  Because this is where Jacob Arminius came in and said, “Well, God created all, but He gave US the choice.  WE decide our fate.  Because God wants us to choose Him.

I desire Ron Paul to win the election.  ((grins))  I do.  I’m not willing that Obama would take the presidency.  Do I know what will happen?  Yes.  Obama will win.  I’m not willing towards that end, but that’s what will happen.  Now because Obama will win, does that mean I wasn’t on top of it?  No.  And does this scenario match the scenario in the verses?  Yes.  God doesn’t want people to go to Hell.  But because of the conflict within the Story, they will.  It doesn’t mean He’s not in control, by any means.

So what you’re saying is that we DON’T have free will.  We just are created to do what we’re “programmed” to do, like robots.  Is that right, Anna?

The answer to that is no.  We *do* have free will.  We were created in such a way to be allowed to make choices.  Those choices affect our destiny.  But because we are within the Story, our choices are limited to the boundaries of the story.  When John Grisham writes a novel, his characters make choices in the story.  But the choices are within the limits of the story.  And John Grisham is orchestrating the circumstances around those choices, and is ultimately in control of the choices.  That doesn’t mean the character isn’t making choices, right?  They are – but John, as writer, is in control.  The character acts in his accord within the control of the author.  So do we.

I don’t know how else to describe it, other than this way.  I believe I have the choice to recieve Christ, or turn away from my faith.  But I believe He already knows what choice I will make.  It’s no less a choice for the limits it is confined to, but the Author and the story are bigger than I am, and that’s why the focus is not on me or choice, but on the Story and the Author.  What He elects to do, who He elects, those will be saved.  And we don’t know who, because we are looking from within the bounds of the Story.  Ah, but that makes our awe of the writer even greater, doesn’t it?

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