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Is Freewill A Teaching Or Point Passed Across By The Bible?

I felt this topic has to be dealt with in a thread of its own and from the point of view of Christians ,not atheists.

Looking at the above passage in quote, can one truly say that the king of assryia's will and purpose is a free one or was brought about or

caused by God's will with much emphasis placed on verses 5, 6, and 7?

I am of the opinion that the human will is not free; it is only caused or influenced.

Note: Freewill - The power of making free choices unconstrained by external agencies.

The human will is definitely affected,influenced or caused by external agencies, and is therefore not free.

there are lots of passages inm the bible that point towards such.

But i want this to be a discussion of opinions on the issue.

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The moment we begin to regard the Bible as a whole it is only then that it begins to take on a new meaning. The Old Testament is preparatory to the New Testament. The NT cannot be understood apart from the OT, neither can the OT be appreciated apart from the NT.

"Therefore has he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardens" -- Romans 9:18

God hardens on the same grounds of showing mercy. If men will accept mercy He will give it to them. If they will not, thus hardening themselves He is only just and righteous in judging them. We are privileged to humble ourselves and seek mercy or exalt ourselves and refuse mercy. Mercy is the effect of a right attitude, and hardening is the effect of stubborness toward God. It is like the wax and the clay in the sun. The same sunshine softens one and hardens the other. The responsibility is with the materials, not with the sun. Human beings are more responsible than these materials, because they have wills to make proper choices. The only sense in which God hardened Pharaoh was in giving him the occasion to harden his own heart or obey. Such is the choice all of us have to make (See 2 Cor. 2:15-17).

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freewill is a point from the bible and need to be thought to people who does not really understand it.

Freewill has been bestowed to man from the beginning of the world. God has given man the capacity to make a decision of his but still made know to man the required ethics of living a moral and spiritual life. Adam and eve was given the freewill to make a decision of theirs. Their wrong decision resulted in their been expelled  from the garden of Eden. The truth is that freewill is a delusion,it is not a reality for if it be then there should be no such as the judgment of God. But God has already declared and does not deny the fact that He is the creator of both light and darkness. He said in His word. Though i am the creator of both light and darkness, good and bad, but i urge you to walk in the light for the reward of working in darkness is destruction. It is your decision on earth that would be used to determine where u shall be on the last day. God does not forces anybody to serve Him but He still demand it.

FREEWILL IS NOT A REALITY, IT IS DELUSIONAL BECAUSE IT ONLY ENDS IN THIS EARTH. NO FREEWILL IN HEAVEN.

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Some people are just too scared to accept the fact that their destiny/life is not in the total control of their hands.

Can't they realize that without God they would not even exist in the first place?

it's now a problem to accept the fact that he determines how our lives are to play out?

It's never and has never and will never be how we determine that this our lives will play out; it is as God determines.

Rom 9:16(KJV)

(16) So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

Rom 9:16(ISV)

(16) Therefore, God's choice does not depend on a person's will or effort, but on God himself, who shows mercy.

Rom 9:16(CEV)

(16) Everything then depends on God's mercy and not on what people want or do.

Rom 9:16(BBE)

(16) So then, it is not by the desire or by the attempt of man, but by the mercy of God.

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It's like u do not like to look at the truth even when presented before u.

Pharaoh hardened his heart because God wanted him to.

It was never because Pharaoh hardened his heart that God hardened it more(can u see how absurd ur claims are?).

Exo 4:21

(21) And the LORD said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go.

Exo 7:1-3

(1) And the LORD said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.

(2) Thou shalt speak all that I command thee: and Aaron thy brother shall speak unto Pharaoh, that he send the children of Israel out of his land.

(3) And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt.

Exo 7:13

(13) And he hardened Pharaoh's heart, that he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.

Now where did u see that it was because Pharaoh hardened his heart that God hardened it?

God had a plan and purpose and he hardened Pharaoh's heart for that purpose to take effect.

The Chapter 8 u keep building ur phantom theory upon was a result of what God had done and not what Pharaoh had done.

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And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that does evil hates the light, neither comes to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. -- John 3:19-20

The same sunlight that melts candles also hardens clay. As God's light shines on man, the sinner's heart determines his response. One whose heart is tender will respond to God, one whose heart is bent on evil will harden his heart further against God and will remain in darkness. Sinners should note: After Pharaoh repeatedly hardened his heart against God (Exodus 8:15,32), God then hardened Pharaoh's heart (Exodus 10:27). Those who continualllly reject God will be given up to "uncleanness, vile affections, and a reprobate mind" (Romans 1:24,26,28).

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Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ

-- Colossians 2:8

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^^^ You haven't said anything new and are constantly shifting the proverbial goalpost. And at this point, I'm taking LightWalks advice and throwing in the towel.

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When i said Paul had access to the true meaning of the old testament stuff, that wasn't to discredit Moses. It was to discredit those of us that do not understand what happened during the old testament.

I never brushed aside Exodus 8. I only did not bother to speak on it because it was simply a result of all i have been saying: That God hardened Pharaoh's heart. Chapter 8 was simply a response to what God did to his heart.

My points so far has been that God hardened his heart and that is the primary issue here; Pharaoh's response is secondary since it was just a result of God's work on him.

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^^^ mischeivious.

I accept[b] both Moses and Paul's versions as truth[/b] and explained in detail why.

You brushed aside Exodus 8 insinuating the NT version is superior to the OT, essentially saying "Paul had access to the true meaning and not Moses" - that don't sound absurd to you? Isn't this your position?

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^^^Was it a picture? I thought it was a video. Never mind though,

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As I have said before, we have wills, but these wills are brought about by what God has done.

In the aspect of us choosing to believe or not believe, that is also brought about by what God does. See the below:

Joh 6:44

(44) No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

The above shows that without God's influence, we can't even choose to believe in God.

Joh 15:16

(16) Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

This verse also implies the same thing.Without Christ/God choosing us, there wouldn't even be the question of us choosing to believe in him.

Now, this is the case of those who do not choose to believe:

2Co 4:4

(4) In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

They cannot choose to believe because they have been blinded by the devil; showing that unless John 6:44/John 15:16 takes place for them, they would never be able to choose to believe.

That makes it clear that our choices are based on what God does and not what we of our own think we can do.

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http://media.chick.com/tract_8.swf

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"Your decision determines your destiny" QED.

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ttalks, you still side stepped the main issue here. Thus far I have avoided posting counter-attack scripture verses that teach the opposite of what you assert because that would be chopping at the leaves instead of the roots.

Please see this previous post of mine, consider and take it to heart

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God knows when evil is about to happen and he lets it happen since it all goes along with the fulfilment of his plans.

This is exactly where you hit the right thing.

, I don't know the meaning of all these posting you are doing here

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ttalks, I gotta sign off for tonight but I promise I will be back to tackle your last post.

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There's not much to say as regards the seemingly contradictory verses.

Exodus's presentation was a narrative of actual events taking place while Romans presentation was a "behind-the-scenes" look at it.

Romans was actually telling us why what happened did happen

Dan 4:35

(35)  To him the nations are far less than nothing; God controls the stars in the sky and everyone on this earth. When God does something, we cannot change it or even ask why."

Rom 9:19

(19)  Someone may ask, "How can God blame us, if he makes us behave in the way he wants us to?"

My position on Adam and eve is that God created two humans that were capable of sinning(not perfect humans) and placed the temptation and tempter with them for it to happen.

Note: Eve already had commited some sins before she took the fruit.

What sins u might ask.

- "…saw that the tree was good for food [‘the lust of the flesh,’ I John 2:16],

- and that it was pleasant to the eyes [‘the lust of the eyes,’ I John 2:16],

- and a tree to be desired to make one wise [‘the pride of life,’ I John 2:16],

The verses i've been putting up all this while which have been showing that God does affect or influence our wills make me take such a position.

Also, it doesn't seem to make sense if we say God knew how we would act and work his will around it and then later say or admit that he influences our wills.

Suggesting that God only works his will around how we would act implies that his will is subject to ours instead of the other way around.

I know we have wills, but my position is that they are not free(that is; are not free/independent of God's will or purpose).

Our wills(both ours and that of those that aren't saved yet) are brought about by what God has put into motion or in place; they are not independent/free of these things.

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ttalks,

don't you think its unbalanced to pluck a verse here and there that say "God controls everything" but yet ignore the other verses that say we choose, we decide to believe or not etc and walk the path of our own lives?

What we need to do is bring both sides together and come up with the help of the holy spirit an answer that includes both sides - because the scripture does not contradict scripture.

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Now why the would bible say here in Rom 9 that God hardened Pharaoh's heart but way back in Ex 8 say that it was Pharaoh that hardened his own heart?

Ex 8:15 But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the LORD had said.

8:32 But this time also Pharaoh hardened his heart and would not let the people go.

Before I go further, I'd love to hear your theory/understanding of these two seemingly contradictory verses.

 Good approach in breaking it down but I still find the highlighted portions problematic. God doesn't make anybody do anything ttalks, that is just not biblically accurate. Does He influence us? yes, does He control us? no.

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While some of us are trying to give possible explanations to those verses I gave, i think we should do some checking up on Arminianism and Calvinism.

That is where most of our Christian theology falls between.

Normally, our proper Christian faith faults those two in different ways.

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For clarity's sake, I want anybody to explain some verses properly:

Dan 4:35

(35) To him the nations are far less than nothing; God controls the stars in the sky and everyone on this earth. When God does something, we cannot change it or even ask why."

Php 2:13

(13) For it is God who is producing in you both the desire and the ability to do what pleases him.

Some simple explanations of this verses would help.

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A little thing to look at:

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There are stuff we do that can be said as doing God's will; that is,his will which we can do. such as keeping his commandments.

There are also stuff which God wills and they happen whether we like it or not .eg. If he wants rain to fall today; so we can't limit God's will to what he wants us to do.

Earthquakes that happen are God's will, so are floods, hurricanes, etc. Those are not stuff that we can say or do anything about; showing that God's will is beyond what our responses are to be towards his word.

As regards God having foreknowledge as to what we will do and then working with that knowledge to accomplish his will, . . . . . . . . . . I do not buy that idea as how his will is accomplished.

I rather see it as he has determined that this or that is how things will be and then sets events into motion that make us and every other thing flow accordingly.

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Jesoul,

If context is what we are regarding here, the way u explained resisting God's will as regards Romans 9 is not entirely correct.

verse 17 says God raised Pharaoh for the purpose which we all know.

verse 18 says he hardened his heart;which we all know.

verse 19 is saying :why does he find fault [that would be with Pharaoh,since he(God) hardened his heart]? The who hath resisted his will is in reference to that hardening of Pharaoh's heart.God's will was that pharaoh's heart be hardened and pharaoh could not resist that will.

It is in that same sense that one can ask generally that who can or has resisted God's will.

God's will can be seen in so many ways:

- His ultimate will; which is the salvation of mankind.

- what he wants /expects us to do.

- what he expects the devil to do.

- what he causes to happen;whether good or bad.

- what he makes the wrongdoers do.

- what he makes us to do.

- what he prevents us from doing.

Etc,

God's will goes far beyond what we can ever imagine and it sure isn't limited to the "always beautiful expectations" we keep reminiscing about.

The sooner that we realize that whatever happens under the sun is God's will, the better for us.

If there's :

- Life

-death

-joy

-sadness

- happiness

- sorrow

- peace

- war

- love

- hate

- crime

- justice

- etc.

all are God's will; and they are all working together towards the accomplishment of his ultimate will/purpose.

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The old excuse: "God made me like this. Sin is His fault!" will not work in our worldly human court systems, why then do we think that is going to work with the Righteous and Just Judge on Judgment Day?

Even with an expert defense lawyer, it would take a pretty incompetent judge to fall for the old "God made me do it" defense. We humans are responsible moral agents. The "buck" stopped at Adam. He was the first man who played the blame game. He tried to blame both God and Eve for his sin; Eve blamed the serpent while the serpent had no leg to stand on. It is human nature to play the "blame game" but this will not work with God on the Judgment Day.

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Lets look at some mentions of "God's will" in the scriptures:

-Mark 3:35 "Whoever does God's will is my brother and sister and mother."

-John 7:17 "If anyone chooses to do God's will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.

-Rom 8:27 "And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will

-Rom 12:2 "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will

-1 Thess 4:3 "It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality

-1 Thess 5:18 "give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus

-1 Peter 2:15 "For it is God's will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men

-1 Peter 4:19 "So then, those who suffer according to God's will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good

  Now certainly we as christians do not always do the will of God - do we always give thanks? do we always do good? do we always avoid immorality? no. In many instances we fail to carry out what we know from the scriptures is God's will.

  Now let us not mix this with what you termed a "super/ultimate will". For instance it was God's will/purpose that Jesus should come on earth, live and die for our sins - and there was nothing man could do change or prevent that. Now within the smaller picture man sinned, David fell, his lineage was almost wiped out, Pilate tried to kill Jesus etc etc man didn't always do what God willed for him - but in the larger picture God inspite of man's inadequacies still brought about His ultimate will/purpose. This is God working thru our sin and weaknesses.

  Let us look at some other verse talking about a "super will/purpose":

-Acts 2:23 "This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.

-Acts 5: 38 "Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God."

-Eph 1:11 "In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will

- Eph 3:10 "His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11 according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I hope this clears up some things for us all.

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Joh 19:10-11

(10)  Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?

(11)  Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.

^ ^ ^ ^ Jesus telling Pilate that he had no power to determine anything except it were given from above.

That's clearly another point against this free/independent of God's will which many of us believe in.

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And the bible does say that u are wrong:

Rom 9:19

(19) You may ask me, "Then why does God still find fault with anybody? For who can resist his will?" - [The obvious answer to this question is "NO ONE". Being outside his will would mean resisting it.]

Dan 4:35

(35) To him the nations are far less than nothing; God controls the stars in the sky and everyone on this earth. When God does something, we cannot change it or even ask why." - [The control shown which God exhibits over us is 100% of the time; so we are never outside his will]

Sorry, this doesn't portray how God is or how he functions. Ur scenario above shows that the employees are in control of their wills.

In the case of God, our wills are determined by his.

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'say 'GOD is one, the self sufficient, He beget not nor was He begotten, and there is none co equal or comparable to Him' Quran 112 : 1-4

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God's will does not encompass every minute action. In fact I did say about 60% of the things we do are outside his will. It's just like a company that has a vision to develop a wired world. The employees are told not to do things that are outside the vision of the company. The manager lays out his plan in a perfect way and is sure of the future outcome. But He does not control his employees unnecessarily. He intervenes only when it is necessary. That's why Jesus did not come earth until it was time for Him. That's what is meant by free will my dear.

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Dan 4:35

(35) To him the nations are far less than nothing; God controls the stars in the sky and everyone on this earth. When God does something, we cannot change it or even ask why."

Does this show God fashioning his will according to ours or God fashioning ours to his?

Truth be told: We can only will according to God's will. And such a will(ours) is not free/independent of God's will.

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I think God's will is still definitely his purpose.

Rom 9:19(KJV)

(19) Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?

Rom 9:19(BBE)

(19) But you will say to me, Why does he still make us responsible? who is able to go against his purpose?

Makes sense to me.

But one thing I think: I Know God has an ultimate and super purpose; but I also feel that he has other wills within his ultimate will.

Just like sub-wills of a super-will.

these sub-wills might not make sense but all work towards accomplishing the super will.

But one thing for sure; no man or thing or situation can resist his will or prevent it from being; whether sub or super will.

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@ttalks: I hope you are now getting my point. You need to redefine your answers. God simply has an end in mind. Looking at it from our own view, it sounds manipulative but when you think in all possible dimensions. You see that it is due to a very strong purpose. The devil was created for this very purpose. You do not know what your undergoing life on earth means to your salvation. You underestimate what winning the devil in this world is. That's definitely one of the things God wants for us. He knows whether you are going to heaven or hell. If you are going to hell, you may just be in the world because you are going to help someone else be in heaven. Everything happens for the rightful purpose. Peace

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I don't think it is accurate to say "God's will is always done" because it isn't. It would be better if we came up with a definition for what we mean by "God's will" anyways.

I think it is better if we said God's ultimate purpose is always done - just like we saw with Jesus dying and rising again. For example it is God's will that we should constantly do good, avoid immorality, pray for all the saints etc . . . but do we always do this? no. Even though God through the holy spirit constantly influences us? no. But if we are truly born again, His ultimate purpose of completing our salvation and justification will be accomplished at the return of Jesus.

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Is it necessary to obey Jesus and pray 'Thy will be done in earth', if God's will must always be done anyway?

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Oh no 'As for those who disbelieve, I will punish them with a severe torment in this world and in the Hereafter, and they will have no helpers' Quran 3:56

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I'll respond when i get home.

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mischieviously manipulates us into doing[i] His [/i] will and I know this is not your position.

I believe that God knows ahead of time what we will choose, what we will think, what we will decide - and then He uses that to accomplish His will on earth. However I do agree that our will is influenced, affected etc by external factors. So while perhaps the term itself "freewill" may be lacking, I still think that when most people consider the term, they simply think of it as the "freedom to make choices".

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This is how i view the verses in question:

(5) O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation

The verse above shows or indicates that Assyria is God's tool for anger. - [a tool is at the mercy and will of its wielder/owner]

(6) I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.

Verse 6 shows that it is God's will and intention to use assyria against his people.

(7) Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so; but it is in his heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few.

Verse 7 shows that the king of Assyria had no intention,will or plan to attack God's people.

But because of God's will and intention, the will and desire was built up in the heart of the king.

but one will notice that after the king would have fulfilled God's purpose, God was goping to punish him.

One could ask why, since it was God that made him want to do his bidding.

But the interesting thing to note is that God was not punishing him for the act against his people; rather, he was punishing him for the fruit of his heart.

The thought that it was himself that wanted to do as he pleased and the belief that all he did or could do was of his own will,intention and ability.

This is evident in what verses 8 to 14 say.

God then says that it is himself that made the whole thing possible because it was his will and that the king was only a tool in fulfilling that will. Verse 15 says this much.

This much shows that when God has a desire or will, he makes his will come to pass by influencing the wills of his creation.

Without God putting the will or thought into the king of Assyria's heart, he would not have attacked God's people.

Differing views are welcome.

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So, now, - how do we relate this so called "free will" to the scenario presented in the verses I quoted; the King of Assyria situation?

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Yeah, I know definition actually plays a large role here.

But, the truth is a free will is one that is displayed by making choices/decisions of your own without any form of pressure,or influence, or cause.

The fact is that: no choice or decision made is without influence or cause.

The choice made is dependent on a cause.

Without the cause,the choice made would not have been made.

Leading to the conclusion that there is no choice without a cause/influence; which means there is nothing like a free will.

I think free will should have better been called: Will without influence or Free of influence/cause - will.

Based on these, I think that our wills are determined by the things God sets into action.

There are definite responses to some conditions or situations; there are also diverse responses to certain conditions.

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Is a lie , your bible does not allow us to have freewill, you threaten us with hell if we dont accept the teachings of the bible. how is that a chance for us to have freewill ?

meanwhile i have a social network site i opened and i am inviting well meaning nairalanders to join, you are one of them, simply click on my signature to see the site and sign up.

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Cool topic. Ttalks, I think this is a matter of definition.

Free will is simply the freedom of human beings make choices. I think this is the unconscious definition most people hold to.

Now whether our choices are affected, influenced, forced or caused by external factors does not eliminate or diminish the fact that we still chose to make those choices/decisions. Hope this makes sense.

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This leads us to the classical paradox, which is fate or predestination versus free will. Do we have free will, or are we predestined? Did Judas really have the choice of betraying Christ? It was predicted in Psalm 41:9 and it was fulfilled in Judas. The question is, did Judas really have a choice?

When God prophesies a future event, does that mean it is inevitable? Yes, it certainly does, because He sees the end from the beginning. Do we have any choice? Yes, we do.

We now understand that time is a physical property, and that living in time, we view events as a sequence, that is in three directions: Past, present and future. Behind us is the past; ahead us is the future. God, who created time He lives in eternity, outside the property of time. He can see time in one stretch (past, present and future at one go). He can see what we are going to do. That doesn't mean He relieves us of the choice; it just means that He, in His infinite knowledge, knows the choice we are going to make.

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