The word “fate” has been defined as “the development of events beyond a person’s control,” events controlled by a supernatural power.” Some go on to call it “Divine Providence” but according to the Bible, that supernatural power is God. While I do believe in “fate,” I do not believe in “fatalism,” which means “all events are predetermined and therefore evitable.” I make this distinction, for though God has indeed predetermined “some events that are beyond our control,” there are also “some events that we can control.”

For example, one of the first events that God has recorded for us in the Bible is the Fall of Man in the Garden of Eden. Did God predetermine that Adam and Eve would sin? Were they just like “puppets on a string” that were under the complete control of God? Or were they created with the ability to make choices, choices which they would be accountable for and would bring certain results? In Genesis 2:15-17 we read, “Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (NKJV). We see here that God presented Adam with a COMMAND which involved a CHOICE. If Adam chose to disobey God he would suffer the consequences; he would die! The fatalist view would have us believe that God “predetermined that Adam should sin”; in other words, Adam had no say in the matter. He was under the complete control of the “Puppet-Master” we call God. This is utter blasphemy, for even though God KNEW Adam would disobey Him, He did not predetermine it, for if He had, He would be the author of sin. In Romans 5:12 we read, “Therefore, just as THROUGH ONE MAN SIN ENTERED THE WORLD, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.” God lays the blame for sin and death squarely at Adam’s feet and not in a “predetermined will of His own.” Adam had a choice to make, and he chose to disobey God. The events that followed (the curse on the earth and Adam’s physical death) were the consequences of his choice, and thus they were NOT beyond his control.

Like Adam, we often CHOOSE to sin, and like Adam we then suffer the consequences of that choice. We can’t blame sin or its results on fate, as if God predestined us to do this. This is a fatalistic attitude that the Bible condemns. We are told in James 1:13-14, “Let no say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.”

We said at the beginning the “God has indeed predetermined some events that are beyond our control.” In saying this, we are admitting that “God is SOVEREIGN,” which means that ultimately He is in control of those events which will further His purposes. In Ephesians 1:11 we read, “In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being PREDESTINED ACCORDING TO THE PURPOSE OF HIM WHO WORKS ALL THINGS ACCORDING TO THE COUNSEL OF HIS WILL.” Before God made the world and everything in it He made a plan and everything He does and everything He allows is working according to that plan! This doesn’t contradict what we just saw (that man is held responsible for his own choices); it means that man’s sin isn’t going to thwart His purposes or spoil His plan. One of the most humbling examples of this is seen at the cross when wicked sinners crucified the Lord Jesus Christ. Acts 2:23 declares, “Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death.” Notice, men took the Lord Jesus of their own free will and had Him crucified. God didn’t make them do this, they chose to do this because they hated Him, and they will one day pay for their sin of rejecting Him and having Him crucified. Yet at the same time God, in His sovereignty, was working out His plan of salvation by sending His Son to the cross to die for sinners, and thus we read that He was “delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God.” God didn’t determine what men would do to His Son, but He did determine to use that occasion to provide salvation for lost and guilty man. This is beyond our feeble comprehension but it does show us that Man’s responsibility and God’s sovereignty can be seen in the same event. Man was in control of his actions, but God was also in control and working out His purposes!

It would take many pages (and books!) to cover this subject. But before we close, consider this. God has determined that there are only two destinies for men, heaven or hell. In Matthew 7:13-14 Jesus said, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to DESTRUCTION, and the are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to LIFE, and there are few who find it.” God has, in His sovereignty decreed these two destinies, but you can NOT call “your eternal destiny” fate, as if it was an “event beyond your control.” Jesus bids you to “enter by the narrow gate” and He, dear friend, is the “narrow gate.” He said in John 10:9, “I am the door, if anyone enters by Me, he will be saved.” As we saw earlier Jesus was delivered up to the cross by God the Father to provide salvation for sinners, but the choice is yours to make. Do NOT leave it up to FATE! In 1st John 4:23 God commands you to believe on His Son for salvation, “And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ.” You can believe on Him and be saved, or you can choose to reject Him and be lost forever. It is your choice that will determine your eternal destiny. (245.1) (DO)