Predestination

Frau wird Opfer häuslicher GewaltBefore considering the concept of predestination, the concept of free will needs to be understood.

Free Will

Free will, precisely: freedom to choose from available options to act upon them. God gave every human freedom to choose. Adam and Eve were informed about it,[1] or God would never tell them to not eat a fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God extends an invitation to everyone to choose to believe in Him and have everlasting life.[2] From the ancient times God encourages everyone to choose life.[3] As a result, everyone is responsible for their own choices.[4] God will respect all choices that people make. Even when someone choose to live in enmity with Him and die eternal death, God will respect their choices.

It is impossible for people to jump to the moon or be in two places at the same time, but these and many other similar cases do not restrict free will because they are excluded from available options. Also, some people are blind or sick or disable, etc., but what is impossible for them is excluded from their available options and they are still privileged to have free will.

Some consequences may be imposed on all or some people, eg. penalties, bullying, suffering, divorce, etc., but people still have freedom to choose from available choices, even if the choice will cause their death. There is no excuse for refusing to choose eternal life, because even physical death will not stop God from granting eternal life, and no amount of suffering will limit God in recompensing it by absolute happiness in eternity. In the same manner, there is no excuse for accepting the mark of the beast[5] or other wrong actions.

Jesus promises that the one who endures to the end, will be saved.[6] Let’s hold on to this promise. Just one day of eternity will recompense all trials and suffering that we experience in our journey on this earth. It is worth holding on.

Predestination

The doctrine of predestination causes a lot of trouble among various religious denominations.[7] It seems that there is a conflict between God’s omniscience[8] and our free will. On the one hand God gives people free will and advices them to choose life,[9] and on the other hand it seems as if Bible writers assert that God predestined only some people to be saved and did it even before He created the world.[10] Is this how we would imagine a god of love? Do we have any chance to change God’s decision and be saved, or no matter what our efforts, our destiny is already decided? If we cannot do anything about our own future, why should we bother? But if it is our choice, why did God predestined only some people to be saved?

It is true that God predestined some people to be saved,[11] but it is also true that God desires everyone to have eternal life;[12] desires all man to be saved,[13] and has no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies.[14] We also know that the Bible does not contradict itself.[15] Therefore we need to find out exactly what the Bible means and we will see that it is consistent.

God predestined some people to reflect the image of His Son, therefore He called them, justified them and glorified them (or will call them, justify them and glorify them). But we must not overlook whom God predestined: those whom He foreknew.[16] He did not randomly decide who will be saved and who will be lost, or the whole Bible would not make any sense. The Bible teaches us that God, as omniscient, knew who will be granted eternal life, and therefore He will take all those people to heaven. And to do this, He called them, justified them, and glorified them (or will call them, will justify them, and will glorify them). He does not work in darkness only to find out later who will make it to His kingdom. The Book of Life had been written before the world was created[17] and puts God’s omniscience on display. For 6000 years the book is securely sealed with 7 seals,[18] and will be open when Jesus comes the second time.[19] In the same manner God chose people to obey Jesus Christ, those who ‘according to the foreknowledge’ would do it.[20]

God knew the future of Jeremiah before he was formed in the womb, therefore He consecrated him before he was born. Also, God appointed him to be a prophet,[21] therefore He could tell him about his future tasks in spite that Jeremiah tried to find an excuse why he should not be appointed a prophet.[22] Some may view God as someone who forced Jeremiah to do His will in spite of Jeremiah’s choice, but we must not forget that God knows the future and therefore he does things that may seem strange to us who do not know the future. Similarly, God knew what Jonah would do, therefore He caused a great storm to show that Jonah would finally go to Nineveh,[23] proclaim the doom of the city[24] and saved 120,000 people from certain death.[25] If we did not know that Jonah went to Nineveh and many people were saved, we might argue that God forced Jonah to go there, but God knew what will happen, therefore He did not break Jonah’s free will yet sent him where he was needed.

So, God foreknew who will be taken to His kingdom, and will not forget even one. He will call them to existence and to be His people, will justify them and glorify them. But this concept may raise another question: what will happen with those who once belonged to God and later on abandon friendship with Him? Does God look after them and help them in their journey while they are His friends? Yes, He will, but the case at hand is not talking about this aspect of God’s activity. The focus is on God who will not forget about those whom He knew will be granted eternal life.

There is another aspect of God’s activity that is demonstrated here — God will not fail in achieving anything that He attempts, and He undertakes only those things that He will bring to the end,[26] all activities based on His omniscience. Many activities of God are about people who are granted free will and decide for themselves. No matter what they decide, God knows what they decide, and His plans takes into consideration what people will decide. Therefore we should see God who achieves His goals independently of what people decide. The most important activity of God which will not be swayed by people’s or angels’ decisions is demonstrating that Satan, formerly Lucifer, is the one guilty of all evil that marred absolute happiness in heaven and caused all evil on planet earth. All angels, demons, and people (saved and unsaved) will agree with God on that issue; all evil will be removed from God’s creation, and absolute happiness will once again and forever fill all that God created.[27] If God could not achieve what He promised or attempted to achieve, could we believe that He will fulfill all His promises like giving us eternal life that is filled with absolute happiness? My answer is ‘no.’

We have just seen that God will look after all those who will at the end of time be granted eternal life. Will He (or was He) look after those who at one stage choose to be His people and later on change their mind? Will He (or was He) look after those who never choose to be His people? Yes, He will. But this question cannot be answered in the context of God’s omniscience. In spite that God knows that many people will eventually refuse Him, God will love them because He is love. He loved Judas in spite that He knew what Judas will do to end his life.[28] He loved the Egyptians in spite that He knew that they will refuse all signs and wonders designed to show that their gods are false and only true God is able to give them desires of their hearts. Obviously, He will do everything that can be done to convince people about the reality of eternal life in absolute happiness, but at the same time He will respect everyone’s choices and will not grant eternal life to those who chose to not love Him more than anything else.[29]

Conclusion

When we focus on God being omniscient, who knows who will be granted eternal life, we see Him as the one who will lead to His kingdom all those whom He ‘predestined’ for eternal life. When we focus on God being absolute love, we see Him as the one who He will love and bless all people even those that do not love Him or even hate Him. In any case, He does always respects every person’s freedom to make their own choices. Satan would like to make people believe that they have no choice over their own destiny but this is not true. If you have not done it yet, please make your choice today. Choose eternal life that overflows with absolute happiness, and rest assured that God will never change your choice.


[1]      but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die. Dn2:17nasb

[2]      For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. Jn3:16nasb

[3]      I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, Dt30:19nasb

[4]      Fathers shall not be put to death for their sons, nor shall sons be put to death for their fathers; everyone shall be put to death for his own sin. Dt24:16nasb

[5]      Then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, • he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. Rv14:9–10nasb

[6]      But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. Mt24:13nasb

[7]      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Predestination

[8]      God is all-knowing (He knows everything that there is to be known, including the future)

[9]      I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, Dt30:19nasb

[10]     just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love • He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, Ep1:4–5nasb

[11]     just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love • He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, Ep1:4–5nasb

[12]     For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. Jn3:16nasb

[13]     who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 1Ti2:4nasb

[14]     “For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,” declares the Lord GOD. “Therefore, repent and live.” Ek18:32nasb

[15]     If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), Jn10:35nasb

[16]     For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; • and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. Rm8:29–30nasb

[17]     those who dwell on the earth, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will wonder Rv17:8nasb

[18]     I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a book written inside and on the back, sealed up with seven seals. Rv5:1nasb

[19]     When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. Rv5:8nasb

[20]     those who reside as aliens … who are chosen • according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure. 1P1:1–2nasb

[21]     Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations. Jr1:5nasb

[22]     But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’ Because everywhere I send you, you shall go, And all that I command you, you shall speak.’” Jr1:7nasb

[23]     The LORD hurled a great wind on the sea and there was a great storm on the sea so that the ship was about to break up. Jh1:4nasb

[24]     “Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me.” Jh1:2nasb

[25]     “Should I not have compassion on Nineveh, the great city in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know the difference between their right and left hand, as well as many animals?” Jh4:11nasb

[26]     So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. Is55:11nasb

[27]     He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away. Rv21:4nasb

[28]     And he threw the pieces of silver into the temple sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself. Mt27:5nasb

[29]     He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. Mt10:37nasb

One Response to Predestination

  1. yirmegail says:

    Beautifully written! Thank you. You have projected a lovely picture of God’s love to us all.

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