I did not write it. My (brother), brother in Christ did.
Perceived Free Will
Free will or what people call free will is an illusion. There is no such thing as free will. People like to think that they have free will because they say “Because of my free will, I do whatever I want to do, go wherever I want to go, or choose whatever I want to choose.” In reality, this “freedom” is formed from a complex set of predefined notions or determinants, learned experiences and personnel preferences linked together in a continuous series of cause and effect events, so no choice made could really be classified as “free”. With each choice there is a set of dynamic rules that determine how, when and where the choice is made. Any choice that would truly be free would be made without concern for preferences or about the outcome. Every choice, whether it is known or unknown has a cost. How can anything that has a cost be free?
True Free Will
True free will implies that choices are made without any kind of governing constraints. No person will randomly make a choice of any kind without first consulting their internal evaluation system, no matter how trivial it might be. Exerting true free will is really a violation of this internal evaluation system, making a choice with total disregard for the outcome or any pertinent circumstances. Most people with any understanding know that a person who truly operates a free will in that context will probably not live very long just by the very fact that certain wrong choices can be fatal. The pragmatic reality of true free will is that no person can ever possess it and be a functional human being. To make an actual choice requires preference, preference requires a prerequisite knowledge of comparisons and outcomes, and without these determinants a person cannot make a decision. A person of true free will would be unable to participate in life or even to sustain their own life because making any kind of choice would not be possible.
The Comfort Zone
It is a basic characteristic of human nature to always choose or have the perception to the path of least resistance. We are forever seeking what is most pleasurable or what is most comfortable in our lives and would never knowingly make a selection that would cause pain unless there was no other choice. Often we choose to help others, not so much for wanting to do what is good, but for the fact that it will make us feel good about ourselves, and to a certain degree, it would be uncomfortable for us if we didn’t help. This innate tendency is another factor that makes true free will choices less conceivable because the outcomes of such choices would most likely cause higher degree of anguish than any of us would be willing to endure.
The Natures of Man
If a person has designated himself or herself as a Christian and they understand the truth of the Bible then they accept that there are only two natures of man, a sinful or Adamic nature, or a redeemed or Christ-like nature. If man possesses the nature of Adam, which is the state of every man at birth, then he is a slave to sin and is controlled by Satan. If a man has been truly redeemed and regenerated, believing that Jesus Christ is Lord and the only way to salvation, then he is a bondservant of Christ and controlled by the Holy Spirit. A sinful man can only choose sin, nothing else. Even the good a sinful man does is tainted by his fallen nature and cannot truly be good with respect to God. A redeemed man is given good works by God for the glory and purposes of God. Even though he may do other things in his life that are not representative of his redeemed nature, they will not be held in account against him because only the things that truly are of God survive and are rewarded. A slave is not free to do whatever he desires; he has master that controls his every action and decision, even though the perceived autonomy may be believed as “free”. God has determined from the beginning of time which nature a man will ultimately possess for eternity and no decision by man can alter the purposes of God.
Cause and Effect
From the very beginning, as established by God in creation, there has always been the basic principle of cause and effect. God said “Let there be” and “it was so”. God was the initiator of it and the effect was creation. God passed this capability to man as he was created in the image of God (again, cause and effect). Adam and Eve disobeyed God and sinned against Him. They caused sin to come into the world and the effect was a fallen nature and a cursed creation which was passed on to their descendants. This principle of cause and effect is still in operation today and is part of every decision we make. It is a never-ending linked series of choices and outcomes. We decide what to choose from previous choices and their outcomes, producing future outcomes and more choices. Where God is unlimited in what He can cause to happen, man is limited, either by society or himself, but ultimately by God. There are definite restrictions for what man can cause to happen, to the point where his choices, if pursued to the ultimate conclusion, will culminate in his destruction. Once you are dead, you can’t cause anything to happen or affect anything and any future choices will not be made by you.
Human Will as a Means
If there was such a thing as true free will then we would be operating outside the established principle of God and there would be no means for our salvation. It is human volition that God uses to bring us to salvation. The natural man has a human volition that is primarily controlled by the flesh, by the world and by Satan. Every choice that is made is representative of his fallen nature and is derived from the knowledge that has been learned and acquired without respect or thought of God. The natural man possesses a truth “that is right in his own eyes” and does not consider that there may be an absolute truth, for him everything is relative, everyone having a right to their own truth. If the natural man is destined for salvation (is an elect of God) he will be drawn irresistibly by God to His truth through the various means God uses to spread His truth. Once God’s truth is heard and accepted, the will of the natural man is supernaturally altered and becomes oriented toward the will of God and His purposes. God works in you on your will, to produce the intent, the inclination, the will to do what He desires. As more of God’s truth is poured into the now redeemed man, the knowledge acquired from the world is diminished in value and the choices that were made based on this knowledge become inferior against the new choices made being based on the true knowledge of God. The human volition, once an ignorant slave to sin, is now an enlightened eager bondservant to Christ.
The Final Destination
In the end, there will be an end to all things temporal and there will only be two destinations for man. He will continue to cling to his illusion of free will and end up in an eternal hell or he will have his will converted by God and spend eternity in heaven. There is no other choice and it is a choice that man cannot make, God has made this choice for him. Why God has chosen some for election and some for damnation is a mystery and is in the consul of God for His purposes. We might think that unfair but the real truth is that all men deserve damnation and it is by the grace and mercy of God that even a few are chosen to share His eternal life. If you are a true Christian then you are thankful for God’s choice and understand that it was a choice that you could never make because what you perceived as free was really captivity and only true freedom comes from the knowledge of Christ. “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” [John 8:34-36]