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Considering Free Will

Wouldn't it be wonderful if you could guarantee that your children would be faithful Christians? Or maybe, in your case, you would like to make that choice for your spouse or a family member or maybe even a good friend. Such is not possible for one simple reason: God gave each of us free will.

We each must choose for ourselves what we believe and how we will live. To "stack the deck" so to speak, some religious groups started "baptizing" infants, which is wrong on lots of levels; they can't believe, repent or confess.

The false beliefs of classical Calvinism hold that God arbitrarily (without any action by the party) chooses who is going to be saved and who is going to be lost. In contrast, Paul said that it was God's choice to make preaching the gateway to the gospel (1 Cor. 1:21), and this is a familiar pattern in Acts.

(Acts 8:12) "But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized."

(Acts 18:8) "Then Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his houselhold. And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized."

Peter further taught that it was God's desire that all men everywhere become a Christian and be saved (2 Pet. 3:9).

So lets add a few of these things up. If God wants all to be saved, then are all going to be saved? Jesus said no. "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven, "(Mat 7:21).

God chose preaching the gospel as the way for people to become Christians and yet many who heard the preaching of the gospel did not believe (Acts 17:5). Why not? For exactly the same reason that we cannot force our children, spouses or friends to become Christians - - free will. Suppose I suggested that we meet at the church building, hire a bunch of beefy guys and then drive through town grabbing people and baptizing them. Would that make them Christians? You would properly answer no. Why not? And you would say, "because they did not choose to become a Christian and baptizing them against their will only got them wet." Exactly. Which is one of the reasons why baptizing babies is equally wrong and worthless.

God has given each human being the gift of free will. We are able to choose for ourselves. We must choose for ourselves, and no one, not even God, will choose for us. So please make your choices carefully.

- Tim Orbison


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