Free Agents

by Ray Baker

One of the many things the Scriptures teach with all surety is the free moral agency of men. The Lord did not create robots when He made us, nor did He fashion ‘puppets on a string.’ He made us creatures of choice, and His desire is that our hearts will choose to love and serve Him -- but He will not force us into that choice.

If we want to believe spiritual error, God will let us. The apostle Paul wrote of some who “might be saved,” but wouldn’t be, because they did not have “the love of the truth.” They simply didn’t want to believe God’s revelation (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12). Would the Lord allow this? Yes. In fact, God would even “send” such people “strong delusion, that they should believe the lie” (v. 11). If we want to believe that there is no God, He’ll allow us to manipulate some archaeological or geological findings to the ‘proving’ of our belief -- if that’s what we desire. If we want to believe that a doctrine is taught in God’s word (which isn’t), He’ll allow us to “twist” the Scriptures to our “own destruction” -- if that‘s what we desire (II Peter 3:16).

If we want to live lives full of immorality, God will let us. Three times in the first chapter of his epistle to the Romans Paul spoke of God “giving” men “up” or “over” to such -- “to uncleanness“ (Romans 1:24), “to vile passions” (Romans 1:26) -- “to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting” (Romans 1:28). Yes, God will allow men, even “give them over,” to idolatry, homosexuality, lesbianism, murder, covetousness, envy, or a host of other sins -- if that is their desire. Sadly, today’s culture seems to be ‘given over’ to much of this. What a mess we’re in! Even organized religion has to some degree been swept up in this, at least to the acceptance of some of these. If men wanted to believe the truth they would know “that those who practice such things are worthy of death” (Romans 1:32).

If we want to find truth and righteousness, God will let us. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6). Praise God for this! And Jesus said, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). How happy we ought to be that, if we so desire, we can know the truth and stand righteous before God. Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will
find; knock, and it will be opened for you” (Matthew 7:7).

What will we receive at this life’s end? It all depends on what we have desired and sought for. If we have aspired to the ‘spiritual’ lies of men or the morals of this age, these lead to nothing but condemnation and death, no matter how sincerely we believed them to be the right course. If we have truly sought for eternal life, we will find it.

What will you find? It all depends upon that for which you are asking, seeking, and knocking. It really is that simple.

If anyone wants to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine...” (John 7:17).

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