Christians share the same passages in defense of their differing views about the roles of free will vs. predestination affecting salvation. The cause that leads to variations in interpretation can be traced to core beliefs. Core beliefs will be examined in light of Scripture to answer this important question – Are we to believe or not to believe in free will?
HUMAN NATURE Before we can be judged, we need an examination. God examines our condition to see if we are “good.” This is the quickest test ever. As Christ said, “No one is good except God alone” (Luke 18:19b). We pass the examination if we are deemed perfect.[footnote]See Matthew 5:48.[/footnote] But ever since the fall … Read More
BAPTISM AND REBIRTH Before ascending into heaven, Christ told his disciples to go and baptize all nations (Matthew 28:18–20). The early Church often baptized whole households.[footnote]See Acts 16:14–15 and Acts 18:8.[/footnote] Today, we tend to baptize individuals. But in all cases, the ceremony is a symbol of baptism of the Spirit, which brings salvation through … Read More
WARRING NATURES Until God puts his nature within us, we cannot love God. Even if we in our human mind agree with the concept of a loving God, we are not able to respond with love in our human nature. Only God is capable of love, though he does share this ability when he gives … Read More
THE WAY TO GOD Because God created the earth and everything in it, he has every right to decide the path we are to take. The created do not get to complain to the Creator. “Woe to him who strives with him who formed him, a pot among earthen pots! Does the clay say to … Read More
JUDGMENT OF THE RIGHTEOUS We now come to the third of the primary end-time events. Following the return of Christ and the physical resurrection of the faithful, God will pass judgment. But on what criteria will we be judged? Will God’s assessment boil down to “justified” or “damned” in a pass/fail sense? Or will he … Read More
RECOMPENSE FOR FAITHFUL LABOR “For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.” —Matthew 16:27 “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be paid … Read More