Predestination - your questions answered

Image: Predestination - your questions answered

What is predestination? How does it work? Isn't it unfair?

Unless you’re new to Christianity, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of the term Predestination. You may have no idea what it means, but you’ve probably heard of it.

What Is Predestination?

Predestination is this: Before the creation of the world God lovingly chose a select group of sinful and undeserving people to be his own. He purchased these sinful and undeserving people for himself at the cost of his own son, and he did it so that he could transform them into beautiful children who would desire nothing more than to live with him and worship him forever.

Put more simply, God chooses to save some people. Their eternal home of Heaven ("destination"), was determined before ("pre-") they were born and ultimately has nothing to do with their own decision to choose God.

God must choose us

Let’s face it, the whole concept is a bit of a mind bender and raises a whole heap of questions. But before we get to them it’s worth hearing from the Bible:

    "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.” Ephesians 1:3-6

The Bible says that God chooses us, not the other way around!

Why Predestination Is Necessary


The Bible is unmistakably clear- you cannot choose God! We may not like the idea, but that doesn’t make it any less true. Human beings are so utterly sinful that they cannot (without God's help) decide to repent of their sin and trust in Jesus. Paul hammers this home in Romans 3:10-18
 
    “There is no one righteous, not even one;
    there is no one who understands,
    no one who seeks God."
   
Jesus teaches the same thing in John 6:44:

    "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.”

It’s the only way anyone can ever get saved because if God didn’t choose us there’s no way we would have ever chosen him.

Why Predestination Is Unfair

Imagine an apple farmer was tending to his crops one day when he discovered that a big batch of his apples were infested with worms and had started to grow mold. So he throws them out, and leaves them on the compost heap to rot and decompose.

But then imagine that an old man comes along one day and sees the farmer’s compost heap piled high with old and rotten apples. There must be hundreds of them. But the old man takes a basket, and selects just 10. They’re the oldest, moldiest and most disgusting apples of the whole batch.

Day after day he watches over them. He cares for them. He applies light when light is needed, water when water is needed and slowly but surely nurses them back to full health. In fact when the old man is finished with them, the apples are so red and luscious that they’re the best apples anyone has ever seen.

Now upon hearing this story you may well try and object, “What? Why did he only choose ten apples? What about the hundreds of others apples, that’s unfair!”

The more pressing question is, “Why on earth did this old man bother to pick any apples at all?

We are the apples. God is the old man. The Bible says we are all dirty and rotten. And yet for some reason, God graciously decides to save some. It’s not unfair that God leaves so many unsaved, it’s unfair that he decides to save any at all.

Why Predestination Is Costly

You see it’s true that God chose us sinful and undeserving people before the creation of the world, but he didn’t just pick us off the top of the compost heap. He had to buy us. And the message of the Bible is that we cost the precious blood of God’s one and only son- Jesus Christ.

So whilst we were chosen before the creation of the world, we were purchased in the year 33 AD when God’s son was nailed to a Roman cross in our place. Predestination is incredibly costly.

Why Predestination Is Beautiful

Predestination is beautiful because it helps me see myself for what i am: dirty, rotten and good for nothing but to be thrown on the compost heap.

Yet for some reason, God chose me.

Now I know it had nothing to do with my actions because he chose me before i’d ever acted. I know it had nothing to do with my personality because he chose me before i even had one. And i know it had nothing to do with my choosing him because he’d chosen me before i ever had a chance to choose him.

My salvation begins and ends with God, which means he gets the glory and not me.

As a Christian, it doesn’t matter what i do, God will help me persevere to the end. He’s hardly gonna let me stuff it up when I was so costly to buy in the first place. For some unknown reason, i’m far too precious for God to ever let go of.

Now that’s beautiful!

Comments (8)

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  • user

    Tim

    Thanks Daniel, Keep trusting Jesus!

  • user

    Ming-en

    Great article!

  • user

    Tim

    Cheers Lukas - i’m glad to help! As you say - we should be thankful that he selects any! Before we got saved - we were the dirty - rotten and stinking apples that nobody wanted. Praise Jesus that he loves us until we are lovely!

  • user

    Lukas

    hey mate - that was good. it still left me with some questions but i think the bit that really hammered it home for me was ‘My salvation begins and ends with God, which means he gets the glory and not me.’ So in other words it’s not up to us to decide or even complain about who God does or doesn’t select - we should just be thankful that he at least selects some people to be privileged enough to dwell in his holy and perfect sanctuary!  thanks again, that was a good analysis. :)

  • user

    Jasmine

    Im a bit confused about this topic.  In 2 Peter 3:9 it says ‘The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance’.  If God does not want ANYONE to perish then why would he not give everyone the chance to follow him? I’m new to this topic but it almost seems like the theory of predestination is a bit of a lucky dip.  I’m a christian but I wouldn’t find joy in the fact that I was chosen and other people weren’t, I am no more special than anybody else so why me? Jesus died for everyone, both jew and gentile, but with predestination only some people can be saved, so does that mean that Jesus did not actually die for everyone?  Sorry for all the questions.  Thanks :)

  • user

    Dominic

    Hi Jasmine, the easiest and yet the hardest answer is that there are no easy answers. Jesus died for everyone but not all want to be saved.

    In Romans 1:18 onwards we read that God gave men up to the desires of their hearts. These men and women God refers to want nothing to do with their creator.

    I think that God knew the hearts of these men and women in advance and leaves them to their desires. I do not think God wants this - he does not want any to perish.

    I’ve noticed something about the way God deals with the heart. He either hardens it or softens it. The decision is usually based upon the character and heart of the person. So Pharaoh in Exodus and the Pharisees in the NT are hardened because of their hardness. But God inclines the heart of those willing to be inclined. We are not chosen because of what we have done but because of the willingness to humble ourselves before him.

    This is my take on it. There are some mysteries, however, we will not be able to solve. It comes down to how much we trust God - do we trust in his mercy and his judgment even when we might not understand?

    I hope this does not confuse the subject. What we can do is continue to dwell on Scripture and ask the Holy Spirit to open the eyes of our hearts and incline them to him.

  • user

    Petra

    Yes, im a bit confused too, and i asked all the same questions. Like, how do we know if we are even chosen?

  • user

    Kate

    Petra, if you are coming to Jesus, if you have given your life to Jesus, if you are even beginning to maybe think that Jesus might be your Savior and you should follow Him, you are chosen. Man won’t come to God alone- we’re just too selfish and blind to do so. If any of the above is true, you’ve got the Holy Spirit inside of you, and you are chosen:) God bless!

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