Predestination explained.

This was suppose to be a comment on the “Paul Washer Exposed” post, but because of the length of it I have decided to put it up as a post. This is what I have submitted on Facebook before I got called a false teacher, serving a false god, digging a hole for myself, etc. And this was said by a so called christian teacher. And please friends, be honest with me if  I am in error.

Rom 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. (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.

Eph_1:4  According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

2Th_2:13  But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

Rom 9:15-23  For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.(16)  So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.(17)  For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.(18)  Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.(19)  Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?(20)  Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? (21)  Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? (22)  What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: (23)  And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,

Clearly Paul wasn’t confused when he wrote about predestination. He wrote about it with authority and he did not do it to confuse the church. Why is it then that it is so controversial today? Is it meant to be a hidden or dividing subject?

Some say predestination is a Calvinistic teaching. I am really not much into Calvinism, but did some refreshing on the subject. The biggest church in South Africa, the Dutch Reformed church, is based on Calvinism. I have never been a part of that church. I know they believe in baptizing infants and apparently once the baby is baptised, he is a child of the new covenant and apparently predestined for salvation as long as he sits in the church and pay his tithes.  Well, that is a lot of nonsense and it is not biblical. I can understand why people can then be so scared of the predestination teaching that they will mark it as a false doctrine causing people to go to hell.

Well, predestination will not vanish out of the Bible. It is a fact of Scripture. Now let me try to give you my understanding of what is meant by predestination.

1Pe 1:18-20 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; (19)  But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: (20)  Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

As we can see here Christ was foreordained to die for us even before the foundation of the world was laid. Before this 3rd rock from the sun was even formed, when there was nothing in this universe, the Son of God was predestined by His Father to come and die for a sinful race.

Now this is huge, but keep in mind God is not limited by space and time. He knows the end even before the beginning. He is never caught by surprise. If Christ was foreordained to die for us, He must have known that Adam will fall. The cross was not plan B. It has always been plan A.

Now by looking at predestination from Gods eternal view, is it still a mystery? Did He not know before the foundation of the earth who will accept His free gift of salvation and who will reject it? Everyone who ever lived had the choice to accept or reject His offer of salvation. He knew Pharaoh will reject Him, so He made him a vessel of His wrath for His glory. Jesus knew Judas would betray Him and therefore he was predestined as a vessel of wrath. Even the coming antichrist will have a choice with a free will, but we know from Scripture what he will choose. I submit to you that those people whose hearts God has hardened and were used as vessels for His wrath would never have made a choice to serve the Living God. And because all knowing God knows it, they are predestined for His wrath.

In the same way God knew who will accept His call, and He called them predestined for Glory. Do you think my dear friend that God was surprised the day you gave your life to Him? No, He knew that you would do it before you were even born. Do you think that before the Son of God was born from a virgin, He did not know every single person by name who will except His free gift of salvation?

Now then, is God unfair for creating people who He knew are destined for wrath? Surely not, as we cannot blame God for the choices people make. We all still have a free will. God knows our choices; He does not make it for us. He only works around it.

So my friends, predestination is not sitting back because God made us who we are and he decides where we will end up. Predestination is still preaching the Gospel, repentance, working out your salvation and warning people about coming judgment as we as humans do not know who is destined for glory and who is destined for hell.

In short, predestination is God knowing in advance what we will choose, but the choice is still ours.

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18 thoughts on “Predestination explained.

  1. Though the Dutch reformed church claims to be Calvinist – from your description of it, it doesn’t sound Calvinist at all. How my baptizing a hapless infant can “secure” predestination for him could possibly be rational I cannot imagine. Since scripture doesn’t teach it, I’m going to assume the apparent contradiction is in fact a contradiction then, and not just difficult to understand it.

    Calvin I think at the heart is the ultimate expression of abandonment of works based religion. There is nothing that I do as a sinner to secure my salvation. God chose me at the beginning of time, and chose to come and die in my place for my rebellion. The scripture you provided above shows there is no act of mine which saves me. The only effective actor in my salvation is Christ. Somehow I was made free to respond or to rebel – but honestly I don’t think I understand how that works.

    This has been a key scripture in understanding my incapability, and the insufficiency of any act of mine before a Holy God-

    We have all become like one who is unclean,and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.We all fade like a leaf,and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. (Isaiah 64:6 ESV)

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  2. I am honest in saying that I have no idea what the difference between Calvinism and Arminianism is. I don’t think that I ever was interested in studying it. I just know the teachings of the Dutch Reformed Church had its origin with Johannes Calvyn and it may be that the drifted from his original teachings. I honestly can see no resemblance between that church,
    Paul Washer and John MacArthur, two preachers who I truly appreciate. If so, then I must be a Calvinist.

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  3. God chooses and man chooses.
    But God is so sovereign that whatever we choose with our own free will will still fall under overall His sovereign plan!
    Such is the vastness and totality of His Sovereignty!

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  4. Dear Wickus, infant baptism is a separate issue from that of election, I’m a strong defender of believer’s baptism.

    I grew up with your explanation of election…”God looked down the corridors of time and knew who would choose, who would not”, however, my dear friend, this is not what scripture says. Of course God knew the object he was predestinating, and scripture is clear that it is God who hardens, it is God who chooses. You see Wickus, if you struggle with the “fairness” of it all, then you completely understand what Paul was saying in Romans, he clearly stated that it DOES NOT depend on the MAN who WILLS or the MAN who RUNS BUT ON GOD WHO HAS MERCY” and Paul knew that a proper understanding of what he was writing would lead the reader to the fairness question, hence, Paul moves forward and addresses that very issue with the analogy of the clay dictating to the Potter, why have you made me thus? God hardens whom He will, He has mercy on whom He will.

    You see Wickus, you were dead in your trespasses and sins, and you did not seek after God, as no man (on his own) seeks after God….dead people do not seek, they do not choose. Just like God exploded into Paul’s life with a burst of light, knocking him off his horse because He was calling him….one day, you were dead and God burst into your life with His light, HE WOKE YOU UP FROM YOUR DEAD STATE and said “Wickus, you are mine, follow me!” The progression of events led you to think that you heard the gospel, were convicted of your sin and chose to follow Christ. It is not until one reads and embraces Scripture that they understand the process was in the most literal sense the work of Christ and Christ alone! It leaves one in a crumpled heap in the middle of the floor….but for God!

    Once again, we can agree to disagree on this, although I consider it a very, very important doctrine that affects our other doctrines and belief system in so many ways. This doctrine has brought me untold peace and rest for my soul.

    Read Romans 8, 9 and 10….read Ephesian 1 and 2….let the writer tell you exactly what happened in the midst of your salvation process, you do not need to make any excuses for the writer, he is telling it just like it is, he means exactly what he says and does not say anything about “God looking down the corridors of time, seeing who would choose”….

    I am not trying to beat a dead horse and this topic can be dropped anytime….this is simply one of those doctrines that I know that I know is true, it is a treasure that I wish all could relish and contemplate.

    Many blessings to you, MY BROTHER 🙂

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  5. My dear Pilgrim

    You explain it wonderfully and with so much passion. Thank you. I will surely go into this with much prayer. I know the Holy Spirit will shine the light on this. I may ask you some questions, but see it as investigating and seeking and not as arguing.

    God bless you Sister.

    Sent via my BlackBerry from Vodacom – let your email find you!

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  6. i agree with you wickus. everything you wrote. i see both aspects working in scripture ( really know little about the subject as anyone maybe able to tell). you said it so well that God knows already as The Sovereign who He has predestined but His Spirit works allowing us-each and all-our own sovereign choice. we do not save ourselves by any means but God lets us participate by faith so you or i are saved by Grace-answering that universal call from Calvary’s Cross. He is the Fisher of men and His Hook is Truth and Grace in a Perfect Blend and commissioning His Own to follow His Footsteps to reach out to the dying as we know we once were He is no respecter of persons in that very instance. God provided the Savior-i provided (availed) myself a sinner-for His Great Grace to make that Great Exchange for my soul. in the lyrics to “what wonderous Love is this” is this gem–when i was sinking down sinking down-when i was sinking down sinking down-when i was sinking down beneath God’s Righteous frown-Christ laid aside His Crown for my soul for my soul-Christ laid aside His Crown for my soul. the knowledge of this vast unmeasured Love made my heart know that He Sovereignly Chose the nails to do Heaven’s Work of Salvation and now on the other side-from lost to found-the repentance and faith side of that choice i made on january 4, 1976 i see now that from the beginning i was and am His. His Ways are past my understanding and i love love love that about Him! good post wickus-keep it up brother.

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  7. There is only predestination due to Him that already knew. In addition to the scripture already provided:

    Hebrews 4:12 – For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

    Acts 15:18 – Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.

    God knew your sins before we were born:

    Colossians 2:14 – Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.

    I think a key verse is the first one you presented above – Romans 8:29-30. We are not predestined in that God chose us b/c we are better in some way, we are predestined in that God knew our hearts before he even created us.

    The question is does God want all to choose him? The answer is YES!!!

    1 Timothy 2:5-6 – For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

    While God foreknew who would have the faith in Him, He sent His Son to die for all!!!

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  8. Dear Brother Wickus,

    Excellent post and analogy.
    FWIW, from my vantage your are right on target.
    Scripture is very clear on the subject. It is very difficult for our finite mind to understand His perfect infinite mind, thoughts and ways.

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  9. I’ll read the posts later but your, (Wickus) view of predestination is “spot-on” as far as i’ve studied it.

    My nickle minus three pennies

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  10. John 15:16
    You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.

    Jesus said He chose. There are many passages where it is clear, salvation is God’s choice. However, from our perspective we chose. It is a mater of perspectives. God, the Father, is outside of time. He did not make the world and watch it unfold, He wrote the world through his Word, Jesus Christ. See John chaper 1.

    Predestination and choice are both true, it is a matter of perspective. Like in the Star Wars universe. I ask people, who was the most powerful being in that universe… it was George Lucas, the author of the story. He created the universe, he wrote the characters, he chose their story. (Proverbs 16:9 – In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps).

    From Anakin Skywalkers perspective, he chose a bad path, but from George’s perspective, it was predestined. Both are true, depending on your perspective. Do you think God in his universe will be any less powerful than George in his? Hardly. Granted this is a limited way to view an eternal perspective, but the scripture say over and over that God chooses, predistines, determines, etc.

    Do you believe in scripture? Do you trust God even when you don’t understand it? But you will say, that is not fair, how can he judge us! (Paul addresses this in Romans Chapter 9 – 14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.) You cannot put our view of Right and Wrong on God! God is the definer of Right and Wrong. He wrote the world, like a game or program. He made the rules.

    What is right according to the rules? Faith. it is the only thing we can do right. Trust God through Jesus Christ. There is no other way to be saved. But faith in what we do not know is not faith! Faith is in a God we can know through Christ. He brings us to the Father, do we accept the Father as He is? He accepts us that way! Do we Trust Him as He is? He has a good plan. That is clear in scripture. He has a good motive. Whether or not we like what He is doing.

    He created the devil, knowing full well what he was going to do. He created Adam and Eve, knowing full well what they were going to do. He put the tree in the garden knowing they would eat from it. Not “forseeing” or “forknowing” but out and out planning the whole thing! God is in control, complete, utter and final. Being outside of time, He does not make mistakes, there are no alternate plans, there is only one timeline and it is written out in the word. I don’t understand why this is so hard for many to accept, other than that they don’t want to give up control. We like the idea of choice, repsonisbility, because it makes us like God. Isn’t that what they gained when they ate from the tree? To be like God. To see the difference between us and God (good and evil). This is what Sin is. To embrace the difference and pursue being God, being in control is Sin. However, to accept the difference, trust in God to make the way (Christ), is salvation. God is God, I am not, I am fine with that…even though my life is like Job. God has a good plan, a perfect plan. I am just glad He has included me in it.

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  11. Thanks Lou. I am learning more about the scriptures then I ever thought I could. I am still trembling from Pastor Steve Hess’s interpretations. I have a long way to go but I will keep trying and with the words of guidance and inspiration I have found on this site, the path is being clearly defined. God bless all of you !

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  12. I do have something to state here regarding this, but need to get it together more succinctly and understandable. Thanks for your patience. This only means I will type it up in Word, then copy and paste it here.

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  13. Dear Wickus, I appreciate your heart, your motives are pure. Like John MacArthur, I’m not crazy about the labels “Calvinism, Armenian” however, they simply serve to define a particular position.

    I am very vocal about this particular doctrine as it has become more precious to me than gold and silver. When God showed me these beautiful truths it came at a bit of a price. My husband was pastoring an Assembly of God church and did not embrace the teachings at all, I was in a bit of a quandary as I was teaching the adult Sunday School class at the time. I realized this is something that God has to reveal through His Word as it goes against so much of our human understanding and concepts of fairness. I did not discuss it with my husband, he was not open to it at all, I simply stored it in my heart as a priceless treasure. Then a few years later, I was amused when I noticed my husband (who is an ardent reader) reading books by Jonathan Edwards, Charles Spurgeon, RC Sproul etc. He began contemplating, grappling, working out the implications of scripture, peeling back the onion….I knew the Holy Spirit was at work. The scales also fell from his eyes and he saw this glorious truth, it has been an amazing journey!

    Keep praying and studying. Paul Washer and John MacArthur have many great sermons on the topic. MacArthur is one of my personal favorites too, in fact it was MacArthur’s sermons that opened my pastor’s eyes about 10 years ago, he is a gifted teacher.

    You are a good, faithful watchman, thank you for all the work you do on this blog, many blessings 🙂

    Maranatha!!

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  14. Thanks for sharing Pilgrim – and speaking for many husbands out there, thanks for patiently praying for your husband (which I’m inferring you did whether it was with words or the groaning beyond words in your soul). He listens (referring to the capital “H” He), and hears these prayers.

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