I know that we will next examine the momentous topic of authority, but it strikes me that there are a few additional thoughts to express about Free Will - which I trust will help clarify the matter before we move on. If you have yet to read the post of which I speak, I would suggest that you do so first - for little here will resonate if you have not fully digested the truths for which these utterances are mere addendum.
The Bible is clear that God's gifts are irrevocable (Rom. 11:19), and this is an absolute for which there are no exceptions. If doubts spring up in your mind, consider the following question: If God revokes gifts due to wickedness, ungodliness, or even disobedience - then explain to me how the devil was able to retain his power after his fall? Did he and his filthy minions become instantly impotent, or have they been able to continue on in the power that they had before cutting themselves off from the source of all life? If anyone deserved to have his gifts revoked, surely the devil would be candidate #1, yes?
Now with this in mind, consider the following:
a. The greatest and deadliest of all God's gifts to His children (free will) is NEVER (EVER) revoked. Not at any time, nor for any reason. Not even after one is saved and reborn into Christ does God seize back from His children the inalienable right to do as they choose. This is a wonderful and beautiful thing, but it is also a great danger to those who foolishly continue on in their sins after initially giving their lives to Jesus. Backsliding is a very real thing and every single Epistle is clear that we must leave sinful, wicked ways behind us if we are to walk with our God. Not until we are glorified in death (or translation) do we leave carnal choices behind us - and until that moment comes, we must always remain on our guard.
b. True love is impossible apart from free will. One of the reasons why wickedness has been permitted to persist among us is because it's polar opposite would also be impossible if God were to summarily withdraw our ability to make such choices. To receive true love, The Great Creator had to also subject Himself to the terrible injury that results when love is unrequited and rebellion is engaged. Even His Only Begotten Son had to (in His own words) prove to the world that He obeys His Father as it pertained to laying down His life for our salvation. God Almighty subjected Himself (through His Only Son) to His own law of free will.
c. Free will is off-limits - even to God. The devil and all his minions could not combine their strength and force a single child of God to do (think or say) a single thing against his or her own free will. We are never "off the hook". This is vital for understanding - for it perfectly illustrates why choices made have eternal ramifications. We are given grace to repent and save ourselves through the precious Blood of Christ (and by believing on His Holy Name) right up to the moment of death. But when that moment comes, we seal our own fate by the choices we have made. If one ends up in hell, he/she will have only themselves to blame for the matter - for the high and terrible gift of free will reigned supreme in their lives through the end. They are without excuse.
With this we move onto the matter of authority, which will begin in earnest when next we meet. Much can be understood about our plight here on earth by obtaining a better understanding of this 2nd of God's great and deadly gifts.
Your brother and servant in Christ Jesus our Lord,
Mark Scott Grimmett GoldenLight Ministries