Part One: Doctrine

Chapter Eight: Predestination (pg 16 of 29)

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Chapter 8. PREDESTINATION.

 

              a. General. God has predestinated His people to be eternally saved and to live forever with him in heaven. Much confusion exists over the doctrine of predestination. Many ignore the doctrine and many distort the doctrine from that which is taught in the scriptures.  

               b. Proof Scriptures. The doctrine of predestination is clearly taught in the scriptures as is evident from the following scriptures:

Romans 8:28-33 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. 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. 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. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.

Ephesians 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

Ephesians 1:11 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:

               c. Predestination of People. The key to the doctrine of predestination is an understanding of what is predestinated. Many believe that the doctrine deals with the predestination of "events." However, an examination of the above scriptures discloses that Biblical predestination deals with people, not events. Simply stated, the Biblical doctrine of predestination is that God has pre-determined a destiny for his people. Notice from the above verses that the reference is to "whom he did predestinate", "predestinated us" and "inheritance ... predestinated." God has predestinated a people for heaven and that is all that the doctrine of predestination teaches. The Biblical doctrine of predestination does not deal with events or happenings in our lives, such as illness, being a victim of a crime, being killed in an accident, losing our jobs, gaining a promotion on the job and similar events in life. Mankind is more than a mere puppet, and if the Biblical doctrine of predestination dealt with events then the logical conclusion would be that God has determined everything that is going to happen and mankind is a passive puppet as those matters unfold. If that were so, then man would have no responsibility for anything, for he would not be able to do anything or accomplish anything except that which God has predestinated. That is not the Biblical doctrine.

Also, if predestination dealt with events, then the logical result would be that God would be the author of sin. However, God is not the author of sin and does not even tempt man to sin:

James 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:  
              d. All Things "Together For Good." It is interesting that a popular belief equivalent to the predestination of events has developed among those that reject the Biblical doctrine of predestination as it deals with God having predestined a people for heaven. These contend that everything that happens in a persons life occurs for their good and is the result of a decree of God. They rely on the following verse for this belief:
Romans 8:28-33 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.
It is true that this verse teaches that "all things" work together for good to those that love God. However, these verses go on to detail how we know that this is so, and in doing so explains what the "all things" are that work together for good. We know that all things work together for good for those that are "called according to his purpose" because of the following:
Romans 8:29-30 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. 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.
Thus, the "all things" under consideration here and that work together for good is God's foreknowledge, predestination, calling, justification and glorification. That is God's promise to his children and the result of all these things is that they will be with their Lord in heaven. Not one of these things will be left undone for God's children, but rather they will all work together for their good. During life their may be events which are not for the good of God's children (they could be the victim of cancer, a crime victim, a murder victim, their spouse could be unfaithful, they could themselves be guilty of sin that causes heartbreak in their lives and the lives of those they love etc.) but despite all this we know that the acts of God that culminate in the eternal salvation of his children are continuing for their good. The promises of God that conclude this instruction include the following assurance:
Romans 8:32-33 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
God bestows upon his children everything they need for eternal salvation and to assure them of a home in heaven!

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