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Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth (I Timothy 2:4).
Does God have a will? Of course.
Do men have wills? Of course.
When God’s and man’s wills agree, it is a good day, but what happens when they don’t agree? Whose will takes precedence over the other’s? Most Christians believe that man’s will takes precedence over God’s. They won’t say it that way, but that is their belief. Most Christians will tell you “God gave men free-will and because of that, God won’t interfere with our wishes.” This, of course, only goes so far. The will of a being extends as far as his power. A dog may wish to go outside, but his will cannot be carried out until someone capable of opening the door lets him out. Even then, the dog requires help to carry out his will, for a being that is powerless to perform cannot expected to do so unless there is direct intervention from a superior being. It is foolish to assume a man’s will can carry him to any extent that surpasses his power, however, being that God is all-powerful; it is accurate to say that God can do whatever He wishes.
Clearly, God cannot be omnipotent if all it takes to stop Him is for man to say “No. Sit. Stay.” This is why the doctrine of free-will is a doctrine of creation over Creator. We can either believe that God’s plans will be carried out no matter what man says (Job 23:13; Isaiah 46:10; Ephesians 1:11) or we can believe that God must ask permission before carrying out His will. Either way, the belief that God would be foolish enough to leave the salvation of a creature that cannot save itself up to that creature is not true or even reasonable. If God wants all men to be saved, then it shall be; regardless of the size of the box that man believes he can put God in.
So, how far does man’s will extend? As far as God wills it to extend. Only a fool would entrust a helpless creature with its own salvation. God, being the Governor of the universe, knows that it is His responsibility and His place to choose who He will save, how He will save them, and how quickly man will return to Eden. Man has no choice in the matter and even if God asked for man’s opinion; man does not have the power to back his will with any meaningful action.
May we all trust in the Lord fully. May we trust in Him, as the all-powerful Governor of the universe, to do what we cannot, but more importantly; to do what He wishes whether or not He first consults with us.
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