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Why Do We Have Free Will?

by Mark Nickles  
2/17/2020 / Christian Apologetics

            I often hear people begin a sentence with, “How could a loving God allow…”. We can, of course, fill in the blank with any number of occurrences we hear about which break our hearts, boil our blood, or both. I, myself, have asked God some hard questions over the years about any number of difficulties suffered by individuals, both locally and abroad. However, it often seems that people choose to blame God for bad things, when the reason is clearly the sin of others.

            Here’s an example. Too often, we hear of a lone gunman taking the lives of innocents; almost instantly, someone asks how God could allow such a thing, instead of acknowledging that the person firing the gun had a choice to do so.

            Another all-too-common occurrence is someone being killed by a drunk driver. As pointless as the whole thing seems, and as much as we might wish God had intervened, the fact remains that the drunk driver had a choice, and could have chosen not to drive.

            And, while it’s true that God, who is all-powerful, could stop any tragedy at any time, free will is not truly free if it does not result in consequences. If we desire to be truly free (and I believe we all do), then that means having the freedom to do what is good, as well as what is evil. It’s a hard truth, but a truth, nonetheless.

            I hold a personal belief that there is a principle reason that God gave us free will, which validates providing it, despite the harm which can result. That reason is that it authenticates our love for Him. When a person with free will chooses to TRULY love God, they are not coerced into it, threatened into it or doing it to “get stuff”. They do it because, from their heart, they admire, adore and wish to honor their God. After all, who wants to be given false love? Not me. Not YOU. And, not God.

Mark Nickles is a husband, father of three, and a pastor in Northeastern Oklahoma. Copyright, Mark A. Nickles.

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