Jude: Predestined With Free Will

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Jude 1:4a For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation…

Sneaky, ravenous false teachers were known and predestined before time. That is what Jude and the text are saying. The vocabulary and grammar state the following.

…who were long… This is the adverb πάλαι/palai. Its meaning is of old, former; long ago.

These “persons” were beforehand marked out. This is the root word προγράφω/prographo in the Greek. The prefix “pro” meaning before is attached to “grapho” meaning to write. The verb tense of the term προγράφω/prographo indicates it was written with binding results. When it was written long ago, it was written once and for all. It was written a long time ago before these folks were even a thought and it is a done deal. The results are not changing.

Some will argue this may not seem very fair God to create someone for the express purpose of being a false teacher then sentence them to judgment. Remember these people, as well as us as individuals, have free will and freedom of choice. And with our choices come consequences. This is the problem with the critic, specifically the atheist. These folks want no part of consequences for their actions.

Romans 13:2 Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.

As fallen and broken people, who are we to challenge or question the will and authority of God? He created and gave us life. We all have chosen to sin. We are all under the physical death penalty in this life.The question is when that death will occur. In our condition, do we really want to be in the business of challenging God?

A great example of God’s sovereign will and individual choices is Jeremiah 18. God’s divine plan go hand and hand with free will. God knows our choices before we were made. He knows the end from before the beginning. Our individual wills are nothing in comparison to the will of God. As individuals, we overvalue the impact of our free choice.

God is the potter. We are figuratively and literally lumps of clay.

Jeremiah 18:4 But the vessel that he was making of clay was spoiled in the hand of the potter; so here made it into another vessel, as it pleased the potter to make.

Jeremiah 18:10 …if it does evil in My sight by not obeying My voice, then I will think better of the good with which I had promised to bless it.

Yes, God’s will is supreme. Suppose we did not have the freedom to make choices. Without free will, would there be a need for commandments? NO! We were not created to be mindless robots or taskmasters of an all-powerful God. Commandments were written by God to appeal to our sense of volition. We can choose to obey just as well as we can choose to disobey.

Jeremiah 18: 11 “So now then, speak to the men of Judah and against the inhabitants of Jerusalem saying, ‘Thus says the LORD, “Behold, I am fashioning calamity against you and devising a plan against you. Oh turn back, each of you from his evil way,and reform your ways and your deeds.”’

Jeremiah 18:12 “But they will say, ‘It’s hopeless! For we are going to follow our own plans, and each of us will act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart.’

With choice comes responsibility and consequences to a just God.

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Paul Lehr

About Paul Lehr

Paul Lehr is a Speech Pathologist and home health provider. The majority of his work focuses on swallowing disorders in neurologically impaired patients. He has been a business owner for the past 20+ years. Paul earned his BS in Speech Pathology and Audiology from Oklahoma State University. His MA was completed in Speech Pathology at Oklahoma State University. When Paul’s son was born prematurely in 2003, there was lots of support from family and friends. Keeping up with phone calls was too much. So he provided e-mails with updates on health and well-being. In time, his son was healthy and came home. The e-mails stopped but Paul was encouraged to keep writing. Three years later, Paul was asked to assist in writing a Sunday school curriculum. The lessons were well received by the local body and on the church website. Again, he was encouraged to keep writing. Next, Paul taught a Sunday School class for junior high and high school students. He would share notes with others from the class he was teaching. In 2010, a young man at a local church encouraged Paul to start a blog. The website focuses on topical studies such as creation, God’s Appointed Holidays and Feasts, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, end times prophecy, ancient Hebrew cultural customs, the Prophet Isaiah, and various topical studies. Three years later, Paul’s 10 year old son told me, “Dad, you need to do updates on how the news is tied to the Bible.” The “Trend Update” was born. In the spring of 2016, a friend and fellow Boy Scout father encouraged Paul to start a YouTube channel. His friend thought it was a natural fit considering the content and subscribers from the website. God’s prophetic words have reached millions in over 190 countries. Isaiah 55:11 So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. That same Boy Scout father would later introduce Paul to the movies of Trey Smith and the God in a Nutshell Project… Guest speak and presenter duties have focused on the topics of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in God’s Appointed Spring Feasts, Mystery Babylon, the antichrist, Ezekiel 38-39, and current events related to Bible prophecy. At this time, Paul would like to encourage each individual to learn about who God is. Because one way or another, we are all eternal. The issue is our destiny. Welcome to PaulthePoke and www.paulthepoke.com
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