Free will isn't hindered or non-existent because Romans 8:29-30 and Ephesians 1:5 and 11 (Greek: predetermine) say the Father predetermined those He knew would receive salvation and made provision for them.
I've been talking about the reason behind the reason human beings are sovereign beings, why we have free will. The reasons have to do with the Father making us in His image and His likeness. But that means the only thing predetermined was God the Father knew who would receive salvation and who would not.
Because the Spirit/spirit realm now has opposing forces, provision must be made for those choices. With God or without Him. Light or darkness. Love or hate. Peace or torment. Those who want to be with God require provision. Those who reject God require provision - all because the physical creation that includes us, flows from the spirit/Spirit realm that has those opposing elements.
People don't realize hell and the lake of fire is provision for those who don't want God. He simply gives them what they want, just like He provided for the devil and his angels. Matthew 25:41
In our image, after our likeness - the roots of free will.
"Let us make man in our image, after our likeness" Genesis 1:26
That statement alone exposes the error of predestination, for God is free-willed, able to determine His destiny. That we are made in His image and likeness demands we have free will as He does. If not, 'in our image, after our likeness' does not exist. He has free will. We are in His image and likeness, therefore we have free will.
Can a person paint a picture and claim that picture did not come from their heart and mind flowing through that brush to be seen on the canvas? Of course not, the image of that painting came from within them, and there is no way to separate that painting from them. Similarly we came from God, in His image and likeness, and He is free-willed, how can humans be anything BUT free-willed, for we came from Him.
Hebrews 12:9, Zechariah 12:1, and a host of other verses tell us God the Father creates the human spirit. We are conceived 'alive to God', born as innocent and naked as were Adam and Eve at their start. Alive to God, able to see Him (this is why young children often see angels and/or the Lord) as Adam and Even walked naked in the Garden, seeing the Lord and not realizing they were naked. But they had to choose, as do we all...
That phrase 'in our image...'
The 'our' is there became the Hebrew word here for God is 'Elohim'. The 'im' suffix in Hebrew is the plural. Meaning Father, Holy Spirit, and Son. We are spirit, we have a soul, we live in a body. We are triune as is the Godhead. Have you ever talked to yourself about a decision before you? Have you ever internally contemplated doing one thing or the other? Have you ever argued with yourself?
We can therefore relate to a small degree the contemplation the Father, His inner most being in His Spirit, and Son had when considering creating man. I know, it's tough to wrap our mind around and this series isn't about the trinity, so let's look at 'likeness' and 'image'.
In Hebrew the word 'likeness' is 'demuth', and means 'likeness or similitude'. That would include the fact the Father is described as a man - Daniel 7:9 describes him as 'The Ancient of Days' and having hair like wool. In The Revelation 4 and 5 He is on the throne to whom Jesus comes to 'take the book out of the right hand of Him who sits on the throne'. So we have 2 eyes, 2 hands, 2 legs and so on because we are in His likeness.
But the word 'image' is the Hebrew word 'tselem' and means 'a form of, an outward expression of, an outward display of what is in the heart'. It is used to describe the making of idols as an outward expression of what is in a person's heart who wants to worship that idol - an expression of what they think that god or goddess looks like. It is that painting on the canvas that began in the imagination of the artist. We are His outward expression.
Ephesians 2:10 says we are His 'workmanship', which is the Greek word 'poiema' which is the word 'poem'. Each one of us is uniquely God's poem, created by Him as a direct expression of His own heart, mind, emotions, and thoughts of how He wanted to create us...there is no such thing as a person without purpose.
There is no such thing as a person who is without purpose. Each one of us is a product of His imagination, and He is Love. Therefore by those very facts, the only 'predestination' for any human being is that He determined to create us and provide for all those who would want to walk with Him. Those He fore-knew, He predetermined to make provision through Christ.
For those He foreknew, those He did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son...Romans 8:29. He knew us, knew what we would choose.
But if all people came from Him, then He knew who would go to hell; Why make them if He knew that?
The easiest answer would be to say the reasoning is hidden in the heart of the Father God, and it would be true. But that's rather unsatisfying. Let's look at a possibility. But I have to get quantum physics on you for a moment...
We are told in I John 1:5 that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. Every school child is taught (or used to) that the white light we see from the sun is actually the colors red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. These combine as ROYGBIV (Roy G Biv) as an easy way to remember them. Those core colors make white sunlight. When clouds or dust in the air filter some of the wavelengths out, we may see a red or pink sunset or sunrise, brilliant yellows or subtle shades of blue - and much more! Those colors are seen as white if unfiltered full-day sunlight.
Those are just a spectrum of light that we can see with human eyes. But x-rays are also light. So are the microwaves that heat your food. But those light waves are invisible to the human eye, but they are still light. Radio and TV waves are light as well. Body heat is also light. So is the heat of the stove top or oven, or flame of a camp fire. That heat is a form of light just like the visible sunlight. We are bathed in light 24/7, though most of it we cannot see. Even the human body puts off visible light. https://www.nbcnews.com/id/wbna32090918
That means when you look into the night sky, it isn't really dark. It is bathed with light like gamma rays, x-rays, radio waves - the night sky is actually still as light as it is during the day, it's just the visible light of the sun is no longer present for a few hours.
Now imagine that within each wavelength of light there is a whole world, a whole realm. For instance, within red there is everything from bright red to pink to subtle shades of color with barely any red in them. Have you been to a paint store to see all the color cards of paint available? Think that many choices times many thousands of choices. And that for each color. That many for red. That many for yellow. That many for green. That many for microwaves. That many for x-rays. That many for the heat from your body. The degrees of differences in shade or tint are tiny, tiny differences. Millions upon millions of subtle shades of color. And within the color red there are millions within the confines of the color red. There is a whole other millions upon millions of shades within the color yellow. And so on.
God IS light. All those subtle tints and shades are within His light, within His very being. Now imagine from each one of those shades came all people who have ever lived or will live. God is light. That is in the Spirit/spirit realm. We look at natural light for a mirror image of the spiritual for the natural was created from the spirit.
From His imagination, from all that is light, He created each one of us, each a different shade, a different tint of His light, for we flowed from Him as a poem flows from the poet's heart. Scientists estimate about 100,000,000,000 (100 billion) people have lived over all time. Each person was so to speak, a different shade of color within God's light spectrum, in His imagination, no two could ever possibly be exactly alike. We are in His image, His likeness. His poems.
Each shade of color is a separate creation, and each having a choice in their destiny. Just like you might choose a paint at a store that is only slightly a shade different from another choice...imagine that light which is in the natural realm, was first in the spirit/Spirit realm. For before physical light could be created, there was the light of the Father God who is all light.
Stay with me in this science class that is about human free will and predestination...I'll pick it up there next week...
Until then, blessings,
www.cwowi.org and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org