A boy is born in a wicked neighbourhood. He grows up undisciplined. He learns to do evil things. The parents have trouble with him. As school he gets into difficulty. It seems he can’t be good. He fights and steals. Finally he is sent to a reform school. Despite the infliction of all kinds of punishment he has no desire to be good. Years later he becomes a leader of criminals.
How do you account for this boy’s life of complete wickedness? Some say he is a victim of circumstances but others will say he was predestinated by God to be bad.
1. Is God responsible for sin?
“For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.” Romans 5:19
NOTE: The fact that “many were made sinners” refers to everyone born into this world. Read Romans 5:12. God has not predestined anyone to a life of sin. He could not do this and at the same time be man’s propitiation (1 John 2:1, 2)
2. Was Judas predestined to deliver Christ to be crucified?
“Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!” Matthew 18:7.
“And truly the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!” Luke 22:22
NOTE: Christ appealed to Judas not to betray Him. He did not have to be the one.
3. Does the Bible speak of predestination?
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Romans 8:28, 29
NOTE: Some inquire, if God knows whether I will be saved or lost, why bother trying to be a Christian? The answer is simply this: While God knows,because He is omniscient, we do not know the future. Hence we each must exercise our right of choice and choose either to accept or reject God’s grace. God’s foreknowledge never interferes with man’s free choice. Those whom God foreknew He predestined. Inasmuch as God knows all and since he predestined (planned) that al would become like His Son, this is evidence that God predestined none to be lost. God could look ahead and know who the elect would be. Read 1 Peter1:2, first part. The elect were predestined to salvation only upon the condition of obedience. When Israel failed to obey, even though predestined to be saved, God did not cast them entirely away because Paul himself was an Israelite. Read Romans 11:1, 7
4. How many does God want to save?
“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men….For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” 1Timothy 2:1, 3, 4. Read 2 Peter 3:9
5. What is the key to predestination?
“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.” 1 Corinthians 15:22
NOTE: It is the family which is predestined rather than individuals. Adam’s family is predestined to die. Christ’s family is predestined to live. Two ways are marked out in Romans 5:18. Adam’s offense brought death, whereas the free gift of Christ’s righteousness justifies and gives life.
6. How does a person become a member of the family of God?
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” John 1:12
7. What are Christians predestined to be?
“In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will….having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.”Ephesians 1:11, 5
NOTE: Christ adopts those into His family who accept Him and therefore they are predestined to receive an inheritance if they remain faithful in God’s family. This is made possible by Christ’s death. Read Ephesians 2:1, 2, 12, 13; 3:6.
8. Who can be saved?
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”John 3:16
“Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:10, 11
Eternal life is dependant upon your decision. What will you do with Christ? In one of the parables Jesus said, “Many are called, but few are chosen.” Matthew 22:14. All who received the invitation to the wedding were predestined to eat of the feast but they chose not to come. So the king sent invitations everywhere asking all to come. When they decided to come they were given a wedding garment. One man at the feast refused the wedding garment and was cast out. The wedding garment which fits us for an entrance to the wedding feast in Christ’s kingdom is Christ’s righteousness. When you choose Christ you are choosing life