Read Romans 8:28-30
I’ll be honest with you: the topic of predestination has always been a tough one for me. Even as I have grown in my understanding of God and His Word, even to this day, I’m still learning what the Bible says about predestination.
By definition, predestination is the doctrine that all events have been willed by God, usually with reference to the eventual fate of the human soul. In our context today, and in the plainest terms, predestination is the belief that God knows who will accept Him as Lord and Savior and who won’t…He knew that before they were even born.
My gut reaction may be a lot like many of yours, “But, how can this be true? How can Jesus die for the sins of the world (1 John 2:2) but only ‘predestine’ some for Heaven? Does this, then, mean that people are predestined for Hell? Do they even have a choice? Is there any hope for them at all?”
Like I said, that has been my gut reaction in the past. However, I believe that the Bible is unequivocally God’s inspired Word (2 Timothy 3:16-17) and is just as alive and active (Hebrews 4:12) today as it was thousands of years ago. This series is so important because we are learning about what the Bible says about important topics of the day and not how we may feel about them.
Here is what we know to be true:
People have free will
The Bible expresses, in several places and in many ways, that we have a choice from Joshua 24:15 to John 1:12. We are even told that angels have free will (Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14) as Satan, then Lucifer, a glorified angel, chose to rebel against God and took 1/3 of the angelic host with him as he was banished from Heaven (Revelation 12:4).
Predestination is explicitly a biblical truth
In our reading today, Paul, very plainly, talks about how God has foreknown and predestined people into ultimate glorification. As much as I may struggle with the topic of predestination, it is clearly biblical truth.
Now, before I move any further, I want to make something explicitly clear:
Evangelism is more important than ever before!
To the very bottom of my soul, I believe, and the Bible teaches, that everyone has a decision to make if they will accept the free gift of salvation from their sins by Jesus’ death and resurrection. People who reject that gift will experience Hell rather than Heaven.
“But how can they consciously make a decision for or against Christ if that decision has already been made for them?”
By faith, or as Hebrews 11:1 puts it, “…confidence in what we hope for and assurance of what we do not see.”
God has done things and will do things that we don’t understand nor ever will.
Do you know how He created the world as we know it out of nothing? Do you know all that went into choosing to come to earth, serve His creation only to be brutally murdered for His efforts? Do you know what it took to forgive the very people who killed Him while He hung on a cross gasping for air? Do you know what it takes to love people to this day who spit in His face and curse His name?
We won’t know all there is to know about faith until we meet Jesus face to face one day. All we know is what we are told:
God is good. God is love. God wants no one to perish but all to come to Him.