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John 12: 37-40 Question about these verses and free will

I know Free Will is a major part of Christianity, so how do those verses mentioned in the post title- especially verse 40- apply to this belief?

There are alsoother mentions of predestination in the NT:
Romans 8:29-30
1 Corinthians 2:7
Ephesians 1:11


Asked by IhartU at 10:12 AM on Jan. 19, 2010 in Religion & Beliefs

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Answers (11)
  • Good question. As a Christian it was one that I was told to over look b/c it was just the Devil behind all confusion, hhhmmmm... What you are asking, would cause a glitch in the matrix if all minds thought on a higher level of consciousness at once. It's like asking a dog bite it's tail; it will chase it to prove it is there (b/c master said), but when finally bitten it becomes painful reality.



    Answer by Anonymous at 10:14 PM on Jan. 19, 2010

  • There are four concepts of action according to the Bible:
    foreordination (ordaining, decreeing, or determining of something beforehand by God Himself);
    foreknowledge (knowledge (big and small) of a thing before it happens or exists, as in prophecy for example or recognising inevitable outcomes (I knock my coffee on the floor the carpet will get wet);
    decisive freewill (fullyconscious action on our part);
    freewill exercised accidentally or in ignorance (“time and unforeseen occurrence befall [us] all” Eccl.9:11).

    Answer by pomander at 10:35 AM on Jan. 19, 2010

  • So what you're saying is that God gives Free Will, but takes it away when he feels it will benefit what he knows the future to be?

    I just don't get how predestiny and free will can exist at the same time. There are many instances of both in the Bible and how is that not a contradiction?

    Answer by IhartU at 11:08 AM on Jan. 19, 2010

  • Calvanists (a sect of Christianity) believe in predestination and predetermination --so although free will might be one or even many sects' view, it is not universal for Christians to believe.

    Answer by LindaClement at 12:21 PM on Jan. 19, 2010

  • Predestination is not a loss of free will, it is the knowledge that God has; He knows our decisions before we make them. All parents to some degree know what our child(ren) will choose before the choice is given them. Example; choice between playing video game and cleaning bathroom-my child will choose video game, but I could not say which video game he would choose. Since God knows our choice He also knows the outcome of that choice in the long term. Since choices are given by God and He knows what we will choose He knows the outcome and what the next choice will be. We still have the freedom to choose but since God is all knowing he "pre" determines our choice or in other words knows ahead of time what that choice is going to be.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:35 PM on Jan. 19, 2010

  • Anon... To compare what I THINK my kids will do to what a God KNOWS you will do is apples and oranges. The last sentence you wrote... please read it back to yourself. Now, really, does that make any sense to you? You have a choice but you're only choosing what he wants you to choose? How is that a REAL choice? It NOT one at all.

    The choices you think you are making are not real choices. Choices change things and since your God supposedly already knows the outcome of everything, you are in actually changing nothing- unless you're saying he makes mistakes and changes his mind about your path... The free will you think you have is nothing more than an illusion- you are doing only what has already been planned for you to do. Are you saying he only knows the beginning and the end and whatever happens in between is just filler?

    Can anyone answer my questions without using circular logic that goes nowhere?


    Answer by IhartU at 1:24 PM on Jan. 19, 2010

  • God can harden a heart that is set against Him. There comes a place where God will strengthen us in our decision, whether for Jesus or against Jesus. Ultimately, before God, we get what we want, and those who push Jesus away will not have to endure eternity with Him.

    This is also something He did with Pharoah. Pharoah was playing games with Moses. He was never going to do the right thing for the Hebrew people. After a while God got tired of all the games and just hardened Pharoah's heart, so that the Hebrews could leave.

    God will never harden the heart of a person who would come to Him eventually. "For God desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." 1 Timothy 2:7. You see with Paul, who was set against Christ, a murderer of the church. He did not believe, yet God revealed Himself to Paul. And Paul came to Christ. It is wrong for us to think someone is just beyond salvation, or hardened.

    Answer by Cinnamon-mom at 1:57 PM on Jan. 19, 2010

  • Can anyone answer my questions without using circular logic that goes nowhere?

    Why would anyone want to argue this with you? I am not a Christian more of an Agnostic and think you are ridiculous. One of the more hate filled posters on here. I hope people ignore you.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:11 PM on Jan. 19, 2010

  • Free will is for everyone including Christians,it's part of ourr sin nature and seperation from God.Can you type up the verses a pain I know but you would probably get more answers...Free will is for us to choose whether we are going to worship God today or not.God gives us a free will to choose, we are not robots.Our sin nature wants to do evil not good.As Christians we have the spirit of God that helps us choose good if we pray and daily.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:00 PM on Jan. 19, 2010

  • I read the Bible verse ... AND the verse which followed it. With the next verse, the idea of free will is fully there - some people DID believe, even though some did not. ... The only dilemma about free will arises if verse 40 is lifted out of context.

    Answer by waldorfmom at 7:33 PM on Jan. 19, 2010