B. Stage Two, the Decree Itself
1. The omniscience of God fed into the computer only the facts.
2. This was accomplished in eternity past simultaneously, not in stages.
3. The decree has become the complete and consummated right of the sovereignty of God determining the certain futurition of all things in human history.
a. No decree can become complete without the sovereignty of God. Because He knows the end from the beginning, God wills certain things to happen.
b. Since, in eternity past, God exercised His prerogative to make things certain, “certain futurition” of events, means events which are future from eternity past. Thus, all events throughout time. Many areas of the decree have been fulfilled historically, up to and including this present moment; but all were future when decreed, including those still future today.
c. Because of how infinitely complex this decree is, we must conclude with an eternal truth: God is smarter than we are!
4. No event is directly effected or caused by the decree. The fact that a thought or action on your part is in the decree does not mean that the decree caused you to think or do it. The cause is your own free will. Your thoughts are in the decree because, in eternity past, God had the wisdom to know what you would think and to not omit from His planning the fact that you would think it!
5. But the decree itself provides in every case that the events shall be effected by causes acting in a manner consistent with the nature of the event in question. As an example of this principle, the cause of some events is the free will of man.
6. In the case of every freewill act of a moral agent, the decree itself provides at the same time the following:
a. The agent shall be a free agent. Far from coercing anyone’s volition, the decree establishes volition thereby making everyone accountable for his own decisions.
b. The antecedents and all antecedents of the act in question shall be what they are. Whenever a decision is made, it shall be the result of decisions previously made. Once something happens, that’s it. It is part of the system of cause and effect; it becomes part of the basis for other things happening down the line. Wishful thinking cannot change what has already occurred.
c. All present conditions of the act shall be what they are. God is not going to make reality suddenly vanish or become different or reverse itself. God enables us to orient to reality and to face the facts. If our arrogance or simple ignorance leads us to make decisions which overlook certain facts, those facts nevertheless are what they are. For example, if we do not adjust to the justice of God, the justice of God is still a reality, and His justice will adjust to us through discipline.
d. The act shall be perfectly spontaneous and free on the part of the agent.
e. The act shall be certainly future. That is, it will definitely take place, at a certain time, after the decree is given.
These five points completely negate the theology of hyper-Calvinism and Arminianism. Hyper-Calvinism distorts the sovereignty of God to the point of excluding the free will of man. It is fatalism, in contrast to the specific teachings of the Word of God regarding divine sovereignty and human free will. Arminius and his followers distort the sovereignty of God in the opposite direction. They claim that man’s volition is beyond God’s control, that man can cause things that are not in the divine decree. This is totally false; nothing can be certain until God decrees it to be certain.
7. The decree vested solely with the will of God what His creation should be. For example, God alone decided in eternity past what human beings would be like: We would be rational creatures with free will. Our souls would have self-consciousness, mentality, volition, and conscience; Adam would be body, soul and spirit as he came from the Creator’s hand. By way of a ludicrous illustration, God did not decide to give us two heads, five legs, a thirty-foot tail, and the brains of a horse. Nor did He design us with a sin nature; that came from Adam’s negative volition.
8. Because God cannot contradict His own nature, the essence and attributes of God necessitated His willing the highest and best for mankind. When God created man, He created the highest and best compatible with His plan. Adam was not greater than the angels, but his body, soul, and spirit and his environment were all absolutely perfect. Of course, some of the highest and best that man received at creation has been lost through the Fall. The same perfect God who created mankind now condemns us. Yet He still wills the highest and best in that He now offers perfect salvation and magnificent blessings in time and eternity. Because we have free will, we may miss all of this, but it is still available.