Jack Harney writes in response to previous post,
I asked a question about one of the most basic beliefs that all Christians claim, that God is omniscient...all knowing the past present and future. Let me ask you this. Do you believe that before God created the universe and mankind, did he already know every person who would be born and which persons would end up in heaven and hell? Do you believe that he knew that before creation?
This is a very interesting question and one that has occupied theologians for many millennia. I in no way claim to be a learned theologian, but I will give my opinion on this question. The fact that God knows the future is evident throughout the scriptures. The scriptures record hundreds of prophesies, many which have already come to pass. In fact, by some accountings, over 300 specific prophesies of the messiah’s birth, life, and death were fulfilled in the person of Jesus. God declares of Himself
It is also apparent from the scriptures that God “knew” us before we were born. Our existence is not the result of random chance but the result of the determined plan and will of God. Consider what was written of both Jeremiah and David.
“Remember the former things long past, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, ‘My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure.’” (Isaiah 46:9-10)
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5)
“Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.” (Psalms 139:16)
While God’s omniscience and His foreknowledge of us are abundantly attested to by the scriptures, the more difficult question relates to the concept of “free will”. Does man have a “free will” to chose to accept or reject the saving grace offered by God or is it God alone who chooses who will be save and we are powerless to change that decision? My understanding to this question is that, while God knows the end from the beginning, God does not dictate the end from the beginning. In other words, God is able to look forward and see the result of the decisions we will make by our own free will. We decide the direction of our life by the choices we make and God is able to see those choices, and their results, even before we were born. Consider what God says about the wicked.
“The wicked are estranged from the womb; these who speak lies go astray from birth.” (Psalms 58:3)
Notice that He says that the wicked go “astray”. God created us with a purpose and a calling but it is up to us whether we will choose to walk in that purpose and calling. We can choose to go astray or we can choose to walk in the path God has prepared for us. Standing from a place outside of time, God sees it all, but we live in time and must walk through our lives and face our choices one at a time. In this way, God is both omniscient and man still has “free will”.
“Now I have told you before it happens, so that when it happens, you may believe.” (John 14:29)
Let’s continue the dialog, David Robison