This is really an offshoot from the predestination thread (I know, yay another predestination/free will thread - feel free to ignore this if you have no interest in these topics). I posted this in the other predestination thread but I think it got lost in the sea of posts over there.
My intent here is to come at it from a slightly different angle, and I am curious what other people think and believe on this. For me it helps to crystalize my views on predestination and choice - and I believe it can be all shown in scripture.
I am proposing, because of God's foreknowledge, there is only one timeline.
What is a timeline? Well if you imagine all of the choices that people have made throughout history up till now, we would have a single timeline. This timeline is fixed - it is in the past and has already happened.
Now going forward into the future, there are potentially infinite possible timelines, based on all the possible choices everyone could make in the future. But there is only one fixed timeline in the future - this is the timeline of the choices that people will actually make.
This one timeline can be viewed as equivalent to God's foreknowledge. God can look at any point on the timeline (past or future), and see exactly what people chose to do. This is essentially saying that the future is fixed and unchangable, or already written, in the same way that the past is fixed and unchangable, and already written.
Isaiah 46:10 is talking about this timeline:
10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:
11 Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.
God declared long ago, "from ancient times", the things that are not yet done. That is, he declared what will happen in the future. And he will bring it to pass.
This is the one timeline. So, does everyone agree that there is one timeline as described here? There is only one past and one future? If you don't agree, stop reading now and add a post explaining why.
Ok, if you made it this far, then we all agree there is only one timeline.
Now this leads to some interesting questions:
1. Who created the timeline? Did man "create" the timeline by the actions of his own free will, and then God fit it to his plan? Or did God just declare the timeline (as in Isaiah 46:10), and it came to be that way?
2. Are the participants in the one timeline (us humans) in any way being forced to make the choices that occur in the one timeline? Remember that the whole timeline (including the future portion) already exists, because God has that knowledge.
3. If there is only one timeline, doesn't that mean everything is predestined?
Thanks in advance for your answers - I appreciate it.