Joan Winifred » September 30, 2018
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Being Selective

Greetings:) Truth-Seeking-Reader.

Truth is a value i hold nearanddear (Not a typo). Since youth “Truth” (pursuing/acquiring/living it) has been my main objective, purpose, vocation, occupation!…obsession?-lol;)

For me, and obvious to any Regular Readers (Thanks for Your Time!:)), my priority is Spiritual/Biblical Truth…which trickles to other Truth topics…i.e., Science, health, etc.

Through the years, have had countless conversations with various Folks (the 🙂 and the 🙁 the pleasant, the disagreeable) from all walks of life, all walks of education, culture, religion including Agnostics and Atheists.

Every One is a teacher; for sure. Both positive and negative…conversations aka transmissions of knowledge…teach…(and possible mold).

Who is molding me?

A reocurring concern/cluster…family of spiritual questions bubbling to the surface among thinking, caring, loving people…seems to be:

Why is there evil?

Why would God allow suffering? When will it end?

IF God is all knowing and all powerful, did God “create” evil?

IF my life is predestined…why bother? (changing, trying, etc.)

Hoping this reading i’ve enJOYed (in the past) will help You now (and in the future)…resolve/reconcile…touch these seemingly tough topics of discussion.

Is Your Future Predestined?

Many people believe that their life and future are predestined by a higher power. They feel that from conception to death, we all follow a script already written in the mind of God. ‘After all,’ they say, ‘God is all-powerful and all-knowing, or omniscient, so surely he must know every detail about the past, the present, and the future.’

WHAT do you think? Does God foreordain our life course and ultimate destiny? In other words, is free will genuine or just an illusion? What does the Bible say?

Total or Selective Foreknowledge?

The Bible leaves us in no doubt as to God’s having foreknowledge. He knows “from the beginning the finale,” says Isaiah 46:10. He even used human secretaries to record many prophecies. (2 Peter 1:21) What is more, those prophecies always come true because God has both the wisdom and the power to fulfill them in every detail. Hence, God can not only foreknow but also foreordain events whenever he chooses to do so. However, does God foreordain the destiny of every human or even the total number who will gain salvation? Not according to the Bible.

The Bible teaches that God is selective when it comes to foreordaining the future. For example, God foretold that “a great crowd” of righteous humans would survive the destruction of the wicked at the end of the present system of things. (Revelation 7:9, 14) Note, though, that God did not give a specific number for that great crowd. The reason? He does not predestinate individuals. God is like the loving father of a large family. He knows that at least some of His children will reciprocate His love, but He does not predetermine the number.

Compare God’s use of foreordination with the way he uses his power. As the Almighty, God has absolute power. (Psalm 91:1; Isaiah 40:26, 28) But does he use his power in an uncontrolled manner? No. For instance, he held back from acting against Babylon, an enemy of ancient Israel, until the time was right. “I kept exercising self-control,” God said. (Isaiah 42:14) The same principle applies to his use of foreknowledge and foreordination. Jehovah exercises self-control in order to respect the free will that he gave us.

God’s control of his powers does not limit  him or render him imperfect. In fact, it magnifies his greatness, and it endears him to us, for it shows that his sovereignty truly is exercised not only with omniscience and power but also with love and respect for the free will of his intelligent creation.

Is God to Blame??

On the other hand, if God predetermines everything, including every nasty accident and vile deed that has ever happened, could we not rightly blame him for all the misery and suffering in the world? Thus, upon closer inspection, the teaching of predestination does not honor God, but casts a pall over him. It paints him as cruel, unjust, and unloving​—the very opposite of what the Bible says about him.​—Deuteronomy 32:4.

The Choice Is Yours

By means of his servant Moses, God said to the nation of Israel: “I have put life and death before you, . . . and you must choose life . . . by loving Jehovah your God, by listening to his voice and by sticking to him; for he is your life and the length of your days.” (Deuteronomy 30:19, 20) Had God predestinated each Israelite either to love him and gain life or to disregard him and merit death, His words would have been both meaningless and insincere. Do you believe that God, “a lover of justice” and the very personification of love, would act in such an arbitrary way?​—Psalm 37:28; 1 John 4:8.

More Questions:

HAVE YOU WONDERED?

▪ To what extent does God exercise foreknowledge?​—Deuteronomy 30:19, 20; Isaiah 46:10.

▪ Why would God not predetermine everything, including the bad things that happen to people?​—Deuteronomy 32:4.

▪ What will ultimately determine our future?​—John 17:3.

God’s purpose and man’s plan(s)…

By means of the Bible, God is, in effect, saying to us: ‘This is my purpose for mankind and the earth, and this is what you should do to gain everlasting life. It is now up to you to decide whether to listen to me or disregard me.’ Yes, how perfectly God balances his powers of foreordination with his respect for our free will! Will you choose life “by listening to [God’s] voice and by sticking to him”? [excerpted reading AWAKE! 2009, Is Your Future Predestined?]

Tackling evil…

Normally, people want to be peaceable, honest, and kind. Why, then, do we often see violence, injustice, and cruelty? Horrific news reports are common. Is there someone trying to make people act badly?Read 1 John 5:19.

Did God make humans with an evil tendency? No, Jehovah God created humans in his image, with a tendency to imitate God’s love. (Genesis 1:27; Job 34:10) But God also dignified humans with free choice. When our first parents chose to act badly, they rejected God’s example and became imperfect. We inherited the tendency to sin from them.Read Deuteronomy 32:4, 5.

God wants us to resist our bad tendencies. (Proverbs 27:11) So he teaches us how to avoid doing wrong and how to find real happiness. At present, though, we cannot imitate God’s love perfectly.Read Psalm 32:8.

Although evil abounds now, God is permitting it for a limited time to allow all to see its sad consequences. (2 Peter 3:7-9) Soon, however, the earth will be filled with happy people who obey God.Read Psalm 37:9-11

[excerpted Where Did Evil Come From? Bible Questions Answered]

Humans:) we have the power of selection. We can choose to use…any talent, gift, knowledge, circumstance…for the good, better, best.

9/30/18 @ 10:56 a.m.

Peace & Purpose:)..to You Reader.

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Ancient & Modern Inquiries

Looking for context see this

An Ancient Inquiry

 

22. How did the Athenians’ many theories about their gods affect their way of worship?

22 In the first century of our Common Era, Athens, Greece, was a prominent center of learning. Among the Athenians, however, there were many different schools of thought, such as the Epicureans and the Stoics, each with its own idea about the gods. Based on these various ideas, many deities were venerated, and different ways of worship developed. As a result, the city was full of man-made idols and temples.​—Acts 17:16.

23. What totally different view about God did the apostle Paul present to the Athenians?

23 In about the year 50 C.E., the Christian apostle Paul visited Athens and presented to the Athenians a totally different point of view. He told them: “The God that made the world and all the things in it, being, as this One is, Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in handmade temples, neither is he attended to by human hands as if he needed anything, because he himself gives to all persons life and breath and all things.”​—Acts 17:24, 25.

24. In effect, what was Paul telling the Athenians about true worship?

24 In other words, Paul was telling the Athenians that the true God, who “made the world and all the things in it,” is not a fabrication of man’s imagination, nor is he served by ways that man might devise. True religion is not just a one-sided effort by man to try to fill a certain psychological need or quell a certain fear. Rather, since the true God is the Creator, who gave man thinking ability and power of reason, it is only logical that He would provide a way for man to come into a satisfying relationship with Him. That, according to Paul, was exactly what God did. “He made out of one man every nation of men, to dwell upon the entire surface of the earth, . . . for them to seek God, if they might grope for him and really find him, although, in fact, he is not far off from each one of us.”​—Acts 17:26, 27.

25. Explain the key point of Paul’s argument about mankind’s origin.

25 Notice Paul’s key point: God “made out of one man every nation of men.” Even though today there are many nations of men, living all over the earth, scientists know that, indeed, all mankind is of the same stock. This concept is of great significance because when we speak of all mankind’s being of the same stock, it means much more than their being related just biologically and genetically. They are related in other areas as well.

Care to read on…

26. What is known about language that supports Paul’s key point?

26 Note, for instance, what the book Story of the World’s Worship says about man’s language. “Those who have studied the languages of the world and compared them with each other have something to say, and it is this: All languages can be grouped into families or classes of speech, and all these families are seen to have started from one common source.” In other words, the languages of the world did not originate separately and independently, as evolutionists would have us believe. They theorize that cave-dwelling men in Africa, Europe, and Asia started with their grunts and growls and eventually developed their own languages. That was not the case. Evidence is that they “started from one common source.”

27. Why is it logical to think that man’s ideas about God and religion started from one common source?

27 If that is true of something as personal and as uniquely human as language, then would it not be reasonable to think that man’s ideas about God and religion should also have started from one common source? After all, religion is related to thinking, and thinking is related to man’s ability to use language. It is not that all religions actually grew out of one religion, but the ideas and concepts should be traceable to some common origin or pool of religious ideas. 

[excerpted: Mankind’s Search for God, Chapter 2, Religion–How Did It Begin?]

9/30/18 @ 1:21 a.m.

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