Did the people of Jeremiah’s day have free will?
The more I read different passages of the Bible, the more I see clearly that man was given free will. Calvinist stand on the doctrine of man having no free will (or only free will to choose their evil in the words of some well known Calvinists).
Let’s go to Jeremiah chapter 7 today and see what the prophet Jeremiah says about what the Lord God says (We cant argue against the words of God Himself can we?). I will include a number of verses from Jeremiah 7 but please read and study yourself to see if it is so. Do not ever take the words of a preacher as truth. Check God’s word and see if what they say is truth.
Jeremiah Chapter 7 (KJV):
1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD saying,
3 Thus saith the Lord of host, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place.
4 Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD are these.
5 For if ye thoroughly amend your ways and your doings; if ye thoroughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbour;
6 If ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt:
7 Then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever.
8 Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit.
9 Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not;
10 And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations?
18 The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger.
22 For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices;
23 But this thing commended I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.
24 But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.
26 Yet they hearkened not unto me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck: they did worse than their fathers.
28 But you shalt say unto them, This is a nation that obeyeth not the voice of the LORD their God, nor receiveth correction: truth is perished, and is cut off from their mouth.
31 And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and daughters in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart.
So here we have clearly written that God commanded them NOT to do all these abominations which provoke God to wrath, neither did it come into His heart! It wasn’t on His mind for them to do this. Yet Calvinists would have you believe God ordains evil? Or would a simpler approach be to be consistent with the entire bible in believing the truth that man has free will. This free will given by God and man will be held accountable for their free will choices. God giving man free will in no way makes God less sovereign nor does it add one bit to Salvation as a work of man. Accepting a gift as any dictionary can tell you, does not add to the gift. If your parent gifts you a new car, you accepting it is not adding to the car. It is still a car whether you receive it or not. All you have to do is choose. All we have to do is tell people about the free gift so they can choose.
In the passage above and other passages in Jeremiah (Jeremiah 19 and Jeremiah 32) it is clear that the people of Israel rebelled against God and chose to do things which God did not intend for them. He had no desire for them to do abominations which would provoke Him to anger and cause Him to have to punish them. God has made it clear throughout the entire bible that He desires the salvation of man. He sent His son Jesus Christ to die in our place to redeem us. And as clearly stated throughout the Bible, the payment on the cross was for all (all of course not meaning anything other than all – unlike what many Calvinists will teach).
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