The last couple of days I have been looking into the idea of predestination. It is sadly a concept that has divided God’s Church, and I believe unnecessarily. I know many of you hold tightly to one end of the spectrum or the other. And I don’t imagine my thoughts will change anyone’s opinion. Smarter people than me have debated the issue more eloquently than I can ever hope to do. But, dear one, recognize your position as an opinion. I am just going to share mine.
I looked up the Greek definition of the word proorizo. And I found that there is not just one emphatic definition. But among those I found are: pre-established boundaries, pre-determined limits, foreordain.
Does God have a predestined will? Absolutely. The Bible is clear about that. But what I want you to consider is what that will is. Did God predestine boundaries, or did He predestine individuals?
God so loved the world…
He is not willing that any should perish.
I submit that before creation God predestined a plan. Giving humans free will, they would need a Savior. God, before He made the heavens and the earth, determined that Jesus would spend time on earth, die, and rise again to pay for the sins of every human being. That was His perfect will.
There are a lot of examples in Scripture of how God intervened in the lives of people to bring about His purpose. But we must remember that we are reading the result of choices these people freely made. For instance, Isaac would have blessed Esau. Esau was the first born, a man’s man so to speak. And Isaac chose to place his final blessing on his oldest son.
However, God had told Rebekah before the twins were even born that the older would serve the younger. That didn’t matter. Isaac planned to give Esau the blessing anyway.
You know the story. Rebekah and Jacob conceived a plan to deceive Isaac, to steal the blessing intended for Esau. And they succeeded. The result was exactly as God had said it would be.
Now some of you will say that God did that; that God arranged the events to bring about His plan. I wonder. Does God cause people to sin in order to manipulate circumstances? Jacob lied repeatedly to his dad. The Bible tells us lying is a sin. Did God make Jacob sin?
James 1:13 says: When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by there own evil desire and enticed.
Remember that God has seen the end of everything long before we who live it one minute at a time experience it. And when God tells us what is going to happen – and then it does happen – we see He is Sovereign, Omniscient, the One True God. What I don’t see is a god who pulls strings, who manipulates people, who chooses some people to go to heaven and some to go to hell. I don’t see a god who shed his blood for some and not for others. I see a God who knows what is ahead because He has seen the choices we make before we make them.
I go back to the analogy of watching a movie with one who has already seen it. They can tell me what’s going to happen because they know the end from the beginning.
I think the thing about either side of the issue is to remember that our choices are eternally important. Your choice to speak or not to speak to that neighbor about Jesus may be the difference between heaven and hell. Some people live as though God wrote the script and they are just delivering the lines. That God will bring about His will with or without us. And if we choose to do nothing, well, that must be in the script.
Go into all the world and preach the Gospel…
Fight the good fight of faith…
How can they hear unless someone tell them…
If you are wondering what God’s will is for your life, it’s to know Him, it’s to accept His Son as your Savior, it’s to obey Him, to tell others about Him. He’s not going to make you. But He won’t stop bugging you about it, either. Not until you draw your last breath.
I guess you know which side of the issue I’m leaning toward. I would rather get to heaven and hear God say the choices I made in this life really didn’t matter, than to hear Him say the choices I didn’t make mattered a great deal.