View Poll Results: Does God know the future?

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152. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes, but this causes no threat to free will.

    121 79.61%
  • Yes, and I find this does present a challenge to free will.

    21 13.82%
  • No, but this does not threaten his Godhood.

    3 1.97%
  • No, and I find this does present a challenge to his Godhood.

    3 1.97%
  • Question is sophomoric / Something else entirely

    4 2.63%
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Thread: Does God know the future?

  1. #21
    lindapinda
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    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChristianTeen View Post
    I guess you are right, but still, it almost seems to go against God's nature in a way. He can control everything, yet he allows the 'wolf ' to continue doing evil and to tempt us. Why not just remove the temptation and remove all evil? LOL, wouldn't this world be a lot easier?
    When we stand before God on judgement day, he will know whether we loved him or hated him. If we loved him in this life, through all the evil and hatred present, he knows we will always love him. He gives all of us free choice, cause that's the kind of God he is. He wants us to learn and grow. That means we will make bad choices. God never meant for there to be sin. But that's what happened through Adam. We are all children of sin until we become children of Jesus, and that makes the world a sinful place. (Read Romans 5) But eternity, if we keep loving God, will be spent by us in heaven, which is a much longer time than the few years we spend here on earth.

  2. #22
    OnDMT
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    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by Not_The_Righteous View Post
    Depends on what you mean by "free will," actually. If by it you mean that you are not coerced or remotely controlled, sure. If by it you mean that you can choose anything without any criteria (abitrarily) or pre-existing context, then we have some problems - let me use kind of a silly example:

    If God knows I am going to have waffles tomorrow, and that knowledge is of an actual, certain choice, then there is actually a restriction on my future choice. No matter what, I will not choose pancakes tomorrow, I cannot - since the future is certain and it is already known what I will choose. The problem of foreknowledge vs. unrestricted (libertarian) free will is one thing that causes some people to go the route of Open Theism, which believes that God cannot know the future because the future isn't knowable or certain.

    A second problem is the undeniable nature of "choice." Choices aren't arbitrary, we make choices for reasons. There are inclinations, circumstances, and desires (among other things) that inform and direct every choice we make. If I choose waffles tomorrow, it's because I want waffles and not oatmeal. Did I choose to want waffles too? Did I choose to prefer them? Hopefully I haven't oversimplified in my analogy, but that's what I am getting at. We may have choice, but those choices are limited by our greatest inclinations and are subject to our desires. I am not of the opinion the we choose our greatest inclinations or desires.

    Restricted or "compatablist" will, IMO, not libertarian "free will", is both the biblical and logical conclusion we have to make. This retains God as absolutely sovereign and not self-limiting AND man as responsible and not a robot. But it really depends on what people mean when they say "free will." In philosophical/theological circles, this is why people make a distinction on what they mean.
    But is restricted will even free will at all? You said it yourself, our choices are not arbitrary. The logical deduction is, then, that our very concept of "choice" is a false one. We don't choose the things that happen to us, but those things most often decide our choices.. .

    Heaven? Hell? Good? Evil? Guilty? Innocent? All these things re becoming meaningless to me. Even in a secular way, free will is false. Scientists learn more and more every day about the physical laws of the universe and how everything works.

    So. . . either we're souls with our destination already predetermined or we're extensions of a physical universe which is (by rule of cause and effect) already predetermined in its course.

    I appreciate the many beautiful responses and elegant views on the subject that everyone here has offered, but I feel as though unless I can somehow view the future once again as being undecided, then I can't logically accept any higher form of justice. . .

  3. #23
    Not_The_Righteous
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    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    Heaven? Hell? Good? Evil? Guilty? Innocent? All these things re becoming meaningless to me. Even in a secular way, free will is false. Scientists learn more and more every day about the physical laws of the universe and how everything works.
    Depends if you require "free will" to be arbitrary or illogical. I think our volition is as unobstructed as it can be, given the nature of choice.

    Your dilemma WRT justice (as you have stated, at least) seems to presuppose that innocence is a possibility or that being given a "chance" is something we're entitled to.

    Biblically speaking, there are no innocents. That's Romans 1-3, essentially. We're not mostly guilty, or theorhetically guilty. We're guilty. There has never been a question of our guilt.

    If justice is totally applied, no one is saved. If we get "fair" treatment, we get Hell. God is not obligated to save anyone, which is why it is a gift and not something we have earned (wage). It is God's love that prompted Christ, not His justice. God's justice has never been under threat because we were never owed anything.

    Choices may not be arbitrary, but they are still real. They have real consequences. Being subject to the Fall's corruption no more removes our culpability of sin than someone who is incarcerated who commits crimes even under judgement.

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by OnDMT View Post
    Does God know the future?

    If He does not, can he be truly omnipresent?

    If God indeed does know the future, where does our free will come in? Isn't He just setting up everything in advance? How can we, therefore, think that any justice, divine or earthly, is real? Aren't we all just pawns in a greater scheme?

    Or, is there some middle ground I'm missing? Does God have a general idea of the future, but not the specifics? Does God intentionally remain unaware of the future in order to preserve free will? If so, then where do prophecies come into all of this?

    Determinism is very disturbing, but whether one is religious or secular, free will ends up looking like an impossible idea.
    God planned out everything from the beginning with our choices we would make in mind. So we are predestined, but we are predestined by the choices we have already made out of free will. This is the best way I understand it.

  5. #25
    NodMyHeadLikeYeah
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    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    but since its already been said that god can change his mind, is our future always changing?

  6. #26
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    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by NodMyHeadLikeYeah View Post
    but since its already been said that god can change his mind, is our future always changing?
    God can change his mind? Of course he can. Does he? For example, Christ asked the woman at the well about her husband. She said she had no husband and he responded in such a manner that implied he knew the answer to his question beforehand. This doesn't mean that the woman had enlightened Christ by answering his question. God knows everything. He just chooses to interact with us on a level that we can understand.

  7. #27
    NodMyHeadLikeYeah
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    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    thats what im saying, in another thread people are saying that god changes his mind when we pray about certain things, so does our future change as we pray because he changes his mind....

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by NodMyHeadLikeYeah View Post
    thats what im saying, in another thread people are saying that god changes his mind when we pray about certain things, so does our future change as we pray because he changes his mind....
    If you think about how God has already planned out our future based around our free will then it becomes easy to realize that our future does not change. We are predestined. However, we have made the choices beforehand that have predestined us. So we have free will. It's just that God knows what our choices will be. For example, the Pharisees could've said of Jesus, "Sorry. We did the wrong thing. We're going to let you off the hook. No need to crucify or stone you." But God knew that they'd make the choice to condemn him to death, so he planned everyone's future around that fact.

    I hope I'm getting what you're saying. If not then just hit me over the head again with the listen-stick and I'll try to read your post more thoroughly.

  9. #29
    NodMyHeadLikeYeah
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    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    You got it perfectly. Thank you

    P.S- Is the option of hitting you with a stick still open??

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by NodMyHeadLikeYeah View Post
    You got it perfectly. Thank you

    P.S- Is the option of hitting you with a stick still open??
    If you have the free will to spend $400 to drive up here in the backwoods to hit me with a stick, then I guess you're predestined to do it.

  11. #31
    NodMyHeadLikeYeah
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    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    If you have the free will to spend $400 to drive up here in the backwoods to hit me with a stick, then I guess you're predestined to do it.

    I dont think God has put that in his plan for my life at the moment

  12. #32
    Reesegirl
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    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by OnDMT View Post
    Does God know the future?

    If He does not, can he be truly omnipresent?

    If God indeed does know the future, where does our free will come in? Isn't He just setting up everything in advance? How can we, therefore, think that any justice, divine or earthly, is real? Aren't we all just pawns in a greater scheme?

    Or, is there some middle ground I'm missing? Does God have a general idea of the future, but not the specifics? Does God intentionally remain unaware of the future in order to preserve free will? If so, then where do prophecies come into all of this?

    Determinism is very disturbing, but whether one is religious or secular, free will ends up looking like an impossible idea.

    Hi OnDMT,

    I heard a great explanation of this on the radio last Sunday (WWKB AM 1520...I think you can hear it all along the east coast of the US? Anyway, it's on at 8pm on Sundays, called, "What is Truth?"). A lady called in asking the very same question. The man who was on there said that God, in his knowledge, gave us free will--simply because he wanted us to have it. He wanted to give us the ability to choose for ourselves, even knowing what it would cost him in our short history. Why? Because he wanted a family. Israel is called the LORD's bride--the church, the bride of Christ. we are also called his children. If we weren't free, if all this was just something God orchestrated rather than permitted, we wouldn't really be much better than complex robots.

  13. #33
    panda_girl
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    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    I believe He does, and I've encountered several people that say that would mess with our free will. But if you look at it kinda like in a "Back to the Future" sort of way, how one little thing changed can alter the entire future. I think God has the ability to see all possible outcomes of all possible choices. It's a little overwhelming to think about, but He's an overwhelming God, so it really all works out
    Last edited by panda_girl; March 7th, 2010 at 04:17 PM.

  14. #34
    ChristopherMichael
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    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    Of course God knows the future! How could he be bound by time, which is just another aspect of his creation, as is distance? I don't see it presenting a problem to free will at all. It just makes him all the more awesome.

    Think about it this way. If you were playing chess with Gary Kasparov (an awesome chess player), would you ever win a game? (The answer is no.) No matter what decisions you make out of your free will, the outcome he wants will always be the one that's brought about, because he rocks. Same thing with God.

    God bless you!
    - Topher

  15. #35
    Senior Member Cako53's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChristopherMichael View Post
    Of course God knows the future! How could he be bound by time, which is just another aspect of his creation, as is distance? I don't see it presenting a problem to free will at all. It just makes him all the more awesome.

    Think about it this way. If you were playing chess with Gary Kasparov (an awesome chess player), would you ever win a game? (The answer is no.) No matter what decisions you make out of your free will, the outcome he wants will always be the one that's brought about, because he rocks. Same thing with God.

    God bless you!
    - Topher
    That completely contradicted what you said. in the first paragraph you said that it doesn't contradict free will yet in the second you clearly said that whatever outcome God wants will happen, which in fact does not agree with free will. What exactly are you trying to say?
    I am a WHOSOEVER

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  16. #36
    melonie
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    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cako53 View Post
    I fought with this question forever and never got a good answer from anyone. I think it comes down to the fact that we can't even begin to grasp the concept of God. That is where the problem lies. We try to humanize God, but that can't be done. He isn't human. He is supernatural. I believe that he does know the future, and this does not hinge on our free will simply because he is not determining what we do, he is simply letting us do what we want to do. If I were to know for 100% certain that you were going to make a decision that would harm you tomorrow, does that mean that you won't do it? No. Then I started asking well why wouldn't God change our minds so that we wouldn't go through the tortures of hell and such. Then the free will factor kicked in. I hope that somewhat made sense. It makes sense to me, and I deffinatly struggled with this question myself. God Bless you.
    WELL SAID I DO BELIEVE THE SAME THING....GREAT ANSWER..GOD BLESS

  17. #37
    melonie
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    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChristopherMichael View Post
    Of course God knows the future! How could he be bound by time, which is just another aspect of his creation, as is distance? I don't see it presenting a problem to free will at all. It just makes him all the more awesome.

    Think about it this way. If you were playing chess with Gary Kasparov (an awesome chess player), would you ever win a game? (The answer is no.) No matter what decisions you make out of your free will, the outcome he wants will always be the one that's brought about, because he rocks. Same thing with God.

    God bless you!
    - Topher
    HEY CHRISTOPHER MICHEAL, I UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU ARE SAYING AND IT MAKES A WHOLE LOT OF SENSE BUT PLEASE TRY NOT TO COMPAIR ANY HUMAN WITH GOD LIKE IN .."If you were playing chess with Gary Kasparov (an awesome chess player), would you ever win a game? (The answer is no.) No matter what decisions you make out of your free will, the outcome he wants will always be the one that's brought about, because he rocks. Same thing with God." CAUSE I'M SURE SOMEONE CAN BEAT HIM AND DON'T HAVE TO BE A PRO................OTHER THAN THAT I LOVED YOUR REPLY...
    STAY BLESSED

  18. #38
    melonie
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    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    If you think about how God has already planned out our future based around our free will then it becomes easy to realize that our future does not change. We are predestined. However, we have made the choices beforehand that have predestined us. So we have free will. It's just that God knows what our choices will be. For example, the Pharisees could've said of Jesus, "Sorry. We did the wrong thing. We're going to let you off the hook. No need to crucify or stone you." But God knew that they'd make the choice to condemn him to death, so he planned everyone's future around that fact.

    I hope I'm getting what you're saying. If not then just hit me over the head again with the listen-stick and I'll try to read your post more thoroughly.
    WELL SAID ....AMAZING EXAMPLE....GOD BLESS

  19. #39
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    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    I'm surprised no one has given scripture yet.

    Isa 46:9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,
    Isa 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:
    Isa 48:3 "The former things I declared of old; they went out from my mouth, and I announced them; then suddenly I did them, and they came to pass.
    Isa 48:4 Because I know that you are obstinate, and your neck is an iron sinew and your forehead brass,
    Isa 48:5 I declared them to you from of old, before they came to pass I announced them to you, lest you should say, 'My idol did them, my carved image and my metal image commanded them.'
    Isa 48:6 "You have heard; now see all this; and will you not declare it? From this time forth I announce to you new things, hidden things that you have not known.
    Isa 48:7 They are created now, not long ago; before today you have never heard of them, lest you should say, 'Behold, I knew them.'
    Isa 48:8 You have never heard, you have never known, from of old your ear has not been opened. For I knew that you would surely deal treacherously, and that from before birth you were called a rebel.
    Isa 48:9 "For my name's sake I defer my anger, for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you, that I may not cut you off.

    Deu 31:16 And the LORD said to Moses, "Behold, you are about to lie down with your fathers. Then this people will rise and whore after the foreign gods among them in the land that they are entering, and they will forsake me and break my covenant that I have made with them.

    Act 4:24 And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, "Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them,
    Act 4:25 who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit, "'Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples plot in vain?
    Act 4:26 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed'--
    Act 4:27 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel,
    Act 4:28 to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.

    I know the idea of a sovereign God makes your stomach turn in bitter knots. I know it did that for me at first. But then when you learn that God truly is sovereign over all he does... that you can say with Paul
    Rom 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

    I was gonna keep going but this one other thing might overwhelm you. So i'm just gonna pause for now.

  20. #40
    Georgio
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    Default Re: Does God know the future?

    The way I see it, God isn't confined to the realm of time. I try to think like he can see you at the same time he sees Adam and Eve. The 'future' is an illusion that we perceive because our bodies are within the physical. Besides, if the bible says God knows all AND we have free will, then perhaps it's just smoething you should believe. I'm not one to talk though, take what I say with a grain of salt.

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