Awell-known Bible teacher said, “The only reason I pray is because the Bible tells me to pray.” He does not believe his prayers or actions have any bearing on the scheme of things. This man is a fatalist. Since everything is predetermined, then there is no use to pray and believe God, because what will be will be.
A fatalist pastor was conducting the funeral of a known homosexual. This pastor had the audacity to say, “Brethren, we all know it was God’s will for this man to be like he was.” Can you believe it, blaming God for making the dead man a Sodomite! When men emphasize the sovereignty of God to the point of making God the author of sin, they are blaspheming God.
It is never the will of God for men to commit adultery, kill, lie, or steal. God is not the author of sin. He does not cause men to make sinful decisions. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed (James 1:13-14).
The Pharisees blasphemed the Holy Spirit when they attributed the works of Christ to the devil. Now some men are attributing the works of the devil to God! Let me be crystal clear, when men walk out on their mates, God’s will is not being done on earth as it is in heaven. GOD DOES NOT CAUSE MEN TO SIN. It is not God’s will for people to commit sin. If you believe that everything that happens is the will of God (including deliberate sin), then your god is the devil!
Perhaps we are witnessing an over-reaction to the imbalances of a widespread “easy-believism,” but a cold, calculating fatalism is coming in like a flood. Emphasizing one truth to the exclusion of other truths is the genesis of heresy. And fatalism is heresy.
Fate, a left-over concept from Greek mythology, is the belief that there is a pre-determined course for everything. What will be will be because it is the will of the gods. This pagan concept has found a welcome home in mainstream evangelicalism/fundamentalism.
Fatalism ignores the conditional nature of cause and effect. Over and over we read, “If my people will humble themselves . . .”; “If we walk in the light . . .”; “If you abide in me . . .”; “If we confess our sins . . . .” God works in and through His people in accordance to their faith and obedience. There is an inevitable cause and effect sequence that God has set in motion in His creation. What you and I choose to do has repercussions both in time and eternity. Humans have been given freedom of choice, which means we can choose God’s will or our own will. There are many things over which we have no control, but there are a multitude of things in which our choices determine the outcome. The whole principle of sowing and reaping illustrates man’s responsibility to make proper selections. Sow seeds of faith and reap favor and blessings from God. Sow unbelief and reap a fruitless life and a future in hell.
Fatalism finds its roots in pride. 1 Corinthians 8:1 says knowledge puffs up. Those who think they possess superior understanding and deeper insights in truth are often aloof from the common herd. But arrogance is never referenced as the insignia of the godly in the Word of God. To the contrary, pride is exposed as the trademark of the devil. Scripture states that a new convert should never be placed in a place of leadership, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil (1 Timothy 3:6). Satan fell from heaven because he was lifted up with pride. Spiritual conceit mirrors the devil.
Apathy is the deadly offspring of fatalism. Why send missionaries to the heathen since they will be saved anyway if God wants them saved? Denying that God works through means flies in the face of Scripture. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? (Romans 10:14-15).
Fatalists are analyzers, not agonizers in prayer. I have yet to see men who fall into the fatalist trap become great men of faith. To the contrary they become infected with the paralysis of analysis. They can pick apart others’ views, but where is the life giving power of God in their ministries? Smooth talk is a poor substitute for the mighty breath of God. It naturally follows that cynicism and skepticism will rob fatalists of hope and faith. Any good news is met with suspicion and doubt. Far from believing all things and hoping all things, fatalists tend toward pessimism whenever they hear a positive report. It appears their greatest fear is that they might presume on God for some definite answer to prayer. This resigned, passive approach is consistent since they have no basis for hope. After all, what will be will be!
Fatalists major on interpretation, not intercession. They are quick to explain, but slow to intercede. They have all the answers for questions that nobody is asking! Further, what incentive is there to pray if everything is predetermined?
But God is looking for men of prayer. And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor (Isaiah 59:16). God spared Sodom and Gomorrah as long as Abraham pled with God. Moses, the intercessor, single-handedly turned the wrath of God from Israel. God had pledged to destroy the murmuring Israelites, but Moses’ prayers spared the people. God responds to faith. When the Ninevites humbled themselves and repented, God changed His mind and did not destroy them. Had they remained unrepentant, God would have wiped them out just like He said. Never doubt that God responds to humility, repentance, obedience, and faith. I am fully aware that God has an overarching purpose, but what you believe and do is consequential.
Samuel Chadwick said, “We cannot pray without the fire of God in our hearts.” Brethren, we need the burning fire of God in our souls! Cast off every vestige of fatalistic doom and believe God! Your faith will determine your future. Jesus said, “According to your faith be it unto you.” The New Testament contains many verses that tell us we will receive according to what we believe. Psalm 78:41 says God’s people limited the Holy One of Israel. You can limit Omnipotence through your unbelief.
Faith honors God, and God honors faith. Without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him (Hebrews 11:6). Fatalism does not honor God. On the contrary, it grieves Him. Abraham was rewarded with a “miracle son” because he dared to believe what he could not see, and consequentially he saw it. That’s what faith is—believing what’s not so in order for it to be so!
Jesus said, Whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive (Matthew 21:22). The Bible is full of incentives and instruction that inspires faith. Don’t let the devil mold you into a sad, sour, somber, cynic by robbing you of faith and hope.
You can choose fate: an arrogant, smug complacency that justifies the lack of fruit as the will of God . Or you can choose faith and believe God for great and mighty things. Take your pick because your future depends on it!