In Christianity there is a pretty decent divide between the way people view “predestination.” Some people have no problem with the concept that God adopts or elects some to salvation and not others. Others prefer to think that God peers into the future, sees who’s going to believe then elects those people in eternity past. (i.e. all Star Trek episodes featuring Q) And there’s a half dozen “middle ground” approaches to this topic. I know most people struggle a bit with predestination because they watched The Terminator and The Matrix more times than they read the Bible. (BTW, I’m not holier than thou… I probably have watched those movies more too.) But those movies articulate something we Westerners deeply believe… “There’s no fate but what we make” and “I don’t like the idea that I’m not in control of my life.” But there’s some real advantages to God electing us or destining us for salvation. Like things you want to be true. Maybe you haven’t thought of them before.
1) You Didn’t Earn Salvation, So You Can’t Lose It
Yeah, you want this to be true. If God bases his adoption of you on how good you are, or how gifted you are, or how important you are… then what if any of that changes? What if you screw-up, break-down, or fall-out of favor? Wouldn’t you be scared that God might abandon you? But if God chose you before the world even began, before you were even born, then it’s not based on what you do or will do. There’s nothing to do with our “good works” when it comes to our salvation. We know that good works didn’t save us, so it stands to reason that “bad works” won’t un-save us.
2) God Knew Your Future Sins When He Saved You
Yeah, you want this to be true. However God does it, God’s election is taking all of eternity into account. When He predestines you, He does so with full knowledge of everything you will do. He saves you even knowing that horrific sin you are going to commit 12 years from now. (Oh, and it’s super gross, you shouldn’t do that.) He redeemed you anyway. He redeems you knowing everything.
3) God’s Love for You Didn’t Start When You Trusted Christ
Yeah, you want this to be true. We maybe think that God wasn’t working in our lives until we accepted Christ, but this just can’t even logically be true. When we think of all the events and lead-up for us to even trust Christ to begin with, we see the ultimate control that He has. He didn’t just start caring for you recently like an absentee father that’s court ordered to spend time with his now teenage son. God has loved you since before even time began.
4) God Is in the Maximum Amount of Control
Yeah, you want this to be true. I at least want to live in a world where the only truly good being in the universe gets to do whatever He wants. I believe humans have
“will” or “free will” or whatever term you want to use. I also believe God has Will and is free to do whatever He wants. If I get into a battle of wills with God, I tend to think I’d lose. When I read that God predestines us and elects us to salvation, I just think God’s saying that He’s in control of everything, all the time. I’m pretty good with that.
3 thoughts on “The Implication of Predestination”
Yep. I keep the philosophy “God is God and I am not and I’m ok with that!” Love your writing Joe!
Joe so complex and so simple.
I’m content knowing that both are true. I decide daily to pick up my cross and follow Him and he chose me before the beginning of time. I’ve always believed Heb 6 allows me to wake up some morning and declare I’m out, and don’t believe anymore. No power or principality can take my faith but I can be a dumb ass. I know this is very non-Baptist and some would say not right for sure, but it’s what I think is the clear interpretation and the way this red neck reads it.
Hey Bill, I actually take Heb 6 to be the opposite of what you’re saying. I think it’s saying that if you were once saved and then walked away then what? If you decided to come back to Christ would He have to be crucified again. Of course not because His work on the cross was complete. Therefore you can’t lose your salvation ;)