If God has a "divine plan" for everyone, then does that mean he controls humans and animals to meet his plan?
The Biblical God is in complete control of everything. In the book of Ephesians, we see that God "works all things after the counsel of His will" (Ephesians 1:11; Romans 8:28; 1 Corinthians 12:6; Psalm 135:6).
With God being the singular cause of the beginning (John 1:3), and given that He knows and has always known every detail about the future, He has clearly caused (at least in the ultimate sense) everything that has ever come to pass, knowing full well that that was exactly what He was doing.
"But what about sin?" one might ask. "Does God cause people to sin?"
According to the Bible, God caused the murder of His Son, Jesus (Acts 4:27-28). God caused the Israelites to stray from His ways (Isaiah 63:17). God caused marauding Sabeans and Chaldeans to murder Job's children and servants (Job 1:21-22). God caused King David to take a census that He then condemned Him for taking (1 Chronicles 21:1-8; 2 Samuel 24:1). God caused Eli's sons to disobey, dishonor, and disrespect both their father and God Himself (1 Samuel 2:25). According to the Bible, God certainly causes people to sin.
"But doesn't this make the Biblical God evil?" comes the reply.
Humans are commanded to obey certain laws by God, but the only reason we are obligated to obey these rules is because God has commanded us to. No rule is binding on a human being if it does not ultimately come from God Himself. The same is true for all of the rest of creation.
But because a rule is binding on humans, this does not even remotely imply that the same rule is binding on God Himself, the authority behind all rules.
In other words, even if we were to agree that it would be wrong of me to cause you to sin, that does not mean it would be wrong of God to cause you to sin.
Sin is disobedience to the law (1 John 3:4). Therefore, in order for God to sin, there must be a law that binds Him, and He must disobey it. To suggest that the Biblical God commands Himself to do something and then flatly refuses to do it is absurd (2 Timothy 2:13)! Therefore we see that there is no circumstance when the Biblical God disobeys His own commands for Himself (Philippians 2:8), and therefore there is no circumstance in which the Biblical God sins (Hebrews 4:15). We also see that He causes people to sin as shown in the scriptures above; therefore we can conclude that He has not commanded Himself not to cause people to sin, and thus, it is not sinful for Him to do it.
You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?"
Fortunately, that question has been answered already by the Apostle Paul.
On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, "Why did you make me like this," will it? Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.
God works to glorify Himself. He works through you to do it, and He works through me to do it.
He will either glorify Himself through you by demonstrating that He cannot tolerate sin, and condemning you to an eternity in hell, or else He will glorify Himself through you by demonstrating that He is compassionate and forgiving, and will take on the penalty for your sin through His only Son.
He will do this based upon your faith and trust in Him, or your lack thereof.
If you trust Him as your Savior, thank God for the faith He has given you. If you do not trust Him as your Savior, good luck fighting off the flames by yourself.
Is it possible for God to be both all-loving and all-powerful if he allows Hell in the form of eternal suffering and torture?
Answers: Muslim, Atheist, Christian
What kind of god would give people cancer, aids, epilepsy, emphysema, diarrhea, or any of the other medical problems people get? Why worship a god that isn't good, even if he does exist?
Answers: Muslim, Atheist, Christian
Does God being eternal mean he is unchanging? Why?
I'd like to hear an explanation to any of these questions without referencing the bible. For those of us that don't believe I the inerrancy of that Bronze-aged text, it would be refreshing.
Why should your particular holy book be believed when all holy books demonstrably go against archeological and historical evidence in their teachings?