By Edwin & Sophia Christiaan | August 29, 2022 | www.instituteoflove.net
Although the topic of predestination has a wealth of scriptural basis, it is mind-blowing how the Christian church has managed to present this important issue completely wrong. According to church doctrine, we are to believe that an all-knowing God, who created Heaven and Earth and conceived our redemption plan through Jesus Christ already before the world began, gave away all His foreknowledge about any of the choices His humans would make in the future, so they could enjoy “free will!” We are to believe that although He meticulously formed each part of our bodies to His liking and had us birthed into this world without our consent or control over what gender we were going to be, what color hair we would have, who would be our parents, and what circumstances we would be born into, when it comes to salvation, suddenly we get to choose whether or not we “want” to serve Christ.
The doctrines of the modern Christian church blatantly ignore all the scriptural proof that we are dealing with a sovereign God who chooses people to either belong to Him or not.
We are told that it is entirely up to us to choose for God, as if we call the shots.
Altar calls are given to those who want to receive Jesus into their hearts, as Jesus is standing with arms open wide waiting for us to come, they say. And, if we only pray long and faithfully for a family member or friend to be saved, God will eventually save them. The church promises that the Bible says so.
But what is the truth about predestination, and why does it offend people’s sensibilities so much that this wonderful revelation and doctrine is discarded and treated as heresy? I think I know why. It is because predestination takes away from a person their sense of control over their destiny and future. It leaves them insecure about God’s intention and plan for their lives.
They cannot see that the Gospel of grace and predestination perfectly go hand in hand.
If we can accept that we are saved by grace alone, that Jesus decided to ransom us by voluntarily dying on the Cross in our place, and that God planned that entirely without our knowing, then we can also accept that God has preordained each person who ever lived to a life and a destiny that He is in full control over.
He didn’t create people to take His place. He created them because He is the Potter, and because He wanted to decide what each pot should be used for. I guess it offends our pride to think of God as someone who can do whatever He wants and that He is still good!
In other words, no matter what purpose each human being is chosen for, God is in control of it, He preordained it, and His plan is good.
It may not sound good in our ears, but that is because we don’t view things from His perspective.
God is seeking to bring glory to His Name through everything and everybody, and He alone decided how to do that. It is not our concern or place to question God’s motives or plans with each person. He created humans for His own purpose: To bring Him glory, whether the person is good or evil.
GOD IS ALL-KNOWING
So first, I want to let you know, through the Word of God, that God is all-knowing. He is not surprised by anything. In fact, He controls and ordains everything that happens in the Universe.
The Bible says,
“Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and He knows everything.”
1 John 3:20 NLT
“For everything comes from Him and exists by His power and is intended for His glory.”
Romans 11:36 NLT
“But God’s truth stands firm like a foundation stone with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are His,”
2 Timothy 2:19 NLT
Jesus, being God, naturally also knew everything about people and who was chosen.
“For many are called, but few are chosen.”
Matthew 22:14 NLT
To His disciples He said, “I chose the twelve of you, but one is a devil.” He was speaking of Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, one of the Twelve, who would later betray him.
John 6:70-71 NLT
“You didn’t choose Me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using My name.”
John 15:16 NLT
Besides the Calvinists, a smaller branch within Christianity who follow John Calvin’s teachings on predestination, the Christian church rejects predestination because of their claim that God gave us free will. They argue that God did not want robots when He created human beings, who robotically do what He says, but rather that He wanted their worship to come from a willing heart.
Here are three passages some Christians use to say that we have free will to choose:
“Look, today I am giving you the choice between a blessing and a curse! You will be blessed if you obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today.
But you will be cursed if you reject the commands of the Lord your God and turn away from him and worship gods you have not known before.”
Deuteronomy 11:26-28 NLT
“But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.”
Joshua 24:15 NLT
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me.”
Matthew 23:37 NLT
“The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” Let anyone who hears this say, “Come.” Let anyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who desires drink freely from the water of life.”
Revelation 22:17 NLT
Predestination says that anyone who comes to God and finds salvation is only able to do so because the Father has drawn them in to begin with. Any choice anybody makes is merely a confirmation of what they are already predestined to choose. In other words, it is not their choosing, but God’s plan.
A person responds because the grace of God has specifically allowed that individual to experience the drawing and desire to come to God.
Therefore, my question to these “free will” Christians is this: Do I really have to believe that God is sitting in suspense, biting His nails, and hoping but not knowing if a person will one day make the choice to follow Christ?
No, that doesn’t make sense at all! Rather, this is how it works:
God already knows the destiny of every soul. Those, He has chosen, will come into the fold sooner or later. Those, who are not chosen, will still get an equal chance to repent from their sins and follow Him, but for them it will be “for the record.” This means, God already knows they are not going to choose for Him, but because they were still given the chance, they will never be able to say that they didn’t know on the Day of Judgment.
God knows who belongs to Him; those He has chosen and preordained to go to Heaven, and He knows those who are predestined to go to Hell.
On the Day of Judgment, everything that has been recorded in the book of judgement will be read, and everyone will be judged according to their record.
“And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books. The sea gave up its dead, and death and the grave gave up their dead. And all were judged according to their deeds. Then death and the grave were thrown into the lake of fire. This lake of fire is the second death. And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire.”
Revelation 20:12-15 NLT
GOD’S CHOICE IS GOD’S BUSINESS
Every human being will one day be judged, and they will either fall in the chosen category or the rejection category. The chosen ones will be with God forever, and the rejected ones are destined for destruction.
The Apostle Paul understood predestination perfectly. He wrote about it in Romans 9, giving the examples of Jacob, Esau, and Pharaoh.
“This son was our ancestor Isaac. When he married Rebekah, she gave birth to twins. But before they were born, before they had done anything good or bad, she received a message from God. (This message shows that God chooses people according to his own purposes; he calls people, but not according to their good or bad works.)
She was told, “Your older son will serve your younger son.” In the words of the Scriptures, “I loved Jacob, but I rejected Esau.”
Are we saying, then, that God was unfair? Of course not! For God said to Moses, “I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose.”
So it is God who decides to show mercy. We can neither choose it nor work for it.
For the Scriptures say that God told Pharaoh, “I have appointed you for the very purpose of displaying my power in you and to spread my fame throughout the earth.”
So you see, God chooses to show mercy to some, and he chooses to harden the hearts of others so they refuse to listen. Well then, you might say, “Why does God blame people for not responding? Haven’t they simply done what He makes them do?” No, don’t say that. Who are you, a mere human being, to argue with God? Should the thing that was created say to the one who created it, “Why have you made me like this?” When a potter makes jars out of clay, doesn’t He have a right to use the same lump of clay to make one jar for decoration and another to throw garbage into?
In the same way, even though God has the right to show His anger and His power, He is very patient with those on whom His anger falls, who are destined for destruction. He does this to make the riches of His glory shine even brighter on those to whom He shows mercy, who were prepared in advance for glory.”
Romans 9:10-23 NLT
Paul knew that God knows all things and that He already chose his people in advance.
“And we are among those whom He selected, both from the Jews and from the Gentiles.”
Romans 9:24 NLT
“For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.”
Romans 8:29 NLT
“Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one - for God himself has given us right standing with himself.”
Romans 8:33 NLT
He also knew God’s plans for His own people of Israel, and who was chosen or not.
“So this is the situation: Most of the people of Israel have not found the favor of God they are looking for so earnestly. A few have – the ones God has chosen – but the hearts of the rest were hardened. God has put them into a deep sleep. To this day he has shut their eyes so they do not see, and closed their ears so they do not hear.”
Romans 11:7-8 NLT
GRACE COUPLED WITH PREDESTINATION
The Apostle Paul taught us that God’s grace is not something we can earn or deserve. It is simply a free gift. It is the same thing with predestination; it is also not something that can be earned or deserved. It is just given! Coupling the understanding of grace with predestination, we see even clearer how it can never be our good works that bring us to Heaven, but the grace of God only!
“God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.”
Ephesians 2:8-10 NLT
For those who are chosen, God gives them power to follow Him. They have a deep peace knowing that their destiny is set, and that they will never fall away. They also don’t strive to achieve God’s acceptance.
“For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.”
Philippians 2:13 NLT
Predestination is intertwined with grace. These powerful verses say it all:
“Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace He has poured out on us who belong to His dear Son.”
Ephesians 1:4-6 NLT