Do true christians in heaven still have free will?

Hi,

In responding to the question on why there are sufferings and pains in this world, given that God is all-powerful and all-loving, the classic answer is that because human is created with free will, so that they can freely choose to doing right as much as doing wrong. And this is a good thing, as without free will, loving someone or something or God, is meaningless, as the person is not free to choose.

When God created Adam and Eve with free will, God also created the possibility of evil. God didn’t create evil, but the possibility, in the garden of Eden. Adam and Eve actuated the sin when they chose to rebel against God, by eating the fruit of the forbidden tree.

Q1. Can I say that when Adam and Eve were made, they had the free will to choose, but they did not have the sinful nature or the flesh, as they had not committed the sin yet. They know they can either obey or disobey God, but they did not know that by being disobedient, they sinned against God?

Q2. When Adam sinned, he had the sinful nature, which passed down to generations till now to all human kind. This means that we have the high tendency to sin, as the presence of sin is not eradicated yet in this life. What about in heaven? do Christians in heaven still have the free will, as there is no more evil and we don’t have a sinful nature ? Could I say that we still have the free will, like Christ, but we don’t have the sinful nature anymore, so we always choose to be present with God ?

Thanks.

Henry Auw

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@henry_auw I am very much enjoying your thought-provoking questions. They are very challenging and I will do my best to provide an answer.

A1. God told them clearly not to eat the fruit from the tree.

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” Genesis 3:2.

So by disobeying God they sinned and this is how death entered into the world.

A2. We read the following in Revelation 21:4.

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

We learn from this verse and others that there will be no death or other effects of the fall in heaven. I personally believe we will continue to have free will in heaven. We were created with free will and there is no evidence anywhere, that I am aware of that that will change. Some more of my thoughts in heaven may be found in this post, as well as some great resources to look into the topic further.

I hope this is helpful. Your questions are very thought provoking.

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@henry_auw As @brianlalor pointed out, Adam and Eve knew that eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was wrong because God gave them a direct command not to eat from it. Regarding free will in Heaven, the short and sweet answer is that because of the New Covenant of Christ on the cross we will become like Jesus when we see Him as He is! The transformation that the Spirit of God is doing and will complete in us will make us such that we will not sin. We will still have free will, but we will not sin because of Christ in us, the hope of glory!

I John 3:2 - Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is .

Digging deeper, there are two parts to this:

  • the power of the New Covenant in Christ and indwelling of God’s Spirit
  • freedom from our sinful nature - freedom from the evil desires of the flesh - a redeemed body

The New Covenant

2 Corinthians 3 is all about how the New Covenant is superior to the Old Covenant because the Old Covenant of the law brought death, but the New Covenant in the Spirit brings righteousness. By the power of the New Covenant in Christ we are transformed into His image.

2 Corinthians 3:7-8,18 - Now if the ministry that brought death , which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, transitory though it was, 8 will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious ? 9 If the ministry that brought condemnation was glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness ! And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

Our Bodies will be Redeemed - we will be free from the fallen nature / flesh

Right now we must crucify our flesh with its passions and desires (Galatians 5). But in the New Creation we will have redeemed bodies - those evil desires will no longer be there.

Romans 8:12-13,23 - Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body , you will live.
Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies

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Thanks Brian!

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Thanks Sean for your clear comments. Much appreciated.

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