If God knows the future


#1

I understand that God loves us so much that he gave us free-will and allows us to choose or reject Him.

BUT

We also believe the God knows ALL the future from now unto eternity. So if he knows all the future, and knows many creatures will choose against Him and thus be damned for all eternity… why would he create such creatures?

I know the obvious answer – “out of love”… but, wouldn’t it be loving to NOT create such a creature whom you know is destined for eternal punishment? I mean, I think I’d rather never have been created at all – than to know I’d choose to go against the will of God and end up in eternal punishment…


#2

So, I guess, in a nutshell the question is:

Why would God create an individual (Angel or human) whom he knows is doomed to fail and be damned?

I guess the best analogy – although still a bad one – would be like me building a sophisticated jet that I knew was doomed to never fly only to crash and kill everyone on board.


#3

They are not predestined. We have free will. God’s ability to know the future is beyond our comprehension. He exists out of time, thus all is the “present” to Him.


#4

Hi James,

Not only did God create out of love but because He wished that there should be love in the world. Without free will there is no love.If you cannot help doing good then you are not acting out of love. For there to be love there had to be the possibility of sinning.

As for people going to hell, well, we don’t know that anybody has gone there yet. We can’t even be sure about Judas. So let’s do our best ourselves not to go there and leave the rest to God’s mercy.

Verbum


#5

[quote=James_2:24]I understand that God loves us so much that he gave us free-will and allows us to choose or reject Him.

BUT

We also believe the God knows ALL the future from now unto eternity. So if he knows all the future, and knows many creatures will choose against Him and thus be damned for all eternity… why would he create such creatures?

I know the obvious answer – “out of love”… but, wouldn’t it be loving to NOT create such a creature whom you know is destined for eternal punishment? I mean, I think I’d rather never have been created at all – than to know I’d choose to go against the will of God and end up in eternal punishment…
[/quote]

Hello James,

The only thing in the universe worth allowing hatred, sin and damnation, is Love. One cannot love without the option to choose not to love. One cannot be kind to another with out the option to choose not to be kind to another.

When God put the tree of knowledge into the Garden of Eden, He gave man the tremendous opportunity to love God.

We can be assured that the production of love for God is worth putting man in danger of eternal damnation because God chose to do so.

Note: God is outside of the physical time which He created. Our Spiritual God is Omni-Present to the whole of physical time rather than some sort of future seeing from a point in physical time.

NIV 1JO 5:3

This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome.NIV JOH 14:15

“If you love me, you will obey what I command.”

NAB JOH 15:22

“If I had not come to them and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; now, however, their sin cannot be excused. To hate me is to hate my Father. Had I not performed such works among them as no one has ever done before, they would not be guilty of sin; but as it is, they have seen, and they go on hating me and my Father.NAB SIR 28:7

**Think of the commandments, hate not your neighbor;**NAB DEU 5:9

“. . . you shall not have other gods besides me. You shall not bow down before them or worship them. For I, the LORD, your God, am a jealous God, inflicting punishments for their fathers’ wickedness on the children of those who hate me, down to the third and fourth generation but bestowing mercy, down to the thousandth generation, on the children of those who love me and keep my commandments.

NAB SIR 35:6

The just man’s sacrifice is most pleasing, nor will it ever be forgotten . In generous homage to the LORD be not sparing of freewill gifts.

NAB LUK 12:31

Instead,** seek his kingdom**, and these other things will be given you besides. Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your belongings and give alms. Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven that no thief can reach nor moth destroy. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.

**NAB LUK 12:15 **

Then he said to the crowd, “Avoid greed in all its forms. A man many be wealthy, but his possessions do not guarantee him life.” He told them a parable in these words: “There was a rich man who had a good harvest. ‘What shall I do?’ he asked himself. ‘I have no place to store my harvest. I know!’ he said. ‘I will pull down my grain bins and build larger ones. All my grain and my goods will go there. Then I will say to myself: You have blessings in reserve for years to come. Relax! Eat heartily, drink well. Enjoy yourself.’ **But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life shall be required of you. **To whom will all this piled-up wealth of yours go?’ That is the way it works with the man who grows rich for himself instead of growing rich in the sight of God.”

NAB JOH 15:16

It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and** bear fruit that will remain**, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. This I command you:** love one another.**


#6

You are asking the wrong question. You are making God out to be irrational, but that is impossible, because God IS the truth.

God created and predestined all men to be with him for all eternity in heaven. But some men and women don’t want to love God and be with him for all eternity, so God lets them have what they want. The question you should be asking is why should anyone be so irrational as to not want to be with God?

You will never get a rational answer to that question, because the choice for hell is the supremely irrational decision, and by definition, an irrational decision cannot ever be rationally understood.


#7

If you knew for certain that one of your children would eventually reject you and never visit again, of his own volition, in spite of your continuing love, would you choose to never conceive that child?


#8

[quote=Matt16_18]God created and predestined all men to be with him for all eternity in heaven.
[/quote]

What does predestine mean?


#9

[quote=sandusky]What does predestine mean?
[/quote]

Pre = before

Destine = the final destiny that God created man for

Predestine = The desire God had in mind before he created men. God’s plan, before he ever created a man, was for all men to become partakers of the divine nature – all men are created for the glory of God. God our Savior … desires ALL men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
1Tim 2: 3-4

For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.
John 3:17


#10

[quote=Matt16_18]Pre = before

Destine = the final destiny that God created man for
[/quote]

That is not a lexical definition.

What does predestine mean?

Why are you confining it?


#11

[quote=sandusky]That is not a lexical definition.
[/quote]

Says who? pre·des·tine tr.v.
To fix upon, decide, or decree in advance

The American Heritage ® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition


#12

[quote=James_2:24]So, I guess, in a nutshell the question is:

Why would God create an individual (Angel or human) whom he knows is doomed to fail and be damned?

I guess the best analogy – although still a bad one – would be like me building a sophisticated jet that I knew was doomed to never fly only to crash and kill everyone on board.
[/quote]

Though probably a weird analogy, I always likened it to the guy that grabs his video camera to films the goings on at a family get together. The family goes on about its conversations and games and laughs and spilled food and whatnot and, by day’s end, the man’s got a tape that he can watch whenever he feels like it.

He was there and he’s since seen the tape, so he knows everything that happened that day on the camera. He knows that Aunt Mildred spilled her macaroni salad on her dress, etc, but he didn’t MAKE her spill it. The tape represents a strip of time that has a clear beginning and a clear end but, because he does not reside INSIDE the tape, he can see what happens. He exists outside of the tape, much like God exists outside of time *(…since He had no beginning and will have no end). *

The man knows that, by midday, Aunt Mildred will spill that macaroni salad. He knows that his mother-in-law will have an argument with his father. He knows that the children will play Marco Polo in the pool before the sun sets. If during the party, somebody asked the camera man for help in setting up the grill, he helped.

God obviously has more power because He can dive into the thread of time in which we exist to help those who ASK for help because, in our free will, we CHOSE to ask for His help. God could do a TON of things to make us do what He wants us to do, but then He’d be taking away our free will. I think the reason why God doesn’t take that away from us is because He wants to know who will love Him out of the genuine desires of their hearts as opposed to “loving” Him out of coercion or because they feel like they HAVE to love Him.

I know. I know. It’s a thoroughly NON-CATHOLIC response, so please treat it as such. It’s just my crazy analogy that I use to better understand how we can have free will, yet know that God knows our futures. :slight_smile:


#13

Though probably a weird analogy, I always likened it to the guy that grabs his video camera to films the goings on at a family get together. The family goes on about its conversations and games and laughs and spilled food and whatnot and, by day’s end, the man’s got a tape that he can watch whenever he feels like it.

He was there and he’s since seen the tape, so he knows everything that happened that day on the camera. He knows that Aunt Mildred spilled her macaroni salad on her dress, etc, but he didn’t MAKE her spill it. The tape represents a strip of time that has a clear beginning and a clear end but, because he does not reside INSIDE the tape, he can see what happens. He exists outside of the tape, much like God exists outside of time *(…since He had no beginning and will have no end). *

The man knows that, by midday, Aunt Mildred will spill that macaroni salad. He knows that his mother-in-law will have an argument with his father. He knows that the children will play Marco Polo in the pool before the sun sets. If during the party, somebody asked the camera man for help in setting up the grill, he helped.

God obviously has more power because He can dive into the thread of time in which we exist to help those who ASK for help because, in our free will, we CHOSE to ask for His help. God could do a TON of things to make us do what He wants us to do, but then He’d be taking away our free will. I think the reason why God doesn’t take that away from us is because He wants to know who will love Him out of the genuine desires of their hearts as opposed to “loving” Him out of coercion or because they feel like they HAVE to love Him.

I know. I know. It’s a thoroughly NON-CATHOLIC response, so please treat it as such. It’s just my crazy analogy that I use to better understand how we can have free will, yet know that God knows our futures. :slight_smile:

I don’t consider what you wrote a “non Catholic response” at all. Actually, I have explain it similarly myself. I don’t think your post directly addressed the question, but I liked it.

This is another way that I explain, to myself and other, what you did above. I explain it like this: God is outside of time. He exists in eternity and views time all at once. For example, let’s say that time is a ruler. At the beginning of the first inch is when Adam and Eve lived. Then, around the 4th inch is when Noah lived; the 6th inch is the time of Abraham; and the 8th inch is Jesus’ day. We are somewhere near the end of the ruler.

Just as we can view the ruler from above and see all of the inches at once, so God views time in the same way - all at once - since God exists outside of time. To God the past and the future exist in the present.

Since God is all knowing, he obviously knows what choices we will make, and He knows if we will be saved or not. If God did not know this, there would be a defect in His knowlege: His knowledge would not be infinite, and thus God would not be all-knowing.

God creates us; He tells us what to do; speaks to us through our conscience, but allows us to choose. Those who obey God will be saved and will glorify His goodness and mercy for ever. Those who fail to obey will also glorify God for all eternity, but, like the fallen angels, they will glorify His infinite justice!

We need to remember that, although God is loving and merciful, He is also a just judge who will severely punish those who disobey Him. His justice is not nullified by His mercy; rather it is overcome by His mercy when man repents. If man does not repent and amend His life, he will never meet the “loving and merciful” God, but only a just judge. “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God”.


#14

[quote=Matt16_18]Says who?
pre•des•tine tr.v.
To fix upon, decide, or decree in advance

The American Heritage ® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
[/quote]

Thank you.

When God’s predestining is spoken of in Scripture, it is spoken of in terms of absolute certainty. Greek lexicons carry that same meaning. God’s predestination “settles,” or “fixes” things, and events.

So when you said in Post #6, “God created and predestined all men to be with him for all eternity in heaven,” you are incorrect, and you misrepresent what is said.

God did not predestine all men to be with Him for all eternity in heaven; rather, He predestined only “those whom He foreknew.” (Rom 8:29).


#15

[quote=sandusky]Thank you.

When God’s predestining is spoken of in Scripture, it is spoken of in terms of absolute certainty. Greek lexicons carry that same meaning. God’s predestination “settles,” or “fixes” things, and events.

So when you said in Post #6, “God created and predestined all men to be with him for all eternity in heaven,” you are incorrect, and you misrepresent what is said.

God did not predestine all men to be with Him for all eternity in heaven; rather, He predestined only “those whom He foreknew.” (Rom 8:29).
[/quote]

Yes, the term predestined refers to those who will be saved, not to those who God “wills to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth”. God wills all men to be saved, but all men will not be saved.

Certainly, it was God’s original intent that man would not sin, and that, therefore, all would be saved. But the term predestination does not refer to that original intent of God. Rather, it is a term that refers only to those who will actually be saved.


#16

Because it’s better to exist in hell than never to have existed at all.

That’s a way I’ve heard it put anyways.

I spent a very long time with one girl. I was very much in love with her, and we had a lot of fun. She ended up tearing my heart out. I’ve been in a sort of hell ever since. Still, if I could choose, I’d rather have had that time as it was and be as I have been than to never have had it at all.


#17

Think of it this way. Every single person (human, angel) that God creates gets exactly what they want the most.


#18

The word “predestine” is used only three times in scripture. In no case is it ever used to convey the Calvinist heresy that God creates the vast majority of humanity as worthless trash predestined for the burn pile. :rolleyes:


#19

[quote=USMC]This is another way that I explain, to myself and other, what you did above. I explain it like this: God is outside of time. He exists in eternity and views time all at once. For example, let’s say that time is a ruler. At the beginning of the first inch is when Adam and Eve lived. Then, around the 4th inch is when Noah lived; the 6th inch is the time of Abraham; and the 8th inch is Jesus’ day. We are somewhere near the end of the ruler.
[/quote]

That works, too. :slight_smile: I guess the key is that God exists outside of time and finite humans like myself just stare slack-jawed into the sky, trying to comprehend God and His abounding magnificence.

*“If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.” *
[right]Psalm 130:3-4 (KJV)[/right]


#20

pre = before
destine = destiny

The reason God wills all men to be saved is that God created all men to be with him for eternity. It is also correct to say that before God created the first man, that he had a destiny in mind for all men.**Catechism of the Catholic Church

1711** Endowed with a spiritual soul, with intellect and with free will, the human person is from his very conception ordered to God and destined for eternal beatitude. He pursues his perfection in “seeking and loving what is true and good” (GS 15 § 2).

398 In that sin [original sin] man preferred himself to God and by that very act scorned him. He chose himself over and against God, against the requirements of his creaturely status and therefore against his own good. Constituted in a state of holiness, man was destined to be fully “divinized” by God in glory. Seduced by the devil, he wanted to “be like God”, but “without God, before God, and not in accordance with God”.


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