Tuesday, January 14, 2014

My Personal Quest into "Predestination" vs "Freedom of Will", a letter to my children. (Part 2)

This is the second part of my series on this quest. If you didn’t get to read the first part, here it is.  This is a letter to my children; however I thought that making it public will benefit some that may want to embark on the same quest:

My dear children,

This debate is not new to me. I actually have been hearing about it in messages, books and articles through the years. It’s quite popular. However, it wasn’t until I read this passage the other day that the thought of finally organizing my thoughts about it through the exercise of writing things down came to mind. It was interesting to me that it wasn't Romans 8:29-30, which is classically the passage that most people addressing this debate quotes. I hope to be able to get to many other places in the bible that shed light on this issue. So this won't be a short process.

So today I want to address some insights on the few parables that I am using as springboards to launch me into this study.

-For first time in my Christian life understanding the parable of the Sower, the parable of the Weeds, and the parable of the Net has been a challenge to me. (Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23, 24-30,36-42, 47-52)*

-Jesus explained the first 2 parables, however at first sight when I looked at them from the lenses of the age time debate of Predestination vs Free-will (Calvinism vs Arminianism), it seems to me these parables may or not present potential facts regarding the validation of one or the other.

-Some of the questions that came to mind when I read this passage today were: How are God's sovereignty and  freedom of will represented in the types of soil Jesus is referring to? And also, how can we explain the concept of freedom of will, if both the "Weed seed", and the "Bad fish" where bad from the beginning?

-I believe that regardless of whether this text is indeed related to this debate, a Holy Spirit led inquiring into it is very important to the mature Christian for the sake of allowing one’s heart to take stances regarding our confidence to preach the gospel, and also to contribute to our view of God and our trust in Him. Do we really view Him as a God that is all powerful and who is really in control of all things? Do we trust God's sovereignty when facing evil or trials?

-If God is the one who does the choosing, then when praying for unsaved dear ones, we should primarily focus on praying that God would choose to open their spiritual eyes, and make the transformational work in their heart which is prerequisite for a person to even start being responsive to the Gospel, instead of praying that that person would just willfully decide to start listening to it.  I hope that getting a better understanding on this subject would give me more peace when facing the way others respond to the gospel, knowing that God is ultimately sovereign over who gets saved, and why.

-I believe that taking either position should not affect the believer’s assurance of salvation, or his willingness to readily preach the gospel and make disciples, as only God, and not us merely humans, knows who are the citizens of heaven regardless of who did the choosing. I believe we are still called to preach the gospel and spread the “seed” as frequently and widely as we can, and allow God to take care of the outcome.

-With this in mind I am going to try to embark on a personal quest to try to sort out my understanding on whether we are predestined to be God’s children or not.  I pray that some of my findings embolden my witness for Christ and my passion to delight in and live for Him. And to trust Him completely.

-On trying to avoid any presumption, I have to understand that this may very well be a quest to last a lifetime. However I pray that God rewards my desire to understand His will, and lead me to fruitful study. I also pray that some of my answers help my children embark in their own quest with God to grow in him and savor His eternal pleasures, after all we were created to get to know Him: “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” -John 17:3

To be Continued..

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