Q. I know there is free choice given to us by God. I also know the hairs on our head are known to him and our days are known and he has a plan for all of us. In the shooting and stabbing rampages we see happening around us, it is free choice for the people who do those things, or is it in God’s plan for all the random people to be killed?
A. God, who knows the end from the beginning, knows everything that will happen. But the shooters and stabbers are still accountable for making the choice to kill those people, and the people who died will go to Heaven or Hell based on choices they made as well.
Knowing something will happen is not the same as making it happen, and evil men use their freedom of choice to do evil things, so God doesn’t make these things happen. But until Jesus comes back and takes over, this world is under the control of the Evil One, (1 John 5:19) so he’s ultimately the one to blame. As long as we’re in the world we’re all subject to things like this happening around us.
Why doesn’t the Lord put a stop to it? He’s patient, not wanting any to be lost, but for all to come to repentance. In the mean time our enemy keeps things stirred up in his effort to steal as many souls as possible while He can. Our best defense is to make the choice for Jesus as soon as possible in our lives, so if we’re ever victimized by such an evil situation as this, we’ll just get an early ticket home.