Webster’s defines fatalism as, “the doctrine that all events are determined by necessity or fate.”
Since I have been accused of being fatalistic, let’s see if the Bible is fatalistic, or if human reasoning has been injected by our human teachers, leaders, etc., so that they can make the Bible fit their own ideas or agendas.
God’s purpose will stand. He has a predetermined plan which is in place and active. He offers and gives eternal life to all humanity who has existed in the past, present or future. But know for sure that God the Father and Jesus Christ have laid down the rules for this process. No amount of human reasoning, perverting, watering down, or coloring the scriptures will change the way to salvation as They have predetermined it. No amount of trying to make the scriptures say what we want them to say will change anything. The way we are judged is constant:
Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is [the book] of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their (our) works.
Nothing will change this judgment. We are judged by what is written in the books and by what we do with that knowledge.
This is NOT fatalism because the outcome IS NOT FIXED. We have CHOICE. That is what free moral agency is all about: CHOICE.
Like I said above, GOD’S PURPOSE WILL STAND. His rules governing the way to obtain eternal life will not be changed. God does not need us. He makes it clear from Genesis to Revelation that He earnestly wants to give eternity to everyone, but He will not bend the rules in order to do so.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
Since God’s purpose will stand, His rules are immutable. Does this make the Bible fatalistic? No! Review Webster’s definition again: “the doctrine that all events are DETERMINED BY NECESSITY OR FATE.” God gives humans a choice in the matter.
Deuteronomy 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, [that] I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
If we have a choice to make, as this verse plainly states, how can fatalism be involved? Any human can opt in or opt out of the salvation process at any given time after God has opened his/her mind to His Truth. Any one of us reading this article can jump out of the salvation process or get deeper into it at any time. IT IS A GOD-GIVEN CHOICE. I ask again, if there is a choice to make, is fatalism involved?
Our ministers and teachers have muddied the waters, clouded the issue by adamantly refusing to accept what God clearly defines in the Bible as His love–and it is a TOUGH LOVE. Nothing will change this fact. God created the rules. We go by them, or we perish. We can never have eternal life without coming to THINK LIKE GOD.
Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
God’s thoughts are written in the Bible. We have to internalize them directly, through PERSONAL prayer and Bible study. When God’s thoughts pass through man’s mind and mouth the truth can become perverted and polluted. Teachers of God’s word have the responsibility to SPELL IT OUT PLAINLY. If you are a teacher, minister, deacon, writer, and you let your human reason color, disfigure, or pollute God’s word IN ANY WAY, God has a message for you:
Revelation 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and [from] the things which are written in this book.
Verse 18 indicates severe punishment for coloring the Scriptures. Verse 19 looks like the lake of fire.
God’s word means what it says. Who among us dares to challenge this Mighty God on what He has declared and stated plainly? Which of us, shepherd or sheep, dares have the gall to alter God’s word to fit his personal agenda?
What about the chapters of blessings and cursings? Deuteronomy 28: 3-14 are blessings. Verses 16-44 are curses. Leviticus 26: 3-12 are blessings. Verses 16-39 are curses. The verses in these two chapters are two to one on the fear side. Are we going to accuse God of “piling scriptures” as I understand Herbert W. Armstrong, founder of WWCG, used to admonish the ministers not to do?
Accusing me, or the Bible, of being fatalistic is only human reasoning in action. The purpose is to generate an excuse for refusing to accept what the Bible clearly states because of an unwillingness to face up to the tough-love side of Jesus Christ. Human reasoning wants to SMOOTH OVER the Bible statements that make us feel uncomfortable, that convict us of SIN, or that fly in the face of our preconceived personal ideas.
Look at two Bible accounts of fatalism. The first is found in Matthew 25:15-28. Verse 18 shows the fatalistic attitude. The lazy servant doesn’t really believe that his own actions can MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE OUTCOME OF EVENTS. Verses 24-28 show Christ’s judgment on him:
Matthew 25:18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.
Matthew 25:24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, [there] thou hast [that is] thine. 26 His lord answered and said unto him, [Thou] wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: 27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and [then] at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. 28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give [it] unto him which hath ten talents.
The second example of fatalism is found in Luke 19:13-25. Verse 21 shows the fatalistic attitude. Verses 22-24 show Christ’s judgment:
Luke 19:22 For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow. 22 And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, [thou] wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow: 23 Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury? 24 And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give [it] to him that hath ten pounds.
Published February, 1997
© Edgar Y. Bennett
PO Box 509
Black Hawk, CO 80422 USA