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How can I reconcile my understanding of God and salvation with predestination?

Is it possible that predestination could mean a special calling, but not the saved?

Ephesians 1:5

ESV - 5 He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will.

Clarify Share Report Asked November 05 2017 Mini Anonymous

Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.

Closeup Jennifer Rothnie Supporter Housewife, Artist, Perpetually Curious
Firstly, it is important to remember that any specific man-made theory or definition of a term is not necessarily the Biblical definition or usage of a term. As such, what needs to be reconciled is not any theory of man with God's character, but what the scripture says on predestination and salvation.

Predestination (as per the Biblical definition) means to set boundaries/limits/horizons upon something before hand. [http://biblehub.com/greek/4309.htm] The greek word (in Rom 8:29-30) is proorizó, which is from pró ("before") and horízō ("establish boundaries, limits"). Horízō is where we get the English term 'horizon.'

God set limits/boundaries/laws upon everything before creation. He set the laws of physics, placed the boundaries of the sea, determined the eternal plan by which mankind would be saved, (Prov 8:22-31, Eph 1:3-10, Eph 3:10-11, Job 38:33, Rom 8:29, etc), set the rules by which deliverance and pardon are obtained (Num 25:22-29, Jer 26:1-6, II Chron 7:14, John 3:16, Heb 10:11-18, Luke 4:14-21, Heb 9:22, Matt 5:29, Isa 45:22-25), etc.

Predestination does not mean God decided the specific movement of every person and molecule, but rather that He in His power and wisdom set the rules and limits by which space, time, and people are bound. In regards to man, God set laws regarding sin and righteousness, and the consequence of death for sin. In regards to salvation, God predestined that only Christ was the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He predestined that Christ would need to die to cover man’s sin. He predestined that all who believed would be adopted as sons and granted eternal life, etc. God set up the plan/rules/covenant of salvation before time began, that we could be adopted as sons and justified through Christ. (Rom 8:18-30, Acts 4:23-31, I Peter 1:10-12, Titus 1:1-3, John 10:9, John 14:6, Rom 1:1-3, I Tim 1:5-6, Psalm 11:2-9, Heb 6:13-20, I John 3:1-10, Dan 2:44, Eph 3:7-11, II Tim 2:1-13, etc). Unlike with nature, God has bound Himself to this plan due to His own character and justice.

This plan of salvation God also predestined to include the Gentiles, not just the Jews (Eph 3:2-6, Rom 3:21-31, Rom 9:1-26, Rom 15:5-13, John 1:11-13, Isa 45:9-10, etc) 

God, by His sovereign will, gave man the ability to choose whether to obey or disobey. (Deut 30:19, Josh 34:19, etc.) For salvation, man can either respond to the gospel in belief or refuse to believe it. (Mk 16:16) Also by His sovereign power and decree, He set up boundaries/limits in which people can act. 

Some of these boundaries are physical, such as God creating us with opposable thumbs but with the inability to fly or breath in a vacuum. Some are mental, such as granting man the ability to reason higher than the animals, but not giving man the complete and perfect knowledge of God. Some of these boundaries are moral, such as granting man the ability to follow the laws of God written on the heart (Rom 2:14-15), yet not giving fallen man the capability of being perfectly righteous.

Due to these boundaries, man cannot physically work for salvation or accomplish his own deliverance. He cannot reach salvation via his own mental enlightenment or moral righteousness.

However, God in His sovereign mercy, knew that man could not achieve salvation within the limits he had bounded man and so created another way 
- faith! Rather than man having to be righteous, an impossibility, Christ would come to be righteousness on their behalf, and God would credit that righteousness to the account of any who would believe.

"However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness." Rom 4:5


[Are we predestined to know Christ?
How do God's sovereignty and mankind's free will work together in salvation?
How are predestination and election connected with foreknowledge?

November 07 2017 6 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
If I am understanding the intent of the question correctly, the most helpful commentary on this subject that I have come across was in C. S. Lewis' book, Mere Christianity. Lewis said that, unlike humans who experience time in a sequential fashion, God is both eternal and outside of time. Therefore, every moment of what we would call time from eternity past to eternity future is equally the present to Him.

When the Bible talks of prophecy of future events, or topics such as predestination, it is describing the event from our human perspective. From that perspective, people object that it denies human free will. However, in God's sight, when an individual receives salvation through faith in Christ, God sees that event as it occurs, no matter how far in the future it might seem to us. Even from a human perspective, we would not say that someone who merely witnesses an event as it occurs is somehow the cause of that incident, or is responsible for it, and Lewis suggested that the same can be said of God.

I am just paraphrasing Lewis' thoughts. I would recommend that those interested in this subject read Lewis' book directly. (It is fully available to read at no charge on multiple sites online, which can be found by doing a search for Mere Christianity.)

November 06 2017 3 responses Vote Up Share Report

Q jcryle001 JD Abshire
I don't know exactly what your perception of God and salvation is but considering the term predestination, I feel it best we look up some definitions.

Keeping Ephesians 1:5 in context Ephesians 1:4 states: "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:" 
According to Strong's, Biblical usage of the word chosen means:" to pick out, choose, to pick or choose out for one's self

choosing one out of many, i.e. Jesus choosing his disciples

choosing one for an office

of God choosing whom he judged fit to receive his favours and separated from the rest of mankind to be peculiarly his own and to be attended continually by his gracious oversight

i.e. the Israelites

of God the Father choosing Christians, as those whom he set apart from the irreligious multitude as dear unto himself, and whom he has rendered, through faith in Christ, citizens in the Messianic kingdom: (James 2:5) so that the ground of the choice lies in Christ and his merits only.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words states: ""to pick out, select," means, in the Middle Voice, "to choose for oneself," not necessarily implying the rejection of what is not chosen, but "choosing" with the subsidiary ideas of kindness or favor or love, Mar 13:20; Luk 6:13; 9:35 (RV); 10:42; 14:7; Jhn 6:70; 13:18; 15:16, 19; Act 1:2, 24; 6:5; 13:17; 15:22, 25; in Act 15:7 it is rendered "made choice;" 1Cr 1:27, 28; Eph 1:4; Jam 2:5."

I don't know what I could possibly add to the definitions above, seems comprehensive to me.

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

Predestinated: "to predetermine, decide beforehand

in the NT of God decreeing from eternity

to foreordain, appoint beforehand".

Vine's adds: "Determine, Determinate:

pro, "beforehand," and No. 2, denotes "to mark out beforehand, to determine before, foreordain;" in Act 4:28, AV, "determined before," RV, "foreordained;" so the RV in 1Cr 2:7, AV, "ordained;" in Rom 8:29, 30 and Eph 1:5, 11, AV, "predestinate," RV, "foreordain." 

Strong's: "Predestinate:

Note: This verb is to be distinguished from proginosko, "to foreknow;" the latter has special reference to the persons foreknown by God; proorizo has special reference to that to which the subjects of His foreknowledge are "predestinated."

There's much about God's Word I don't understand but we need to be very careful in attempting to redefine words so they align with our personal belief system. Rather we should align our belief with what the Bible teaches.

I personally do not believe for one minute that God created, put a "spin" on everything and is now sitting back waiting to see how it turns out. He is a God of jots and tittles (Matthew 5:18) not happenstance.

November 07 2017 21 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Matthew Miller Supporter
Imagen two people standing before multisectional road, each section has a sign summariziing what the person will experience if they choose that certain path. The two individuals must make a decision which road they will travel. One of the travelers have accepted Jesus and begged for forgiveness of their sin pleading Jesus to enter their heart, the other does not believe there is a savior. Both read each sign the person who does not believe becomes overwhelmed by the choices and begins searching for the easiest path. The person who believes and received the Holy Spirit is too overwhelmed but begins to rely on prayer, reading the Bible, and Faith that our Lord will guide them to the right path to begin their journey.

If we truly study the word predestine from ancient text and modern defined terms understand the word means, Events told beforehand which will occur and will not change. Taking a journey across the country will end at some point depending on the person's means of transportation. No matter how they choose to travel they are predestined to reach the other side, it never changes regardless their knowledge of the region traveling to. Similar, God has spoken into existence the truth, Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved." Romans 10:13 and John 3 the whole chapter. 

We should recognize there are differences between two paths which have been taught by our Lord, one will lead us to everlasting life as the other ends in a second death of gnashing teeth. This is predestined foretold future events for everyone who has accountant ability. 

The Bible is the word spoken by God, if we listen carefully are journey will be guided by those words which speak directly to us and will determine the experience God chooses for us. We are not saved unless the Lord has been called upon by the confessing words we say, “I am a sinner and beg for Jesus to forgive me, please enter my heart, may I receive the Holy Spirit.” This confession, repentance of wrongdoing, and plea for salvation is our gift of everlasting life. We do not receive the Holy Spirit any other way but by coming to Jesus under the circumstances and recognition we have sinned as well we are sinners who need Jesus our Father. 

There is a predestined path our Lord May choose for faithful followers, the gifts God lay upon a person will vary from one to another. Misinterpreting Gods word to create confusion is common throughout the world, it’s the worlds way to discourage others from accepting Christ’s gracious gift of enteral life. To say there are some who are predestined to enter heaven and others to enter hell can be very discouraging. Similar to Jehova's witnesses who claim few will enter heaven, 144,000 is their number which the occult has grown in the millions. To ask a Jehovah's witness if they are one of those 144,000 persons to enter heaven can become a sketchy conversation when more than 150,000 dedicated Jehovah's witnesses have already passed away. 

Be careful reading confusing theories about predestination and election, when the Holy Spirit speaks and the person listens to truth they travel a path ending in salvation as well journey to everlasting life. God bless.

November 06 2017 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Mini James Kraft 74 year old retired pipeline worker
When Christ died for our sins, it was 2,000 years ago. So, in that sense all of our sins who have trusted Jesus as our savior were paid for before we were born. All who have trusted Jesus as their savior are chosen by God because we have believed. We were not chosen to believe, but are chosen because we believe. John 3:16 For God so loved the world, (everybody) that He gave His only begotten Son, (Jesus) that WHOSOEVER, (anybody) that believeth in Him, will not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that BELIEVETH on me HATH ETERNAL LIFE. 

First John 5:13 I have written these things unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God, that ye may know ye have eternal life. 

Eternal life is a free gift of God when we believe on Jesus as the only way of salvation. Any one can do it, because it takes no effort to believe on Jesus. 

First Corinthians 15:1-4 is the gospel that we believe. That Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures, that He was buried and rose again on the third day, according to the scriptures. If you believe He did it for you, you are saved and have eternal life. We receive the free gift of God by faith alone. How hard is it to believe our sin debt has been paid in full? Any one can do it. 

John 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. Hebrews 3:3 says, He will never leave us or forsake us. That is a promise from God that we know is true because Jesus said it. 

John 1:12 But as many as received Him, (the free gift of salvation,) to them gave He power to become the children of God, even to them that believe on His name. 

Those who have believed on Jesus as the only way of salvation are chosen before the foundation of the world because God for ordained that salvation would come through the one He sent before the foundation of the world.

John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me, will come to me, and All that come to me I will in no wise cast out.

So, if you are a believer, or have ever believed, you are one that came to Him for salvation and can never be cast out. You have been sealed by the Holy Spirit when you first believed the gospel of your salvation and can never be lost. John 6:39 Jesus has never lost one. Ephesians 1:13 and 4:30.

What is the will of God? John 6:40 And this is the will of God, that all that seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have eternal life and I will raise Him up on the last day. 

Just as Moses lifted up the brass serpent on the pole in the desert to keep the snakes from killing those who looked upon it, so shall the Son of man be lifted up that All who look to Him will be saved from Spiritual death.

Amazing grace, Jesus paid it all. Oh what a savior we have. He has given us His righteousness, and will no longer impute sin to our account. Romans 4:6-8 The best part it is free. Jesus paid it all.

November 06 2017 5 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Edwin Danny Reaid
We can reconcile an understanding of God and salvation with predestination
by first coming to an understanding of what a Sovereign God is: Of God, his absolute right to do all things according to his own good pleasure.

"all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, "What have you done?" " Dan 4:35

"For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy." Romans 9:15-16

"...which he will display at the proper time-he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords." 1 Tim 6:15

"Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created." Rev 4:11

God is in “control” of all things and we are not. 

We then look to an understanding of “regeneration”: Easton’s Bible Dictionary defines regeneration: {“Regeneration found in Matthew 19:28 and Titus 3:5 - precedes Faith (believing) meaning a "new birth." The Greek word so rendered (palingenesia) is used by classical writers with reference to the changes produced by the return of spring. In Titus 3:5 it denotes that change of heart elsewhere spoken of as a passing from death to life (1 John 3:14); becoming a new creature in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17); being born again (John 3:5); a renewal of the mind (Romans 12:2); a resurrection from the dead (Ephesians 2:6); a being quickened (2:1,5). This change is ascribed to the Holy Spirit. It originates not with man but with God (John 1:12,13; 1 John 2:29; 5:1,4). 

All the glory goes to God. If we were dead in sin before we were saved, how could we raise ourselves from the dead? God is Omniscient and had a plan when He created the heavens and the earth. Thank God He has predestined us, because it is in our nature to reject God and if He didn’t seal us, we would fall away in a heart beat. 

So, we confirm scripture and understand “the main things are the plain things and the plain things are the main things”. A few verses since there are to numerous in regards to a sovereign God in scripture.

The Lord has made everything for its own purpose,
Even the wicked for the day of evil. Prov 16:4

"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified."
Romans 8:28- 30

"Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies;"
Rom 8:33

Romans 9 (Whole Chapter)
"but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory;" 1 Cor 2:7

"He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will…also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will." - Ephesians 1:5,11

"But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth." 2 Thes 2:13

"All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain." Rev 13:8

November 07 2017 3 responses Vote Up Share Report

Data Danny Hickman Supporter Believer in The Gospel Of Jesus Christ
The short answer to your question is no, predestined in the context of Eph 1:5 CAN'T mean predestined but not unto salvation. The scripture says we were 
"predestined for adoption as sons in Christ"... Before that, verse 4 says He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, in Him meaning in the One he began the letter speaking about, "the Lord Jesus Christ."

To predestine is to decide on a destination in advance of something, and Paul tells the Ephesian church that the "something" was the world being formed. The destination, he tells us, was for us to be "in Christ." 
The point of him telling them and us all this seems to be to inform those who are saved of just how glorious it is to be a saint. He wants us to know of God's glorious grace (Eph 1:6), His wisdom and insight (vs 8) toward us. He's talking about how grand salvation is.

In the context of scripture predestination has only one center of attraction: in Christ which we refer to as salvation. 
God told Jermiah that He knew him before He formed him and that He decided then to make Jeremiah a prophet to the nations (Jer 1:5). This describes a calling, the same as was told concerning the Pharoah of Egypt for God's purpose in the Exodus, not a predestination. 

So how do you balance the truth of that with our free will is the question. 
Salvation for every person is for His purpose according to His plan. 

All that the Father gives Me WILL come to Me and whoever comes to Me I will NEVER cast out (John 6:37 emphasis added). No one CAN come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him (John 6:44 emphasis added).

Free will, like all our other attributes, is limited. God's sovereign ownership of the world He gave mankind authority over includes all that pertains to us.

November 10 2017 5 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Ernest Pearson
Predestination is what God has already called us to, and we can relate to this by taking hold of the past tense of God's promises. Example: while God has predestined us to a life of salvation and blessing, we cannot enjoy any of it until we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Then the predestination becomes our destination by faith, as we believe and receive His precious promises. Without being born again, we can live and die and miss every predestined promise, because we never received Jesus, who is the way, the truth, and the life, and no man comes to the Father but through Him. While everything is predestined through salvation, nothing predestined becomes available without Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

July 07 2018 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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