Big Subject : My view of predestination (answer to readers question)


Jesus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To: Donna Barton

Subject: 3/20 devotion

Our life is determined for us – GEORGE ELLIOT

Do you believe in predestination? Why or why not?

I have definite feelings on the subject but want to get your view as well.

Love Pat

Predestination…A big subject so early in the morning.     My thoughts on this have evolved through the years.   As I began to study the Bible independently I found myself thoroughly confused, but eventually worked my way through several observations before I finally settled on the answer below.   I hope God will continue to show me His will for us through the Scripture and that I might truly understand will.

Romans 8:29-30 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. and Ephesians 1:5 5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—and 11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.  “according to the plan”, is the part that people who believe that man has no free will do not appear to consider.

It is all about Jesus: born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, was crucified for my sins, was buried, and raised to new life on the third day, ascended to heaven where he sits at the right hand interceding for me.  The gospel preached by the apostles.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

If God is omniscient and omnipotent would imply predestination.  He knows before you are born, who you are, what you will be, the choices you make and where you will wind up.

Or he knows where I am going but I don’t

But Free Will is Bible based.    I think we have a misreading of the Bible with predestination.  Ephesians 1:4-5 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.  Having predestined us into the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.  Here I think that those who are predestined refers to those who choose to accept the Son.  Before the foundation of the world, Elohim, the Trinity, provided a plan by which sinful man could be saved and become God’s children.  Those who would be saved would be those who accepted the gospel of Jesus Christ, born of a virgin, living a sinless life, crucified for my sins, buried, rising on the third day and ascending to heaven to stand at the right hand of the Father.  In that sense we are predestined .

I do not think all things are preordained. With my Baptist background that may surprise you.  From what I can see God does not preordain everything about an individual’s life.  There are some things preordained.

God predetermined that:

1) Israel, along with the Gentiles, would put Jesus to death (Acts 4:26-28);  27 “For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together 28 to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done.

2) Christians would be conformed into the image of Jesus (Rom. 8:29-30); 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

3) man would be redeemed by means of the crucifixion (1 Peter 1:20-21-20 He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you 21 who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. and Acts 2:23  this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.

4) Christians would be holy and would be adopted as His children by Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:4-5) 4 even as he chose us(those who accept him, (back to according to the plan) in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,

5) Christians would receive an inheritance (Eph. 1:11). 11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will

Do I believe that God s omniscient and knows what we will do?  Yes, He knew of the famine that would come to Egypt and sent a dream to the pharaoh to warn him.  He had already sent Joseph to interpret the dream.  He told Abraham that his descendants would be slaves for over 400 years and planned for their deliverance. The Bible tells us that God knew the ten plagues would harden the heart of Pharoah toward the Hebrews.  God did not cause him to do it.  Pharoah had the freedom to act differently, but his pride got in the way and God used the situation to bring about his plan.

God sees how we struggle over our decisions, but we are free to make it as we wish.  His foreknowledge of our ultimate decision did not cause us to do it or influence our decision.  He simply knows what is going to happen.

What was predestined was God’s plan for salvation through Jesus for those who accept it.  Therefore if you accept that Jesus died for your sins and you have made him Lord of your life then you are a part of the predetermined plan.  John 3:16

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.  He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.  2 Peter 3:9.

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men Titus 2:11

This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; who would have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth.. 1 Timothy 2:3-4

Many of the early church Fathers (before Calvinism)believed in Free Will …

Justin Martyr  (about a 100 years after Christ death) “Man acts by his own free will and not by fate.”

Irenaeus “ Men are Possessed of Free Will, and Endowed with the Faculty of Making a Choice. It is Not True, Therefore, that Some are by Nature Good, and Others Bad. This is good, and pleases God our Savior.   Man is Endowed with the Faculty of Distinguishing Good and Evil; So That, Without Compulsion, He Has the Power, by His Own Will and Choice, to Perform God’s Commandments, by Doing Which He Avoids the Evils Prepared for the Rebellious. ”

In fact “ Boettner, author of The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination acknowledges that the early church fathers did not ascribe to the doctrine of predestination:

“It may occasion some surprise to discover that the doctrine of Predestination was not made a matter of special study until near the end of the fourth century….They of course taught that salvation was through Christ; yet they assumed that man had full power to accept or reject the gospel. Some of their writings contain passages in which the sovereignty of God is recognized; yet along side of those are others which teach the absolute freedom of the human will. Since they could not reconcile the two they would have denied the doctrine of Predestination.

I have thought about this a lot as you can see.  Now it is your turn.  Tell me what you think.

Pat’s answer:

You go girlfriend! Right on!

I believe God has a plan for my life. Do I always follow that plan? Well maybe not. But God always has other deversions available just in case. I believe he leads us through difficult times to strengthen our faith. Watching us grow in that way must be very entertaining to Him. I believe he sends friends; helpers and angels to keep us on track. But I believe he uses our talents and desires to achieve the end goal. Which is accepting the grace in the end. I for one would not want to know the whole story ahead of time. Knowing me I would just want to change it. I am just as happy knowing that someone way bigger than me is in charge. I always think of the book God Winks and all the things that happen daily to us that we have no control over but could only be Gods work. I have seen things happen way to often that could only be Gods work. What direction is God taking me? I have no idea. But I will not fear because he is always there beside me.

I probably didn’t say this as well as you did but I think we each came to similiar conclusions dear friend.


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