I used to have a problem with the concept of an all-knowing, all-powerful God. I thought we were all like puppets on strings doing whatever God wanted us to do. I speculated that no one truly had free will because God had already chosen how everyone would live their lives. For example, God put the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden knowing that Adam and Eve would eat it. Therefore I reasoned that God not only wanted them to disobey Him, He made them disobey Him by creating them with the desire to do so. I considered free will to be an illusion that God programmed people to believe they had.
My logic was flawed. I thought that I, the creation, could understand the ways of my Creator. As God says in Isaiah 55:8, 9; “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways. For as the Heavens are higher than the Earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Many non-Christians will attack this as being a weak argument, because any crackpot could invent a religion and then tell skeptics they are too lowly to understand the ways of his or her god. You also can’t use the Bible to prove the Bible. This is not what I’m trying to do. As you will see, what I’m doing here is using the Bible to clear up some false assumptions about the nature of God.
God knows from the beginning all of His works (Acts 15:18). Some people have used this to argue that even God doesn’t have free will. This seems plausible since you can’t change your mind about anything if you already know all of your future decisions. People have also asked, “If God has always existed, did He just get bored one day and decide to create everything?” To have these thoughts is to assume that God is bound by time as we are. As mind-boggling as it is, God is outside of time (Ps. 90:4; II Pet. 3:8). For Him there is no past, present or future. All events of all ages are an open book to Him, so He can declare to us what will happen at any point in time (Isa. 42:9; 46:10). This doesn’t mean God is making our decisions for us. Unless you’re exempt from time, you don’t have the mental capacity to dispute anyone’s free will.
God is not eternal in time only. He’s also eternal in range and scope (Ps. 139:7-10; Jer. 23:23, 24). He created space as we know it and can’t be confined to it. It seems impossible to our finite minds, but Scripture teaches that God exists in all places at all times. At no time is anything in our three- dimensional world hidden from Him (Heb. 4:13). A two- dimensional comparison is the best I can do to try to understand this. I could look at a drawing and imagine the people in it are confined to those two dimensions. They couldn’t see me, but I could see them. If I used a pencil to put dots on the drawing, they would appear to come out of nowhere to those inside of it. And if I erased something on the drawing, it would disappear before the eyes of those inside of it. I would have power over them, much like God has power over us.
Before you ridicule the thought of a God unrestrained by time and space, you need to take into account that many well-respected scientists believe in things such as time travel and multiple universes. They believe in wormholes that connect different regions of the universe, allowing those who pass through them to enter a different time, a different place, or even a different universe. Wormholes exist as mathematical solutions to a series of formulae known as the Einstein field equations. The scientists who believe this say if you travel through a wormhole you aren’t traveling through space, but space-time.
I’m not suggesting wormholes actually exist. The point I’m making is that the many atheists who believe in them believe there’s more to existence than what can be observed. They think Heaven and Hell are imaginary places, yet they believe in other universes. What I would like to know is, if a physical being can’t be restrained by time and space, why would a spiritual being be restrained by time and space? Everything in the physical world is subject to certain laws, but God doesn’t have these restrictions. The human mind only knows one dimension of time and three dimensions of space. Just as someone who was born blind can’t comprehend colors, neither can we humans comprehend the eternal nature of God.
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