Predestination has been a hot topic around my office for the last few days. And frankly, it is a topic that most Christians like to avoid. However, I believe that it is critical to discuss this topic, because we as Christians must have a foundation on which we stand.
Has God chosen just a select few to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven or do we all have the chance to get there by accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior? I am going to tell you my beliefs on this topic, but I urge you with everything I believe, not to take my word for it, but rather compare what I say to God’s Word and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you the Truth about this topic (as you should do with anything said or done by man).
The predestination argument comes from (at least in this case) the wording used in the Bible from Ephesians 1:3-13. Now some people believe the wording from Paul to be that of Predestination in the context that God has selected just a certain amount of people to be believers or to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. For example, before time began, God chose who would come to the knowledge of His Son Jesus Christ. Therefore, predetermining who would go to Heaven. Here is the problem I have with that belief. If that is true, why in the world would God send His One and Only Son to die on the Cross? That would completely mean that the death of Jesus is in vain. Why? If God already knew or predetermined, by choosing just a select few, then He would not need to send His Son to die a brutal death on the Cross. For if He already had chosen us, there would be no need for the atonement of the blood of Jesus. There would be no reason for us to be commanded to spread the gospel. There would be no reason for us to be here at all.
We are on this earth for two reasons, to Glorify God and to spread the Good News of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, so that ALL may have the chance to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. John 3:16 is one of the most well known verses in all the Bible, but sometimes we read by it so fast, we completely miss the context and what it truly means. God so love the WORLD, that He gave His One and Only Son (Jesus Christ), that WHO SO EVER believes, shall have eternal life. Notice that it does not say, God so loved a select few or predetermined amount, that He gave His One and Only Son, that the predetermined amount of Gods choosing shall have eternal life. Nope, it does not say that at all.
Let me put it like this, God loves each and every one of us. He created each of us for a specific purpose. Why in the world would He create something, knowing that He was going to have to send it to hell? He wouldn’t. It is Gods desire, that all would come to the knowledge and acceptance of Jesus Christ. He longs to have a loving relationship with each and everyone of us. He did however, give us the ability to choose Him through free will. Since the beginning of time when God created Adam and Eve and they sinned against God by eating from the tree He had forbidden them, man has been born into sin. Through that sin, we are separated from God. But even then, God had a plan. He already knew that Jesus Christ was going to be the atonement for our sins. .
So what is Ephesians 1:3-13 telling us then? I must tell you that I have prayed about this and asked God to reveal to me His Truth about this topic (as I would encourage you to do too). So let’s break this down.
Ephesians 1:3-13 NIV
3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.4For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5he[c] predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. 9And he[d] made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.
11In him we were also chosen,[e] having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
Verse 4-7: 4For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5he[c] predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. V4) We need to understand what this is saying. He chose us before the creation of the world means, He knew He was going to create us before time began. The second part of that is, to be holy and blameless in his sight, meaning He wanted the relationship with His creation through His Son Jesus Christ, just like He had with Adam and Eve V5) In love, He predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ. Meaning He knew that we were going to fall into sin, so He already had a plan in place to atone for us, that plan was and is Jesus Christ. The second part of that, in accordance with his pleasure and will. This means, that He gets pleasure and His will is fulfilled when we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior.
Verse 11-12: 11In him we were also chosen,[e] having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. This is telling us before time began, God had a plan and a purpose for our lives. If we choose to accept Christ, then that purpose is revealed so that God would be glorified because we have chosen Him and will no longer be separated from Him because of atonement through Jesus Christ. Also by fulfilling the purpose by which He planned for us before time, we bring Him Glory simply because we are walking in His Will for our lives.
Now, I know that some of you still will not agree with what I have said, and that is fine. I will just say this, while I don’t believe in predestination, I do believe that God gives each of us the choice to either choose Him or reject Him. I believe that we have all been given free will. It is in this belief that this is truly how we bring Glory to Him. I believe that we as Christians are called and commanded to spread the gospel to the ends of the earth. I believe that God’s desire is that all mankind would come to the knowledge and acceptance of His Son Jesus Christ. You see, if predestination is true, how than would God truly be glorified by us already haven been chosen? It is our free will, which He gives us, that brings Him glory. By choosing Him, through faith after hearing the Good News of Jesus Christ, is when God is glorified. If we have been chosen, there would be no need for faith and no need for Jesus Christ. Therefore, making the entire Christian belief false. It is by faith we are first saved. It is through God’s Grace that we have the opportunity to accept Christ, and it is by His Mercy, we don’t have to pay the price for our sins.
Challenge: I urge you to honestly pray for God to reveal His Truth about salvation. I would also say this, anytime you hear a message or sermon, don’t just take it for face value, compare everything you hear or read to the Word of God through prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to reveal to you the Truth of what God would have you to know. Being mislead by anyone, whether it is intentional or unintentional, is wrong. But we have a responsibility of our own. We must seek God and His Truths, and I promise you He will reveal them to you.
What do you think or believe and why?