Will we have free will in heaven?

Will we have free will in heaven?

  • by Jimmy Akin Sunday, January 20, 2013 7:14 PM Comments (8)

Will we have free will in heaven?

If so, does that mean we might sin and fall again?

If not, what kind of free will would we have there?

And if God can harmonize our free will and sinlessness in heaven, why doesn’t he do so in this life?

Here are some thoughts . . .

Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/jimmy-akin/will-we-have-free-will-in-heaven#ixzz2IifpYMah

The Sin of Presumption Opposed to Hope

Sonya:  The sin of presumption…I have not read this on your post but I understand Catholics believe it’s a sin to “know” your going to heaven. How does this compare to John telling us “these things have I written unto you…that ye may know that ye have eternal life” along with Jesus telling his disciples he was going to build a place for them (would it be wrong for the disciples to take Jesus at his word?).

Bread From Heaven: Not in a general way. But for a person to presume he was Heaven-bound absolutely is certainly not humble but presumptuous/arrogant. It is the vice opposed to the virtue of HOPE. And we know that “Faith, Hope and Love abide…

Hope is a cardinal virtue. On one extreme is the vice of despair. But on the opposite extreme is presumption. We are to have hope and to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling.”If one is sure he is going to Heaven he does not have hope he has assurance and neither will he “work out..salvation with fear and trembling” b/c he thinks it is a done deal.

There are thousands of verses warning believers and Jews not to “harden their hearts” “fall away”” apostasize” etc. To believe that God was making empty threats like a lax parent is demeaning. Since we possess free-will we are always capable of sinning egregiously and so lose salvation.

Sonya:  Also the thief on the cross…Today though shalt be with me in paradise…

Bread From Heaven:Jesus made this promise. Don’t know what you mean exactly by this point. But, I will point out that the thief did not go to Heaven on that day b/c Jesus did not go to Heaven that day either.

Thief on the Cross Did Not Go to Purgatory

Here is the pertinent part of that post:

SARAH: Another verse; Luke 23:43TODAY YOU WILL BE WITH ME IN PARADISE” Jesus does not go on to say after a couple hundred years of purification. JESUS states, “today”. Is Jesus capable of lying? misquoting the truth? Or is the son of God simply mistaken?

BFHU:I understand why you ask these questions. You are convinced that your interpretation of these verses leaves no other possibility than to believe that Jesus was a liar or at least not omniscient if Catholic theology is accepted. But, there are some other possibilities, after all. First of all, Jesus did not go to Heaven that very Friday as we find out when Jesus tells Mary Magdalene, on Sunday, that He has not ascended to the Father yet. Therefore, Jesus and the thief did not go directly to Heaven on Friday.

The possibility is that the Greek should be read: “I tell you today, you will be with Me in Paradise” rather than “I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise”. There are no commas in the Greek. Both are legitimate interpretations but the second one doesn’t line up with scripture.

Another possibility is that “paradise” referred to the happy part of the Sheol/Abraham’s bosom where Jesus did go to preach to the dead and lead the captives free. And the Good Thief accompanied Him there, which would have been just as good news as being told he was going to Heaven

Sonya:  Paul seemed to know…to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. Was he sinning when he wrote this scripture?

Bread From Heaven: This is an inaccurate quote of the verse, perpetuated among Protestants unwittingly, in support of their rejection of Purgatory. Here is what the scripture actually says:

2 Corinthians 5:8
We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

The verse, in context, just doesn’t mean that a soul is either in the body or in the presence of God. It is not particularly doctrinal but expressing St. Paul’s preference to be with the Lord.  St. Paul says, he would be willing (he would rather) to be absent from the body and present with the Lord. The way it is usually quoted by Protestants makes it sound much more absolute than it is. Paul is not making a doctrinal statement as it is used by Protestants. I can say, “My flight  leaves at 8AM and arrives in New York at 3:00PM. This in no way implies that there are no layovers in Denver or somewhere else on the way.

Paul did not have assurance of Salvation in the sense Calvinism teaches. He only had hope of Salvation. And earlier in this section he uses words like “might” and “may” to describe his hope.

1 Corinthians 9:27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

Truth and Religion


Q.There are so many religion in the world. If we select the ones which produce a good/better person, is God now looking at the religion itself or the good/better person produced?

A. God looks at the HEART. He has revealed to man through His Chosen People and Prophets of the Old Testament and also, even more clearly through His Son Jesus what He requires in order for a person to save his soul from eternal damnation. But He did not stop there. He founded a Church on Earth to be a light to the nations to show them the way to Heaven. He promise to be with His Church until the end of time and that the Gates of Hell would never overcome it. He did not stop there either. He gave us sacraments to impart grace in order to strenghthen us to stay ON the path to Eternal Life. He gave us priests. He gave us Holy Scripture. He gives HIMSELF to us at every mass. We have the very best chance of attaining Heaven in the Chruch He gave to us.

We don’t choose our religion based on which people seem to be the best sort of people. Time may prove our choice very wrong. We should choose our religion based on which one is TRUER than the rest. Which one is the ONE God started? And that would be the Catholic Church.

Q. In spiritual learning, is listening to what is preached or written more absolute than what is experienced?

A. Yes. We might have a true experience but it may be an experience produced by the Enemy or just our own imagination. Feelings come and go. We must search for TRUTH.

Q. A Family in the deepest jungle living from generation to generation without exposure to Religion and the modern world, knows only to care lovingly for their young with great morality. Because they lack any knowledge of R.C., are they destined to hell or purgatory?

A.Hell no. Purgatory, probably, just like the rest of us. God will judge all people based on what they knew and how they responded to that knowledge -not on what they did not know. He has written His laws on our hearts. No one will go to Hell just because they are not Catholic. That is heretical. Catholics, Protestants, Pagans, and everyone will be judged on what they did about what they knew. Listen to that still small voice of conscience.


Q. Being a God to the people is probably like being a Parent to children, don’t you think? Being a parent, never in my deepest heart would I want to send my children to hell for their wrongdoings.

A. God does not want anyone to go to Hell. He wants everyone to come to Heaven and be with Him. But some people do not want God and God will not override their freedom to choose Him or reject Him. Their souls, being eternal have to go somewhere.

Q. As Jesus would say, “Lord forgive them for they don’t know what they’re doing”. If a soldier abused a person as he was ordered to do, does he know what he’s doing?

A. Yes. He knows. He may try to ignore this knowledge. He may try to rationalize his actions. But God KNOWS what the soldier knows and what he truly does not know. It won’t be any use trying to fool God on Judgment Day.

Q. If a person forces his freewill upon other person for control, does he knows what he’s doing?

A. I cannot say. Only that person knows. If he is forcing the other person to sin then he will be more responsible for the sin than the person forced to sin. If, indeed they are truly forced and not just persuaded or coerced. For instance, a mother who forces her daughter to have an abortion. Abortion is always a grave sin but guilt would be less for the daughter than for the mother.

How Can a Good God allow deformed Children?

God is certainly good. He gave humanity free will and they abused their freedom by disobedience to the Law of God. This caused the fall of man and nature. From this disharmony, evil (absence of good) was introduced. Evil is permitted, because without evil being a real possibility people would not have real freedom. Childhood deformity, diseases, and all kinds of disabilities are a result of the disharmony of nature caused by Man’s fall. But, God knows that He can draw greater good from all kinds of suffering in the end.

In His wisdom God may permit a child to be born deformed who with health and strength would fling itself into the pleasures of sin and end up in eternal loss. Would it not be a mercy for some, apparently sane people, to have been born with great defects in order to save them from Hell? People, whether mentally or bodily deformed, do not spend the whole of their lives in misery and suffering. They too can experience joy and love, laughter and compassion. Likewise, we must remember that our souls are eternal, and all will be rectified either in this life or the next.

Again, an intellectually or psychologically damaged child/adult cannot sin, and so what appears to us as a life not worth living will, after a mere 80 years or so, yield to the joy of eternal happiness in Heaven. These days we have convinced ourselves that the merciful thing to do is to snuff out the lives of helpless human beings through abortion/euthanasia. But, in the process we can send ourselves to Hell by committing this grave sin.

We might say, “If God be good, why did He allow His Son to go through excruciating torture?” Sin is the real evil, not suffering. Earthly suffering will only last as long as this life. But, SIN is capable of landing a person in Hell where suffering will be longer than an earthly life. The suffering of Hell will last eternally.

The miseries of this world have driven thousands into the loving arms of God. So, if only for this reason we can discern an indication of God’s goodness in allowing suffering in order to give eternal life in Heaven with Him.

A baby born without eyes grows up. Click HERE

A child born without the ability to walk is overjoyed when carried on Dad’s shoulders in a local race. So Dad begins to enter races carrying his son. Then he moves on to Triatholons. See video HERE. See story HERE

Predestination & Free Will

Q. If God is Omniscient and therefore knows what I will do before I do it then I am predestined. How can I have free will?

A. God is all knowing but His knowledge in no way causes anyone to be predestined. God simply has knowledge and because He is God it is very accurate. God created us and knows us better than we know ourselves. But knowledge is not a force that causes action.

For instance, the mother of a two-year old knows her child very well. Let’s say the mother knows her child prefers chocolate chip cookies to Oreos. So, she puts some Oreos and some chocolate chip cookies on a low table where the two-year old can see and take one or the other. She says to her friend, “Watch…my child will take the chocolate chip cookies and leave the Oreos alone.” Then, the toddler walks over and sure enough takes the chocolate chip cookie and toddles off to eat it.

Did the mother’s knowledge cause the toddler to choose the chocolate chip cookie? No.

Could the toddler have chosen the Oreo? Yes.

Could the toddler have taken both of them? Yes.

Because human knowledge is imperfect other human beings can surprise us with their choices. The mother could have been wrong about her prediction. But God is outside of time and knows all things. He is never wrong.

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