Answering “Questions Christians Can’t Answer” #12 – 13 Free Will?

Russian Roulette Anyone?

This article is one of 49 articles which address “questions Christians can’t answer,” as listed in the 2009 article “Top 50 Questions Christians Can’t Answer“.

The questions asked within the article tend to assume a narrow set of Christian beliefs that it attacks, and many of the questions become moot when the larger landscape of Theology is taken into account.

The questions also tend to be asked in a condescending and insulting manner. These articles will attempt to address the primary objection within the question, and not the manner in which the question is asked. Additionally, this series of articles will attempt to consider the wider range of Christian beliefs, rather than the answers which may stem from a particular sect of Christianity.

And now for questions 12 and 13:

Source

12. If God wants us all to follow and worship him, why didn’t he create us as such? *Your expected answer will be addressed in the next question. 

13. What good is it for us to have free will if the intention is for us not to use it? Sure, we can use our free will, but we will burn in hell for eternity if we do. Russian roulette, anybody? It sounds like a set-up to me. 

You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?

-Romans 9:19-24 ESV

Since twelve and thirteen are essentially a two-part question, they will both be addressed together.

God exists prior to the creation of the universe, and is responsible for the creation of the universe. As such, the universe, and everything which resides within exists for purposes determined by God – their Creator. God does not exist to meet the desires of his creatures, his creatures exist to serve God’s purposes.
God’s purpose for the creation of the universe, and for everything that has and will occur within it, is the actualization of all aspects of his nature through Jesus Christ. As stated in the question, human’s exercise of free-will has condemned them in the eyes of God. Immediately there is a seeming conflict in God’s nature. On the one hand, God’s purity and holiness cannot abide that which is imperfect. He must destroy all imperfection because of his very nature. On the other hand, God’s love – which is equal in potency to his holiness – must forgive and save that which is lost.
The resolution to this conflict is Jesus Christ. By living a pure life, Jesus satisfied God’s holiness. By taking on the sin of all people, Jesus satisfied God’s love. These acts have glorified Christ and perfectly justified God’s very nature – reconciling his justice with his mercy.
Now, human free will may be used not to condemn but rather to save. Every person has the opportunity to exercise their free will and receive the salvation available in Christ.
As Christ himself said: “Whoever believes in [me] is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”

The choice is illustrated in a more generalized manner this way: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” The word “Grace” in this context simply refers to the salvation bought by Christ’s death and resurrection. Consequently, God’s grace is freely available to the person who recognizes their imperfection and – in humility – repents of it.

When a person can find no other means of salvation but through Christ, this justifies God’s nature. God’s justice is actualized by those who resist his grace, and his love is actualized through those who accept it. Both operating off of the free will that is part of their nature.

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