The topic of predestination is one, which is heatedly debated on, in Christian circles. Predestination holds to the belief that God “CHOSE” a people before the beginning of time whom He would save unto eternal life only through Christ (1Peter 1:2). The people who normally oppose such a view have this excuse as their reason, which is that if it is God who is choosing people unto Salvation then it is unfair to those whom he has not chosen to be saved. Such a view not only makes God seem accountable to man but is actually an excuse for man to glorify his own being through what he thinks is his ability in autonomous decision making. As John Calvin perfectly puts it, the people who oppose predestination are no more than mortal enemies of God’s praise. The funny thing is, under the pretext that God is fair to all, predestination is opposed but when these same people are asked if they themselves are due praise due to their autonomous decision to believe, they remain silent but they probably and secretly seek praise because for most of them their best witness for the Gospel is their own testimony of how they came to believe, which portrays them in the spotlight and God in the background.
The thing is if God wants to send people to hell, he will send them (Heb 4:3). He Himself is goodness; He is certainly not obligated to act within the boundary of what man defines as good. He is glorified equally in all his attributes, weather that be: wrath or mercy. It must be understood, He does not save people because of themselves (Eph 2:8-9) but He saves people for His own Namesake (Psalms 79:9). God humbles himself before no man, where Jesus is concerned stating that He humbled himself to the point of death that humility was unto His Father (Gal 1:4), which He did so in obedience (Php 2:8).
There is certainly no pride man can take in His Salvation, the Bible refers to the saved, not as vessels of worthiness/merit but as vessels of His mercy (Romans 9:23). As Christians we too could have been vessels of His wrath like the rest of the unbelieving but the statement of fact is that, it is not because of we who accepted His mercy but because it was He who Sovereignly chose to show us mercy (Rom 9:15). You must understand that when you stand before an executioner and he declares mercy upon you, in such a scenario no sane man even in the remotest reaches of his imagination will feel the need to render a statement of acknowledgment/acceptance for that mercy he has received, when he is standing there on the brink of eternal death (Isaiah 48:9). That man will only be eternally thankful and will praise Him because of whom He received that mercy (2John1:3).
When the Bible says that Salvation is free (Romans 5:14-19), it is not meaning to say: as in ‘free for all’ but meaning to say that the person who has received it has contributed nothing even towards his own salvation. Predestination seen from a Biblical view is not mere “eternal security”, rightly worded predestination is actually: the perseverance of the Saints (Php 2:12-13). The reason clarity needs to be brought into this is because, “eternal security” is pitched in such a way that anyone who claims to accept the Gospel is saved regardless of how he leads his life in the future. However when you refer to the perseverance of the Saints: it speaks of eternal security: yes but along with that also the trails which God will take you through struggling all the way (Heb 12:6), for which He shall impute in you the Spirit of Perseverance (Psalms 51:12).
To conclude: Predestination, seen in its right light, does not mean that he who believes in it is surely saved but that if one believes in Christ and strives to lead that blameless life (Eph 1:4) in which the Holy Spirit (Eph 1:13) shall guide him in for His Namesake, God had that person’s Salvation in mind right before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4). The Bible states God foreknows the believing (Romans 8:29), where foreknows literally speaking is that God foreordained that person before all creation to become an object of His affection (1Co 8:3), which He would deliver because He does not destroy who He loves. And the only way a person may know he is loved by God is if that person loves Jesus Christ and strives to obey Him beyond all things (John 14:23).
2 thoughts on “Predestination!”
Predestination: I believe that predestination is Biblical. I don’t mean by this and those who don’t believe in predestination are not Christians but that man has been dead since Adam in his sin and without the Father first drawing him to Christ for Salvation, man lies there in that state totally unresponsive to God. For those who question about unbelievers, who have the capacity to be good, they should understand that the credit for the person’s morals go to God. Though man is morally responsible for his actions, his actions are only as per what God decrees because the very reason man has free will is due to the fact that God decreed His free will and so even man’s free will cannot be considered outside God’s sovereign will. Take the example of Isaiah 10, though the King of Assyria is compared to the axe God uses to reprove His people Israel, the repercussions and responsibility (esp. verse 20) of that action falls on the king of Assyria not on God.
We thus see that the onus of eternal life with God is on God not man. When the Bible teaches that Salvation is free, it does not mean a ‘free for all-on the house’ kind of thing but it means that the price of that Salvation was alone afforded by God. So we therefore see that though we struggle to work out our own salvation it is God who is at work in us as per Phil 2:12-13, here comes in our moral responsibility under God’s Sovereignty, showing us that it is He who elects (1 Peter 2:9) us unto Salvation… and this is predestination.
We also need to understand that we are His unworthy servants (Luke 17:10), vessels of His mercy (Romans 9:23). We were all doomed since Adam, however he chose to show His grace to some and some he chose to pass by, but those whom he passed by, their damnation is owing not because he passed them by, for they were already dammed since Adam with an inherent sinful nature. Grace has come through Jesus Christ (Romans 3:24) and He gives it whom He pleases (John 5:21).
15 For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”
16 So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.
17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I raised you up, to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth.”
18 So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.
19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?”
20 On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it?
21 Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use?
22 What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?
23 And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory,