Fatalism

This is the mistaken idea that an impersonal force determines what happens, and we humans are powerless to change things. It denies the benevolence of God’s providence. Although the Bible teaches our times are ‘in His hands’ and the heart of the king was in God’s hands, we have, by our decisions and choices a huge impact on what we experience (Ps 31:15; Prov 16:1-9, 21:1). Because of our freewill God merely knows our choice before we make it (foreknowledge) but does not force us to do anything.

All of life’s circumstances are under His control, although they may not originate with Him. Satan is able to orchestrate events too, but these must be ‘approved’ by God. Climatic conditions and major calamities should convince mankind that we are impotent in many areas, and may be a wakeup call for men and women to seek God while He may be found (1 Chr 28:9; Isa 55:6).

Determinism is the view that every event has a cause and that everything in the universe is dependent on and governed by natural laws that operate.

The doctrine of predestination is that God has a purpose and is working all things out according to His own will and purpose and neither does or permits anything except what serves His purpose (Ps 33:11; Prov 19:21; Isa 14:24, 46:10; Dan 4:35; Eph 1:11). God is the sovereign of the world, the One who does all things as He wills.

Christians do not believe in the 'it just happened' idea of chance, and reject fatalism and godless determinism instead trust a wise, holy, good and sovereign God who has control of every detail of life (Mt 10:29,30). While the Bible teaches predestination, it is not to the exclusion of free will; thus, the Bible does not teach fatalism for there is a vast difference between fatalism, chance (or fortune), and predestination.

See also: chance, choice, disaster, foreknowledge, free will, luck, prayer, predestination, providence, sovereignty of God.





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