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Choice –Part 7: The Choice to Sin


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Chapter: 14.47
(Section 14: Selective Salvation)
Copyright © Michael Bronson 1998 - 2005

As stated in another chapter, Selective Salvationists say God cannot be sovereign if man has a free will to choose or reject salvation. They say this would be the same thing as us telling God what to do.

Selective Salvationists say God is sovereign and in complete control. They say He controls everything that takes place in the world. They say if we can control any aspect of our lives, God would not be sovereign. God has ordered every action, including our sins. Following are some things Selective Salvationists have said concerning this:

  • "Even the fall of Adam, and through him the fall of the race, was not by chance or accident, but was so ordained in the secret counsels of God." (Boettner, Predestination, p. 174)

  • "Surely, if God had not willed the fall, He could, and no doubt would, have prevented it; but He did not prevent it: ergo, He willed it. And if He willed it, He certainly decreed it." (Zanchius, The Doctrine of Absolute Predestination, p. 88)

  • "Plainly it was God’s will that sin should enter this world, otherwise it would not have entered, for nothing happens save as God has eternally decreed. Moreover, there was more than bare permission, for God only permits that which He has purposed." (Pink, Sovereignty, p. 147)

  • "Not only did His omniscient eye see Adam eating of the forbidding fruit, but He decreed beforehand that he should do so." (Pink, Sovereignty, p. 249)

  • "It is even Biblical to say that God has foreordained sin." (Palmer, The Five Points of Calvinism, p. 82)

  • "Nothing comes to pass contrary to His decree. Nothing happens by chance. Even moral evil." (Shedd, Calvinism, p. 37)

  • "Sin is one of the ‘whatsoever’ that have ‘come to pass,’ all which are ‘ordained.’ " (Shedd, Calvinism, p. 31)

  • "God justly wills that sins be committed by us, and indeed absolutely wills that they be committed; nay, procures in time these sins themselves." (John Piscator as quoted in Newman, A Manuel in Church History, Vol. 2. 338)

  • "The idea that God knows the future without having planned it and without controlling it is totally foreign to Scriptures." (Gunn, The Doctrines of Grace, p. 13)

  • "If God did not foreordain all things, then he could not know the future. God foreknows all things because He decreed all things to be." (West, The Baptist Examiner, March. 18, 1989, p. 5)

  • "Foreknowledge of future events then is founded upon God’s decrees, hence if God foreknows everything that is to be, it is because He has determined in Himself for all eternity everything which will be." (Pink, Sovereignty, p. 110)

They are saying God forced us to commit each and every sin. They are saying each of our sins were predetermined and ordained by God to take place. This raises some very troubling issues.

We cannot be held accountable for sins we are forced to do. We cannot be punished for our actions if we had no say in the matter. More importantly, if God does force us to sin, what does this say about God? God cannot be holy, righteous, and just if He forces us to sin. Look at my chapter Do We Really have a Free Will? for more information about this.

Is it true we don’t have any control over our actions? No, of course not. Even a casual observation of everyday life will tell us we do have control over our actions. Although observations are helpful in verifying the validity of a doctrine, the Bible must be our final authority.

Apart from the hundreds of verses that say we have the ability to choose, there are two other doctrines from the Bible that show we have control over our actions. The Bible says there will be varying amounts of rewards for us when we get to Heaven (2 Cor. 5:10-15 and Col. 3:24). The fact that there are different amounts of rewards means we have control over the decisions we make. If we have no control over our decisions, we would all receive the same amount of rewards in Heaven. Actually, these rewards would have to be called gifts because they were not earned.

The Bible also says there will be various levels of punishment in Hell. Following are verses that say this:

2 Cor. 5:10

Judgment seat of Christ

Heb. 10:29, 30

Punishment will be more severe for those who "trample the Son of God under foot"

Jude 1:15

Judgment will be executed upon the ungodly for their ungodly deeds

Luke 12:47, 48

Parable of those who were punished because they knew the Lord’s will and did not do it. To those who were given much, much is required.

Luke 20:46, 47

False teachers will be punished more severely

Mark 12:40

False teachers will be punished more severely

Mark 14:21

For the person who betrayed Jesus, it would have been better if he were never born

Matthew 11:24

In the day of judgment, it will be more tolerable for Sodom than it will be for Capernaum

Matthew 12:36

We will give account for every idle word in the day of judgment

Matthew 23:14

False teachers are warned of punishment

Rev. 20:11-15

White Throne Judgment

Rev. 20:12, 13

Non-Christians are judge according to their ungodly deeds

Romans 2:12

Those who have sinned without the law will be judged without the law

Romans 2:5

A hardened heart stockpiles wrath against the Day of Wrath

The fact our actions can cause us to be punished more severely than others means we do have control over our decisions. Once again, this proves we have control over our choices. If we have control over choices that profoundly affect eternity, it stands to reason we have control over our choice to accept or reject salvation.



Other Chapters in this Section

PART 1: What is Selective Salvation?
PART 2: What Does the Bible say about Selective Salvation?
PART 3: Problems with Selective Salvation
PART 4: “Choice” –The Achilles’ Heel of Selective Salvation

Choice 1: The Contradictions of Selective Salvation
Choice 2: Can You Force Someone to Love You?
Choice 3: Is Choice Really a Choice Without a Choice?
Choice 4: Do We Really have a Free Will?
Choice 5: Can Prayer Change Things?
Choice 6: Can God be Grieved by Our Sins or Moved by Our Repentance?
Choice 7: The Choice to Sin
Choice 8: Are We Incapable of Choosing God?
Choice 9: Choice and the Moral Standard
Choice 10: The Purpose of Choice
Choice 11: The Suffering of Job
Choice 12: Why is God Pleased with our Obedience?
Choice 13: The Rich Young Ruler
Choice 14: Why was God so Excited when the Lost Sheep was Found?
Choice 15: A Man After God's Own Heart
Choice 16: Choose You this Day whom You will Serve
Choice 17: Appointed as a Ruler over many Cities

PART 5: Difficult Questions Answered
Appendix: Foundational Documents used by Selective Salvationists

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