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How does predestination work as described by scripture?

Is the Calvinist/Reformed Tradition correct? What does the Bible say about predestination?

Clarify Share Report Asked July 01 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

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

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Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
Romans 8:29-30 tells us, "For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he als...

July 01 2013 25 responses Vote Up Share Report


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Cimg1043 Don Whitley Husband, father, grandpa and a Christian.
Once saved – Always saved? Simplified!

A group of men starting a community college set up the rules by which one would have to complete in order to graduate. 

They could predetermine who would graduate by saying anyone who completes the criteria that was set, would graduate even before that student enrolled in the college. In that sense one could predetermine who would graduate, all who satisfactorily completed the courses. 

This example in no way would predetermine the specific individuals that would graduate, but in the general sense “all who complete the courses satisfactorily.

This is the promise we have with any Biblical suggestion to predestination as it would make no sense in any other way. 

Why would we try to obey God’s laws if we could not be lost? Why would anyone that was not chosen with the saved have any reason to obey any moral or ethical laws or rules? Why would we try to evangelize non-believers? What would be the point? According the theory of predestination of some, none of this could be changed for the saved or the lost! 

There are scriptures that would strongly indicate that “once saved always saved” and “predestination” as some believe is absolutely incorrect.

Space doesn't allow for anymore than providing scriptures for your study and consideration:

Hebrews 6:4-6
Paul was speaking about (Jews) had heard and received the word, received the Holy Spirit, etc. In verse 6 the bold phrase would again suggest that they fell away and were not in a saved state. Would you agree? The last part of verse 6 would indicate that they not only fell away, but probably had gone back to the old Law of Moses and as long as they stayed there were in deep trouble for their salvation. Without repenting and coming back to the Lord were indeed in jeopardy of losing their souls.

Hebrews 10:26-39
Vs 32 indicates that they were enlightened or had accepted Christ and I think the ones referred to above vs 32 were the Christian Jews who had returned to the old Law of Moses, rejecting Christ out of fear of persecution. The vs following seems to be encouraging these Christian Jews to stay the course. What do you think?

2 Peter 2:20-22
The folks he is speaking to here have gone back into the world and to a life of sin after knowing the Lord. It is very plain that they knew Him and were in a saved state, but reverted back to sin. The end of vs 20 would strongly indicate that they were worse off for this return to worldly things than if they had never known the Lord and re-emphasized in vs 21. Vs 22 relates them to a dog and a pig returning to their filth! 

There are probably many more scriptures that would give one the same impression that if predestination were as some present it, there would not be any point of evangelizing and/or teaching if one could not attain salvation other than by the direct appointment of God and one could never be lost if he were chosen regardless of his willful sins. This is contrary to all the scriptures I’ve referenced here.

Being called by God, I believe, means that one has a heart and a mind for God and readily receives and accepts the Good News when he hears it and not that he is exclusively chosen by Him.

God Bless.

December 19 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report


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Open uri20130608 30976 eg4co6 Daisy Medina
The WHOLE WORLD was predestined by God to be saved. John 3:16 says "For God so loved THE WORLD that He gave His only begotten Son, that WHOEVER believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."

But only those who love God and believe in Jesus will be saved. For those who believe, God will work for their good. They will be like Jesus because that is how God planned it. They will be made right with God and He will give them glory when Jesus comes to take them to live with Jesus forever. (Romans 8:28-30). 

That is why it is important for everyone of us to "go out INTO THE WORLD and make disciples of ALL NATIONS (people)" (Matthew 28: 19).

December 20 2013 11 responses Vote Up Share Report


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Q jcryle001 JD Abshire
Yes, predestination is a Biblical fact. To deny election, foreordination, God choosing, God making a choice is to deny scripture. 

Philippians 2:13 "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and do of his good pleasure".

Ephesians 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:”

Ephesians 1:4 “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:”

Ephesians 1:5 “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,”
Ephesians 2:1 “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;”

Ephesians 2:2 “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:”

Ephesians 2:3 “Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.”

Ephesians 2:4 “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,”

Ephesians 2:5 “Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

2 Peter 3:9 seems to be one of the more popular verses used by those who believe in free will. However those of this belief only quote the second half of the verse, illustrated below.

"..................... not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."

Consideration: 
Who is Peter writing to? 

What is the antecedent of the word "any" in verse 9?

In verse 1 it is "Dearly beloved"

verse 2: "That ye"

Again in verse 8: "Beloved"

Aside from the classification of people Peter is writing to which is the "beloved" he is also speaking about another group whom in verse 3 he calls "scoffers".

In verse 5 Peter states "they", the scoffers are willingly ignorant.

Let’s look at 2 Peter 3:9 (the complete verse) considering its context.

"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."

Who is the Lord longsuffering toward? He is not willing that any of "Us" would perish but that all of “us” (the beloved) come unto repentance. 

Another common practice is to apply the words "all" and "world" to every, last individual on the face of the earth. Biblically, the words "all" and "world" are used in 7-8 different senses both collectively and individually. 

Matthew 27:22 “Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?" [They] all say unto him, Let him be crucified.” 

Does "all" include Mary, Martha and the disciples? 

Mark 1:5 “And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.” 

Was all Judea and Jerusalem baptized in Jordan? How about Herod, Herodias, the Scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees and Barabbas? Were they baptized?

Luke 2:1 “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.” 

Does the word “all” in this context mean the whole world? All of Europe, Africa, North America, South America, Asia? Not hardly. 

John 12:19 “The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, Perceive ye how ye prevail nothing? Behold, the world is gone after him.” 

Did the whole world go after Christ? Did this include the Pharisees, Egypt, Syria, Rome, Lebanon. 

1 John 5:19 “[And] we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.” 

Does the “whole world” mean everybody? If so, how can the whole world lie in wickedness yet at the same time some are of God? 


Text taken out of context becomes a pretext.

December 25 2013 5 responses Vote Up Share Report


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Mini Carlos Molina
Predestination-it's true, it does exist but it's not how we think(2 peter 3:16). We are all predestined (Jeremiah 1:5). Example: God can make as many babies/people as he wants but he isn't going by wants(because that word is too weak and worldly)he goes by desire/love. He could have created someone besides me/you but he didn't he made me/you because he he didn't give that person he wanted the right to accept my savior as their savior(he didn't predestine them to have the chose/right to accept Jesus). And there it is he gave me the right(he predestined me to have the right to accept Jesus) to accept my savior as savior because he desired/loved me in his mind before I was in my mom's womb. So, ALL(2 peter 3:9)the people on earth are predestined for glory(to rejoice with our daddy/Jesus/God)but others that are still in his mind but not going to be put and in a mother's womb aren't predestined for glory/rejoice in heave with our Daddy/Savior/God/Jesus. But, now it's your choice to accept the worthy lamb as savior or not to accept because you will have SEVERAL opportunities(John 6:44); however, there will also be a striving devil who is going to try to bring you down(with wrong things like a perverted meaning to predestination). However, you always have the right and free will to accept Jesus as LORD and savior and be a son of God(john 1:12) so one GLORIOUS day you can rejoice for eternity in GLORY! That's love, revaluation, and simply beautiful!

December 20 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report


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Stringio James Fehr I'm a farmer
One of the many bible teachers that I love to listen to explained it this way, once you've have bought a ticket to fly somewhere, you are predestined to go there, just like once you have accepted the free gift of salvation, you are predestined to go to heaven

December 23 2013 3 responses Vote Up Share Report


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Image Thomas Mathew A retired Scientist
The word `predestines’ literally means to determine the future or the fate of something in advance or to preordain. God determined His plan of salvation to chosen human beings. (Eph.1:3-14). He predetermine that He would call a select few for salvation before Jesus returns (Matt.22:14 and Cor.1:26-27). He also predetermined that He would call and choose a select few at salvation. But there were rare chances for certain individuals for specific purposes and responsibilities at a specific time. So long as you realize that the spirit of God dwells in you, you will be under the protection and surveillance of God. That desire to think which is above (1 Col.3:2-3) will always with you once you are in Christ. God expects a `generation’ with a commitment from His Son. If you are in the Son, everything under the sun is under your feet.
The personal salvation is a continuous and nonstop process. Let us focus on the personal salvation but before that, let me place before you three natural questions.
1.	Is your salvation a chance or accidental for you?
2.	Is your salvation a choice for you?
3.	Is your salvation by your own efforts?
But the real answer is none of the above. Salvation is really a personal or individual selection by God.
Israel is His chosen people. That having been said, where does this leave you & me? I am being given an opportunity now to respond to an incredible offer. But not everyone is being given that opportunity now.

December 19 2013 3 responses Vote Up Share Report


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Mini Frederick Thomas Rom 3:4 ...let God be true...
Foreknowledge 
Psalms 139:16
Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect - This whole verse is very obscure, but the “idea” in this expression clearly is, “Before I had shape or form thou didst see what I was to be.

FREEDOM OF CHOICE GIVEN TO ALL 
1Ch_28:9 "As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever. 
If you seek Him
Nobody seek God until God works in you a desire to seek Him. John 16:8
Isa_65:1 "I permitted Myself to be sought by those who did not ask for Me; I permitted Myself to be found by those who did not seek Me. I said, 'Here am I, here am I,' To a nation which did not call on My name Romans 9:24-26

And when you seek Him He will let you find Him
2Ch_15:2 and he went out to meet Asa and said to him, "Listen to me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: the LORD is with you when you are with Him. And if you seek Him, HE WILL LET YOU FIND HIM; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you. 

Who does God allow to seek Him?
Joh 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 
Joh 3:17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 
Joh 3:18 "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 

So God let everybody seek Him by God’s choice and if any refuse His offer He will refuse them 2 Ch 15:2… but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you.


John 16:8 "And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; 
Conviction of good and evil and Faith in Jesus Christ is for everyone 


He will reprove - The word translated “reprove” means commonly to demonstrate by argument, to prove, to persuade anyone to do a thing by presenting reasons. It hence means also to convince of anything, and particularly to convince of crime. 

This is its meaning here. He will convince or convict THE WORLD Greek, "kosmos", means "mankind" of sin. 

That is, he will so apply the truths of God to men’s own minds as to convince them by fair and sufficient arguments that they are sinners, and cause them to feel this. This is the nature of conviction always.
The Spirit is called the Comforter (Joh_16:7), and here it is said, He shall convince. One would think this were cold comfort, but it is the method the Spirit takes, first to convince, and then to comfort; first to lay open the wound, and then to apply healing medicines.
Now the choice is ours
Jer 21:8 "You shall also say to this people, 'Thus says the LORD, "Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death. 
…and that is preaching the Gospel of salvation.
Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

March 24 2014 3 responses Vote Up Share Report


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Stringio Craig Stephenson
Often it is not singularly "predestination" that we are discussing, but also kindred doctrines which accompany a tangential belief in predestination as a means of salvation. One of those doctrines is known as "limited atonement" wherein some think Christ died ONLY for the elect. Please allow me to clarify.

As formerly stated, in it's simplest form, predestination simply means a destination determined in advance. To fully understand the doctrine of predestination from a Godly point of view, we must seek to see it through His eyes. Too many are trying to reach a conclusion by viewing it from the human perspective. Think of it as God sees it.

Do a word search in your Bible on the word "blot." You will discover God has no eraser on his pen. In Exodus 32:31-33 we see a conversation between God and Moses about a book God is keeping. In that book, names of people are written. God states that those who sin against Him will have their names blotted out. I believe this to be the Lambs Book of Life as referenced in Revelation 20:12-15. Several other references to God's book are made throughout scriptures, in particular many times by the Psalmist David asking God to blot out the names of certain individuals from His book.

For this reason, I believe when a baby is born and given a name by it's parents, God writes that name in the Lamb's Book of Life. Each person who has ever been born has their names written in this Book. In so doing, God has "predestined" them for eternal life. The ONLY sin, the unforgivable sin, that of turning down God's free gift of salvation offered through the death of His only son, Jesus Christ, on Calvary's cross, cannot have been died for nor can it be forgiven. It is that one single act of our free will and volition which cannot be overlooked with forgiveness.

Hebrews 9:27 states we are appointed one human death, and after this, judgement. When an individual died prior to the cross without having placed their faith in God, there is evidence to believe God blotted their names from the Lamb's Book of Life. When an individual died / dies after the cross without having placed their faith and trust in Jesus Christ, I believe there is evidence to support that their names are blotted from the Lamb's Book of Life the moment they take their last breath on earth. Their "predestination" was for an eternity in Heaven, God desiring that none should perish but that all should come to repentance.

You wonder about this evidence about which I speak? Answer for yourself these questions. Who is allowed to write the names into the Book of Life? Who is allowed to blot names out of that Book? According to Revelation 5, it is only Jesus who will be considered by the ultimate authority, God, to be worthy to open it's seals and reveal those whose names are still written in the Book of Life.

Read the Bible and look for references regarding "blot." You will find many many references to this book. Then read Esther 6:1 and Malachi 3:16 to see similar uses for other books God is keeping. He our King Preeminant. I pray He finds my name written among the company of those who fear and respect Him and who think and ponder His majesty, His goodness, and his greatness. I not only want my name to continue to appear in the pages of the Book of Life, I want my name on the pages of those of whom He is proud to call His own.

2 Peter 3:9 removes "limited atonement" from the equation. An earlier answer suggested this verse was written only to the beloved. However, the words "any" and "all" clearly take the application of this verse far beyond the boundaries of the elect. As Jesus told Nicodemus, God didn't send His Son into the world to condemn and judge the world, but to redeem the world that the world through Him might be saved. Nicodemus surely didn't understand His reference to "the world" as the Jews thought God's grace extended exclusively to the Children of Israel. How narrow minded we are sometimes placing limits on God's love and grace.

August 26 2014 1 response Vote Up Share Report


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Closeup Jennifer Rothnie Supporter Housewife, Artist, Perpetually Curious
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.

The fact that God established rules and limits before time began is quite Biblical in regards to the physical universe, the path of salvation, the judgement for sin, the flow of history, and even rules regarding the operation of the church.

In regards to creation:

God predestined the physical creation, setting up the rules and limits by which it must abide (Prov 8:22-31, Job 38:4-41, Psalm 136:1-9). Even though He set up these rules, He is not bound by them, for He is more powerful and nature is merely a pledge/sign for the sake of man. (Mark 4:35-41, Josh 10:12-14, Jer 33:20, Jer 51:15-16, etc).

In regards to salvation: 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) 

In regards to our walk with Christ: God set up the process of sanctification and spiritual growth, that is how once we die to self/live to Christ we are conformed to the image of Christ and how we would be built up together as the body of Christ (the church), before time began: (Jude 1:24-25, I John 1:1-7, I Tim 2:1-15, Eph 2:1-22, Eph 3:7-13, I Peter 2:4-10, II Thess 1:11, I Cor 15:10, II Cor 1:21-22 etc)

God also controls the flow of history, judges the nations, and fulfills his prophecies: (Hab 2:2-3, Rom 9:16-18, Rev 17:16-18, Jer 51, Job 42:1, Prov 16:9, Isa 30:27-33, Isa 45:13 etc)

God predestinated the rules of law and judgement: (Jude 1:5-7, John 3:18, Mark 16:16, John 1:12, Psalm 1:1-6, II Thess 1:3-10, II Peter 2:1-22, etc).

****

As to whether theories of men regarding predestination are biblical, they must each be examined via other scripture, as they use predestination in a different manner than the greek definition. The theory that God arbitrarily pre-chose certain people to be saved and certain people not to be saved does not seem to be biblical, as scripture states clearly that in no way has God purposed some not to be saved, as He desires that all be saved, and consistently calls men to repentance and faith. (I Tim 2:3-4, II Pet 3:9, Ezek 18:32-33, Ezek 33:11, John 3:16-17, Isa 30:15-18, II Chron 7:11-22, Rom 11:25-27, Rev 2:4-5, Mark 6:11-13, Acts 3:18-20, Rom 11:13-15, Rom 2:3-5, etc) As He did appoint the plan of salvation before time, it would be counter-intuitive that He would act by a different set of rules (Isa 45:18-25, John 14:6, John 1:1-18). God does know the end from the beginning, however, and as such those who do not believe stand condemned, as is the eternal destiny appointed for all those who refuse to believe (John 3:18, Psalm 73: 1-28, Phil 3: 17-21, Psalm 49: 1-20, Rom 2:1-11, I Pet 2:7-9)

August 26 2014 9 responses Vote Up Share Report


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Mini Charles Kachikoti
1. Matthew 25:41 says the everlasting fire was created for the devil and his angels. NO HUMAN BEING was created for Hell. 
2. Read clearly Romans 5:18 (NKJV): Therefore, as through one man's offence judgment came to ALL men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man's righteous act, the free gift came to ALL men, resulting in justification of life.
3. The meaning of the Cross is that Jesus Himself was predestined to die for us; He took the predestination of all people on Himself.

August 25 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report


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Final avatar Charles Flynn
I was given this explanation of predestination by an individual whose spirituality is very grounded. Imagine a door with the words "MY FREE WILLl" written on the door frame. Upon opening the door the individual turns around and reads the words on the other side of the door "BY THE GRACE OF GOD". This helped me greatly in understanding free will vs predestination. God Bless.

August 08 2017 0 responses Vote Up Share Report


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