This is sparked by a post Cagey made the other day (I...can't comment over there often, due to...well, stuff that Cagey has no control over. So, I'll bring it *here*.) Anyway. Part of her comments delved into free will and predestination.....my kids and I have had this conversation recently.
A lot of people think that it's black and white - God already knows what I'm going to decide, so it doesn't matter WHICH I choose, because it's already been ordained (predestination in a nutshell). Well, it's not quite that simple.
God is omniscient, right? That means that He knows the outcome of our decisions, right? Well...that ALSO means that He knows the outcome of the decisions we DID NOT make. So....yes, He already knows what'll happen with the decisions we've already made - and He also knows what will happen if we make a DIFFERENT decision. He knows not just *the* future, but *ALL* futures. (Think about that a minute...it's kinda hard to grok, at first.)
An example....I have 2 choices for dinner: chicken, or tacos. If I choose chicken, then path A emerges from all possible futures, and that's the one I start out on. If I choose tacos, then path A fades and I step out onto path B. Every time I make a decision, there's a branch in the path - by choosing 1, the other fades out (and all the paths that would occur as a result of that decision also fade away.) The future isn't necessarily *fixed* - it alters with each decision we make. (I'm being a little silly with the dinner idea...but I'm trying to make it easy.)
Now. I can choose tacos, get them, and decide I'd rather have chicken, so I trade with SG. *That* alters the path again......and so on.
Point being, *I* have the choice. God already knows what'll happen with each choice I make, but the decision (and the final outcome) is up to *me*. He might step in if He needs to, but for the whole, it's MY choice. No predestination here - unless you factor in all the different branching paths I could take....but again, it's not necessarily fixed in stone - free will enters in. God might hope I'd order tacos (for example), but it's my choice whether I do, or don't. (Or even if I decide to skip dinner completely - that's another choice that'll cause it's own path.)
Now, maybe it's not so simplistic, but this makes sense to me. We've given the choice to either choose Him, or not - and *that* will lead to the ultimate fate of everlasting life with Him, or being separated from Him for eternity. But! I think we're also given many chances to choose - we can always change our minds, which lets our free will enter back into the equation.
Hope that makes sense........
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