We often use an expression that says the Lord has two wills…a DIRECT will and a PERMISSIVE will. That simply means the Lord CAUSES some things to happen and He ALLOWS somethings to happen. Sometimes it is hard to know the difference.

John 9:1-3 says, “And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.” Here is a case where a child is born blind. Was this because of God’s DIRECT will or His PERMISSIVE will? The text shows us that this was the DIRECT will of God that this man was born blind so that the Lord might be glorified in his healing.

The Lord Jesus said to Peter in John 21:18-19, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God.” This would probably be an example of God’s PERMISSIVE will. He would not lead men to murder, but He was able to glorify Himself through Peter’s martyrdom.

With all that said, we need to realize our own responsibility for our actions. When we see rampant sin in the world today, we are responsible for that, not God. We read in Romans 5:12, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” One man, Adam, is responsible for the entrance of sin into the world. Death is the result of sin. We are not responsible for Adam’s sin, but we are responsible for our own sins. This verse shows us that “ALL HAVE SINNED.” Romans 3:23 also teaches us that “ALL HAVE SINNED.” Since we ALL have sinned, we are ALL responsible before God for our sins.

The Lord Jesus said in Matthew 23:37, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and YE WOULD NOT!” The Lord sought to draw them to Himself, but they refused it. They are responsible!

Titus 2:11 tells us, “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men.” The grace of God came to the world in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is our responsibility to put our faith in Him for our eternal salvation. We read Joshua’s words to the Israelites in Joshua 24:15, “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, CHOOSE YOU THIS DAY WHOM YE WILL SERVE; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Choose! That is our responsibility. The Lord said in Deuteronomy 30:15 & 19, “See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil. CHOOSE LIFE.” If we go off into a lost eternity because we refused to bow our knee and own the Lord Jesus as our savior and Lord, that is solely our fault. The Lord has told us of the consequence of our sins. He provided a sacrifice in the person of His Son to pay for the consequence of our sins, and He has offered salvation to everyone. What will you do with Christ? You are responsible for the consequences of your actions. (270.4)