Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus,

GOD created man (i.e., male, female) in His image or likeness or character; we have His DNA. Never a robot was God’s desire; hence free-will. There is a freedom that comes of God the Father including the freedom to choose between eternal life with Him through Christ Jesus or eternal death with the thief who comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Of the Sovereign Lord God Almighty is freedom to choose between life and death, blessing and cursing (Deuteronomy 30:15-19); whereas, of the thief (John 10:10) choice is null and void. Satan and his cohorts are directly responsible for every aspect of evil in this world; yet the decision to “go along” is primarily of free-will at the onset (before possession). Even an act referred to as that of a “hard-head” is an exercise of free-will (whether or not based in seemingly sheer stupidity relative to common sense).

The fall of man was a result of the first Adam’s use of free-will. More specifically, ‘though Eve was tricked by the enemy, the LORD warned Adam (in advance of Eve): “15) The LORD God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and take care of it.  16) But the LORD gave him this warning: ‘You may freely eat any fruit in the garden  17) except fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you will surely die. Genesis 2:15-17 (NLT). Satan had the conversation with Eve who attempted to paraphrase God’s command as Adam watched before agreeing to participate contrary to God’s advice. Perhaps needless to say, He who is Omniscient wouldn’t have been surprised at this turn as it is written, the Living Word was with God in the beginning (John 1:1-2); that God’s “grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time 2 Timothy 1:9b (NIV).

Believing is a very personal decision. That is to say, a parent may seed the WORD in their child yet mandating belief isn’t possible. Likewise, an adult may be present for all manner of biblically-based teaching yet give evidence via lack of the good fruit of a re-created or regenerated or reborn spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) of un-belief. When the Lord Jesus gave the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20;Mark 16:15-18), the implication was never that all would believe; rather it was to go ’till all have heard. “And anyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved. Joel 2:32a (NLT). “14) How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?  15) And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!’  16) But they have not obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, ‘LORD, who has believed our report?’  17) So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:14-17 (NKJV).

Speak the promise . . . Harriet