As the previous ground work laid out, we as Christians see freedom as being slaves of the truth revealed by Christ. This gives quite a different spin on our freewill than others may have. A Christian’s greatest good is to be bound to truth, as with chains, and freed to live out of love for the God who saves us to now be fully reborn with new love and compassion for our neighbors. We must touch on the oddity of our falling into sin after the knowledge of Christ comes, but first lets review what Christ revealed for us in John chapter 8 verses 31-33 and get a little closer at grasping heavenly freewill.
I previously said,
The freedom of which Christ speaks begins by being one who believes, then continuing in His words, then truly being His disciple, then knowing the truth, and finally by the knowledge of Truth being made free.
We are free as we can be when we live by the law of love revealed in Christ by the power God gives by the indwelling Holy Spirit. It is not freedom when we live in accord to lies and banal selfishness. It is spiritual blindness and therefore causes a depravity of true free action for the person acting. The will is bound. God says, “My people parish for lack of knowledge.” [Hosea 4:6] Depravity is the fruit of a faulty belief of what is true, good and beautiful. Truth is the actual savior of the people with wills bound by darkness. Christ said, “I am the Truth.” To live in accord with the Truth is to both be free and know God.
As for the remaining sin in the believer, we must look at the reality within with we are born and dwell today. We as Christians live both with a knowledge of the Truth and without a full knowledge of the Truth. This is the case because we are not ready for the unveiled presence of God. God gives use both what we need and what we can handle at the time. The Christian pilgrimage is a journey of being stretched beyond our belief in what we can handle. God has greater plans for us than we do.
That eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, what things God hath prepared for them that love him.[1 Cor 2:9]
God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation make also the way of escape, that ye may be able to endure it.[1 Cor 10:13]
This veiling of the full presence of God is why the faithful “walk by faith and not by sight.[2 Cor 5:7] We live now with the reality of living without seeing the knowledge we know by faith. Here in lies the temptation. We are more able to act against what we do not see. We are designed to act on what we see. If we do not most likely we wouldn’t live through today. Faith is the birth of heavenly eyes in the person. Though not fully developed in this life, these eyes are the source of our Godly steps. When we act against what the eyes of faith reveal, we sin and we “walk according to the flesh.“[Rom 8:5 & 2 Cor 10:3] Today we choose which strength grows; the old man or the new man born of the Spirit. Both are at war in the believer, but only one lives in the presence of Truth now and in the end. The old man’s desires are still in accord with error while the new man is walking in the light of Truth by faith.[Gal 6:7]
I think we can really get somewhere now in addressing the thought of free will in heaven. The old man can not, nor would he desire, to enter heaven. Heaven is the realm of unveiled Truth. The glory of God enlightens heaven and the Lamb Himself is the lamp.[Rev 21:23] Truth completely obliterates error, as light completely dispels darkness. The new man is both in the light of the Lamp already here today, though veiled to the world without faith.[2 Cor 4:1-10] Today the world tests him though it fears what may be in him to be revealed. Falsity can only seek to snuff out the Truth that it may remain for a short time more. And with that we see the why Christ was crucified and displayed to the world. He practiced what He preached and did not put His light under basket, but let the world around Him hear the truth revealed to Him by the Father.[Matt 5:14-16] He lived free and unbound by the darkness, though it cost Him His life.
So for a firm answer to the question raised? It is a paradox. Yes, we do have freewill in heaven. The odd question is do we live with freewill now? The will is bound to the reality for which it reacts to. In the light of Christ the Christian’s will is free. Walking in that light will lead us to where He is. He formed the path and it is the Cross. He calls us to believe, continue in His word, be His disciple, know the Truth, and by knowledge be made free.[John 8:31-33] But men often like the darkness.[John 3:19] Christ does not promise rose petals and garden meadows of delight as the walking path to heaven. He promises the Via Dolorosa. He promises the Cross and union with the suffering servant who laid down His life that we may believe He loved the Father who He came to reveal.
He said without shame to His disciples,
“If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”[Matt 16:24]
“Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake: Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven. For so they persecuted the prophets that were before you.”[Matt 5:11-12]
So, the real question is do we believe Him? If we do we will seek the Light not the darkness and be free. Will it be worth it? Only if we truly wish to be who we are; children born of Light made in the image of God.
Lord Jesus shine the light of the Father on us.
Blessings and continually prayers to all,