• Chris Steele

Our “Free-Will” in Heaven

Chris' Corner - Sunday, May 24, 2020

God created humanity with the will to choose. In spiritual matters we only have one of two choices. We can do good or evil—be obedient to God or not. Depending on the choice we make, we'll receive a reward in heaven or punishment in hell. It's very plain. Moses told Israel long ago, "l call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live" (Deuteronomy 30:19).

Joshua made it clear. "And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD" (Joshua 24:15).

We call this free-will. We spend our lives making decisions that affect our spiritual existence here on this earth, as well as where we will spend eternity. Jesus said, "He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad" (Matthew 12:30).

So what happens to our free-will after we make it into heaven? If God knew creating mankind with free-will would be used by people to choose sin (Titus 1:2; 1 Peter 1:18-20; Ephesians 3:11), and the free-will of angels led to their downfall (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6), will it be possible for our own free-will to cause us to lose out on heaven, after we are already there? How horrible to even entertain such a thought.

We know we will not lose our free-will when we are in heaven. We won't be something different from ourselves when we reach our eternal heavenly home. However, we will be different in many ways. Drastic changes will be made to our bodies and surroundings that will affect our choices.

First of all, we won't have a fleshly body in heaven. Our physical body, with all of its needs, cravings, desires, and lusts, will not exist anymore. "For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself' (Philippians 3:20-21).

This transformation process in becoming like Jesus with a new spiritual body, will have a profound effect on the way we think. Our desires will be purely spiritual in this new heavenly existence. Paul wrote, "And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man" (1 Corinthians 15:49).

In our old physical body, we worked diligently to conform to God's will. We followed the instructions Paul gave to the Romans. "l beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God" (12: 1, 2).

While we are on the earth, we make the choice to follow the Spirit rather than the flesh (Galatians 5:16-17). It is a struggle at times. But in heaven it will not be a struggle. This will be possible, because in heaven there will be no temptation to sin. The devil and his angels, with all of their influential power, will have been defeated and be gone (Revelation 20).

The reason Jesus came to earth was to start this process of defeating the devil and his evil works. "Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage" (Hebrews 2:14-15).

"He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose, the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil" (1 John 3:8).

In the Lord's model prayer, He said, "And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one..." (Matthew 6:13). When we're doing what God told us to do in avoiding sin, He shields us from temptations which are beyond our ability to bear (cf. 1 Corinthians 10:13). There is coming a day, when finally, and forever, we will be delivered from the evil one! We will rejoice and gladly humble ourselves before God for all of eternity.

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