Predestination
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Are YOU predestined to be saved, or cast into hell? I think not!

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

In my research of the scriptures, there are ONLY two places that predestination is spoken of. Romans 8:29-30 and Ephesians 1:5

As I studied it further, I have come to the conclusion that this reference to predestination, was focusing on the "Gentiles" (heathen nations that were not Jews), not a specific reference to individuals whom are prechosen to be saved and others prechosen to perish:

Romans

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. Romans 8:29

For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: Romans 11:13

In a continued study in Romans chapter 11, you will read how the Jewish "branch" was cut off because of unbelief, and the Gentile branch was "grafted in" because of their faith. Likewise, the branch that has been grafted in, if he does not continue by faith, will ALSO be cut off, showing that the branch has a "Choice"! The branch that is "cut off" ALSO has a choice to return by faith and be "grafted in" again!

Romans 11:17-23
   And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; [18] Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. [19] Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. [20] Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: [21] For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. [22] Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.  And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again.


It was through the fall of Israel, that salvation has come to the Gentiles (heathen, non-Jewish nations). The Gentiles, through faith in Jesus Christ, are being grafted in and made acceptable by the God of the Jews. This was to provoke the Jews to jealousy! THIS is what was predestined according to the prophecies of scripture!


Romans 11:11-12
    I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them (the Jews) to jealousy. [12] Now if the fall of them (the Jews) be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?

Here is the Old Testament  prophecy that "predestined" that the Gentiles would be included to receive salvation with Israel!

And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth. Isaiah 49:6

It was through faith in Jesus Christ, that WE, the Gentiles, were "predestined" to be conformed to the image of his son, Jesus Christ! But if we do NOT remain in Christ, we will be "cut off" from the root and cast into the fire!

Matthew 7:17-19
    Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. [18] A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. [19] Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.




Ephesians
Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, Ephes. 1:5

Please note again, that Paul was writing to the Gentiles!

For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, Ephes. 3:1


God had predestined, NOT that certain individuals should be saved and other individuals should perish, but rather, as spoken of in Romans, that the Gentiles should become joint heirs with the Jews, grafted in, having an inheritance as fellowcitizens with the saints:

Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; [12] That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: [13] But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. [14] For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; [15] Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; [16] And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: [17] And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. [18] For through him we both (Jew and Gentile) have access by one Spirit unto the Father. [19] Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; Ephes. 2:11-19


Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) [5] Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; [6] That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: Ephes. 3:4-6


So then, both books, Romans and Ephesians, were showing that God had predestined the Gentiles to be joint heirs with the Jews and that the predestination was a fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecy in which God had predetermined that the Gentiles would be included in the promises made to Israel:

And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth. Isaiah 49:6

The scripture in Acts 13, could have been a prechosen group of Gentiles whom God chose to believe, but once again, note that these are Gentiles that believed, and even quotes the Old Testament verse in Isaiah 49:6 of the prophecy that was being fulfilled:

Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. [47] For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. [48] And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. Acts 13:46-48


There does seem to be certain individuals through scripture that God has predestined to be saved and others to perish, such as Paul in whom God had chosen to be a minister to the Gentiles, and then there is Judas whom was predestined to perish and Pharaoh in Romans 9. These may have only been "examples" and given to us as a warning:

1 Cor. 10:11-12
    Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. [12] Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.


I feel that, in general, God has not predestined each and every person with a tag "this one will be saved, that one will be cast into hell!" A doctrine of predestination, that God has created each person with a tag that one will be saved, the other cast into hell, disqualifies the following verse of scripture:

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

If God is not willing that anyone should perish, and that ALL should repent, then God obviously did NOT create persons with a death tag to perish! A predestination doctrine for all men to have been predetermined by God to either be saved or to perish, would nullify the above verse of scripture and make God a liar since a predestination doctrine would make it clear that God had created these lost souls to perish with NO chance to be saved.

 In addition, in my study confronting the Once Saved, Always Saved heresy, it is clear that there will be some who will actually shipwreck their faith, and forfeit their salvation. A predestination doctrine will put a person in the false security that they can inherit the kingdom of God no matter what they do! Others who feel they are predestined to perish, are trapped by a Satan's lie that there is nothing they can do to reverse this curse!

So then, in conclusion, I will simply say that there are the few Biblical men such as Judas and Pharoah of whom God had predestined to be destroyed, as examples for us today, but that the predestination of perishing souls does not extend to all men, but rather, we have the FREE will, and choice, to choose to REPENT or not to repent.

The very word “Repentance” is a choice of the free will of man, and not predestination!

Metanoeo  
met-an-o-eh'-o
From G3326 and G3539; to think differently or afterwards, that is, reconsider (morally to feel compunction): - repent.

In conclusion, the predestination verses, if you will research these two books (Romans and Ephesians), were speaking of the predestination of the Gentiles to be saved and be included in the commonwealth and promises of Israel and that these two books were addressed to such.

Here are some other scriptures that came to mind showing salvation to be a choice of our own free will:

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15


And the people said unto Joshua, Nay; but we will serve the Lord. [22] And Joshua said unto the people, Ye are witnesses against yourselves that ye have chosen you the Lord, to serve him. And they said, We are witnesses. Joshua 24:21-22


Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences. [12] For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them which glory in appearance, and not in heart. [13] For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause. [14] For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: [15] And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. [16] Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. [17] Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. [18] And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; [19] To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. [20] Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. [21] For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
    [6:1] We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. [2] (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) 2 Cor. 5:11-6:2

Are we to “persuade” men which means to give a convincing argument? Yes! Did Christ die for ALL men? Yes! Can one refuse the grace of God? Yes! Do WE choose to receive or refuse the grace of God? Yes!

YOU, who are reading this study, have the free choice to reject the gospel and perish, or to receive it, repent and be saved by turning your life over to Jesus Christ the Lord!

YOU, have the free choice to confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord, to believe in Him as God, Lord, and savior, or to refuse to believe, refuse to bow your knee and confess Jesus Christ as Lord, and remain a subject of God's wrath in the Lake of Fire!

It is YOUR CHOICE!


The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9


Adam Clarke Commentary

My Comments in red

1 Peter 1:2
Elect according to the foreknowledge of God - If the apostle had directed his letter to persons elected to eternal life, no one, as Drs. Lardner and Macknight properly argue, could have received such a letter, because no one could have been sure of his election in this way till he had arrived in heaven. But the persons to whom the apostle wrote were all, with propriety, said to be elect according to the foreknowledge of God; because, agreeably to the original purpose of God, discovered in the prophetical writings, Jews and Gentiles, indiscriminately, were called to be the visible Church, and entitled to all the privileges of the people of God, on their believing the Gospel. In this sense the word elected is used in other places of Scripture; see 1Th 1:4, and the note there.

The Rev. John Wesley has an excellent note on this passage, which I shall transcribe for the benefit of those of my readers who may not have his works at hand.

“Strictly speaking, there is no foreknowledge, no more than afterknowledge, with God; but all things are known to him as present, from eternity to eternity. Election, in the scriptural sense, is God’s doing any thing that our merit or power has no part in. The true predestination or foreappointment of God is,

1. He that believeth shall be saved from the guilt and power of sin.   (requires a response from us by our freewill)

2. He that endureth to the end shall be saved eternally.    (requires perseverance, “don’t fall away”)

3. They who receive the precious gift of faith thereby become the sons of God; and, being sons, they shall receive the Spirit of holiness, to walk as Christ also walked.

Throughout every part of this appointment of God, promise and duty go hand in hand. All is free gift; and yet, such is the gift, that it depends in the final issue on our future obedience to the heavenly call. But other predestination than this, either to life or death eternal, the Scripture knows not of: moreover,

1. It is cruel respect of persons; an unjust regard of one, and an unjust disregard of another: it is mere creature partiality, and not infinite justice.    (is it just for God to Judge and eternally condemn someone whom He has created to be evil? If, as predestinationalists say, he made people to be evil?)

2. It is not plain Scripture doctrine, (if true), but rather inconsistent with the express written word that speaks of God’s universal offers of grace; his invitations, promises, threatenings, being all general.     (John 3:16 and 2 Ptr 3:9, the invitation is to all men, and God desires that no one should perish)

3. We are bid to choose life, and reprehended for not doing it.  (we must make a choice, freewill)

4. It is inconsistent with a state of probation in those that must be saved, or must be lost.
(probation defined- the release of an offender from detention, subject to a period of good behavior under supervision.
We are ALL sinners from the start, probation begins at repentance, and must be completed with good behavior)

5. It is of fatal consequence; all men being ready on very slight grounds, to fancy themselves of the elect number.     (Those who think themselves to be predestined or OSAS may endanger themselves by being careless. Rom 11:22, Heb 3:12, 1 Cor 10:12)

But the doctrine of predestination is entirely changed from what it formerly was.
Now it implies neither faith, peace, nor purity; it is something that will do without them all. Faith is no longer, according to the modern predestination scheme, a Divine evidence of things not seen wrought in the soul by the immediate power of the Holy Ghost; not an evidence at all, but a mere notion: neither is faith made any longer a means of holiness, but something that will do without it.
Christ is no more a Savior from sin, but a defense and a supporter of it.
He is no more a fountain of spiritual life in the souls of believers, but leaves his elect inwardly dry, and outwardly unfruitful; and is made little more than a refuge from the image of the heavenly, even from righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”

Through sanctification of the Spirit - through the renewing and purifying influences of his Spirit on their souls, unto obedience - to engage and enable them to yield themselves up to all holy obedience, the foundation of all which is the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ - the atoning blood of Jesus Christ which was typified by the sprinkling of the blood of sacrifices under the law, in allusion to which it is called the blood of sprinkling.


The Pulpit Commentary

The Calvinistic view is that God from all eternity, of the mere good pleasure of his will, selected certain persons out of mankind to be the heirs of glory;
The Arminian view is that God foresaw from all eternity who would, in the exercise of their own free-will, respond to his purpose, and, in virtue of such foreknowledge, preordained them to glory.

It is hardly necessary to consider whether there is any support given to the view that predestination ensures salvation, however a man may live;  (there is no Biblical support to the idea that a man can live a sinful lifestyle and be assured salvation)
the obligation of actual holiness in Christians being (as we have seen) so strongly insisted on all along.

If, then, the Calvinistic theory should appear to be supported, it must be with the proviso that predestination of necessity carries with it the grace of perseverance in good works, or at any rate a true conversion before the end, as well as final glory.  (Somewhere along the way, the person should be truly converted from sin and determined to do good works in a predestination theory)