Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Riding That Train

This little rough vignette shows the current state of my learning and thinking on the matter of the so-called "free will" of man:

Imagine this. . . . You wake up on a train that is going somewhere.  You don't recall how you got on the train--you just came to your senses and there you were, along with some other people rolling down a line of tracks, headed unstoppably toward a certain destination. 

The destination is the place: "God's Glory".  There are but two large cars, full of people, making up the train, which is pulled by an engine.  The engine/engineer leading the train to its destination is God/God's Sovereignty.

The cars are connected so that while the train is moving the passengers can mingle back and forth but everyone has been issued a seat number from the beginning and must return to their seat, in their respective car once the train reaches its destination ("God's Glory").  There the cars will be separated and sent in opposite directions.  But for a while, you likely don't know you have a ticket, which is in your pocket, until someone you meet on the train (who discovered their own ticket) comes to you and tells you to check and see which car your assigned seat is actually in. 

Now, the destination is guaranteed--meaning people in both cars will arrive at "God's Glory", regardless of their individual desires perhaps to go somewhere else, while in the meantime, the passengers are able to exercise a variety of relative "free choices" within the train's enclosure.

No, they do not have complete "free will" to leave the train, or arrive at a different end, but within the confines of the rolling carrier, they are able and allowed to spend their travelling time doing various different things; ie., some may study, others mostly sleep . . . some play games, site-see out the windows--there are gatherings, talk, fights, debates, buying and selling--various and sundry activities.

This is a rough picture of the difference between "free will" and "free choice".  The Bible does not really teach the man has (libertarian/complete) "free will" apart from God's Sovereign decree (God's will).  Man does have "free choice", however, within the train as it continues inexorably to its ultimate destination. 

At that destination, which is "God's Glory" the people with seats in one car will go to Hell, those in the other car go to Heaven.  The seats were assigned before the train left the station, by God, and no passengers' so-called "free will" can change that.  God is Sovereign.  Man's will can not be superior to God's.  Within certain limitations, however, the passengers, as they move to the final stop are allowed "free choices" ie., as to how they will utilize their travelling time.  Although no one with a seat in the car that will finally be sent to Heaven can change their seat to the other car (going to Hell) they will be giving extra rewards for their "free choices" made in extra service during the temporary ride.  Likewise, those of the car going to Hell can earn extra demerits related to their final destination (compounding the wrath that is due them). 

I think we have no idea the hubris it takes, and the wickedness involved in a passenger (a creature) questioning the "fairness" or goodness of a Creator Who creates what He will for His own glory.  Of course, we being fallen, corrupt, and naturally at enmity with God project our desperately depraved notions on God as to how we think it all ought to be done--what seems "right" or "fair" according to our opinion. . . .

Instead, those finding themselves chosen of God (Who "mercies who He will and hardens who He will") recognizing that they have done nothing to merit their glorious destiny . . . and are filled with undying gratitude and thankfulness and their hearts are eager to express compassion and service for all of God's creation knowing that all of it redounds to His eternal glory.  Those who hate God were created so, for His unfathomable purposes, as Hell is locked on the inside, and those who go there reject the Lord and would never have worshipped Him.

Are we to believe that God hopes everyone will choose Him, but that He is unable to save them because their "free will" precludes it?  Or that while Jesus died for all, He fails in His task that all be saved?

No, it must be that God gathers all His sheep and none that He created to be His eternal family in Heaven will be lost--His victory complete and perfectly accomplished; the Potter making some vessels for honorable/exceptional use while others for dishonorable/common.  --Rom. 9:21



2 comments:

Mark said...

Self governance (free will) or God's governance (God's will).

God wills the best for all people,but then free will gets in the way.

Gods will be done!

Lee in TN said...

Bro T,
Perhaps not specifically to this post, but ALWAYS relevant to His completed mission and our salvation through His Grace -

....as seen on Wretched TV -

http://youtu.be/mROvpR93QL0

Blessings!
Lee

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