Hope Beyond Hell Header

Hope Beyond Hell
by Gerry Beauchemin

Chapter 1 Continued, Part 5

In conclusion then, even were God to utterly annihilate someone, has He not the power to restore (De. 32:39; 1Sa. 2:6; Mt. 3:9)? What gives God greater glory: annihilation or restoration? Do we deny that with God “all things are possible” (Mt. 19:26)? Popular theology claims God is able to do all things except restore the destroyed for whom Christ died. Really?

Free Will

God has given man a ‘measure’
of free will, but certainly
not to the degree that
He would allow him or
her to damn themselves
forever in torment.

What father holding his little daughter’s hand while crossing a busy street would ever let it go? The more she pulls, the tighter her dad squeezes. There’s no way she is going anywhere! Is God any different? The argument that a person can choose hell by rejecting God as a result of “free” will is in effect saying a little girl has more strength than her father. God has given man a “measure” of free will, but certainly not to the degree He would allow him or her to damn themselves forever in torment. Is God less of a parent than we are (Mt. 7:11)? We extend increasing freedom to our children as they mature. Too much too soon is disastrous. He knows just how much freedom we need for our development.

God, as Creator, is owner of all things (Ps. 2:8; Ez. 18:4; Col. 1:16; He. 1:2), and that includes you and me. He has never relinquished that title. Many say hell is
locked on the inside.
But how? Christ
has the keys!
Only He has absolute “free” will over His property. Should we be forever lost, He would be the loser. Many say hell is locked on the inside. But how? Christ has the keys! (Re. 1:18). Many believe God’s hands are tied; as much as He would like to keep us, He is unable. But, is our power to destroy His property really greater than His power to preserve or restore it? How “free” and powerful are we? What role did we play in controlling our life experiences that have made us what we are? Will we deliberately choose what sufferings we will undergo in the future that inevitably will affect what we become? What intricacies of our reasoning processes, which determine our decisions, do we fully control?

Is the Bible right in saying no one seeks after God, that our natural mind is at odds with Him and not subject to His law? “Indeed it cannot be subject,” said Paul (Ro. 3:11; 8:7). How can a naturally hostile mind, that “indeed” cannot subject itself to God, of its own “free” will do so? Isn’t there a contradiction here? Only God can give us faith and draw us to Himself; we cannot muster it up (He. 12:2; Ro. 12:3; Jn. 6:44; 15:16; Ph. 1:29; Mt. 11:27; 16:16-17; Jn. 1:13; Ac. 13:48; 1Co. 4:7; Ep 2:8-9; 3:16-17; Ph. 1:6; 2:13; Col. 1:12; 2 Th. 3:2; 1Ti. 1:14; Tit. 1:1; Ez. 36: 26-27; Jer. 24:7; 31:33-34; 32:39-40). To idolize “free” will as though it were the crux of our salvation contradicts the Bible and fosters a boastful attitude! (1Co. 1:26-31; 4:6-7).

What are we implying when we infer God is helpless in the face of man’s “free” will? It intimates our salvation depends on human power, not divine. Thus God is stripped of His power and glory leaving the blood of Christ powerless to save those for whom it was shed (all sinners). In fact, it negates the very definition of God as “The Almighty,” leaving us with no real God at all. In Exploring the Attributes of God Dr. Robert Morey, author of over 40 books, stated:

God’s sovereignty was viewed as an essential attribute by the early Church and anyone who dared to deny it was called an atheist. This is one of the most misunderstood and maligned attributes of God. Yet, it is an essential attribute that makes God GOD. The Scriptures always describe God as actively controlling and guiding the entire creation. It is never viewed as bare potential. Where should we begin when studying God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? Should we begin with man and establish his free will and then define divine sovereignty in such a way it does not conflict with man? Or, should we begin with God and His free will and then develop our understanding of man from that viewpoint? We must begin where Scripture begins.…The Bible begins with GOD. He is the great I AM, the Alpha…Omega, the Beginning…End.25

The story of Joseph pictures God powerfully working behind the scenes influencing the wills of men. Who of these men thought their will was not solely their own? Yet God, in His infinite power, was at work accomplishing His purposes through their decisions (Ge. 45:5). While the king of Egypt decreed all male Hebrew babies should die, God was all the while orchestrating His plan for putting Moses at the head of the kingdom! Even while Pharaoh resisted Moses, God was at work according to His plan. Where was Pharaoh’s “free” will? Consider what Isaiah wrote about Assyria:

Woe to Assyria, the rod of My anger…I will send him against…the people of My wrath…will give him charge.… Yet he does not mean so, nor does his heart think so.…For he says: “By the strength of my hand I have done it.…Shall the ax boast itself against him who chops with it?” (Is. 10:5-7, 13).

Assyria was being used by God and had no clue. In all these cases we see men doing, but God orchestrating. Please carefully reflect on these passages.

  • God will circumcise your heart to love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul (De. 30:6).
  • I know that thou canst do all things, and that no purpose of Thine can be thwarted (Job 42:2 RSV).
  • Blessed is the man You choose, and cause to approach You (Ps. 65:4).
  • A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps (Pr. 16:9).
  • The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord (Pr. 16:33).
  • There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the Lord’s counsel—that will stand (Pr. 19:21).
  • A man’s steps are of the Lord; How then can a man understand his own way (Pr. 20:24)?
  • The king’s heart is a stream…in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He will (Pr. 21:1).
  • You will establish peace for us, for You have also done all our works in us (Is. 26:12).
  • I will do all my pleasure,…indeed…I will bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will do it (Is. 46:10-11).
  • None who seeks for God.…Where is boasting (Is.53:6; Ro. 3:11, 19b, 27)?
  • The way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps (Jer. 10:23).
  • I will give them a heart to know Me…for they shall return to Me with their whole heart (Jer. 24:7).
  • I will put My fear in their hearts so that they will not depart from Me (Jer. 32:40).
  • It does not depend
    on the man who wills
    or the man who
    runs but on God
    who has mercy.
    (Ro. 9:16 NAS)
  • I will…cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them…. (Ez. 36:27).
  • He does according to His will among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand (Da. 4:35).
  • Those…were born…nor of the will of man, but of God (Jn. 1:12, 13).
  • No one can come to Me unless the Father…draws [drags] him (Jn. 6:44).
  • Without Me you can do nothing (Jn. 15:5).
  • You did not choose Me, but I chose you (Jn. 15:16).
  • Creation [people] was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who…subjected it in hope…. (Ro. 8:20).
  • It does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs but on God who has mercy (Ro. 9:16 NAS).
  • You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?” (Ro. 9:19).
  • God chose the foolish…God chose the weak…He chose the lowly…so that no man may boast… (1Co. 1:27-29 NIV).
  • Predestined man…to the purpose of Him who works all… according to the counsel of His will (Ep. 1:11).
  • God works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure (Ph. 2:13).
  • He is able even to subdue all things to Himself (Ph. 3:21).
  • God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind (Re. 17:17).

Who is in control here? Man or God? Whose will prevails? In his article titled, “The Work of the Cross”, Ken Eckerty commented, “How ironic it is that those who believe that God will not violate the “free” will of men have no problem believing that God will force men—against their will—to confess and bow to Christ.”26 The director of Bread of Life Frontier Missions, David Nuckols, said it this way, “How ironic that those who believe God will not violate the ‘free’ will of man have no problem believing He will violate His own free will— that all men should be saved!”

Shim Space
Shim Space
Shim Space
Copyright © 2010-2014 christian-universalism.info - Mark Sanguinetti, Web Author - All Rights Reserved
e-mail: mark@christianherald.info