Q. My nephew was taught predestination. He takes that to mean since God knows the choices he is going to make anyways, that he can make poor ones and it is totally OK, because God knew he would do it anyways. I really don’t know what to say to him or what scriptures to point him in the right direction. I mean, I know where he is coming from, but he’s twisted things to the point of no accountability. What do you think?
A. Your nephew is correct in saying that God knows all our choices beforehand (Psalm 139:1-4 & 16). But that doesn’t mean that the choices we make are irrelevant. Nor does it relieve us of the earthly consequences of those choices.
In the Bible we’re admonished to make choices consistent with our status as children of the King (Phil. 3:16). Paul repeatedly taught that we should strive to always act in a manner that’s pleasing to God, so as not to grieve the Holy Spirit who is sealed within us (Ephes. 4:30). He said we should be sexually pure (1 Cor.6:19-20), and avoid lying, anger, stealing, coarse language, brawling and slander. He said we should be kind and compassionate to one another and forgive each other just as the Lord has forgiven us (Ephesians 4:25-32). In Romans 12:2 he said we should present our whole being to God as a living sacrifice out of gratitude for our salvation. That means putting our goals and plans for life aside, following His plan for us instead.
The Bible teaches us to be responsible for our actions, to work at our job as if we’re working for the Lord Himself, to be generous toward others, to help the helpless, and to live a life that brings honor and glory to the Lord. Why would He have put all these things in His word if it didn’t matter to Him?
In summary, the Lord knows our every sin and has already forgiven them all, as far as our salvation is concerned (Hebrews 10:14). But Christians who make poor choices suffer penalties here on earth just like everyone else. In addition they miss out on untold blessings they might have otherwise received, because while the Lord can save a rebellious sinner, He can’t bless a rebellious life.