Ezekiel 33:10-11 (NKJV)

"Therefore you, O son of man, say to the house of Israel: 'Thus you say, "If our transgressions and our sins lie upon us, and we pine away in them, how can we then live?" '

Say to them: 'As I live,' says the Lord God, 'I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?'

When we take Biblical truth to its logical conclusion, it is inescapable that God, knowing the end from the beginning, must have known that some would accept Him and that some would reject Him, and while knowing this, God went ahead with his plan anyway. This sounds like the start of an argument supporting the Calvinist idea that God has predestined some people to Heaven and some to Hell. If we just left it there, deciding that we had it all figured out, we could become either smug or contemptuous about a God who would decide the fate of all men even before they were born. We dare not take any ability away from a sovereign God either.

However, we must not leave it at that with our own pea-brained analysis. God, speaking through Ezekiel says that He has no pleasure in the death of the wicked. He pleads with people to stop their wickedness, to repent and live. This view of God is affirmed in both the Old Testament and in the New:

1 Timothy 2:4 (NKJV)

[God] desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

2 Peter 3:9 (NKJV)

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

Scripture presents God as giving us a choice and desires us to choose righteousness. I can't explain how it could all be predetermined and how we could have a choice to determine our destiny too. God's knowledge is perfect and God's plan is perfect and yet he has paid the tremendous cost and gone the vast distance to bring us to this point in time where all we have to do is fall into his arms to be saved, but then He pleads for us to choose. This is the action of an all-wise, all-loving, all-just God dealing with an all-weak, all-wicked, all-needy person. How else could it be? Would your idea of a holy God be the same if He were to say: "I'm gonna make him love me." Love cannot be love until it is a choice. The Bible calls sacrifice the ultimate act of love. Sacrifice is a choice or else it would not be sacrifice. Jesus was not murdered. Speaking of his life and the crucifixion, Jesus said "No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself."


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