Thursday, June 9, 2016

Pr€d€$tin@t!0n is not a dirty word

"I don't believe in predestination!"

I've heard that one not a few times in my life. I think I basically understand what a person means when they say that, but it doesn't take away from this simple truth: predestination is in the bible.

Here are two examples:

he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will (Ephesians 1:5)

And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. (Romans 8:30)

So, to say 'I don't believe in predestination' leaves much to be desired in the explanation of these texts. Actually, we could say that to not 'believe in' predestination is to not believe the plain reading of Scripture.

What I am saying is this: Predestination is in the bible. We may not agree on all of its particulars, but we have to agree it is in the Bible. Plain and simple.

So how do we deal with it?

There are essentially two ways. 1st, we could say that God predestined us because He knew that we were going to choose Him, and so He predestined us according to the purpose of our will. He 'looked down through the corridors of time' and saw you'd love Him, and so in retroactive response, He loved because you first loved Him.

Many people think of God in this way. And I think it is for the most part out of a desire to uphold God's 'fairness' (the way they see it).

The 2nd way to look at predestination, and the way in which I think is most faithful to Scripture, is this: God knows because of sin, that no rebel would ever choose Him and so before the foundation of the earth He placed certain people in Christ that He would save for His own eternal glory.

This way of looking at predestination isn't God 'not allowing' certain people to come to Him. Whoever wants Christ may have Him! Literally, whoever, whenever, wherever. WHOSOEVER wants Jesus may come to Him!

But here's the problem. No one seeks after God (Rom. 3:11). No one. No, not one. All of humanity is not moving toward God, but because of sin they are moving away from Him. They do not want God to rule their lives. They are at enmity with God (Rom. 8:7). They want to be 'gods' themselves instead of worshiping the great God of the universe.

But by grace, God has chosen to save those He has predestined. Why? Are they better? Are they more righteous? Are they smarter? No. It is to the praise of His glorious grace.

No one is wanting to come to God and He says "Sorry, you're not on the list!" And no one who does come to Him is forced to against their will. 

Nobody is a robot. Nobody is forced to do something against what they most want. The God of the Bible is big enough to be Sovereign over all the universe while also holding men justly accountable for all their actions. Those whom God saves come to Him joyfully because He first effectually draws them by His Spirit through the proclamation of the gospel.

Yes, through the proclamation of the gospel.

What does this mean? It means we must share the gospel because God is going to use it to save may people for His own eternal glory! True, many will of their own volition reject the gospel because they love their sin. But it won't be that way for all! We must share the gospel with every race, tribe, tongue, language, and people because God is mighty to save!

The only way a person gets saved is through faith in Christ after hearing the gospel. So let us be zealous to proclaim it! God will let many people continue in their own way away from Him and rejecting Him. But He will also save many people by His grace through the preaching and sharing of the gospel. This is wonderful news. It means there is hope for your family, your friends, your neighbors, and the Nations! 

Let's also be willing to labor together with those who may view predestination different than us. I do think it is extremely important and Christ honoring to interpret the Bible correctly. But I also know faithful Believers have disagreed on this issue for a long time. So, let's be willing to discuss the Bible together but let's also be resolved to partner together to proclaim the riches of Christ in the gospel and the free pardon from sin and the imputed righteousness of Jesus to all people! 

It's sad that many people get upset about predestination. But what I hope you see in this post today is that it's not a dirty word. It's a biblical word. My ultimate goal is not that someone would believe a blog post. As soon as you believe my blog post you'll turn around and believe someone else's because they write better! I want you to believe the Bible. Go to the source. To God alone be the glory. 

If you want to study some more on this subject, consider these verses. Meditate on them in their proper context: Matthew 22:14, 24:22-31, Mark 13:20-27, Luke 18:7, Romans 8:33, 16:13, Colossians 3:12, 2 Tim. 2:10, Titus 1:1, 1 Peter 1:1,9, Rev. 17:14, Rom. 8:29-30, John 10:1-30, John 6:35-65, Romans 9:1-29, Acts 13:48, James 1:18, Eph. 1:3-14, Acts 13:48