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Did God predestine people?

Submitted: 7/23/2010
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Question: Please make some comments on the writings below. We need your biblical views on this subject. GOD SELECTED AND PREDESTINATED MANY PEOPLE TO BE HIS SONS I. GOD’S SELECTION To fulfill His eternal purpose, God needed to create man. But even before this, He had to choose or select some of them from among billions to be His sons. So, before God created anything, He selected certain ones. You may wonder how we know this. Well, the Bible tells us so in Ephesians 1:4, “According as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and without blemish before Him, in love.” You then may ask, “Why did He choose me and not someone else?” He chose you because He wanted to, because it was His good pleasure to do so, not according to how good or capable you are. This verse also tells us that He chose us in Christ, “in Him,” not for what we were in ourselves. According to what the Bible calls His “foreknowledge,” God knew when, where and of whom we would be born. Romans 9:11 illustrates this with the story of Jacob. Before Jacob was born, before he had a chance to do good or bad, God chose him and not his brother Esau. It was the same with us. Isn’t this wonderful? This selection by God is His first blessing to us, and we should all thank Him very much for it. II. GOD’S PREDESTINATION After He chose us, God “predestinated” us to be His sons. “Predestinate” means “to mark out beforehand or ahead of time unto a certain purpose.” Before God created us, He put His mark upon us to show that we were His. Can you see any “mark” on you? No, certainly not; but God can, and Satan can too. God knows, Satan knows, and even the angels know that we are the ones chosen and marked out ahead of time by God to contain God and express Him as sons. In our experience, this means that whether or not we care to become His sons, He will still have His way with us and bring us all the way to His goal. III. SONSHIP—THE GOAL OF GOD’S SELECTION The goal of God’s selection and predestination is “sonship.” In the Bible, this word means two main things: maturity in God’s life and the position to inherit all that God is. A child has his father’s life, but because he is not full-grown, he cannot inherit all that his father may have to give to him. He can receive the inheritance only when he is full-grown, when he is mature. It is just the same with us. God has chosen us to be His sons, full of the divine life and matured. You may have the Father’s divine life, which makes you His child. But God has chosen and predestinated you not just to be his child, but eventually to be His son, one who is fully matured in His divine life. Only when you become such a person can you be qualified to inherit all that He is and has done for you. We need to thank Him for choosing us and we need to receive His life. This will enable us to become His many sons to grow up into Him and express Him (John 1:12). After the fall of man, the whole human race became sinners, the sons of the Devil (John 8:44). But God chose us to become His sons. How wonderful! Although we don’t look much like Him today, we have confidence in His selection that one day we will be the many full-grown sons of God, full of His life to express Him and full of His dominion to represent Him. This one expression of God is the church today, the Body of Christ, and will be the New Jerusalem in the future.

Answer: We do not agree with this article. The key term in Ephesians 1:4 is 'in Him.' When Paul writes that God chose us 'in Christ,' he is qualifying the basis of the choosing. The truth is, God predestined Christ. In other words, He predetermined that in the fulness of time, He would enter into His own creation by means of the human birth process and be the Savior of man. He saves us by preaching the gospel to us (through an anointed preacher), by evaluating our response to the gsoepl and granting repentance if we are huimble and honest, by imparting faith to us, by forgiving our sins (through water baptism), and by filling us with the Spirit. This process places us 'in Christ.' This is why Paul writes, 'As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith' (Colossians 2:6-7).

God predestined the salvation of all who are in Christ, but it is up to each person who hears the gospel to feely choose to enter Christ through the new birth. God is not interested in people serving Him because they really had no choice.