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Page 145

Each person commits the sins he freely choses to do, but in so doing, he fulfills God's decree.

    Imagine speaking to a young man in prison who had committed armed robbery when stealing money from a local gas station.

    "It is not my fault," he states. "Everything is in God's unchangeable decree. My robbery of the gas station was in God's decree - nothing I could do, or not do, could change God's plan. So here I am, and it's God fault."

    How would you answer this young man's argument and insult of God's honor? Did God force or persuade him to steal? Did he desire to rob in order to fulfill God's plan? What was his motive? If he freely chose and planned to commit this crime, who is fully guilty?

    Why is it very important to understand that God's decree does not force or persuade a person to sin?

    More than a thousand years before Judas Iscariot betrayed the Lord Jesus, God prophesied through David in Psalm 41:9, "Yea, Mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of My bread, hath lifted up his heel against Me." Approximately five hundred years before Christ, Zechariah testified of the price for which Jesus would be sold in chapter 11: 12, "So they weighed for My price thirty pieces of silver."

    Yet, when Judas betrayed Christ, did he do this because he wanted to fulfill God's prophecy and decree? Did God force or persuade Judas to do this terrible act? Why did Judas betray Jesus? What was his motive? Why is Judas fully guilty for his deed?

    How are both God's prophecy and Judas' guilt spoken of in Matthew 26:24, "The Son of man goeth as it is written of Him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It had been good for that man if he had not been born"?

Is the following statement true? Why or why not? When a person sins, this is the choice of his own free will.

To state that a person has a free will to sin, and freely chooses to sin, is different from teaching that a person has a free will to choose and do good. Why?

God judges our "hearts," the motives which underline all our thoughts, words, and actions. What was Judas' motive?

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