Free Will & God’s Expectations

vineyard

Isaiah 5:1-4 (NKJV) says,

“Now let me sing to my Well-beloved a song of my Beloved regarding His vineyard: My Well-beloved has a vineyard on a very fruitful hill. He dug it up and cleared out its stones, and planted it with the choicest vine. He built a tower in its midst, and also made a winepress in it; so He expected it to bring forth good grapes, but it brought forth wild grapes. And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah, judge, please, between Me and My vineyard. What more could have been done to My vineyard that I have not done in it?  Why then, when I expected it to bring forth good grapes, did it bring forth wild grapes?”

Calvinism teaches that God predestines/ordains/decrees/causes all things that come to pass (whether sin or righteousness) and that God did this in eternity past.  If this is true, then no one and nothing has “free will”, by any definition of that word.  And no, I don’t need to add the term “libertarian” before “free will” to explain what I mean by “free will”.  In fact, I refuse to.  To do so, would be to give in to the Calvinist’s redefining of the term “free will”.  I won’t put up with the linguistic revision of Calvinism.  (…)

The above passage simply can’t fit into a system that says that God has caused all things to happen, in eternity past.  Passages like the one above, won’t fit with Calvinism, no matter how much you twist it.  How could the “god” of Calvinism possibly have “expectations” that are contrary to what He ordained to happen, in eternity past?  How could the “god” of Calvinism possibly be “disappointed”, when things don’t go differently than he decreed them to be?  If the “god” of Calvinism predestined the house of Israel to be like this, how could he be upset with them and punish them for such actions (read on to Isaiah 5:5-6)?

On the contrary, the reason that God is disappointed with the house of Israel, is because He has every right to be.  He had done so much for them and He didn’t receive what He should have, in return.  After all that God had done for the house of Israel, His expectations of obedience and reciprocal love (“good grapes”), were right on target.  And when the house of Israel was disobedient to Him, He had every right to punish them, for they were guilty.  They were guilty because they could’ve done otherwise and should have done otherwise.  The house of Israel had free will and all the good influence they needed, in order to do what is right.  Yet,  they chose to do what was wrong instead.

In truth, I think that this passage is probably how God feels towards all sinners.  He may not “bless” every sinner, the way that He blessed the house of Israel, but God “makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 5:45)  The fact that sinners are still alive in this world in the midst of their sin, shows that God is patient, compassionate and merciful towards sinners (see Romans 2:4-11 for more).  God has every right to strike down a sinner and send him to Hell, the very moment he sins for the first time.  Instead, God is long suffering with sinners, not wanting any to perish, but wanting all to be saved.

The question that I have for you, dear reader, is how do you make God feel?  Would God say something like this to you (Isaiah 5:1-4)?  Is God disappointed with you, because you aren’t responding properly to His love?  Is there something else that God should expect out of you, that you are not giving to Him?  Do you stand guilty before God, due for punishment that is to come?

I hope not.  I hope that you are responding properly to God’s love, by loving Him back and living for Him.  I hope that you are giving God everything that He expects.  I hope that you are not disappointing God, at all.  I hope that you aren’t under God’s wrath, due to present unrepentant sin, in your life.  God is long suffering towards you, but even God’s patience will “run out” on you, eventually…’

source: kerrigan Skelly, “Calvinism, Free Will & God’s Expectations” (kerriganskelly).

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