What Is Free Will?
See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it. I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.
God could have created a perfect creation from nothing. All believers attribute that power to God. Most believers also believe that this creation, the one in which we live, was also created from nothing. I disagree. Based on what the Bible teaches us it appears to me that God chose to create a creation from a preexisting body of water called The Deep. The very nature of water is such that the matter that may be derived from it, which includes the periodic table of elements that we know, is inherently corrupt.
The question that we wish to answer is: Why did God create creation?
The answer is: Because he wanted to have companionship.
That sounds simple enough. It gets complicated when we realize that the universe of which we are part is a physical process of purification in preparation for the world that will come after. Even though God could have created countless companions who were as pure as the matter which he could have made from nothing, he didn’t. Why not? Why go to all the trouble of creating a corrupted system which is temporary and bound for destruction?
Imagine if you will an Almighty God creating millions and millions of people to worship Him. As gratifying as it may be to do the creating, being worshiped by people who were created specifically to worship Him is not. It is pointless, vain, empty. How would an Almighty God go about creating people who had the ability to choose whether or not they worship Him? What would the choice be?
God has chosen light. His nature of purity and holiness aligns with illumination and transparency. Nothing is hidden. The truth is manifest.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. (James 1:17)
The nature of the physical universe that God created is such that these attributes of life and good and light can be made into an actual physical place where people may live. In contrast, the opposite, dark and death and evil may also be gathered together into a physical place. Indeed, because of the properties of matter one may not exist without the other. This is the choice that we have been given.
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.(John 3:19)
God’s hope (if I can say it that way), or God’s soul yearns for, is people who will love Him for who He is. Not grudgingly or because of a conditioned response. Even though Moses said, “In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God,” there is no enforced compliance, certainly not now. The Bible is in large part the history of our non-compliance. The first of the Ten Commandments: Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Is a stated desire of the Lord’s, not a preordained outcome.
God will not make you worship Him. The choice we make about the relationship that we want to have with God is ours to make. It must be said, however, that due to the nature of the creation in which we live, this choice has consequences.
And unto this people thou shalt say, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I set before you the way of life, and the way of death. (Jeremiah 21:8)
If you are a Christian this ought to stir up a sense of urgency about the need to reach out to the world to show them that the choice they are making may be disastrous.