The problem with destiny is it takes free-will out of the equation.
A person much more Godly than I had this to say about “Destiny”:
“But that you may not have a pretext for saying that Christ must have been crucified, and that those who transgressed must have been among your nation, and that the matter could not have been otherwise, I said briefly by anticipation, that God, wishing men and angels to follow His will, resolved to create them free to do righteousness; possessing reason, that they may know by whom they are created, and through whom they, not existing formerly, do now exist; and with a law that they should be judged by Him, if they do anything contrary to right reason: and of ourselves we, men and angels, shall be convicted of having acted sinfully, unless we repent beforehand. But if the word of God foretells that some angels and men shall be certainly punished, it did so because it foreknew that they would be unchangeably [wicked], but not because God had created them so.”
– Justin Martyr, Apology #3, CHAPTER CXLI — FREE-WILL IN MEN AND ANGELS. (from Justin Martyr and the Testimony against Satan, Part 3)
What seems to be “destiny” will invariably turn out to be the free-will decision to turn away from God, resulting in the unfortunate demise, and thus fulfilling their “destiny”.
A good example (among many in the Bible) is that of Pharaoh who would not let Moses lead the tribes of Israel out of Egypt.
In the Book of Exodus, God has appointed Moses to bring His people out from the land of Egypt due to the ruler’s contempt and abuse of them. During Moses’s interaction with Pharaoh, God sends forth 10 different plagues upon the land of Egypt, with the last (killing all of the first-born of Egypt) finally convincing Pharaoh to let the people go.
But, curiously, in the middle of the plagues, God makes this statement to Pharaoh:
“And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the Earth” – Exodus 9:16
That statement would seem (to non-Bible believers) to be God’s own admission that men are “destined” to certain fates, right?
But, let us revisit Justin Martyr’s statement one more time:
“But if the word of God foretells that some angels and men shall be certainly punished, it did so because it foreknew that they would be unchangeably [wicked], but not because God had created them so.”
If we view Pharaoh in this light, we see that at any point, Pharaoh could’ve stopped the destruction of his land and people. He just had to submit to God. So, at plague #1, Pharaoh could’ve said “Go. God is stronger than I.” He could’ve also said it at plague #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,…all the way up to #10. But he DIDN’T. And that, my friends, is on HIM.
He had free-will to choose, and even after God told him why he was doing the plagues, Pharaoh still chose to rebel. We know this, because at each point before the introduction of the next plague, Moses would warn Pharaoh what would happen next if he did not submit to God.
Just like the story of Judas, the betrayer of Jesus, who had the free-will to not betray Jesus up until the point he allowed Satan to enter him (Luke 22:3), Pharaoh had the choice to do good or evil.
But an apologist will look upon both the fate of Pharaoh and Judas with a rationalizing eye and say “They were victims of fate! God pre-ordained them to their destiny and we should be sorry for them!” I know there are groups who believe that Judas Iscariot was a HERO because he caused the death of Christ, resulting in the salvation of all. Now THAT is a bit of pretzel logic you can’t untie.
How many people have taken the road of Judas Iscariot (suicide) because they believed, or were told, they were “destined” to that end? Only by allowing Jesus Christ into their heart can they find the truth…we all have free-will to do good versus evil, and how great and glorious is the God of Heaven to give us that!
If you want destiny, be a [robot][computer][automotron]…your destiny will be the recycle bin. Free-will is what separates you from destiny and makes you in God’s image…It is always there, waiting on you…