The Bible never says that one’s eternal fate is based on “free choice.” In Romans 5:1-12 Paul makes it clear that all humans sinned in Adam. The punishment for sin is death (Romans 6:23). So, all humans are born in sin and headed for hell.
The reality is that all men are slaves to sin by nature. No one is free. What God did to save his people was send his son to pay the punishment due for their sin (John 10:11-18). Jesus chooses to save his people by taking their sin on himself, dying on the cross to pay the punishment due for their sin, and being raised from the dead by the power of God. Jesus’ one act of righteousness saves his people just like Adam’s one act of unrighteousness condemned all humans. In Christ we have eternal life and in Adam humans only have eternal death.
There is no free man in the world. Either you are a slave to unrighteousness in Adam and headed for hell, or you are a slave to righteousness in Christ and living in eternal life (Romans 6:1-23).
The only truly free man in the world is the one who is a slave of Christ. The gift of God, eternal life, is given to his people at the expense of the life of Christ. The punishment of everlasting hell is the fate of all men outside of Christ. I pray each one reading this article will believe in Christ today and be saved.
Carlton Weathers,17th Street Missionary Baptist Church, Anniston
A choice with consequence is still a choice
One of the greatest gifts God has given us is the gift of freedom. God made us to know him, love him and obey him in this life and to be with him in the next. God wants us to love him, but he also wants us to freely choose to do so.
So we are given the option of choosing between God and the world. If we choose God, we are offered eternal life. But if we reject him and choose the world, we will receive eternal punishment. It really is a pretty simple proposition when you think about it.
The problem is that some people think that because choosing wrongly involves punishment, we must not be free to choose. The reality is that the knowledge of the consequences of our actions is what actually gives us the freedom. Even though we know right from wrong, we still have to choose to do the right thing.
The challenge is that our own desires sometimes get in the way of doing what God desires for us. We have to continually train our consciences so that we can recognize what God wants us to do — we need God’s help to align our will with his. We need to ask God to help us know his will, and then we need to ask for the courage and strength to actually do it.
Bryan Lowe, Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church, Anniston