Does God know everything? Why does God rebuke men for their sin and command them to repent and believe, when He knows they won’t do it?
Does God see the end from the beginning? Does God know how everything will turn out before it happens? (Isaiah 46:10)
Most Arminians, unless they are really whacky, will admit that God does know everything before it happens.
Some “free will gone to seed” Arminians have gone so far as to promote what is called Open Theism. They do not believe that God knows the future or how things will turn out, and this is attributed to man’s alleged “free will”.
In spite of the clear testimony of Scripture to the contrary.
“Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.” Acts 15:18.
Isaiah 46:9-11 King James Bible.
9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,
10 DECLARING THE END FROM THE BEGINNING, AND FROM ANCIENT TIMES THE THINGS THAT ARE NOT YET DONE, SAYING, MY COUNSEL SHALL STAND, AND I WILL DO ALL MY PLEASURE:
11 Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I WILL ALSO BRING IT TO PASS; I HAVE PURPOSED IT, I WILL ALSO DO IT.”
Daniel 4:34-35 "...and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: AND HE DOETH ACCORDING TO HIS WILL in the army of heaven, AND AMONG THE INHABITANTS OF THE EARTH: AND NONE CAN STAY HIS HAND, OR SAY UNTO HIM, WHAT DOEST THOU?"
Daniel 4:17, 25, 26 tell us three times that "THE MOST HIGH RULETH IN THE KINGDOM OF MEN, AND GIVETH IT TO WHOMSOEVER HE WILL."
2 Chronicles 20:6 affirms: "O LORD God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? AND RULEST NOT THOU OVER ALL THE KINGDOMS OF THE HEATHEN? AND IN THINE HAND IS THERE NOT POWER AND MIGHT, SO THAT NONE IS ABLE TO WITHSTAND THEE?"
"For the kingdom is the LORD'S; and HE IS THE GOVERNOR AMONG THE NATIONS." Psalm 22:28
If God didn’t know the future and what men would do with their “free wills” then it would be impossible for God to predict the future. Yet the Bible is full of very specific and precise predictions hundreds and even thousands of years before they happened.
If you at least still believe that God does know the end from the beginning, then can you answer this question?
If God knows before He even creates all people that many or even most of them will never come to Christ or believe on Him as their Saviour, in spite of all the fervent prayers for them and tears shed on their behalf, but they will continue in their sins and be damned to the lake of fire, Why does He go ahead and determine to create them anyway?
How is this any different from the Calvinistic view that God has predestined his chosen to the adoption of children (Ephesians 1:3-5) and others did not have their names written in the book of life from the foundation of the world? (Revelation 17:8)
In both views God knows without a shadow of doubt the eternal destinies of every man, woman and child before He creates them. Yet He goes ahead and creates them and gives them physical life anyway.
Why does God rebuke men for their sin when He knows they won’t believe?
An Arminian brother posted the following question in one of the Facebook forums.
Nick B. posts: "But Jesus rebuked the unbelieving Pharisees for not believing in Him, even though as you believe, it was God who prevented them from believing in Him. That makes it appear as though Jesus was playing a cruel game with them, doesn't it?"
Hi Nick. You bring up a good point but I don't think you have really thought this through, even from the Arminian side of things.
Does God know everything? Does He know who will repent and believe the gospel and who will refuse to believe, harden their hearts and reject Him and end up in the lake of fire?
Of course He does. Yet God often rebukes men for their sins and commands them to repent and believe the gospel, knowing full well that they will never do it.
Isn't that some kind of "playing a cruel game with them" as well?
I think what you are missing is that fallen man IS a sinner by choice, will and inclination. If left to himself he is "without strength, ungodly, a sinner and an enemy of God (Romans 5)
He hates the light and loves darkness. (John 3)
There is NONE that understandeth; there is NONE that doeth good; there is NONE that seeketh after God. (Romans 3)
Men should believe and obey their Creator. It is rebellion not to. And by commanding fallen, sinful and rebellious men to do things like repent and believe the gospel and not to harden their hearts (all the while He knows beyond a shadow of doubt that the non-elect will not do these things) it only reveals and highlights their guilt.
"By the law is the knowledge of sin."
And in the case of the Pharisees you mention, after rebuking them for their sin, Jesus even tells them WHY they don't believe.
Notice what He says to them in John 8:43 to 47.
"WHY do ye not understand my speech? even BECAUSE YE CANNOT HEAR MY WORD.
YE ARE OF YOUR FATHER THE DEVIL, and the lusts of your father ye WILL do (they willed to do them; not forced to do them).
And BECAUSE I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.
Now notice what He says to them in verse 47.
"He that IS of God heareth God's words; ye therefore hear them not BECAUSE YE ARE NOT OF GOD."
He does not say "If you would hear, then you would become of God, but rather, the very reason they do not hear is BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT OF GOD.
It is much like what the Lord said to them in John 10:26.
Jesus said to the Pharisees "BUT YE BELIEVE NOT, BECAUSE YE ARE NOT OF MY SHEEP, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me."
Please notice it does not say "you are not My sheep because you do not believe", as if by believing they would become His sheep, but rather THE REASON THEY DO NOT BELIEVE IS BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT HIS SHEEP.
Jesus calls His people His sheep even before they hear His voice. John 10:16. "And other sheep I HAVE, which are not of this fold: them also I MUST BRING, and THEY SHALL HEAR MY VOICE; and there shall be one fold and one shepherd."
What about the typical Arminian “straw man” argument they often bring up about “the little girl the sexual pervert repeatedly rapes”? Or “that man that kills your family.” Did the Calvinistic God decree that this should happen?
First, I do NOT believe God is the cause or author of sin. Man sins all on his own and does not need God to make him do so. Just read the first 3 chapters of Romans.
See also my article "Free Will" - the real cause of sin in the world.
But let’s turn the tables around on the Arminians about this example of the little girl and the pervert.
The Bible tells us that God kills and makes alive.
“See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.” Deuteronomy 32:39
The Bible also tells us that God holds our very breath in his hands.
“the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified”. Daniel 5:23
And the Bible tells us that God CAN withhold men from sinning if he wants to.
“for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her.” Genesis 20:6
God could have killed that pervert and prevented him from doing this horrible sin and offense against an innocent child; but he didn’t do it. The same applies to the man who killed your family.
If God allows something to happen that he himself could have stopped from happening, then he determined that it should happen and did nothing to prevent it.
So how has the Arminian God solved the very problem of evil he accuses the Calvinistic God of creating? He hasn’t.
ALL of grace, believing the Book - the King James Holy Bible.
Return to Articles -