Bettis hates God. He thinks the whole concept of yielding one’s heart to a Divine Creator is bunk. It’s heavenly tyranny foisted on earth. He didn’t choose to be born so where’s the fairness in damnation if he opts not to play by God’s rules? He resists the notion of truth being defined for him. He’d rather rebel.
We may think Bettis is nuts to scorn a loving God, to literally play with fire. But he holds the God-given right of refusal. The beauty of free will is that we canrebel. What value would there be in creating creatures devoid of the ability to choose to love?
2 Thessalonians 2:10b--They perish because they did not accept the love of the truth in order to be saved.
God was extremely gracious to give us free will. Anyone who is a parent can understand to some degree God’s purpose. My heart is blessed when my children freely express their love for me. It would not be the same if they came and mouthed affection under the spirit of coercion, or were programmed to obey me.
Two things we ought to understand about our will. First, we open or harden our hearts toward God during our time on earth. Second, God is the One Who initiates drawing us to Himself. Our will is exercised in response to His call. “ No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me drawshim, and I will raise him up on the last day” (John 6:44). The danger for Bettis is that by rebelling he places his hope in the fact that once he dies, he still has the capacity to determine his fate (if there is life after death), despite the fact that the Bible warns we will all face God’s judgment (Hebrews 9:27).
Do people reject God because He loves them or because they do not want to do what He asks? Satan would have us believe that the essence of life is our right to choose. God wants us to understand that our purpose in life is to know Him. Adam and Eve preferred Satan’s line and we have suffered ever since. However, the very fact that God gave us free will should be a reminder to us that we ought to respect the rights of those who resist the gospel message.
If living in opposition to God leads one to enduring peace, genuine fulfillment and joy then by all means oppose God and hope like hell the Bible is wrong. Truth stands upon its own merit. May we who love Jesus faithfully pray for a world of Bettises shackled by sin, in need of the Savior yet free to select eternal isolation from a God who will not make men love Him. His awesome love sent Jesus to bridge the great divide--we decide whether to go aCROSS.
Man’s free will is part of God’s sovereign will. We have freedom to take which course we choose but not freedom to determine the end of that choice. God makes clear what He desires, we must choose, and the result of the choice is not the inevitability of law, but the inevitability of God.—Oswald Chambers inConformed to His Image
©1999 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)