Friday, September 23, 2016

On the theory of predestination, again...

by Diane M. Hoffmann

A lot of people believe this theory of predestination (otherwise referred to also as election, the sovereingty of God in who will be saved or not, etc.), which was established centuries ago and kept alive through various denominations up to today.

Many denominations have disagreed with this theory over the history of the church, including the founder of the Methodist church, John Wesley who came on the scene during the 1700’s.

I was conducting Bible studies in my home a couple of years ago and among the people who came, there was one man who actually believed this theory to the point of giving up on His own salvation. He was most concerned and disturbed over it.

He actually believed that there was no point for him to go one way or another in response to the gospel message because he said that it didn’t matter -- if God had predestined him, then he had nothing to do for salvation either way.

But this is a lie of the devil… that is not true, what he has to do is accept, repent and receive the free gift of salvation that is already implemented from the foundation of the world for every man, woman and child in the world.

As we have seen in a previous article on this blog about this issue of predestination, there are several scriptures that are used by some people to either back up or refute the theory.

However I recently was reading the book of Romans, again, and came across another passage of scripture that confirms the argument against this issue. Hence this article on the subject again.

Romans 8:29-32:

“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?”

Now we have to go back to the scripture that says:

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that ANY should perish, but that ALL should come to repentance.” (11 Peter 3:9)

With this, we know that God does not want one to perish, but ALL to come to repentance.

What was the ministry of John the Baptist who preceded Jesus’s appearance? He was a voice in the wilderness crying out to ALL, “Repent and be baptised”.

Now the Gospel came first to the Jews, then to the Gentiles. The Jews were the ones who were chosen by God through Abraham and his descendants… and the Gentiles were the rest of the non-Jews people.

As far as God goes, the whole world is made up of 2 camps: one saved and one unsaved.

Now, the predestination before the foundation of the world is this:

Before the world was created God foreknew everything and everyone.  He created the world then He created the human race by first creating Adam and Eve.

Through His foreknowledge, He already knew that Adam and Eve would fail – the Fall.

But He created them anyway, so the whole world subsequent to Adam and Eve, individually.

Through His foreknowledge and wisdom, He created a way to redeem Adam and Eve and the rest of the human race: through the plan of Redemption (Salvation).

That’s where the predestination comes in…

God saw ALL the world to come and made them ALL predestined for Redemption – the plan, the means (Christ) and the human race.  We are all predestined for Redemption.

Can you imagine if God had not specified that? ALL would not know that they were predestined for Salvation.

As each and every one accepts, repents and receives the free gift of salvation through the preaching and hearing of the Gospel, he/she is redeemed. Once saved, all are then conformed to the image of His Son.

In the Garden 

God put Adam and Eve in the garden and gave them everything they needed to live. They were then saved, i.e.: connected spiritually with God. God walked with them and talked with them in the Garden.

It is said that in the world there are some 28,000 species of trees… even if we take that down by 50%, we’re left with 14,000… and even if we take that down by another 50%, we have 7,000 trees that would have been in the Garden.

And God said to Adam and Eve, “of all the trees you may eat, EXCEPT the one of the knowledge of good and evil”… so you know the story, you know what happened – they fell into temptation and ATE of the one tree that they were not allowed. They disobeyed God and therefore died spiritually, representing the whole of the human race who would have done the same in their place.

As a result they were expelled out of the Garden into a fallen world – out of the saved camp into the unsaved camp.  And so was mankind thereafter.

The blood of an animal had to be shed to redeem them. They had to bring blood sacrifice in order to keep them covered before God UNTIL the ultimate Lamb of God would complete the full redemption.

When Jesus came by way of God’s incarnation from His spirit world to the human world, the gospel of Redemption was preached and explained.

As people responded to the message of Redemption and repented, those in the unsaved camp were brought into the saved camp. And so it has been since Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and continues to be until now, and will continue until He comes back in His second coming.

In His foreknowledge, God also knew who would come to Him, accepting, repenting and receiving His redemptive plan and therefore knew who would be conformed to the image of his Son…

So there is no such thing as God saving some people and others not, as my friend was so erroneously led to  believe and now condemns himself to a most miserable life.

We can be assured of the availability of God’s Redemption and Grace but we must repent and receive it individually as presented in the Word of God.

Hebrews 10:22-23, "Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.  Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;” Hebrews 10:22-23, (KJV).

That is the Blessed Assurance that is promised in the goodness and faithfulness of our Great, Faithful, Graceful and Merciful God, the Creator of the universe. /dmh



Diane M. Hoffmann, B.Th., M.Th., Ph.D./Th.

Author of "24 Hot Potatoes in the Church Today"
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