Many Christians believe God and Satan decided long ago to do battle for the souls of humankind. There is much controversy regarding what happens to the souls of people after they choose one side over another. Some say the souls choosing Satan are eternally tortured while others say that those souls will be destroyed after suffering appropriately for the sins they committed. Regardless of these theological disagreements, there are few, if any, Christians who believe that Satan could ever prevail against God.
Some people believe that God is proving to Satan and all humankind that He will forever reign supreme. Others describe our lives on earth as being one huge experiment in watching how we use our free will. There are many theologians who question if God is all-knowing and all-powerful. If He is, then what does God have to prove to anyone? If He is not, then perhaps God is proving something to Himself with this experiment we call earth.
What, if any, are the limitations to what God already knows? On the one hand, it is believed that because God gave us free will, He does not know what our choices will be until we make them. That is why the Christian creed in no way holds God responsible for our eternal destiny. God has properly warned us of the consequences attached to choosing either Him or Satan, so eternally condemning us is hardly God’s fault if we choose against Him. But do we really believe that God does not know what we will choose despite our having free will?
The Bible says that God knows us all from the hairs on our heads to the desires of our hearts. The prophets of the Bible have offered numerous predictions, many of which have already come true. It also says that their predictions will always be correct or the prophet who made them does not truly speak for God. A natural question here is that if God does not know what we will choose ahead of time, and the choices we make can affect the accuracy of the prophets’ predictions, how can God or the true prophets so perfectly forecast the future?
One major theological problem here is that if God already knows the future, then He could decide to only create souls He already knows will freely choose to be saved. Since all souls would still be making their own choices without interference from God, that would keep anyone from being eternally condemned to hell. The traditional Christian objection here is that if no one goes to hell, then there really wasn’t a true choice to begin with.
These are just some of the questions raised where traditional Christianity offers conflicting answers. Does God have anything to prove to anyone if He always reigns supreme? Was the creation of humans simply an experiment in free will? Does our having free will mean that God cannot predict what we will do ahead of time so He remains blameless if we condemn ourselves to hell? How can the prophets make perfect predictions if those events also require predicting what free-willed humans will do to support those outcomes?
It might seem as if all these conflicted beliefs cannot be reconciled. But would our beloved Father leave us without answers to such important questions? Perhaps the true resolution to all these conflicts lies in the premise that God is either unwilling or unable to save every soul. Is God so selfish that He would create souls knowing that many will end up condemned simply to prove His supremacy or conduct an experiment?
Perhaps we should have a little more faith in our Father by believing that He is unwilling to lose even one repentant soul, and also that He created a childproof universe where all souls are eventually saved. It seems reasonable that God doesn’t know what we will choose in a given situation, but Christian theology would not dispute that God already knows every choice we could possibly make. Knowing that, how difficult would it be for God to provide a way of escape for every one of those temptations? In that way, we have our free will without any interference and God always provides a Prodigal path back home no matter how far off-track we go.
Is it blasphemy to believe God loves all His children and will patiently support, guide and encourage us to come Home? If we reap the suffering we sow until we freely accept His loving ways as our own, then the law is fulfilled, God doesn’t lose a single soul in the process, and we eventually figure out that accepting His loving ways as our own leads to our greatest happiness. If our lives on earth are an experiment, then isn’t it one of our own making? We may feel like we don’t know what will happen, but the outcome is always assured according to the will of our Father.