I think it is important to realize that there are two viewpoints being discussed. One is the overall viewpoint of God over the entire course of time through out the ages. One is the perspective of man in his dealings with God, seen through a glass darkly, through the veil of time. There are certain things we can accept, because the scriptures say them, about God and His overall omniscience and omnipotence. I do not draw any conclusion that I do not find witnessed in the scriptures (not to say I fully understand them, rather to say I fully respect them in all my considerations).
There are certain things we can accept because the scriptures say them, about the conditions of our stewardship of time and the free will that God allows us within that stewardship. Therefore, I believe that God "works all things according to the counsel of His will" so that every action and reaction is resolving towards His goal in His administration of the ages- towards His ultimate intention, which is the reconciliation of all. I believe this because I believe the scriptures say so and because the Holy Spirit is bearing witness to the truth of it.
At the same time, the Holy Spirit is teaching me, through the trials and experiences of life and growing in the wisdom of the Logos, that I have a free will and there are consequences to the stewardship I exercise over it. I know that we all have different views on the measure of free will God allows. I believe it is a great degree, a large measure, because, "For freedom Christ has set you free". God's ultimate intention is the free will harmony of every soul in the universe. We, as sons, have received an inheritance with Christ- it is our privilege to function as a priestly kingdom and participate in the reconciliation of all things, having been set free into the glorious liberty of the sons of God, into the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus.
So, "Today", in this "Day that the Lord has made", we must choose whom we will serve, and the consequences of our choices are momentous, even though all things are conditioned by grace. The paradox that is created between the ultimate, over all grace of God and this stewardship He gives men in this life is a paradox that we, in our arrogance, are uncomfortable with- so we try to put it in a "logic box"- the clay trying to put the fine lines of definition on the potter and His ways. I spent years wrestling with such things, and I still do wrestle with them. One thing I have wrestled out of this mystery- "that was hidden in the ages past but is now manifested by the words of the prophets and the apostles", is that you can't take the word and divide it into a force fed systematic theology for the dominion of babes- the naturally minded. Those who prefer the gospel to be completely subjugated to intellect will never perceive it. It is hidden from them. "That seeing they might not perceive, that hearing they might not understand". To this day when Moses is read a veil remains, said Paul to the Corinthians. So also, to this day, when Jesus is read a veil remains for many, because they do not understand what is hidden in plain sight.
"Today, if you hear His voice"
Sometimes we say "if", because we are speaking of conditional transactions between God and man. They are conditional because He has made them so. Yet, as regards the clear unconditional statements of the word about the ultimate purposes of God- we do not say if, because God has not said "if".
For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly(not of its own will), but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.
This not an accident of free will that God is recovering from. He subjected the creation to futility in a plan conceived before the foundation of the world
Rom 8:29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
We have been called to share a purpose and an inheritance in Christ. Let us labor diligently to enter into His rest.
He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention(eu-dokia) which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory.
This purpose is the summing up of all things in Christ, to the end that ultimately God will be all in all(1 Cor 15:22-28)
But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
We who are faithful in this stewardship of grace, as the first to hope in Christ, have great reward. We will share in the beautiful effulgence of the grace of God as it emerges through the ages until the ages be fulfilled.
For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ's at His coming, then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet.
We see through a glass darkly the specific outworking of this plan of the ages- a few verses here and there give us a broad outline- but we know certain absolute completions will take place, because the Word clearly states them in multiple places.
For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Some would say this is fulfilled as God forces the knee and the tongue just before annihilation or eternal torment- I believe John saw something else
Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing." And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, "To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever." And the four living creatures kept saying, "Amen." And the elders fell down and worshiped.
Jesus, as the firstborn of creation, has inherited all things. We have been given a share in this inheritance, seated with Christ in the heavenlies, co-heirs . This share is measured according to our stewardship, in the details, but in the broad overview it is the absolute declared will and kind intention of the Sovereign One.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father's good pleasure (eu dokia kind intention/ good will/ good pleasure) for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.
Remember what the wisdom of God says of itself
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
Isa 52:7 How lovely on the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who announces peace And brings good news of happiness, Who announces salvation, And says to Zion, "Your God reigns!"
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings(eu-aggelo gospel/good message) of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will (eu-dokia good pleasure/kind intention) toward men.