There are many points to make when talking about predestination. When one thinks of predestination, what comes to mind is that God is so sovereign and that He randomly picks various people in history (and today) that will go to heaven or that will go to hell. Well, we know that God is sovereign (Ps 115:3, Ps 135:6, Isa 46:10, Dan 4:35). We also know that He’s omniscient (Ps 147:5, Job 28:24, Isa 46:9, Ps 139:4). So to think that God (the Alpha & Omega) (Rev 1:8,17, Rev 21:6-7) doesn’t already know the outcome is crazy. But to suggest that He made the outcome the way it is is a different story.
We know there are a couple verses in the Bible that clearly shows that we have free will and have to make choices (Heb 10:26, 1 Cor 9:17). We also know that before the foundations of the world that God knew us (Jer 1:4, Gal 1:15, 1 Cor 2:7, Eph 1:5). It seems like there’s a tug-a-war between free will and predestination. But the reality is, free will was given to us (Gen 2:15-17, Josh 24:15, Deut 30:19, Prov 8:10). We make choices in our lives, not God. But guess what, since God is outside of time and His view is of all time (Ps 90:2,4, 2 Pet 3:8, Ps 102:24-27) from beginning to end, He already knows the choices you are going to make. And since He knows what choices we are going to make and created the universe the way He did, then you could say that He created the you that will make the choices you make. So now we are living with choices that have been predestined by God. The spiral starts spinning…
The problem with this topic is that we as humans can’t see things the way that God sees them. God is omnipotent and omniscient. He knows what will happen before it will happen. But foreknowledge does not imply predestination. Our problem is that we cannot fathom time the way God knows it. We see time as a constant stream from point A to point B. This is why we cannot fathom that there is no beginning to God and no end to God. God is infinity. God simply is.
It’s not that we are predestined to receive salvation or to reject it. Because after all Christ did for all our sins (John 3:16). The fact of the matter is we still make the choices we make in our lives, even though God already knows the outcome and created the us with these choices. That is the issue with predestination. It assumes that God created the people He wants saved and the ones He doesn’t. And Biblically, Scripture supports predestination. Full circle back to top..
So now we are left with the free will to love or reject God. But we know from scripture that it’s in our nature to reject God (Gal 5:16-17), and without the Holy Spirit we hate God (Romans 8:7-8, Eph 2:15-16). So if it’s in or nature to reject and hate God, what is the key to our salvation? The holy spirit. Which leads us back to it being up to God on who’s saved and who’s not. Because after all, its by grace that we are saved, not of our ways or deeds (Eph 2:8-9). Are you seeing the difference between predestination and election?
As you can see you can go back in forth with free will and predestination. But there’s no debate to election. No matter how much free will we have, without the work of the Holy Spirit, we can’t save ourselves (2 Tim 2:26, Eph 1:9, Jjohn 6:44). If you are saved and come to Christ, it is because the Spirit of God has saved you, not by choice, or free will. Many people don’t like this because frankly there are loved ones and a lot of people going to hell and if we believe in election, there’s nothing we can do about it. But like Got Questions says on this topic ;
The important thing to remember is that no one deserves to be saved. We have all sinned (Romans 3:23), and are all worthy of eternal punishment (Romans 6:23). As a result, God would be perfectly just in allowing all of us to spend eternity in hell. However, God chooses to save some of us. He 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.
If you are saved, be happy that God has chosen you out of HIS free will (Eph 1:3-4) and if you are obedient to His word, your loved ones and other people of all nations will be saved and baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Matt 28:19-20).
I remember when I 1st heard of Calvinism, Predestination, Election, etc. It was really hard for me to accept. When I was hearing it, I was really disappointed and discouraged. I started to think to myself, if God is saving people and He already has condemned people to hell, what’s the use for me to shared the gospel? It was also damaging to my pride or made me feel like I had less of a purpose if it isn’t me that doing the saving. But if it were me doing the saving, who gets the glory then? What I was getting twisted was the fact that I still have a choice to spread the gospel and to be obedient, and that if I am saved, I will be obedient (Matt 7:21, Acts 10:35, Luke 6:46, 1 Cor 7:19, Col 3:23) and God will use me. Which in a way leads us back into free will predestination spiral.. The spiral never stops.
The most important points to take from this is;
The point of this article was to show that even though there’s a debate and contrast between predestination and free will, they can still concur. But to also point out that whichever side you pick, election is still clear.
The mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps. – Proverbs 16:9
For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have a stewardship entrusted to me. – 1 Cor 9:17
Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! – Romans 11:33