Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Bible Study: Predestination Vs. Free Will

"It would be hard to fit together a predestination to judgement and the operation of human free will and our responsibility. The failure to find the salvation offered to humankind by a gracious and loving God seems more wisely assigned to the way men and women "reject God's purpose for themselves" (Luke 12:30) rather than to a prior, unalterable rejection by God."Source: http://www.biblestudytools.comSo how can we have free will and God still being all-knowing (omniscient)? Are we predestined or do we have free will? I have collected many possibilities from my research and here they are.
1.  God knowing everything chose those who would do His will and predestined them to be saved.Ephesians 1:11  In him we were also chosen,[e] having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.

2. God knew who would respond to Him and chose them. (Not necessarily those who would do his will but those who would find him).
Matthew 7:13-14 Enter ye into the straight gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction and many there be which go in thereat; because straight is the gate and narroe is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that FIND it. I emphasize find it because this tells me that God has not chosen for us what our end will be, we still have a chance to find him.

3.God chooses who to call and when. But we choose wether or not we are going to following him; everyone will have the chance to know God.
John 6:65 65 He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.”
*Note: Nowhere in the bible does it say that those who are not chosen are automatically doomed, he still gives us a chance to follow him.

4. God chose us from the begining and all things will happen as he chose.
5.God knows what paths each of us will choose of our own free will. We are still responsible for our decision but God knows the outcome of the decisions we make ahead of time.

6.We have no free will because we are not free; we are all slaves to sin.
7. God had the book of life and he checked one box for eternal life for some and one box for eternal death for others. Then he did something very unsual. He blotted out the names of those whose "eternal death" box was checked, meaning those who would die while in a state of rebellion against God.
Exodus 32:
31 So Moses went back to the LORD and said, “Oh, what a great sin these people have committed! They have made themselves gods of gold. 32 But now, please forgive their sin—but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written.”
33 The LORD replied to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against me I will blot out of my book. 34 Now go, lead the people to the place I spoke of, and my angel will go before you. However, when the time comes for me to punish, I will punish them for their sin


8. Probably one of the most commonly know views known as Calvanism which basically states that:
humans are conditioned to be sinful, through God's free sovereignty he chose some before the world was made to be saved by grace and no conditions are required (what is the purpose of the bible then?), Jesus' sacrifice is not effective for all humans and the grace God gives those who are predestined can not be resisted.
I see lots of flaws in this one but maybe you do not. If you want more information on this google calvanism and lots of information will come up but it is a lot to cover.

9. All have a chance to be saved but those who say "yes," are chosen. The chosen are the predestined.Matthew 22:14 "For many are called but few are chosen."

10. God has predestined our eternal salvation and everything that goes along with it.
This also means everyone has a chance at going to Heaven but unlike number 9, it is saying that God predestined everything (not anyone) that needed to happen for our eternal salvation.

 His predestination of us covers every step of our salvation history. When He predestined us, He insured that (1) Christ would shed His blood in death as ransom for the sins of the world (John 1:29; 1 John 2:2); (2) we would be called by the Holy Spirit through the Gospel; (3) we would be moved to repentance and converted through faith in Jesus; (4) we would use the Word and Sacrament and persevere in the Christian faith in this life; (5) we would be finally saved and glorified forever in the life to come. God's predestination of us insured that everything that needed to happen for out eternal salvation would happen (See Romans 8:29-30 on the previous page).

This source also says that it should be a comfort to Christians:

At the risk of redundancy: the teaching of predestination is in the Bible for one reason: to bring comfort and joy to Christians. It is a teaching that says to Christians, "Do you want to know how much God loves you? This is how much He loves you. He loves you so much that long before you were born, before the foundation of the world, He predestined you in Christ to be eternally saved! Did He do this because you deserved or earned it? You weren't even born yet! You had done nothing to deserve it - nor could you have! He chose you to be saved by His free grace. And by His choice of you He insured that everything that needed to happen for your salvation would happen: that you would be called by the Gospel, justified by faith, continue to believe in Jesus to the end, and finally be glorified forevermore. That is how much your God loves you in Christ Jesus!"

Questions to ask yourself: (Some may be answered by the different beliefs in predestination I have listed above!)
  •  The bible says we will judged by our works but why if he already decided what choice we were going to make would this be necessary?
  • If God has our fate already known and our life planned out than what was the purpose of Him sending His only Son to die on the cross for us?
  • If God is all powerful and can predestine someone to be saved why not predestine all of us to be saved? Would he still be all loving only choosing some?
  • Would a loving God create us knowing some will go to hell?
I hope you found out something helpful while reading this... I personally like 9 and 10 best because I feel it matches best with the loving God that I know I have!


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