How can people have free will if God knows everything?
There is a difference between KNOWING everything and FORCING people to do something. However, you have asked a very big question that many people with a passionate interest in the subject have debated for many years without coming to any agreed conclusion. It's a matter of opinion, not fact, so no one is ever going to be able to provide a definitive answer on this.
According to scripture God does know everything, but He is looking for people to follow Him willingly. He wants a relationship with each of us, but He invites us, not forces us. As my pastor says, "He doesn't want robots"!
I know what my kids do, but they still make the choice to do those things. My knowledge of their actions doesn't control their actions.
He knows what will happen if you choose a certain path, but you choose the path you take and the future. He only knows the outcome.
If you accept Scripture there are three certainties related to your question.
1. Yes, God knows all things. He is omniscient.
2. And, yes, we are responsible for our actions. Free will is very much misunderstood. None of us is free to do what is inconsistent with our nature. We can't flap our arms and fly. However we have a significant choice before God. We are not robots. We are responsible for our actions and their consequences.
3. Third certainty - It's a mystery. That's not a copout. It's only reasonable that if God is infinite we finite creatures would be unable to comprehend Him fully. Humbly walking with God calls us to accept the mystery and not use it as an excuse for ignoring what is clear and right before our faces.
Yes, God knows everything, but...
Why the "but?" Because God knows the future if we don't change our minds. He sees the inertia of our actions and intentions. If we change our minds, then the future changes and God now knows the new future.
Free will and God's omniscience are not incompatible, just as perfect confidence and utter humility are not incompatible.
by LAURENS WRIGHT4 years ago
Is our destiny in God's hands or do we actually have free will, being that God knows all?
by Mahaveer Sanglikar5 years ago
Believers believe that God knows everything. Then why many believers pray to God loudly, shouting and many times on microphone?
by nightwork45 years ago
If god is all-knowing, why do you pray?according to religious people, their god knows all, what they think, what they are going to do etc. so why do people pray to it if it already knows what they are thinking?
by Rabgix6 years ago
He knew EXACTLY what would come to pass even before he created the Universe or humanity.So why do it?boredom?
by Amy Becherer7 years ago
How does free will and the concept of pre-destination coexist?
by David Lim5 years ago
If God is all knowing, and he knows the choices we will make, do we really have free will?If God knows everything, and he knows all the choices that we are going to make before we are even confronted with the choice,...
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