The doctrine of predestination (according to the Bible) is one of the best truths the believer has to grow in and look forward expectantly. God separated certain things beforehand to those who He knew would believe in Christ.
Table of contents
Before we start
Why would I bother writing an article about this topic when myriads and myriads have already been written? Here’s why…
- It’s biblical, predestination is taught in the Bible
- Biblical predestination gives a bright hope and promise to the believer
- I wish you to share this truth with others!
Someone grabs the mic and says, “Let’s talk about predestination!”…(silence)…the reactions around the room are varied…awkward.
I. God REALLY is good
The Bible says God really is good!
“O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!”Psalm 34:8
The man who takes refuge in God can evidence God’s goodness because He will be blessed.
“The LORD is good to all, And His mercies are over all His works.”Psalm 145:9
Not only is God good but everything He does is good.
and 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.”Revelation 21:4
Simply put, If God predestined anything before the foundation of the world, it is good.
II. The confusion
Predestination is a topic that has been debated for hundreds of years and probably will go on. There is a lot of confusion regarding this topic. Unfortunately, what God intended to be for our joy and hopeful expectation has been perverted into something that causes fear and doubt and fatalistic thinking. Did God predestine certain people to be saved and did He let the rest go their way? John Calvin thought so…
We call predestination God’s eternal decree, by which he compacted with himself what he willed to become of each man. For all are not created in equal condition; rather, eternal life is foreordained for some, eternal damnation for others. Therefore, as any man has been created to one or the other of these ends, we speak of him as predestined to life or to death
A poor understanding of predestination causes the believer to require outward evidence of his salvation to have the assurance of his salvation. Why? Because ultimately an individual does not know he is predestined by God unto salvation before the foundation of the world. The people who believe were chosen by God unto belief. Therefore, ‘true belief’ is of crucial importance. How can one know they were really given God’s gift of faith? What evidence is the ultimate proof? The truth is, only the one who perseveres until the end is truly saved. If someone falls along the way, evidently he was never saved in the first place (and not one of the elect). Notice the following quote from a MacArthur article…
The only people who believe are those who have been appointed to eternal life. God only grants the gift of faith to those who are predestined to salvation. He chose us. And to those He has chosen, He gives the power to believe.
It is assumed that the doctrine of predestination is God’s choosing out of the world those who would be beneficiaries of his ‘irresistible grace’ unto justification. God predestined to salvation those He foreknew in eternity past. Sound familiar?
III. The Facts
Predestined (προορίζω) appears six times…
- The word predestine (προορίζω) appears 6 times. (Acts 4:28, Rom 8:29-30, 1 Cor 2:7, Eph 1:5, Eph 1:11)
- When referring to people it is always about believers unto glorification, never justification.
- Predestination always follows God’s foreknowledge
|Acts 4:28||to do whatever your hand and your plan had predetermined (proōrisen | προώρισεν | aor act ind 3 sg) to be.|
|Romans 8:29||because those he foreknew he (proōrisen | προώρισεν | aor act ind 3 sg) also predestined (proōrisen | προώρισεν | aor act ind 3 sg) to become conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.|
|Romans 8:30||And those he predestined (proōrisen | προώρισεν | aor act ind 3 sg), he also called; and those he called, he also justified; and those he justified, he also glorified.|
|1 Corinthians 2:7||Rather, we speak the wisdom of God; a wisdom that was hidden in mystery and that God had determined (proōrisen | προώρισεν | aor act ind 3 sg) before the ages for our glory.|
|Ephesians 1:5||he predestined (proorisas | προορίσας | aor act ptcp nom sg masc) us for adoption as his own sons through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will,|
|Ephesians 1:11||In Christ we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined (prooristhentes | προορισθέντες | aor pass ptcp nom pl masc) according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to the counsel of his will,|
Ephesians 1:4 tells us God chose us in Him. In other words, the choosing was made in Christ for the purpose of service and ultimate end not of a choice made of those in the world for salvation. God foreknew who would believe in Christ and those He foreknew he predestined to be conformed to the image of His son.
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;Romans 8:29
Christ died for the sins of the world (John 3:16), not only to atone for the elect (1 Jn 2:2). That means what separates mankind from God is not sins but the sin of unbelief (John 16:8-10). Jesus did not die for a few, he died for you and me and every single person that ever lives. Therefore, whosoever believes in Him is saved! God sovereignly chose this that way!
…To confine it to the sin of God’s elect can only be viewed as the fruit of theological bias. There is no such expression in scripture as “Taking away the sin of God’s elect.” Whenever God’s people are referred to we have the bearing of sins — the propitiation for our sins — the forgiveness of sins. Scripture never confounds these things; and nothing can be more important for our souls than to be exclusively taught by scripture itself, and not by the warping, stunting, withering dogmas of one-sided theology.
If you have not chosen to trust in Christ who died for your sins and rose again, do it now! Tomorrow may be late!
Predestination is a wonderful truth once one understands what the Bible teaches. Predestination is a truth for believers, not unbelievers. It is about our being made like Jesus.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.Romans 8:18-23
God has predestined us to the adoptions as sons. This has not yet happened. Every believer has received the spirit of adoption, but we are eagerly waiting for the redemption of our body! Predestination is not about salvation from hell, it is about the future glorification promised to the children of God. When we trusted in Christ, we became part of those elect predestined to be glorified and God knew we would all along but never caused it.
The adoption as sons is the future redemption of our body (Rom 8:23). At the point of salvation, every believer received the spirit of adoption (Rom 8:15) but still waits for the day when he’ll be fully adopted as son.
God, knowing ahead of time who would one day trust in Christ, predestined them to be conformed to the image of His Son. It all hinges on the fact that God knew beforehand but did not cause it. This does not alter God’s sovereignty at all!
- 100% of those who God glorified He justified.
- 100% of those He justified were called.
- 100% of those He called were predestined.
- 100% of those He predestined, He foreknew.
God foreknew -> God predestined -> God called -> God justified -> God glorified
IV. Predestination is not fatalism, it is never directly related to salvation
It is precious to know that upon hearing the good news you believed it and were saved (Eph 1:13). It is not about the experience you had or knowing the date or whatever change came over you! It is about whom you have believed in. Upon that basis, God guarantees you eternal life in His Word! You can bank on it!
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.John 5:24
These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.1 John 5:13
Assurance of salvation comes from knowing you have eternal life because the Bible tells you so! Eternal security is God’s promise to you in the Scriptures based on the faithfulness of Christ and guaranteed by the person of the Holy Spirit.
God chose you in Christ, not in the world! Because God foreknew that one day you would trust in Christ, He chose you to be conformed to the image of His son! You will receive your adoption and be redeemed of your body! You will receive the inheritance He has prepared! All these are yours to count on today! Nothing will cause that to change or fail, not ever.
V. In Conclusion
God in His sovereign plan determined beforehand to save those who come to Him by faith in Christ. This is both God’s sovereignty upheld, His will expressed through the call and man’s responsibility to respond in obedience.
The Bible clearly teaches this so that you can know it and count on it as something guaranteed in the future to all believers. By simple faith alone in Christ alone by grace alone you were saved and what God predestined to you beforehand is yours to learn about and take hold of it by faith! There’s no need to wonder anymore if you’ve been elected to salvation because that’s not what God did. He foreknew you in Christ and predestined wonderful things for you that are eternal!
This article is merely a small taste of what this wonderful doctrine holds and it is up to you to go and get deeply acquainted with it and even better with your heavenly Father that prepared it beforehand for you simply because he knew you would trust in His Son! He’s really that good!
I trust this has clarified predestination for you a bit more…if you’d like to know more, please don’t hesitate to contact us, we’d love to go over it some more with you! Ultimately, however, we’d encourage you to have your faith firmly convicted on the Word not what I say or some books says…God bless!