Divine Providence #329

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329. 4. This means that everyone is predestined to heaven and no one to hell. I have explained in Heaven and Hell 545-550 (published in London in 1758) that the Lord does not throw anyone into hell, but that spirits throw themselves in. That is how it is with everyone who is evil and cynical after death. It is much the same with people who are evil and irreligious in this world, except that in this world they can be reformed; they can embrace and absorb the means of salvation, which they cannot do after they leave this world.

The means of salvation boil down to these two, that we are to abstain from evils because they are against the divine laws in the Ten Commandments, and that we are to acknowledge that God exists. We can all do this, provided we do not love what is evil. The Lord is constantly flowing into our volition with the power to abstain from evils and into our discernment with the power to think that God is real. However, no one can do one of these things without doing the other as well. They are united the way the two tablets of the Ten Commandments are united, the one being for the Lord and the other for us. From his tablet, the Lord is enlightening and empowering everyone, but we accept that power and enlightenment only as we do what is on our tablet. Until we do that, it is as though the two tablets were lying face to face and closed with a seal; but as we do what is on our tablet, they are unsealed and opened.

[2] What are the Ten Commandments nowadays but a closed booklet or leaflet opened only by the hands of children and youths? Try telling people of mature years that they should not do something because it is against the Ten Commandments--who actually cares? Of course, if you say that they should not do something because it is against divine laws they may listen. But the Ten Commandments are divine laws. I have checked this out with any number of people in the spiritual world, people who sneered when I talked about the Ten Commandments or the catechism. This is because the second tablet of the Ten Commandments, our tablet, tells us that we are to abstain from evils; and if people do not abstain from them, whether because they are irreligious or because their religion says that works do nothing for our salvation, only faith, they feel smug on hearing talk of the Ten Commandments or the catechism. It is like hearing about some children's book that is no longer of any use to them.

[3] I mention this to show that none of us is unfamiliar with the means by which we can be saved, or the power, if we want to be saved. It follows from this that everyone is predestined to heaven, and no one to hell.

However, since for some people a belief in predestination to nonsalvation, which is damnation, has taken over, and this belief is vicious, and since it cannot be dispelled unless reason sees its insanity and cruelty, I need to deal with the matter in the following sequence. (a) Any predestination but predestination to heaven is contrary to divine love and its infinity. (b) Any predestination but predestination to heaven is contrary to divine wisdom and its infinity. (c) It is an insane heresy to believe that only those born in the church are saved. (d) It is a cruel heresy to believe that any member of the human race is damned by predestination.

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Table of Contents
Angelic Wisdom about Divine Providence 1-26 The Lord's Divine Providence Has as Its Goal a Heaven from the Human Race 27-45 In Everything That It Does, the Lord's Divine Providence Is Focusing on What Is Infinite and Eternal 46-69 There Are Laws of Divine Providence That People Do Not Know 70 It Is a Law of Divine Providence That We Should Act in Freedom and in Accord with Reason 71-99 It Is a Law of Divine Providence That We Should Put Aside Evils in Our Outer Nature, Regarding Them as Sins and Doing So in Apparent Autonomy, and That This Is the Only Way the Lord Can Put Aside the Evils in Our Inner Nature and in Our Outer Nature Alike 100-128 It Is a Law of Divine Providence That We Should Not Be Compelled by Outside Forces to Think and Intend and So to Believe and Love in Matters of Our Religion, but That We Should Guide Ourselves and Sometimes Compel Ourselves 129-153 It Is a Law of Divine Providence That We Should Be Led and Taught by the Lord, from Heaven, by Means of the Word, and Teaching and Preaching from the Word, and That This Should Happen While to All Appearances We Are Acting Independently 154-174 It Is a Law of Divine Providence That We Should Not Sense or Feel Anything of the Working of Divine Providence, but That We Should Still Know about It and Acknowledge It 175-190 Our Own Prudence Is Nothing--It Only Seems to Be Something, As It Should. Rather, Divine Providence Is All-Inclusive Because It Extends to the Smallest Details 191-213 Divine Providence Focuses on Eternal Matters, and Focuses on Temporal Matters Only As They Coincide with Eternal Ones 214-220 We Are Not Granted Inner Access to the Truths That Our Faith Discloses and the Good Effects of Our Caring Except As We Can Be Kept in Them to the End of Our Life 221-233 Laws of Permission Are Also Laws of Divine Providence 234-274 Evils Are Permitted for a Purpose: Salvation 275-284 Divine Providence Is for Evil People and Good People Alike 285-307 Divine Providence Does Not Charge Us with Anything Evil or Credit Us with Anything Good; Rather, Our Own Prudence Claims Both 308-321 Everyone Can Be Reformed, and There Is No Such Thing as Predestination 322-330 The Lord Cannot Act Contrary to the Laws of Divine Providence, Because to Do So Would Be to Act Contrary to His Own Divine Love and His Own Divine Wisdom, and Therefore Contrary to Himself 331-340
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