The freewill teaching is everywhere in evangelical churches

I CAME INTO THE WAY believing in the typical “freewill” thing offered in most evangelical churches.
Imagine my surprise upon discovering verses in the Bible saying strange and puzzling things like “it is not of him that willeth”… or “God hardened Pharaoh’s heart”… or “God locks up all together in stubbornness.” … or “God gave it to them to turn against Him.” … etc.
One verse of scripture after another revealed to me, that the writers of the Bible were not “freewill evangelicals” like I was–and all my friends were. No freewill evangelical would use such language. And in fact, all the sermons I heard in my nearly 20 years of going to church strangely avoided any and all such passages of Holy Writ. But why? I’m convinced now that those preachers were gutless and deceived themselves.
They avoided those verses BECAUSE it did not fit into their worldview.
The needed a “freewill” teaching because it was just too hard to suggest that the punishment of the wicked (eternal) punishment was all God’s doing — instead let’s blame man’s ultimate fate on man’s freewill decision.
Neat huh? A clean way to scapegoat the poor sucker for choosing his own endless fate.
Luckily, about the same time I started taking a serious look at those strange “non-freewill” verses, I also discovered that the word ETERNAL, as in “eternal punishment” was not really in the Bible.
It turns out the word ETERNAL was invented by John Wycliffe because he made the very first English Bible and all he had was a Latin Bible to work with. Well, when Wycliffe got to the Latin word ETERNAUM, he just invented a new English word ETERNAL… not knowing that ETERNAUM was a synonym for WORLD.
Well, you can have the END OF THE WORLD, but somehow you cannot have the END OF ETERNAL… Anyway, the whole thing is a mess.
But, if you can find a literal translation of the Bible, you’ll see that both rewards and punishments are not ETERNAL but somewhat limited in scope and duration. And that helps with the “freewill” problem.
You see, it’s rather obvious that the writers of the Bible were not freewill evangelicals. And so, if God doesn’t operate by man’s freewill, instead God operates all things after the council of His own will (See EPH 1:11) then, if God makes some vessels for honor and some for dishonor (See Romans 9) then we’ll just have to trust that God knows what He is doing when God decides that “Not for all is the faith” (See 2 Thessalonians 3:2).
After all, God is the creator of all, and the savior of all. (I TIM 4:10)
Freewill is really a nasty teaching, very akin to the SELF-HELP teaching that is so popular today. It is very focused on man and not on God and his operations and especially not focused on what was accomplished on the cross.
You see, Christ died for sin. And Christ died for all. And His achievement on the cross is not dependent on anything other than whether or not God accepted the sacrifice of His Son. And we believe God did accept that offering. And nothing else is needed.
Believers believe this. And non-believers don’t. But will their unbelief nullify God’s work in Christ’s cross? Nope. Paul says as much.
How will God save the non-believer? Well, it’s God’s business really. But if you want to do a study on the TIME words of the bible (AION and OLAM) prepare to have your mind blown. Why? Because your concept of time is not the same as God’s concept of time.
How will God save the non-believer? Consider Jonah. He did not go down to Nineveh of his own “freewill”… no sir ree… He was running the other way. They tossed him off the boat and he was swallowed by a big fish… and guess how long he was in the belly of the fish? One passage says he was there “forever”. Another passage says 3 days and 3 nights. God saved him inspite of his “freewill” to run away. God saved him and Nineveh too… not due to his correct “freewill” decision but inspite of it. Jonah– forced? or obey out of “freewill”?
Also consider Jacob’s brothers. Their very act (sin) of selling him into slavery resulted in their salvation later in the famine years.
Don’t be fooled by this freewill business, it’s just a doctrine invented to get God off the hook for the silly notion of “endless torment” due to John Wycliffe’s boo boo in translation the Bible into English.
God is the savior of all. How he’s going to pull it off, requires some study, and trust that He IS the savior of all.
I can share what I’ve discovered. Let me know.
Grace to you.
Linwood

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