Some evolutionists argue that people act as they are programmed. They insist that people cannot decide on their course of life, because they do not have a free will. Therefore God cannot judge them. So to deny free will is to attempt to evade accountability.
God holds people accountable for their deeds, ‘He [God] repays a man for what he has done; He brings upon him what his conduct deserves.’ 1 Obviously that can only happen if man has a free will. There are two factors that clarify the issue of free will: death and Scripture.
God put Adam in a beautiful garden. There were enough fruit trees to satisfy his palate. Just one proviso restrained him: don’t eat of one specific tree, or you will die. If Adam and Eve did not have free will, God would not have given them a choice. God knew the devastation that Adam’s free will would bring, but He did not influence him or prevent his decision. They decided to disobey and eat from that tree. So death became part of life. Death is a powerful testimony to the reality of free will.
There is another powerful proof that free will is fact. In the Old Testament God doesn’t emphasise that the devil corrupts people. For example, Cain killed his brother Abel, but it is only in the New Testament that we read that Cain belonged to the devil. 2 Why doesn’t the Holy Spirit emphasise the devil’s influence on people? It is because each person will individually give account to God of what we did while alive. We cannot blame the devil, because he has already been sentenced for his free will decision against God.
# Freedom to choose
God gave man a free will and nobody can interfere with it. The history of individuals throughout the Bible testify to man’s free will.
- Judas had a free will and decided to betray Jesus. 3
- Peter betrayed Jesus, but by his own free will he came back to Jesus. 4
- Demas used his free will to leave Paul, since he loved the world. 5
It is not necessary to write book after book on the question of free will. The Bible tells us we will all give an account to God. There is only one difference. On Judgment Day the follower of Jesus will have a record of forgiven sins. He will stand washed white by the blood of Jesus. Unbelievers refuse to accept that privilege. They want to pay for their own wrong decisions and accept whatever comes. Unfortunately it will not be to live in the presence of Jesus eternally.
- Job 4:11
- 1 John 3:12
- Matthew 24:14-16
- John 21:7-19
- 2 Timothy 4:9