Since coming to an understanding of predestination, I have tried to understand why people are hostile to the doctrines of God’s electing grace, and why people assume they are not among the elect. Before those inquires can be examined, it must be affirmed, by all, that predestination is a Biblical doctrine, despite open hostility against God, and His Word.  The Scriptural basis for this doctrine is clear and simple. Predestination is a biblical term.

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified” (Rom. 8:28-30).

“Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will” (Eph. 1:5).

“In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will” (Eph. 1:11).

The key is understanding what predestination means, biblically.

The words translated “predestined” in the Scriptures referenced above are from the Greek word proorizo, which carries the meaning of “determining beforehand,” “ordaining,” “deciding ahead of time.”

Predestination is God determining certain things to occur ahead of time. As the Creator, as the Sovereign of His own universe, God has the right to manage it according to His own good pleasure and will. It has pleased the Father to predetermine what will happen to ever molecule, every atom, and every person that comes forth from His creative power. While Albert Einstein did not believe in a personal God, he did say something true. “God does not play dice with the universe.”

Specifically, whom, and what did God determine ahead of time?

According to Romans 8:29-30, God predetermined that certain individuals would be conformed to the likeness of His Son, be called, justified, and glorified. Essentially, God predetermines that certain individuals will be saved.

Numerous scriptures refer to believers in Christ being chosen. They are called the elect of God.

“And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened” (Matt. 24:22).

“And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” (Matt. 24:31).

“And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect’s sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days” (Mark 13:20).

“And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven” (Mark 13:27).

“Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth” (Rom. 8:33).

“(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)” (Rom. 9:11).

“Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. 6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. ¶ 7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded” (Rom. 11:5-7).

“As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes” (Rom. 11:28).

“In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will” (Eph. 1:11).

“Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering” (Col. 3:12).

“Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God” (1 Thess. 1:4).

“Therefore, I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory” (2 Timothy 2:10).

“Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness” (Titus 1:1).

“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied” (1 Peter 1:1-2).

The purpose of election is the certain salvation of the soul, while manifesting the glory of Christ.

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (1 Peter 2:9).

Consider.

Every professing believer is to make their election sure.

“Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall” (2 Peter 2:10).

Predestination is the biblical doctrine that God, in His sovereignty, chooses certain individuals to be saved.

The most common objection to the doctrine of predestination is that it is unfair.

Why would God choose certain individuals, and not others?

That is a good question. Here is a better question. “Why would God choose to save anyone?”

An important point to remember is that no one deserves to be saved. We have all sinned (Romans 3:23), and come short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23).  We are all worthy of eternal punishment (Rom. 6:23).

As a result of conscience, and open rebellion against God. The Lord God would be perfectly just in allowing every single person to spend eternity in hell.

However, God chooses to save some, in order to manifest His attributes of grace, love, and mercy.

In His displaying of grace and mercy God is not being unfair to those who are not chosen, because they are receiving what they deserve. God’s choosing to be gracious to some is not unfair to the others. No one deserves anything from God; therefore, no one can object if he does not receive anything from God.

A simple illustration would be a man randomly handing out money to five people in a crowd of twenty. Would the fifteen people who did not receive money be upset? Probably. Do they have a right to be upset? No, they do not. Why? Because the man did not owe anyone money. He simply decided to be gracious to some.

If God is choosing who is saved, does not that undermine our free will to choose and believe in Christ? No, not at all, and for this reason.

The Bible says that we have a choice to make. In fact, every person is commanded to choose Christ as their personal Savior. Jesus said, “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent” (John 6:29).

The gospel promise is that all who believe in Jesus Christ will be saved. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house” (Acts 16:31).

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Rom. 10:9-10).

The Bible never describes God as rejecting anyone who believes in Him, or turning away anyone who is seeking Him (Deut. 4:29).

Somehow, in the mystery of God, predestination works hand-in-hand with a person being drawn by the Spirit, and believing unto salvation.

“No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:44).

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Rom. 1:16).

God predestines who will be saved, but a person must choose Christ in order to be saved. Both facts are equally true. “

“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!” (Rom. 11:33).

Some people reject the wisdom of God in predetermining all things that shall come to pass, because they are not yet wise enough to bow before His sovereignty, or astonished enough, in the matter of salvation, to perceive that where sin abounds, grace does much more abound. Though sin abounds in the heart of man, God’s love, mercy, and grace can be infused to the soul to drive it out.

If you want love to replace the hatred in your heart, confess your sin, and ask Jesus to save you. If you want light to replace the spiritual and moral darkness in your soul, confess your blindness, and moral transgressions, and ask the Lord for mercy. If you want freedom from all bitterness, anger, and meanness, confess specifically these sins, and call upon the Lord for a new heart whereby His love is shed abroad in your heart. If you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, with being argumentative, and the insatiable need to be smarter, and in control all the time, confess your tiredness. Being right, and in control in every situation, and on every issue, is a heavy burden to bear. Lay it down, and find rest in Christ. One day Augustine of Hippo grew weary of sin, and began to pray.

“Great are you, O Lord, and exceedingly worthy of praise; your power is immense, and your wisdom beyond reckoning. And so we men, who are a due part of your creation, long to praise you – we also carry our mortality about with us, carry the evidence of our sin and with it the proof that you thwart the proud. You arouse us so that praising you may bring us joy, because you have made us and drawn us to yourself, and our heart is unquiet until it rests in you.”

Predestination, is no barrier to salvation, but wicked cynicism is. The person who says, “If God wants to save me, I will be saved,” mocks God. He dares God to save Him. He provokes God to anger. He compounds His own damnation, and hardens his own heart. Rather than fall down and plead for needed mercy for breaking the moral Laws of God, rather than saying with Peter, “I am a sinful man” (Luke 5:8), the cynic dismisses the subject of salvation, and lays back down to sleep the sleep of the indifferent, resting in the flippant thought, “If I am predestined, I will be saved.”

Let such a person know, with Divine certainty, if they do not intellectually wake up, become serious about their eternal soul, fall down before God, repent of sin, and embrace Jesus as Lord and Savior, they will be damned. A real Hell awaits the Devil, and his angels, and all why cynically want to join them.

Predestination is no barrier to salvation, but cynicism is.

One thought on “Predestination is No Barrier to Salvation, but Cynicism Is

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