Chris L – Why would our eternal future be determined by some choice we make during our human lifetime based on this thing we call faith? Wouldn’t it make more sense for God to just say, after we die, ‘here’s the deal, you can accept Me and My Son’s sacrifice and live forever with us or choose your own path which leads to Hell.’ I know we might say ‘that is the choice we have here!’ but why not make it even clearer? Why not have Jesus stick around and actually speak to everyone after he rose from the dead? I wonder why it takes Faith at all – why would a loving God require faith? If people don’t want to accept God, fine, but why even put an element of ‘faith’ that counters ‘doubt’ in there? Why not eliminate doubt?

Dave – I believe that faith is the only way God could use to prevent forcing souls to obey Him. Once doubt is eliminated, obedience to God is forced. Love does not demand (force) its own way (1 Cor. 13:5). He uses faith to separate the sheep from the goats. God knows that faith makes up for sin and disobedience perhaps because it is the antithesis of sinning. For example, Adam and Eve sinned because they did not trust (believe in) God’s Word. If they did, they never would have eaten from the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Now one may argue that Lucifer and the fallen angels saw God therefore eliminating any doubt about His existence, so why not afford that same “luxury” to humans? I think the answer ties in with something deeper God had to accomplish in order to banish evil forever. For example, if He simply created more angels to replace the fallen ones, they too could at some time in eternity fall. God did not want any more “falling.” He wanted a perfect Bride for His Son (Himself) and wanted to banish evil forever. One that would be faithful forever to Him and Him to “her.” So He decided to create beings that were a little lower than the angels, allowing them to fall in order to perfect His love by His great demonstration on the Cross. Because of what he accomplished (and this gets pretty deep), He “figured out” a way to banish evil forever. It will never raise its ugly head again! Now one can ask, “Why then did God allow evil to exist at all?” My only attempt at this tough question is to say that when Good exists (and God is ever existing Good), the concept of “not good” must be in existence at the same “time.” God therefore allowed the concept of evil to become reality in order to conquer it. Therefore, God’s Plan was to eradicate the reality of “not good” forever. So the concept of evil will always exist but now it has no power or authority to become a reality again. Hence, we now have the Kingdom of God among us! Just my thoughts. It all could be as wrong as predicting the NY Yankees will win the next World Series. đŸ™‚

Chris L – Wow, insightful responses very quickly given, thanks! I’ve always wondered something like that regarding your answer to the last question. I once thought out-loud something along those lines to a leader in campus crusade, who didn’t think God would be involved in intending ‘the fall’ in that manner, but I tend to agree with you. I’m interested to see what people have to say (if anything). I might be able to have time to further comment later, but it’s clear to me you got where I was going with my rambling questions!

I still struggle with ‘belief” question, as in what that really means. And it ties into my ‘why have faith’ issue. If it’s just a matter of accepting you need help, it still bothers me that God would make there be some possibility of doubt. There is like an inkling of unfairness that arises in my mind when I wonder if there are any honest non-Christians who would ‘believe’ if simply given a bit more evidence. Maybe they are just all in self-deception, but then why would it be important for us to minister to them if they already have all the info they need to believe?

Dave – Regarding your statement that some would believe if just given more evidence – according to Luke 16:31 this is not a safe assumption. This describes the condemned rich man’s plea to return from the dead so he could tell his 5 brothers about what happens after death. But Jesus said if they don’t listen to Moses (first 5 OT Books) then they will not listen to someone back from the dead (probably alluding to Himself at this point).

Regarding your “honest” non-Christians who would believe if given a bit more evidence…God says to seek so we can find. If they are open (honest), they should be compelled to seek to find God. If they do this with good intent, then God will reveal Himself to them (John 7:17). He will grant them repentance (2 Tim.2:25), remove the veil (2 Cor.3:16), and get them saved. Shame on any human who does not seek their Creator. Simply seeking truth does not necessarily cut it because motivations may be askew. This is covered in that John 7:17 passage cited above. So I am still a bit confused at your “inkling of unfairness.”

Chris L – That’s a good point. I’m just thinking of some people I know who may not fully believe but don’t see the need to dive into the Bible – or those people who say that they would like to believe but just don’t. I can say that ‘well, you must not be honestly searching for Him, because if you did, you would find Him,’ but that’s so difficult to say when I am not in their shoes. Or maybe it’s not if it’s a truth stated in the Bible, I don’t know…

Dave – Regarding those people you described as not fully believing and see no need to dive into the Bible: God declares in Psalms 40:7-8, “Behold, I come in the volume of the book…I delight to do your will.” To me, this means that people who are not interested in delving into the Bible, God’s Word, then they really are not interested in learning about Him or following His lead in this life (allowing Him to be the Boss). Their non action speaks louder than words, according to my take on Scripture.


Chris L – Yeah, there must be some fundamental reason for allowing evil/faith/doubt. Even with Adam and Eve, God could have cut the serpent’s conversation short, stepped in and said ‘listen, he’s telling you a lie…’ But He didn’t – He allowed that tree to be there, and even more importantly, apparently allowed temptation and doubt to exist, even in Paradise. There seems to be a reason God permits this to exist, and maybe it does have something to do with the question of free will, that the only way He can change us for the better but still have a relationship with us in which we choose to accept Him is to be able to create alternatives to following Him that have real temptation. But even that feels odd…almost like some slight of hand – holding back His full reality in a manner that allows evil a great impact on so many things (and people’s eternal souls?)…I don’t know…still working it out, but I think you must be pointing towards the answer, thanks!

Dave – But I still maintain that this set up by God was the only way He could exterminate the reality of evil forever.

NF – Very Interesting lesson–but don’t like that NY Yankees comment–only the good Lord know if my NY Yankees will win it all next year!!:}

Dave – Alas, what can I do about these Yankee fans?!

GR – Dave, respectfully regarding your statement about Adam and Eve sinned because they did not believe in God’s word. I disagree, I believe in God’s Word and I commit sin all the time. It is man’s nature to sin, thereby the world’s sin problem. Jesus dies for us to cover our sin.

Dave – Yes, I agree that it is our nature to sin so we do know we sin when we do. In the beginning, however, Adam and Eve did NOT have that sinful nature when they failed to heed and thus obey God’s Word. That evil nature came after they sinned. God did not create mankind with an evil nature.