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!