One of the most powerful words under our control is the word “choice.” Webster defines “choice” as “the opportunity or power to choose between two or more possibilities : the opportunity or power to make a decision.” Choice has been around even before mankind. In fact, God chose to provide a choice even to the angels. While the Bible does not give many details regarding the rebellion of Satan and the fallen angels, it seems that Satan—probably the greatest of all the angels (Ezekiel 28:12-18)—in pride chose to rebel against God in order to seek to become his own god. Satan (Lucifer) did not want to worship or obey God; he wanted to be God (Isaiah 14:12-14). Revelation 12:4 is understood to be a figurative description of one third of the angels choosing to follow Satan in his rebellion, becoming the fallen angels—demons.
Unlike humanity, however, the choice the angels had to follow Satan or remain faithful to God was an eternal choice. The Bible presents no opportunity for the fallen angels to repent and be forgiven. Nor does the Bible indicate that it is possible for more of the angels to sin. The angels who remain faithful to God are described as the “elect angels” (1 Timothy 5:21). Satan and the fallen angels knew God in all His glory. For them to rebel, despite what they knew about God, was the utmost of evil. As a result, God does not give Satan and the other fallen angels the opportunity to repent. Further, the Bible gives us no reason to believe they would repent even if God gave them the chance (1 Peter 5:8). The angels had a free-will choice to make; God did not force or encourage any of the angels to sin. Satan and the fallen angels sinned of their own free will and therefore are worthy of God’s eternal wrath in the lake of fire.
Why did God give the angels this choice when He knew what the results would be? God knew that one-third of the angels would rebel and therefore be cursed to the eternal fire. God also knew that Satan would further his rebellion by tempting humanity into sin. So, why did God allow it? The Bible does not explicitly give the answer to this question. The same can be asked of almost any evil action. Why does God allow it? Ultimately, it comes back to God’s sovereignty over His creation. The Psalmist tells us, “As for God, His way is perfect” (Psalm 18:30). If God’s ways are “perfect,” then we can trust that whatever He does—and whatever He allows—is also perfect. So the perfect plan from our perfect God was to allow sin. Our minds are not God’s mind, nor are our ways His ways, as He reminds us in Isaiah 55:8-9. God gave Adam and Eve the same choice He gave Satan and the angels to obey Him or not, but Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating the forbidden fruit.
God, therefore, has set the standard for “choice” and that same standard has always been an option to all of God’s creations. However, to mitigate choice, we must understand that there is at least one consequence of every choice, either good or bad. When Satan and the angels choose to disobey God, as a consequence, they were thrown out of heaven and will be thrown in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:14). A consequence of Adam and Eve’s disobedience is that they were banished from the Garden of Eden and would endure suffering and hardships.
When David had an adulterous affair with Bathsheba and arranged to have her husband killed as a cover-up, one immediate consequence was that God took his son that resulted from that affair. When President Clinton had a sexual encounter with Monica Lewinsky, consequences included public humiliation and embarrassment for his family, and an action to remove him from office. As a consequence of George Bush’s choice to invade Iraq because of its oil resources, over 4500 Americans were killed, thousands wounded both physically and emotionally, and the start of Isis (formerly Al-Qaida). Had Coach Carroll called a run instead of pass, the Seattle Seahawks may have won the Super Bowl. Although every choice has at least one consequence, not all consequences are bad. For example, Jesus’ death on the cross resulted in his resurrection and eternal life for all who believed.
WHAT ABOUT ABORTION?
As a Christian, I believe that abortion is wrong except when the life of the mother is in danger. However, I also believe that every woman faced with the difficult choice to abort a pregnancy is attempting to make a decision appropriate for her situation. God has given her the opportunity and authority to choose and whether we agree or not, the U.S. Supreme Court has said that abortion is legal. I consider myself to be pro-choice as well as pro-life because pro-choice does not mean nor imply pro-abortion, and federal, state or local governing authorities do not have the right to impose their choice on a woman’s right to choose. In other words, it’s really none of our business.
WHAT ABOUT CAPITAL PUNISHMENT?
i believe that capital punishment is wrong except when it is used to punish a person for killing a child. According to the Bible, Jesus places high significant on children. . “Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14) When a person chooses to take the life of a child, a consequence should be death because all children are precious.
WHAT ABOUT SAME-SEX MARRIAGE?
As a Christian, I believe that marriage is between one man and one woman. Some especially on the Right continue to try and convince us erroneously that same-sex marriage has something to do with religious rights, but it has everything to do with civil rights. When same-sex couples choose to marry, that choice does not affect my religious beliefs. God has not given us the right to impose our choice on others regardless of the circumstances, and while some try to vilify how others should love one another, they seem to accept the adulterous behavior and other “forbidden” actions of many. For example, the seventh commandment tells us not to commit adultery but says nothing about who a person can love. Even our forefathers understood God’s intent to provide free will when they penned these powerful words to the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their CREATOR with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Thus, every American has the absolute right to pursue happiness in any way that they may choose.
The freedom to choose is a God given right and an enormous responsibility. Each choice that we make should take into consideration that there will be consequences that can significantly impact our destiny, but that’s just my take.