Question of the day: predestination.

I’m pretty sure we’ve discussed it in some form or another in the past on this blog. But we’re going to discuss it again… although, that really depends on you and whether or not you decide to engage in the discussion. So I guess what I should say is that “we’re hopefully going to discuss it again!”  :]

Be nice. Don’t fight. Notice, I didn’t say “Don’t argue.”

Argue your point if you must, but don’t fight. You can argue intelligently without pulling out the virtual boxing gloves… or steak knives.

Use Scripture to back your opinions. Please. and thank you.

Here’s this week’s QOTD…

What do you think the Bible means when it uses the word “predestinate” (or a form of the word) in Romans 8:29-30 and Ephesians 1:5, 11?

Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

~               ~               ~               ~

NOTE TO MY READERS: I wanted to give you all a head’s up that tomorrow will begin my series on “Doctrines of the Faith.” Also, as another head’s up — while a certain topic might be discussed in the “Doctrines of the Faith” series, it might not necessarily be a “doctrinal” issue.

Most of the topics that will be discussed in this series were sent to me by different readers asking my opinions on them. Since I didn’t have the time to respond to their emails/messages then and there I promised I would do a series and address all of the topics presented to me. Hence, this series.

I have thoroughly enjoyed working on the posts for this series! It has caused me to study passages of Scripture that I’ve not really dived deeply into before. It has helped me grow and draw the line in the sand regarding what I believe about certain issues. I hope you enjoy reading the series as much as I have enjoyed writing it.

If you would like me to write about/share my opinions on a certain topic in this series, leave me a comment below or shoot me an email {growup318 at gmail dot com}. As of right now I have about 10 different topics I’ll be addressing in this series. In the future (after one or more posts in this series have been published) you can find all the posts in this series HERE.

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Posted on October 8, 2012, in Question of the Day and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Correct me if I am wrong…but Jesus himself never said anything about predestination, did he?

    I think the idea is one borne out of a need for early Christians (and later, theologians) to marry the idea of an omnipotent god with the concept of free will. In other words, if man truly has free will and, therefore, dominion over his ultimate fate, is god also simultaneously omnipotent. Likewise, if god is truly omnipotent and has, in some fashion, predetermined who will be saved and who won’t be, does man really have free will?

    Paul evidently erred on the side of God’s omnipotence, without also dismissing free will. It is kind of a psychological tightrope!

    • Just a few points . . .
      ** Jesus did say “You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you” John 15:16
      He also said that no one can come to Him unless the Father draw them John 6:44

      ** ALL Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable . . . Therefore, are the words of Jesus any MORE inspired than the words of Paul, or any words of Scripture? The fact is that predestination IS in the Scriptures. It wasn’t added by early Christians or theologians.

      ** If ALL Scripture is given by inspiration of God, could it be “evident Paul erred”?

  2. Fascinating subject, and one most of us COULD argue for hours. There are Scriptures that refer to predestination, but also many examples of (apparent) free will. So where does that leave me? Honestly, probably feeling that I don’t seem to be predestined to understand predestination. Maybe that’s true of more than a few of us???? So I’m happy to let you all do the arguing. I’ll stick carefully to what Jesus said was MOST important – loving God and loving our neighbors. (And won’t pretend to even know all THOSE answers.)

  3. Predestination is a fact, simply because it is in the Scriptures. We cannot deny the fact of predestination, but maybe there is an explanation no one can pinpoint exactly. Some try to explain it away by saying God predestined according to His foreknowledge, but to our way of thinking (which admittedly is human wisdom, not Godly wisdom) wouldn’t that be POSTdestination?

    The Bible presents unsaved man as DEAD: spiritually dead. The picture presented to us in Ephesians 2:1-3 is that of a dead fish carried along in a fast-moving stream, with NO power to resist. One who is dead cannot decide to become alive. Romans 1-3 and other Scriptures say the same thing.

    The fact is that EVERYONE was guilty, condemned, without excuse and completely helpless to do anything about it. Everyone was in the same boat. No one was more worthy than any others. Would God be unjust to set His hand on a number of them and work in them for His own purpose? (much as the Potter and the clay)

  4. @Meeting:

    Thank you for the clarification on Jesus’ words on the topic.

    In your second comment, you speak about the factual nature of predestination. While eloquent, I think the explanation reasons out the possibility of free will. You said it yourself: “One who is dead cannot decide to become alive.”

    Can you comment how free will fits into the nature of predestination?

    • I know I have free will. I know I often follow my own will, drifting from the perfect will of God for me. I know that sometimes I do not react to circumstances the way I should: that I become impatient or angry or resentful or something similar. I praise God that He ALWAYS works in me, convicting me, and drawing me back to Himself.

      My choice (although, as I’ve stated, not always my response) is to be in constant communion with Him, from my first waking moment to my last thought as I sleep. Is this of my own doing? No way! It is ONLY because of His work in me. It is because of our ‘history’ that I desire to please Him and I know the blessings of doing so, and it is because I am His blood-bought, adopted child that He perseveres with me.

      I imagine you objecting and saying this applies only after becoming a Christian, and asking how ‘free will’ fits into salvation. I cannot answer that. I do not know how the two merge, but I know they do.

      I know God speaks of both predestination and of free will. I know God says no one seeks after Him. I know God says we are spiritually DEAD and unable to do anything of ourselves to make any difference. Ephesians 2 says that faith is a gift from God and I see that only when He gives that gift of faith, can we exercise our free will.

      I was not aware of exercising free will when God stepped into my life, but I am not saying it is that way for everyone. Some people talk of ‘deciding’ to accept God’s gift of salvation through Christ. I had a dramatic conversion experience and a COMPLETE change in my life. If you want more details you can find it at
      http://meetingintheclouds.wordpress.com/2010/09/08/part-6-my-decision-to-become-a-nun-and-words-haunt-me/

      Cloudwatcher

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