Do we have free will in the restored heaven and earth or whatever happens after we are saved in Christ

So often when someone says “ if god is all knowing it all powerful “ then why is there evil in the world through the actions of humans. Does he wish us to do evil? Is he unable to prevent us from doing evil? Often the answer is “ god gives us free will and we make those choices and cite something like weeds and wheat verses.

But my question is when we die and are resurrected through Christ in whatever the new creation is, will we have free will or will it have been taken away? If we will still have free will then why did he not create that world to begin with if it was possible?


For me I normally just don’t care. But I get asked this and don’t have a good answer outside of “ I don’t know”

The afterlife for me personally is meaningless. Sure I hope I get resurrected and spend an eternity with my cats and able to explore the world and blah blah. But it’s all still just meaningless because it’s outside of any expectations or experiences I can have. I fall into the camp that even if God said we loved this one life, then we died and remained dead for ever and it would make death no more or less scary, it would not change very much about my life.

Even if I became an atheist, my life would still basically be the same. I would still not want to contribute harm to animals by eating them ( which god does not seem to have a issue with any ways ) , I would still obey the laws of the land based off of not wanting to be a prick to others and because even when I want to hurt someone who has irritated me, I don’t because I don’t want to spend time locked up in jail. It would just change almost nothing about my life. I don’t believe in most religions and still enjoy studying them. About the other faith I care absolutely nothing about is Islam. I don’t hate it I just am not that interested in it.

But just because I feel that if god is real or not has little effect on my life, I know for many it’s bothersome to them about will we have free will in the restored world.

Overall, the general info and opinions I hear about the afterlife is incredibly dull. If there is no free will that sucks. If restoration is just in a white gown standing around a ball of fire telling it how amazing it is then that also sucks.

What’s the actual pros to being restored?

In my mind the only one that really makes sense is this.

We have free will. We can remember everything. We could choose to do evil. But we are so interconnected with God that we think it through and would choose to instead do good. If everyone is constantly doing that. Then it erases the need for us to worry about it. Which still seems a lot like being robot. So again… it’s that who’s knows and so why does it matter outside of defending God to others about it.

  • Ever had a cat that had free will?

Obviously, we do not know, but, it would make sense for there to be no free will if there is order as in Revelation (et al). Free will means the ability to choose wrong. The visions of the New Earth claim that so such action is possible. If so then free will cannot exist.

As I see it the two are incompatible. You cannot prevent something without removing free will. The world we live on has no constraints to prevent evil and besides what is wrong with a Lion eating meat? If death (eating meat) is evil then this whole life is based on evil. Besides, are plants not living? Just because we cannot perceive or even conceive sentience in plants, does that mean they cannot have it? Jonah would suggest that god might be concerned even with the life of a large plant that provided shelter for him.

The human notion of paradise relies on the human notion of justice and fairness and equality and,

The garden of Eden was only paradise as long as the occupants didn’t understand what was going on. Once that naivety was gone paradise was lost forever. The only way to return is to have a lobotomy.


Yes. All of them.

As humans we are able to make choices that other animals cannot. A Lion can’t take a multivitamin and cook a veggie burger. We can. Lions also will eat the young of packs they take over. We typically frown upon eating the babies of those we don’t like. There is nothing evil with a cat eating a deer, or a kid as far as the lion is concerned. Only a handful of evil men at their peak would like a world where we lived like animals.

However, after this comment I’m not engaging in this topic but sticking to the main topic in the thread. Free will in the restored universe.

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  • Great! Have you ever herded them from one place to another for a couple of days?

It boils down to this

There is no such thing as absolute free will. There are always constraints be it physical limitations, time,space and so on. If you are not aware of the constraint you will not worry about it. I guess, in theory, we could have the restraint of not doing evil but not be consciously aware of it and therefor live in as much freedom as that contstraint will allow.

You will have free will within the limits of good actions.


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Dale’s refrain :grin::

“We have to believe in free will, we have no choice.” I.B. Singer

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You mean like move my cats from my bedroom when I go to bed at night? Yeah. They are strictly indoor.

Use to also have this chick stay with me that was trying to get clean. So I let her stay in a spare bedroom for free. But when I left for work I made her go outside and locked the doors. Had cameras in the inside and property. Told her none of her friends can come over unless I knew them. She ended up still doing drugs so I put her on a bus to her sisters house which was my friend. Finally after like two years she got clean and as far as I know has stayed clean.

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  • Strictly 'indoor cats"? Hmmm, I’ve seen the difference between indoor-cats, outdoor cats, and feral cats that nobody owns or takes care of. We have feral cats that live in our yard because our dog is 16 years old and too blind and deaf to see them or go outside.
  • Feral cats have free will, sleep when and where they can, eat what they can find, and breed freely with little to no concern for any litter of newborns: mangy, flea- and tick-covered. I doubt any religion teaches after we die, we’ll be like those feral cats. And if you find somebody who does teach that, I’d be amused to hear how that sounds more enticing than the Christian version of Hell.
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Outdoor cats are ecologically dangerous and have shorter lives. I keep mine indoors and take them outside for 2 hours a day. I also have a screened in outdoor porch that is 12x40 that they can go into at anytime.


John 8:31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

John 8:36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

I do not expect our self-destructive habits to be removed magically or quickly. I expect it will be long, difficult and painful. And when that is the case then will freedom really cause us to throw all of that away?

The dog is free to return to its vomit. But will it do so when it has something so much better in front of him already.

Besides… let us be clear. The freedom to make the perverse choice of death over life is not the purpose of free will. It is for the limitless choices and possibilities which open up to us when we leave such insanity behind us.


I wish all cat owners were as aware and responsible as you.


My cat loves it outside. One might alternatively argue that confinement can border on animal abuse.

“Philosophical” “discussions” about free will are rather new to me. Along with the passion I have seen in threads where it comes up.

Already in this thread I see a few different understandings of what is meant by “free will.”

Defining terms seems important. Like with “meaning of life” (the definition of which we never really managed to focus on considering), it seems important to agree on the shape, contour, content, limitations, textures, source, influences, etc of “will” much less “free will.”

What do we mean when we talk about “free will?”

I see a few people working on definitions, but others diving for the “robot” vs “god” poles. The poles are not helpful or even part of an intelligent discussion of the matter.

I think @RichardG ’s point about the practical limitations of free will are important:

and @mitchellmckain’s points here as well:

Since the OP refers to free will “in the restored heaven and earth or whatever happens after we are saved in Christ” that will probably need to be understood as well. So, different views on that would need to be clarified as well.

The idea of unrestrained will (as well as the power to carry it out) seems humanly appealing, and seems to be the focus of much philosophical discussion, but is an impractical concept to me. Maybe different life experiences are a factor in it. Learning about and working with children, and people with brain variations and injuries certainly affects one’s view of “will”. I wonder, too, if gender-based cultural expectations make a difference—are western, theologically conservative christian women, for example, culturally/theologically trained to expect “free will” to mean something less extravagant than “entirely unrestrained will to do whatever one conceives of.” Fuller discussions of those would require different threads. However, the considerations that go with these and other questions are part of how any of us will see the matter of “free will.”

And one might argue that letting cats roam free outside borders on bird abuse :wink: Here’s an article pointing out the great toll on wild birds caused by cats. But that’s opening up a can of worms, isn’t it…

Well if you treat your pets as more than just living furniture, and spend real bonding time with them. Playing with them. Letting them. Letting them just sleep near you. Taking them outside and to hikes with you. Creating cat enclosures and so on they can have plenty of exercise, be very happy.

But many just let their cats go outside and spend almost no time with them. Maybe 15 to 20 minutes a day they will pay them attention without doing anything else.

So it’s easy for cats to be extremely happy while being indoor cats as long as their owners are trying to actually consider them.

Then the wildlife benefits are overwhelmingly obvious. If you like to read you can find several links about outdoor cats and ecology online. You can also find links about bonding with your cats.


As @Kendel pointed out, one’s definition of free will is important. Few philosophers actually use the definition that Richard used below when debating free will (they all recognize that one can’t do just anything one conceives of). Humans can’t “choose” to sprout 4 wings and suddenly fly…or choose to grow rotor blades on their backs and fly. Or choose to grow snakes for hair? I suppose one could debate whether we’ll be able to do such things in heaven? I personally think we won’t be “omnipotent” in that way.

But the definition of (libertarian) free will that philosophers usually DO debate is defined as “the notional capacity or ability to choose between different possible courses of action unimpeded.
This question comes up because people wonder if we can continue to “choose” to do evil, and then how can heaven ever be free of evil?

I think that choices over a long period of time lead to habits. And habits over a long period of time lead to one’s character being formed. And after a long period of time, one’s character becomes rather solidified, “hardened”. So, I think that in heaven/new creation, once we are “glorified” and face-to-face with God, our characters will be solidified with our free wills finally lining up with his. Satan and evil will finally be defeated and we will no longer be battling our old flesh to use Paul’s term. So, I think we will have free will in heaven/the renewed earth, but at that point, our free will will be to do God’s will (anything consistent with other-centred love), so we will never *want * to choose evil. And, many free choices in heaven probably involve more than one good alternative. Chocolate or vanilla flavoured ice cream anyone?

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 1 John 3:2


I certainly believe that, more than you according to our past exchanges, because I apply this to God in requiring logical coherence between cause and effect because I don’t trivialize God’s omnipotence to that of a dreamer same as any child living on my block. God is certainly free to do anything He chooses, but to do something real means one is not free to do it by whatever means one cares to imagine. The logical consistency between cause and effect is the difference between reality and dreams.

But as for us, our free will is also neither universal nor inviolable. It is not only limited by logical and physical constraints, but highly varied and fragile. Free will is highly dependent upon awareness. One cannot choose options which one is not even aware of.

I don’t think so, since I don’t equate sin with mistakes or the required perfection talked about by Jesus with never making mistakes. Mistakes are part of how we learn, and learning is an important part of what life means – and this include eternal life as much as physical life. Our redemption is not about forgiving mistakes or removing our freedom to make mistakes. It is about overcoming the self-destructive habits opposed to life itself, such as this habit begun by Adam and Eve to blame others for their mistakes rather than learning from them.

So I think we will have free will in its entirety. If this were not a necessity for heaven then allowing Adam and Eve to make the choices they did would make God Himself both responsible and perverse. But with the right community and guidance from God as I expect to find in heaven, we shall learn from our mistakes and they will not lead to self-destructive habits. Adam and Eve had the guidance of God but they did not have the examples of a community and heritage. So why isn’t the guidance of God sufficient? God is constrained by His very omnipotence – it is just too easy for God to annihilate our free will. And so God must restrain Himself in order to preserve our freedom of will.