My wife and I had this discussion after church recently, and we fell on opposite sides of the fence. My wife believes in fate and I believe in free choice. But of course it’s not that simple, it never is.
If everything is predetermined, then how does God judge us at the end of time? For if it’s predetermined, we had no choice in the matter, our actions and reactions were out of our control. And of course, that doesn’t work, because God is not going to pre-ordain sin.
Also, 1 Corinthians 10:13 which says “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” pretty much puts an end to the fate part of the discussion.
Since God is both allowing us to be tempted, but also granting us a way out, it’s truly a matter of choice not preordination.
In my humble opinion, since there is free choice, temptation and the ability to escape; then logic would dictate that heaven AND hell both must exist.
Now the sticky part. Our preacher believes that everyone goes to heaven (universal forgiveness). I hope he’s correct. But if that is true, then where is the incentive to live a Godly life. If everyone goes to heaven, there is no consequence for sin.
There is a reason that faith is considered a Great Mystery. We are believing in a Triune God that is one being; we have never seen God, nor have we ever touched him; and yet we follow his teachings and know in our heart of hearts that he is real and that one day we will be with him for eternity.
That’s a mouthful in know, but there is one other thing that needs to be considered:
John 3:16 (King James Version): For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Now, as there should be, there is a prerequisite. But it is only logical that if you want to spend eternity with your Saviour, the least you can do is believe in that Saviour. Now we are required to participate. It’s the least we can do.
Personally, I believe, in God the Father, Jesus my Saviour and the Holy Spirit.
I pray you believe too.