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Does Fate

Rule Our
Lives?
Or Does God
Hold Us
Responsible?

Does Fate Rule Our Lives?


Or Does God Hold Us
Responsible?

HOW would you answer those two questions? Of course,


you may never have thought about the matter. Or you
may wonder what the questions have to do with each
other, saying: Of course God will hold us responsible for
what we do. And whatever fate has in store for us will
happen.
If this is your opinion, please stop for a moment and
think!
Who holds us accountable? God. Who, then, fixes our
fate? Many would also answer: God. But is that logical?
Would you force a person to do something and then later
blame him for having done it? Consider a father who in
the morning locks the doors of the house in order to
prevent his son from going outside. When he comes home
that evening, he finds that his son has stayed home all day.
Now, what if the father asks his son why he did not go
outside, perhaps even punishing him for being lazy?
Would that be just? What would you think of such a
father?
That would never happen, you say. Yet, according to
some, that is what God does. If good and bad are from
God and he has written everything on our foreheads, as it
were, why would he hold us responsible for doing bad? If
what we do is what God has determined, why are we held
accountable for our actions? Why must we answer to God
for something about which we had no choice?
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Perhaps at this point you are thinking: This is a very


deep subject. Who are we to understand Gods ways? Let
theologians argue about it.
You Are Affected
Reflect, though. These questions affect all of us. In this
world, we have only one life to live, and it passes very
quickly. The way we live our life is profoundly affected by
our answers to the questions mentioned above. If God has
determined our fate, why would we bother to try to
improve ourselves? Why even bother to learn about God?
Words like right and wrong, sin and merit, are
meaningless. If it is our fate to do something that we
regard as wrong, then we will do it anyway because we
cannot change what has been predetermined.
If, though, that is the way things are, why has God
taught us his commandments? Why did he send the
prophets? Why have books, called Gods Word, been
written? If fate rules, would not all these things be
pointless? Surely, human intelligence objects to reasoning
that contradicts itself. The logical human mind cannot
accept it.
On the other hand, if we have free will and God holds us
accountable for what we do, then we have to use our short
life to take in accurate knowledge about God and his
purposes and learn to live our lives the way he wants us to.
This becomes the personal responsibility of every living
human. No one else can serve God on our behalf. One is
reminded of a Turkish proverb, Each mutton is hung by its
own leg. That is, each one must answer for his own
misdeeds.
Do you see why it is so important that we learn the
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correct answers to the questions: Will God hold us


responsible? Or is fate ruling our lives?
Where to Find the Answers
Where can we find the answers to our questions? One
place is in the Bible, known in the Islamic world as Tevrat,
Zebur, and Incil, and accepted as the Word of God.* In
the Bible, we read the following: Now as regards
someone wicked, in case he should turn back from all his
sins that he has committed and he should actually keep all
my statutes and execute justice and righteousness, he will
positively keep living. He will not die. Do I take any
delight at all in the death of someone wicked, . . . and not
in that he should turn back from his ways and actually
keep living? (Ezekiel 18:21, 23) Evidently, it is possible
for a wicked man to change his ways. He is not fated to
remain wicked all his days.
The same conclusion is drawn from another Bible
passage: Son of man, a watchman is what I have made
you . . . , and you must hear from my mouth speech and
you must warn them from me. When I say to someone
wicked, You will positively die, and you do not actually
warn him and speak in order to warn the wicked one from
his wicked way to preserve him alive, he being wicked, in
his error he will die, but his blood I shall ask back from
your own hand.Ezekiel 3:17, 18.
Yes, Gods Word clearly says that fate does not rule
mans life. Man can choose. He can do either good or bad.
And if out of ignorance he does bad, when he learns the
* In the Koran, we read the following: After those prophets We sent forth Jesus, the
son of Mary, confirming the Torah already revealed, and gave him the Gospel, in which
there is guidance and light, corroborating that which was revealed before it in the Torah, a
guide and an admonition to the righteous. Therefore let the followers of the Gospel judge
in accordance with what Allah has revealed therein. Evil-doers are those that do not base
their judgements on Allahs revelations. (The Table [fifth sura], verses 46 and 47,
translated by N. J. Dawood) Some claim that the Torah, Psalms, and Gospelparts of the
Biblehave been corrupted, but such a claim would mean that God could not protect the
books he gave. Those asserting this thus accuse God of being weak.
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truth, he can change to doing good and thus gain life.


Plainly, we are responsible for our actions.
How Can You Choose?
The Bible says that our Creator is a God of love in whom
no wickedness dwells. This God of love says: I have put
life and death before you, the blessing and the malediction;
and you must choose life in order that you may keep alive,
you and your offspring. (Deuteronomy 30:19) God
created man with free will. When humans chose to stop
acting in harmony with Gods purpose, they became
subject to death. However, you can choose life. But you
have to make the choice for yourself. Nobody can make
that choice for you.
How do you choose life? First, you have to assure
yourself that the Bible is Gods inspired Word. For this, an
earnest, unprejudiced study of that book is necessary.
Then you have to learn from the Bible why God created
man, why we die, what happens after death, and how you
can please God.
Dont say: This is a very difficult task; I am unable to do
it. Would God promise life and then make it impossible
for some individuals to find it? If the information we need
is in the Bible, will not God help us in our investigation of
that book? Just put forth a sincere effort. It is the most
worthwhile thing you can do.
Times Are Urgent
And do not delay. Times are urgent. In the Bible we find
a composite sign that marks the last days of this system
of things. (Matthew 24:3) Here are some parts of the sign:
Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against
kingdom. There will be food shortages. (Matthew
24:7) There will be great earthquakes.

[There will be] in one place after another


pestilences. (Luke 21:11) Lawlessness will increase.
Matthew 24:12.
According to the Bible, these and other parts of the sign
of the last days would all happen together. All the
evidence says that this sign has been observable since the
time of World War I, which broke out in 1914.
For this reason, we invite you to examine the Bible
without delay. Gods Word tells us: The conclusion of the
matter, everything having been heard, is: Fear the true God
and keep his commandments. For this is the whole
obligation of man. For the true God himself will bring
every sort of work into the judgment in relation to every
hidden thing, as to whether it is good or bad.Ecclesiastes
12:13, 14.
If you want to learn more about how you can make a
wise choice for life in these difficult last days, please write
to one of the following addresses, and it will be a pleasure
to help you.
Unless otherwise indicated, all Bible quotations are from the New World Translation of the Holy
Scriptures.
Photo Credit: Car interior on cover: H. Armstrong Roberts.
1999 Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. All rights reserved.

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