Does God, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass?
We should consider this false doctrine very close because if indeed this false doctrine were somehow true, there is no doubt that it would be unnecessary to spend our time or labor to encourage the sinner to repent of his ways and turn to God. It would be fruitless to "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you." (Matthew 28:19ff) because it would matter not; God has unchangeably fore-ordained whatsoever comes to pass. We could actually ignore the commands of Jesus. Imagine that for a minute.
It would be impossible for man to err because whatever he does is compelled by God's foreordination and, therefore, cannot be wrong. If God has ordained everything, then anything we do, good or bad, is ordained by God.
Think about it…
If it comes to pass that a man lies, God not only ordained it, but he unchangeably ordained it.
If it comes to pass that a man steals, God unchangeably ordained it as well.
What if a man kills his neighbor, well… God unchangeably ordained it.
All of the above will contradict the fact that God does not tempt anyone.
James 1:13,14 Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.
Let's consider for a moment the story of Cain.
Genesis 4:8-11 Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him. Then the LORD said to Cain, "Where is Abel your brother?" He said, "I do not know. Am I my brother's keeper?" And He said, "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood cries out to Me from the ground. So now you are cursed from the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand.
It came to pass that Cain killed his brother Abel and as we can read, God placed a curse on Cain for killing his brother. Why did God curse Cain? Was it not by the most wise and holy counsel of God's will, and did God not freely and unchangeably ordain that Cain should do the very thing that God cursed him for?
How does God deal with what He commanded in Exodus 20:13? "You shall not murder." Yet, Cain murdered Abel, and it was by God's will according to those who believe the false doctrine of foreordination.
God further commanded the following.
Exodus 20:14 "You shall not commit adultery."
Exodus 20:15 "You shall not steal."
Exodus 20:16 "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor."
God has clearly forbidden things that come to pass. How can it be that He has unchangeably ordained them? Considering the divine character of God, how is it that He would unchangeably ordain something to come to pass and at the same time forbid it? Then He threatens the guilty with everlasting punishment?
Psalms 145:9 "The LORD is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made."
Psalms 145:17 "The LORD is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works."
Despite God is "good to all," that "his mercy is over all he has made" and He is "righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works," according to this false doctrine, those that do what He has unchangeably ordained for them to do will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction. How can any sane individual possibly believe this?
If God unchangeably ordained that a certain person on a certain day should do a certain thing, then that person has no power to resist doing that certain thing. If somehow that certain person were to avoid doing that certain thing, then that person would have changed God's unchangeable decree. That person had more power to change God's decree than God had to enforce it. Only the insane could believe such silliness.
Let's not forget the false doctrine in question here… God has not only from all eternity ordained just some things… He has unchangeably ordained all things…. whatsoever comes to pass.
God has ordained that a person should not kill, yet people kill. He has ordained that a person should not steal or bear false witness, yet people steal and swear falsely every day.
God does not force anyone to keep his ordinances, but He will indeed punish them if they do not keep them.
Let's consider what Paul wrote to the Romans.
Romans 13:1,2 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.
There is no authority except from God, and God has instituted the authority that exists. As we can see, whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed and foreordained. But how can anyone successfully resist that which God has unchangeably ordained as this false doctrine would imply?
Let's now consider Jonah chapter 3 for a moment.
Jonah 3:1-10 Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the second time, saying, "Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it the message that I tell you." So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, a three-day journey in extent. And Jonah began to enter the city on the first day's walk. Then he cried out and said, "Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!" So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them. Then word came to the king of Nineveh; and he arose from his throne and laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth and sat in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published throughout Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything; do not let them eat, or drink water. But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily to God; yes, let every one turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. Who can tell if God will turn and relent, and turn away from His fierce anger, so that we may not perish? Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it.
God told Jonah to say, "Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!" This was an ordinance of God, yet it did not come to pass. Note that "When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it."
What God ordained was, in fact, changeable… not unchangeable.
Consider the following.
2 Kings 20:1 In those days Hezekiah was sick and near death. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, went to him and said to him, "Thus says the LORD: 'Set your house in order, for you shall die, and not live.'"
God ordained that Hezekiah would die… he would not recover from his sickness. Yet, what do we see happen?
2 Kings 20:2-6 Then he turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the LORD, saying, "Remember now, O LORD, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth and with a loyal heart, and have done what was good in Your sight." And Hezekiah wept bitterly. And it happened, before Isaiah had gone out into the middle court, that the word of the LORD came to him, saying, "Return and tell Hezekiah the leader of My people, 'Thus says the LORD, the God of David your father: "I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the LORD. And I will add to your days fifteen years. I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for My own sake, and for the sake of My servant David."'"
Hezekiah prayed and God heard his prayer. What God had previously ordained was changed, and fifteen years added to Hezekiah's life. What caused God to change His mind? Hezekiah's prayer and tears! What God had ordained was in fact changeable.
Throughout the Bible, there are many other examples of things ordained of God being changeable… and plenty enough to thwart any theory that everything that comes to pass is unchangeably ordained. It is impossible to harmonize such a theory (false doctrine) with the Bible.
This false doctrine would have God grieving over His own foolishness. Is God really foolish? Consider the following.
Genesis 6:5,6 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.
If God foreordained everything that comes to pass, He foreordained everything the early people did… why then did He grieve over their wickedness when every act was of His own absolute and eternal ordinance? God would be grieving over His own folly.
Let's consider the following to see this false doctrine's silliness further.
Jeremiah 7:31 And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, nor did it come into My heart.
Jeremiah 19:4,5 "Because they have forsaken Me and made this an alien place, because they have burned incense in it to other gods whom neither they, their fathers, nor the kings of Judah have known, and have filled this place with the blood of the innocents (they have also built the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command or speak, nor did it come into My mind),
If God foreordained everything that comes to pass, He foreordained these things we read of in Jeremiah because they came to pass. God said He did not command them, he did not decree them, nor did they come into His mind.
Please, anyone supporting this false doctrine, enlighten me as to how God foreordained things that never entered His mind.
What sense could be made of the sin of Adam? God made him and placed him under law. It came to pass that Adam violated God's law when he ate of the fruit that God commanded him not to eat. If God foreordained everything that comes to pass, then He foreordained that Adam should eat the fruit because it came to pass that Adam did, in fact, eat of the fruit. God and the law decreed that he should not eat, yet God ordained that he should eat. Either Adam eats and violates the law, or he does not eat and changes the unchangeable decree of God. It is apparent that eating and violating the law was necessary, yet God punished Adam for it.
If this false doctrine is true, then the entire theory of sin, accountability, rewards, and punishment, which are all in harmony with God's justice and mercy… is totally and utterly incomprehensible. Clearly, this false doctrine is at war with the Bible and is, in fact, proven to be a false doctrine indeed.
God bless you!