What Does the Bible Teach about Free Will and Predestination?

by Jack Wellman on June 27, 2011 · Print Print · Email Email

Are those who are saved by God still left with free will?  Are we saved against our will?  Is free will opposed to predestination?  If we are predestined to be saved, how can free will still be relevant or exist?  Since we are free, moral agents, how can we be predestined to be saved by God before the earth even existed?  Can humans reject their call to salvation even if God has predestined them to be saved?

What is Predestination?

For the believer, predestination is such an incredible thing that it is hard to grasp our finite, human minds around.  Predestination and Calvinism seem closely tied to each other.  John Calvin was of the mind that God is sovereign over all that happens.  God predetermines who He will call and brings it to pass since what God wills can not be changed by humans.  The idea is that God, before the earth was created and any humans were ever born, preordained that some would be saved and some would be condemned to an eternal judgment. For those who are “lucky” enough to be called by God, God calls them effectually; that is He completes what He ordained by His sovereign direction of that believers life.  They can not help but be saved since He effects what He wills.  Predestination is a common thread thorough the Old and New Testament.

Scriptures About Predestination

Jeremiah states that God knew us even before we were born in chapter one, verse 4-5: “The word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart, I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

Isaiah 43:7 also presents evidence that God knew us before hand and had plans for us, “everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”

Job 23:14 declares, “He carries out his decree against me, and many such plans he still has in store.”

I Corinthians 2:7 says “…we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began.”

Paul understood that he was called by God as evidenced in Galatians 1:15, “But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased.”

There is no book in the Bible that contains more references of predestination than in the book of Ephesians and no chapter more so than chapter one:

Verses 4-11; “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 for adoption to sonship 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. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ. In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.”

In Ephesians 1:5, where it says, “he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will…” the Greek word for adoption to sonship is a legal term referring to the full legal standing of an adopted male heir in Roman culture.

God’s Predestining Your Life

How can freewill fit into the framework of God’s sovereignty and God’s predetermination to save us?  Just look what God planned for you before the earth even existed:

  • God had planned you even before you were born or before you were in our mother‘s womb (Jer. 1:4).
  • He planned things for you in the future before the earth or time existed (I Cor. 2:7).
  • He had made plans for your life to give you His grace before you were born (Gal 1:15).
  • He chose you and called you to redemption to be saved and be made holy (Eph 1:4).
  • He chose you before your birth to bless you and save you through Christ (Eph. 1:3-4).
  • He planned your adoption prior to your birth (Eph. 1:5).
  • And according to His good pleasure, revealed the secrets things of God to you (Eph.1:9).

Predestination vs. Freewill

Predesination

… He knew it, He planned it, He purposed it, He desired it, and He predestined the very thing that you are now reading.

If you have freewill, how can God be sovereign over your life?  If God has planned your salvation and planned to save you, predetermined to call you, and chose you to before earth existed, how can you still have freewill?

I am a father and grandfather.  When my wife and I counseled before marriage, we planned to have children.  We predetermined to have a certain number of children.  We planned before their birth to start college funds.  We planned on living in a small town where we were raised.  We chose before their birth particular toys that our girls and boys would like to play with.  Knowing boys and girls preferences, we knew in advance what they would like to play with.  Knowing this we predetermined to buy toys that girls and boys would want to play with; dolls, tea sets, toy trucks, and so on. Our children had freewill to choose which toys to play with and which to reject playing with.   It was our good pleasure to do this.  We did all of this before they were even conceived.  This was all done well in advance but we knew what they would like for the most part.

Freewill and God’s sovereignty are not opposed to each other but run parallel with one other.  Imagine that you are a slave on a ship.  You are chained to the deck below.   It is determined that you row for the captain of this ship.  You have no choice but to be chained to this ship.  This is like God’s sovereignty.  But even here you have freewill.  You are free to row or not to row.  If you do not row you choose to receive beatings by the quartermaster, but if you row, you choose not to be beaten.  You might even chose to break free of the ship by escaping your chains, but God’s sovereignty is not diminished.

God’s sovereignty does not diminish man’s freewill.  God never twists anyone’s arm into heaven.  God is all knowing of the past, present, and future.  He alone knows what we will do.  One example is that there are said to be over 600 prophecies in the Bible regarding Jesus Christ.  God alone is able to know the future and the means to bring about what He desires to come to pass.  God knew that I would be saved and come to a saving faith in Christ.  The very fact that you are reading this may be an indication that He is or has called you for salvation.  You have freewill to either reject Him or to accept this saving grace. Either way, He knew it, He planned it, He purposed it, He desired it, and He predestined the very thing that you are now reading.  My prayer is that you could come today to the Savior and not reject the free give of His grace that is found only in Jesus Christ.  You are free to choose it or you are free to reject it.  The point is that the will of God will be done either way.

Here are some more articles that explore frequently asked questions with answers straight from the Bible.

What is Speaking in Tongues? Jack Wellman explores this sometime controversial topic and uses the Bible to answer common questions.

Does God Still Work Miracles Today? You will enjoy how this article explores the character of God and how mighty He is as our gracious Heavenly Father.

Do Animals or Pets Go To Heaven? Our pets are beloved to us and many people even consider them to be part of the family. This article explores some questions that you might have about what happens to your pet when they leave this planet.

Sources
The Holy Bible, New International Version
THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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{ 196 comments… read them below or add one }

Asong Ngaihte August 14, 2013 at 11:41 pm

Yes, I do feel that God Pre-determined our lives too. Our lives were all seen and forseen by God, who is omniscient..!

I do understand that God gave us Free will, and also chosen certain people for certain reasons. He gave us the Choice, conscience: That all our lives were of our WILL and not Pre-determined.

On second thought, God being Omniscient, our maker, life/soul giver. Wouldn’t he knows our future, all these choices that were going to make or the choices that were not going to make or that even all these choices or thoughts comming to us.

I understand that he doesn’t interfere with free will. Interfere or not, He is the giver of the definition of OUR FREE WILL, i bet he knows what our Free will would be. Doesn’t that means the choices of our free will is already acknowledge by him or limited by him. Doesn’t that means its Pre-determined?

Reply

Jack Wellman August 15, 2013 at 8:09 am

If I could completely understand how free will works along side God’s predestining or predeterming, then God would not be God. Being a finite human I can never comprehend the infinite God. Thanks for your comment.

Reply

Anne August 18, 2013 at 1:39 am

Jack,

Please forgive, but your pat answer to these questions always disturbs me. How could you understanding something make God, not God? That doesn’t even make good nonsense, and it certainly isn’t scriptural.

Scripture teaches us that some things are hard to be understood, but it doesn’t say impossible. In fact, it says that it is those that are unlearned and unstable who will “wrest,” that is twist and torment over them, to their own destruction. Speaking of Paul’s epistles, Peter writes:

2Pe 3:16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
2Pe 3:17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.
2Pe 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

God being infinite or boundless and you being finite or limited, does not mean you can never comprehend God, it just means you don’t have the same power as God and that you have boundaries that He does not, so please stop using that phrase also. We were given the Word of God that we would be able to understand and be comforted.

Isaiah 40:1, “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.” I Thes. 4:18, “Wherefore comfort ye one another with these words.” Please use the Word of God that was given to you, to comfort His children and yourself. You have been given a great opportunity to do just that.

May you be a good steward of the talent you have been given that you may hear the words, well done, my good and faithful servant. May God bless you according to His riches in glory.

Reply

Anne August 15, 2013 at 8:44 pm

Knowledge of an event does not make one the cause of it. God’s omniscience does not mean he orchestrated every act of sin. It would also be a lot easier to stay away from confusion if we used God’s own language and terms to explain things. The term free will is only used in the bible concerning the extra offerings that people gave over and above what was required. I think that is on purpose. We are free to give God more than what is required but no one is exempt from God’s law nor can be unless God shed His blood to cover their sins. Once it was shed on the cross of Calvary it can’t be taken back or given back. If it covered your sins, they are gone forever, no matter what occurs in this life. if it didn’t cover your sins, there is no more shedding of blood. God is not pleading for you to make a decision. He already won the victory for you and you can not be plucked from His hand. The only choice we are ever given in the bible is to obey or not obey. Blessings in this life for obedience, and consequences in this life for disobedience, but the inheritance is still the same. Going to heaven has never been a command that we could disobey. It has never been issued as an, if this then this, option either. That idea is an invention of wicked man. The elect of God, elect before the foundation of the world, were given an inheritance, which is an eternal home in heaven. No one else was ever given that inheritance, and since God chose His people before the foundation of the world and promised them their inheritance, it can not be taken from them. Not by any creature, by any action, or by one’s own fickle choices. God said he SHALL save His people, not if they will let me or choose me I will save them. It is a done deal, and done by Him alone on the Cross. That is why He gets all the glory and man gets none.

I must go back to God’s knowing something doesn’t mean he caused it. We mortals live in time, so we see things with a beginning and an end. Therefore it makes sense to us that if God created us and our timely world with a start and finish he must have orchestrated every thought and action, event, or happenstance that occurs in our world. Remember with God there is no beginning and no end. Let me give you a picture to visualize this concept. Look at our planet Earth. Men used to think it was flat and had an edge we would fall off of. Now we know it is round. You can circle the earth and never find the beginning or end. It keeps going. God’s view is like that. Just because he can see all the Earth, throughout all time as we know it, doesn’t mean He causes every act that takes place on earth. Our inheritance was reserved for us before we came into existence and is prepared for us in another realm that we can not see now, so I assure you it is not dependent upon the actions or decisions we make here. God bought and paid for His people and they WILL be redeemed at His second coming. God’s promises are to comfort us that this life is not all there is. There is no comfort in thinking I could go to Hell because I don’t make the right decision, nor in a God who can’t save me if I don’t let Him.

Surely we can comprehend that any free will or choice we have can only be in this life and time we live in. God has not given us any option, power, control, or glory in any other realm. That includes Heaven. And praise God for His wisdom to not let our eternal destiny be in our own weak, puny, wicked hands.

He chose us before He created us, before we had done any good or evil, predestinated where we would be after our earthly carnal lives, and purposed the way in which he would save His, (through the blood of His Son,) and it is finished! He is not waiting and watching and pleading for us to do the right thing as some would tell you. Nor did he choose you based on what He knew you would do. If that were so, then his knowledge of our sin would have made him choose none of us. Until Christ’s blood was shed for us He could not look on us for there was nothing good in us. If Christ’s blood covers your sin, you have none to be held accountable for. If Christ’s blood was shed for everyone, there would be no sinners for Hell. Rightly divide the Word because it was given that we could know the truth. Light and Darkness can not exist together.

God is a God of order. If we get the lineup right, and the cause and effect issue right we won’t be stumbling around confused. I pray I have said something that comforts or edifies and does not cause more confusion. To God be all the Glory.

Reply

Benga August 17, 2013 at 8:06 am

anne i think your wrong about God, that’s not what an intelligent Holy loving God would do or would have planned to do. Evidence,just open your tv and turn on cnn or any news in this world, this world is bad and getting worst, if you were a parent in heaven would you plan or send your loved children to this place called earth, a place of sin.? ans. would be no. God didn’t plan sin no He is good. sin is from the devil. God chose us after the devil snatched us from His hands, ( 2 peter 2:5) ancient world means former or old world, we are chosen after the fall of the ancient world, therefore we all humans not including the nephilims, are the chosen ones, not what calvinist thinks of Christians are chosen and unbelievers are the left outs. ty God bless you.

Reply

Anne August 18, 2013 at 12:05 am

Benga,

I am confused as to what you thought I said. I have NEVER said God planned sin. In fact quite the contrary, if you read some of my other posts. When I said it makes sense to us about God orchestrating every event, I was explaining how I thought men could try to use that logic, but I am sorry if I did not make it clear that I do not believe God did that. While I do believe we are free to make choices in this life, like to sin or not to sin, I do not believe anyone gets to choose where they will reside in the next life, any more than you got to choose where and who you would be born to in this life.

The fact is that God chose us before we had done any act, either good or evil. See Romans 8 & 9. His choice was based on His own mercy not anything we did or will do. If God made His choice based on what He knew we would do, then I submit to you, we all would have to be in Hell, because “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3.) But also with the idea His choice was based on what He knew we would do, I have to ask, what is it that we can possibly do that is so good that God would want us. And at what point, would we be good enough for God to choose us. We all may do some things that seem good in our eyes, and yet we all still sin. So if God looked into the future and saw something that made Him choose us, please tell me what it is that made us any different from any one else. Again, ALL have sinned and come short, and every imagination of the thoughts of man’s heart is only evil continually. (Genesis 6)

Rightly dividing God’s Word is to take the whole of it and be sure that your idea of what something means doesn’t refute any other scripture. They all must harmonize with one another. And they do if deceitful men do not confuse you with false ideas and teachings. The false ideas came in so long ago that many innocent people are simply proclaiming what they have been taught, but there is no scriptural basis or harmony with these ideas. Read all of II Peter 2 and be wary of the evil that is taught.

Men will tell you if you will just believe, you will become God’s child and go to heaven. Yet scripture teaches that even the Devils believe and tremble (James 2.) Men will tell you if you confess or speak with your mouth that Jesus is Lord (Rom 10:9), then you will be saved from hell and live eternally in heaven. Yet because scripture teaches that the demons and unclean spirits confessed Jesus as Lord (Matthew 8, Mark 5, Luke 8,) and that at the final day to many that have called Him Lord and cast out devils in His name, He will say depart from me ye workers of iniquity, I never knew you, (Matthew 7,) then we must look at Rom. 10 in a different light. We must rightly divide!

We are also clearly taught that God chose us before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1) and I read of a God who has kept me securely in His hands, not one that could let the devil snatch me away from him, (John 10.)

Men will also try to tell you just what makes God intelligent, Holy, and loving, but since God’s thoughts and ways are not man’s thoughts and ways, (Isaiah 55) then I will have to go by God’s Word to determine what He considers truly loving. Jeremiah 31 tells us Jehovah has loved us with an everlasting love and has drawn us to Him with lovingkindness. Isaiah 61 says the Lord loves judgment. Hosea 14 says He will heal their backsliding and love them freely. (This does not say they made a decision to follow God, but that HE healed them and loved them while they were backslidden. You see God will have ALL THE GLORY. Man will not be allowed to glory in making some decision for Christ or having a part in why God chose him.) Zephaniah 3 says God has joy over thee and will rest in His love. I believe when He rested on the 7th day he was resting in His love for us, and certainly when He said “It is finished” at the cross, he rested in His love, because nothing more would ever be able to separate us from God or His love. When He sat down at the right hand of the Father, he rested because the work of our redemption was complete and we would be in Heaven as His bride. Our salvation was dependent upon the finished work of Christ, not on a decision we would make or a prayer we would utter.

In going back to God’s love, look at Matthew 5 and Luke 6. God says to love your enemies for there is no reward in loving those who love you. So if God’s nature is to love those who do not love Him, does it even begin to make sense to say that God chose us because he looked into the future and knew we would love Him one day, and therefore he loved us enough to die for us. God forbid that one would insinuate that he loved us and chose us because of what He knew we would do, when scripture clearly says He loved us first. (I John 4.)

Benga, there is so much more in the scriptures about God’s love, and I feel that I always get very long winded when I begin to write. I despise that Satan and the imaginations of men have caused such views of a weak god that can only save you if you do something correctly, and a god that can’t save you from satan’s hands unless you are strong enough to resist and make a choice to do better. I purposely used little g’s there because I do not believe that weak imagination of man is THE GREAT I AM.

You were right that I as a parent I would find it very difficult to send my son to such a sin cursed world. But God has told us what true love by a parent is. If you love your son you chasten him, you correct him, you train him up in the way he should go, you do not let your soul spare for his crying, because correction shall save his soul from hell and death. If you do not correct your child, then he is a bastard and not a son. Most of this is taught in Proverbs, but it is not what the world teaches about being a loving parent. The world says don’t over-protect him, don’t restrain him, let him make his own choices, that is more loving. Well who are you going to believe, God or the world?

If you believe it is not loving to send your child into this sin-cursed world, then you must believe God is not loving or either you don’t believe He sent His son in the person of Jesus Christ to earth to die for our sins. Then what is your faith and hope based on?

I believe what scripture teaches. God is love. God did send His son to earth to die for the sins of His people and thereby saved them from the judgment of Hell for their sins. The key word is HIS people. Every creature on earth, human or otherwise, is not HIS. All that God created, He looked at and said it was very good. Satan and sin brought in evil that was not good, and Christ has laid no claim, nor can, for that sin. What He did do is cover the sin with His own blood, of those that He loved from before the foundation of the world that had fallen in Adam. In shedding His blood He purchased His flock, called the church of God, (Acts 20.) Men tell you the free gift of salvation has to be accepted in order for the blood Jesus shed to be applied to you. There is no scriptural basis for this line of thinking, none whatsoever. If accepting or making a decision is necessary then please tell me how innocent babies, the mentally retarded, or anyone that has never heard of Jesus Christ can get to heaven? They can’t if that is true. If accepting the gift of salvation, which only comes through Jesus’ blood, is a must for eternal life, then how can any of those that lived and died before Christ had shed His precious blood, live in heaven today? No blood had been shed for them yet, and so you would have to say there was no gift for them to accept. You see, if you try to put that spin on the Word of God, it will not fit every situation, or line up with all the other scriptures, therefore it must be discarded as untruth. I have said it before, but no where in scripture is man told to accept Christ. No where in scripture is man given the chance to choose heaven or hell. No where in scripture did Jesus Christ ever offer himself to man. He offered Himself to God the Father, as a perfect, unblemished, blood sacrifice, the only Lamb that could pay the debt for our sins. God the Father was the only One in the position to accept that offering and He did. I can also assure you that every one Christ died for and paid for will be redeemed when He comes again and not one that He died for will be lost. Since we know that not everyone will be in heaven and that some will be in Hell, then He can’t possibly have died for all of mankind without exception. If He died for you, You absolutely are His, for He said He SHALL save His people from their sins. In order for the scriptures to be in harmony, that has to include the sin of rejection, because He said NOTHING could pluck us from His hands, or separate us from the love of Christ. Praise God!!!

I apologize for the lengthiness of my response, but I seem to be bombarded with the deceit of this world at every turn and once I begin to study the scriptures that I might be able to give a reason for the hope that lies within me, it stirs up my mind as I find more and more to glorify God in. I hope that you too can rejoice in the truth of God’s Word and have peace and comfort all your days. May God richly bless you and yours.

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Jim July 5, 2014 at 8:06 pm

Beautifully written Anne… I once thought I made the choice too like these fellow believers. We have to reconcile scriptures like these below.
Some verses that talk of God’s sovereign choosing
Matthew 22:14, 24:22-31
Mark 13:20-27
Luke 18:7
John 1:12-13, 5:21, 6:37, 6:44, 6:64-66, 13:8, 15:16
Romans 8:28-33
Ephesians 1:5-11, 2:10
Colossians 3:12
Titus 1:1
2nd Timothy 2:10
2nd John 1:1
1st Peter 1:2, 2:9

Some verses that talk of Acts of God’s sovereignty
John 10:14-18, 10:25-30
13:18-19
15:16-20
17:4-26
Acts 1:6-8, 2:39-41, 4:27-30, 13:48-49, 17:26, 18:10, 27:23-26

Some verses that talk of the sinful condition of mankind
Romans 3:4-30, 8:7-8
1 Corinthians 12:3
2nd Corinthians 2:14, 4:4
Colosians 2:13
Ephesians 4:8

Some verses that mention salvation by divine grace alone
Romans 5:8, 5:16, 6:23, 11:6
Acts 8:20
2nd Corinthians 9:15
Hebrews 12:2

Anne July 6, 2014 at 10:41 pm

Thank-you Jim, for your comments and the scripture references. May God richly bless you. Anne

Joshua August 17, 2013 at 9:14 am

Anne,

I’m sorry, but the bible is the word of God. The whole entire thing. It needs to be read litterly within the cultural context and within the laws of literature. You cannot just pick and choose what you want to believe Or not believe.

With that said the bible clearly states that the ONLY way to the Father is through the Son. We may be all covered by Jesus’s blood from here to all eternity but if we don’t choose him, if we don’t in our hearts believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins, if you don’t ask for the forgiveness that that brings, there is no salvation for you. You will still have to face punishment for your sins which is eternal death. I don’t know if you guys realize but this earth was perfect, Adam and even were made perfect. We were never ment to die, this world was made to be for us by God who is perfect. But sin entered the world through satan, sin is why there is death, sin is the cause of death.

The bible also says the we are all going to stand before God the judge. Christ if you have accepted him into your heart, will stand with you as your advocate, your defense. God will be reading off all of you sins. ALL of them you have every committed. Christ will continue to say, “my blood covers him, I’ve got those sins on my back father, he is clean.”

If you have not chosen him you are on your own. This is what the bible says. These are his promises.

You see, we try and put God in this box, this worldy box of ours that our finite minds can think of. God is outside this box. And here we are trying to figure out how can God know all things and yet how can I make any choices in life that are my own. If God knows what I’m going to do already then why bother? These are questions with answeres that don’t fit in our box, focus more on what God says. ALL of it, not just the parts I want to read that make me feel good.

Moral of the story, you have to accept Christ into your heart to be saved. No amount of good works, no amount of praising God, nothing but going through the son will save you. We all have been given this gift, free of charge, are you accepting this gift or are you rejecting it.

Reply

Anne August 18, 2013 at 12:52 am

Joshua,

I mean you no harm when I say that it is indeed you that are clearly in a worldly box of your own picking and choosing. I say this with all kindness because I hear you parroting exactly what the world’s followers are teaching. You tell me to look at the entire Bible, yet by your own words, you show that you have not done so.

You say God is going to be reading off all my sins, and that Jesus will stand in the gap for me then? I say according to Psalm 103, all my transgressions have been removed from me as far as the east is from the west. Travel east around the globe and see if you can find where east and west meet. You will always be going east and never shall you go west, and such is the same with the sins that Christ has covered with His precious blood.

I can absolutely assure you that I did not choose for Christ to die for me, (for He died way before I was born,) however, since by dying for me He covered my sins so that they can never be held against me again, what is it that you think could possibly send me to Hell? And if I am wrong and Christ did not die for me, did not Himself, choose to shed His blood for me, then please tell me what I can possibly do now to inherit the kingdom of God?

It is imperative that we rightly divide the word of truth and study to show ourselves approved unto God, (II Tim 2:15) that we might be a workman that needeth not to be ashamed. I hope that you are able to read my response to Benga and that it will help you rightly divide more of God’s truth. If I have said anything amiss please forgive me. if I have written any truth, it is only by God’s grace, and give Him all the praise, honor, and glory. May God bless you all the days of your life, and may you respond with joy at the knowledge of His Word.

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Anonymous November 22, 2013 at 12:37 pm

Let me state something simply. @Anne, according to your statements, since we have all been covered with the blood of christ, does that give us the freedom to do whatever we want on this Earth just because we are covered? That can be used as a justification for those who know that they are covered to still just perform unrighteous acts and still remain guilt free. Thus, that would mean that repentance in the name of the Lord is absolutely futile. Look at Romans 10:9, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved”. Based on that statement alone, you can infer that one has to accept Jesus in his/her own heart and confess him (and believe that God has raised him from the dead) in order to be saved. What is also implied is that, righteous works must be done with faith and faith must be justified by righteous works. Check this biblical evidence from James 2:14-26:

What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.

25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?

26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Now that you have more clarity, I hope that you understand now that just because we were forgiven for our sins, that that does not mean that we should not first accept Christ, have faith and establish works. That doesn’t entail that we should NOT supplement faith with works and works with faith (These are interconnected and coincide with one another). Sure, God can and will save us, and he is not limited by ANYTHING. However, he gives us the free will to be able to take the initiative to embark on his plans, make the righteous decision, repent (in the name of Jesus Christ) when we have sinned/wronged, and ultimately our trip to heaven will be fulfilled. I conclude by saying that all are predestined for God’s glory, but only through Christ can you be saved and “Stablish” your place in Heaven; Furthermore, you are given the free will to decide your path, otherwise there would be no existence of hell and we would all go to Heaven, irrespective of what we do. Some peoples paths are more difficult than others but ultimately, we must all endure challenges with great fortitude. May God bless all of you on this thread, and unscab those in the world that are still in Darkness. Amen.

Pius Ogola January 9, 2014 at 6:35 am

Joshua, Sin entered the world through satan, true. But have you ever pondered how a perfect being, knowing no sin, as ezekiel describes the King of Tyre, how did such a being sin??? Ezekiel 28:15 says

“Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.”
Mark “till INIQUITY was found in thee,” ever wondered where the iniquity came from?? Remember Paul in Romans 4:15 states clearly that: “Because the law worketh wrath: for where NO LAW IS, THERE IS NO TRANSGRESSION (SIN) “. Why didnt Satan rebel at least immedeatly after being created (we know that because Ezekiel 28:13,14 talks of Satan being in Eden, walking about in the midst of stones of fire), if he was perfect, and as such his heart was inclined towards good, what happened that one day pride/iniquity was found in him??

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Bob August 18, 2013 at 5:21 pm

The ultimate freedom of the will would be to choose the gospel. But in order to choose something you must be about to see that something to choose. Scripture says that the gospel is hidden to them who are perishing. So for the perishing there is no freedom to exercise the will. and concerning the choosing of this wonderful option of the Gospel the Bible says that our wills are not exercise in this act. John 1:13 who were [a]born, not of [b]blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. I guess it is the fallen man or woman who is hung up on that God can’t save them unless they are involved in the process.

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Revelation Knight October 31, 2013 at 6:12 am

It’s the fallen man who doesn’t realize that God commands you to be a part of the process.

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Dan August 21, 2013 at 1:47 am

I personally have trouble believing and am not a Christian yet. From what’s been discussed here, I am currently predestined to not believe. Is that correct?

If I don’t have free will, what have I been contemplating? If God predetermines who He will call, then I have no say or choice. So isn’t it futile for me to dwell on something I have no choice over?

Why did Jesus say; “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”. I saw that in the 11th chapter of Matthew and the verse 28. Did Jesus mean that for anyone or was it only for the Jewish people back then? Is sounds like a voluntary request?

Anyhow, I struggle with belief and faith and am curious if its because I don’t have the free-will to choose. Its my understanding now that if your not called by God, you can’t believe in him. Is there something a person needs to do in order to know, or is it predetermined? Why are we here if God has already made up his mind on who gets his salvation and who goes to hell?

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Anne August 21, 2013 at 1:57 pm

Dan,

The fact that you are searching for these answers is evidence that you are a son of God. Only God’s family can ever seek Him because His Spirit must dwell in you first. You must be born again, that is have spiritual life, before you can know God or seek Him. I have posted several long comments in this discussion, so I won’t try to repeat them. I will give you this scripture quote.

Gal 4:1 Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;
Gal 4:2 But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.
Gal 4:3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:
Gal 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
Gal 4:5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
Gal 4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
Gal 4:7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
Gal 4:8 Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods.
Gal 4:9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?

I hope this helps you to rightly divide some of the other scriptures. You see we must be known of God or we can’t know Him. He foreknew us, that is, was in an intimate relationship with us before the foundation of the world. That is why He loves us, chose us out of the world, and came to die and redeem us from the sins that would have sentenced us to Hell.

There are others that he did not know in an intimate way and therefore did not die for them, but left them with their own father, the devil. (Read Matthew 13, the parable of the tares and the wheat.) So many people misunderstand God’s foreknowledge, thinking it is the same as His omniscience. Having power over all things and knowing all things, does not mean he predetermined all things. The word from scriptures is predestinated and it only refers to the destination of the individuals it is talking about. In Romans 8, it is very clear that the ones He predestinated are also the same ones He foreknew, and called, and justified. In Ephesians 1 the predestinated are the ones He adopted. You see people seem to get the cart before the horse, but if you think about it, it is the only way it could have worked. God had only one Son. He chose a bride for Him, adopted her into His family and since the bride and groom become one flesh, we are now called the sons of God through the Spirit of Christ that indwells us. Just like the Jewish custom, Christ was espoused to his bride, paid the purchased price to redeem her, went home to prepare a place for her, and has promised that He SHALL return to take her home! Once we were chosen as His bride, and purchased with His own blood, our only final destination had to be with Christ. That is why we can know that Christ did not die for everyone, because if He died for you, you must be with Him for eternity. He shall save His people from their sins,(Matthew 1:21) and He will not lose one (John 10:25-30.)

Why are we here? Because it pleased God to make it so. “Come unto me” is a voluntary request, and it has nothing to do with your home in heaven, and everything to do with your life on earth. It was not a request to everyone, because remember, John 6:44, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”

Think this through. God is clear that you can’t come to Him unless He draws you. Drawing is like water at a well, the water never asks to be lifted up and has no control over being brought up. Psalm 40:2 “He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.” After He draws you, He says He will raise you up at the last day. God can not lie, so it will happen just that way. I think anyone can see how restful it would be to be brought out of the miry clay of sin and unbelief and set upon the solid foundation of Jesus Christ who is our rock…

Deu_32:31 For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges.
1Sa_2:2 There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.
2Sa_22:32 For who is God, save the LORD? and who is a rock, save our God?
Psa_18:31 For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God?
Psa_95:1 O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.

Dan, it is futile for you to dwell on the confusion and strife this world has to offer you. But you do have the freedom to choose to ignore all but the Word of God, the Word of Life, the Truth that shall set you free. Free from confusion, free from thinking you don’t believe when it is obvious you do, free from the bondage of this world, free from sin. But also, free to glorify God, free to be kind and loving to your fellow man, free to be joyful in the Lord, free to sing praises unto His name, free to live with honor and integrity before Him.

Thank-you Dan for stirring up my mind once again to the joy of my salvation. Thank-you for the tears streaming down my face at remembering God’s goodness and mercy.
As iron sharpeneth iron, you have helped me to continue to think on those things that are lovely and true, (Phil 4:8.) We do not sit back and do nothing because He saved us, we do everything to please Him because He saved us.

Mat_4:4 “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”

May you find comfort and joy and peace, by and through the Word of God and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. God Bless you Dan.

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Jack Wellman August 21, 2013 at 3:32 pm

Dan, I cannot look into your heart to know if you are saved or not and you cannot say that God has predetermined you do perish but we all have free will. Predestination is not like the strict or hyper-Calvinist belief which strips anyone and everyone of free will. The Bible teaches these things but the do not mean that a person cannot be saved or sent to hell against their own will:

God had planned you even before you were born or before you were in our mother‘s womb (Jer. 1:4).

He planned things for you in the future before the earth or time existed (I Cor. 2:7).

He had made plans for your life to give you His grace before you were born (Gal 1:15).

He chose you and called you to redemption to be saved and be made holy (Eph 1:4).

He chose you before your birth to bless you and save you through Christ (Eph. 1:3-4).

He planned your adoption prior to your birth (Eph. 1:5).

And according to His good pleasure, revealed the secrets things of God to you (Eph.1:9).

Not one of these Bible verses indicate that you are preordained to go to hell. No human mind can wrap around the mind of God like the finite can not grasp the infinite. Anyone that claims to fully know the mind of God would be a god himself. My focus on this article is not a predestining of people to hell but to salvation. The very fact you came to read this shows God’s sovereignty. There is not one radical atom in all the universe but all things are under His sovereign will.

For Dan who does not believe in predestination, then what are we to say about Eph 1:4-11

“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 for adoption to sonship 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. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ. In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will”?

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Revelation Knight October 31, 2013 at 6:18 am

This is false. The fact that he is seeking means nothing. He could just as easily be a false brother, false prophet, or one of the 3 seeds that falls in bad soil.

Me thinks you are just so far into your false theology that you can’t back out of it so you imagine things up.

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Revelation Knight October 31, 2013 at 6:14 am

Free will is a misnomer, you are commanded to obey God by repenting of your sins and believing in Jesus Christ. So yes the choice is still yours you are not exempt from that responsibility no more than anyone else.

God want none to be saved but all to come to repentance.

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Brian August 21, 2013 at 2:08 pm

Dan,
My prayer is that you not struggle with your Faith in God and his son Jesus. Hebrew 11:1 Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Let me start by stating that when I say Calvinism it is not meant in a negative connotation it just refers to a Theology made popular by a man named John Calvin.
I believe the bible does not teach predestination. Predestination as taught by John calvin anyway. This theology teaches that God has preordained his elect to salvation and by default, the rest to damnation. His elect are ones he chose for no reason but because he chose to. The sound doctrine (the bible) does not teach this. It does mention predestination and the elect but in its full context you will come to understand his elect are those who accept Jesus and those who accept Jesus are predestined to salvation. God is still sovereign because he determined the path in which we reach Salvation.(Please understand that is a very condensed way of putting it). Like predestination, the bible mentions murder, corruption, wars, hate but those aren’t the things the bible teaches. It’s overall teaching is God, Jesus, Love and Salvation. Love and Grace are gifts from God. Calvinism or Reformed (as some call it) will say there is nothing we can do for Salvation. I would say to read the book of James to refute that. Calvinism will say we are totally incapable of acknowledging God. As a matter of fact the whole Theology rest squarely on believing the grand assumption that Adam was created morally impeccable and his Sin or (fall) made it totally impossible for us to turn toward God. Created in his image does not mean without ability or the ability to sin. if it does then Adam would not have sinned in the first place. The image of God refers to the immaterial part of man. It sets man apart from the animal world, fits him for the dominion God intended him to have over the earth (Genesis 1:28), and enables him to commune with his Maker. It is a likeness mentally, morally, and socially. The fact that God called His creation “good” does not mean it was all morally perfect. Barnabas was “a good man” (Acts 11:24), but he certainly was not a morally perfect man. “Good” can simply mean that it was complete and suitable for the divine purpose. For the most part, the Calvinist theology is assumed unquestionably. Adam’s fall from moral perfection was established by Augustine’s polemics against Pelagianism and passed on, without alteration, through the barren centuries of the Middle Ages. Calvin received it in toto from his medieval legacy, as has each successive generation of theologians since.

A doctrine that forms such a colossal foundation-stone for the system should have unequivocal proof in the Bible. If a theology is based on an unproven philosophic assumption how can the rest of the system be trustworthy? The Calvinist cannot expect us to believe him unless the consistent tenor of Scripture tells us: (1) God made man morally perfect; (2) Adam’s sin immediately corrupted him and rendered him unable to respond to God; (3) God transmitted this inability to all his descendants.
The Total Inability passed to us makes it impossible for us to comply with the command to believe in Christ. The most obvious fault with this theology is that it makes the gospel an unreasonable demand. How can God, who is perfectly just, “command all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30), knowing the command is impossible to obey?
While we are called to vigilance, we ought not to go through the life of faith in a fearful state. We have been delivered from that (Rom. 8:15). God is faithful. The Hebrew Christians to whom these warnings were written were in danger of giving up the faith utterly and retreating back into Judaism. We must be on guard, as the Scriptures warn us repeatedly, but we have ample reason to be hopeful if we are following Christ.
I’m not really here to refute the teachings of John Calvin, just wanted to assure you(Dan) that God calls ALL of us to believe. If you study the bible with a childs heart you will understand. God is the final Judge on Salvation but All are welcome to the kingdom. I’ll end with how the bible ends Revelation 22:12-14 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
—— moving on to 17—–
17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

Don’t let anyone ever tell that “whosoever” and “all” and “the world” don’t mean just that. Prayers for you Dan, and all who want to come to Jesus for an Eternal Salvation with God, Our Father.

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Revelation Knight October 31, 2013 at 6:25 am

I have a saying, “The only thing worse than an Armenian is a Calvinist.”

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Dan August 21, 2013 at 11:47 pm

Thank you Anne, Jack, and Brian for responding to my questions and concerns, I know your lengthy postings required some time and effort to write. I’m still a novice and to be honest, I know little about Galvanism, but it is good to learn more about what predestination means. I’ve read the new testament, but never felt like my eternal fate was predetermined. I just presumed that salvation was open to everyone. Perhaps God has foreknowledge, but I don’t.

I also wondered why some people would be predestined while others are rejected. If some are better than others, why did God call Saul to be his apostle when he was persecuting Christians, or why did God keep Peter around after he denied that he even knew Jesus? If God foreknew them before they were born, why would he preordain them to be elected ones when they both screwed-up pretty bad?

I plan to proceed with the assumption that since Jesus ate with sinners, I reckon God isn’t too fussy. From what you all wrote, it sounds like salvation is predetermined for those who are called and accept Jesus, and that’s an open invitation to whomsoever will. I don’t feel I was preordained for anything, but its good to know the door isn’t closed for those seeking the truth. I appreciate your explanations, your help, and your encouragement.

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Benga August 23, 2013 at 1:46 am

i’ll give you the simpliest answer you’ll need calvinism is wrong , God wants all to be saved, listen to Jesus not calvin thats my advice to you, “for God so loved the world that He gave his only Son that WHOSOEVER believeth in Him should not perish but have ever lasting life.

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Revelation Knight October 31, 2013 at 6:22 am

Although you are quite correct, many do not know what calvanism is nor do they recognize those who subscribe to that false doctrine as you and I can.

Other verses that disprove calvanism are “choose this day whom you will serve” and “God wants none to perish but all to come to repentance”

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Mauro September 16, 2013 at 1:14 am

Brian I really like your point of view on the issue, and I really agree that our lord and saviour’s will is to ultimately save as much humans as possible.

1 TIMOTHY 2:3-4 (NIV)
“3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”

1 JOHN 2:2 (NIV)
2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

The controversy of whether it’s predestination or free will what god’s has set up for us has no importance, as the bible throw us hints of both, so both are in fact true. The thing is that, the secret plan of God takes a number of steps to be fully accomplished:

———————————————–
The first of all is the church, who’s members were elected/predestinated/saved in advance to be tied to and which is distinguishable from the jewish nation and for the rest of the world which do not believe/behave in our lord:

REVELATIONS 5:9-10 (NIV)
9 And they sang a new song, saying:
“You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. 10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.”

EPHESIANS 1:3-6 (NIV)
3 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. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
—————————————————–

Though distinguishable from the church, the jewish nation also is predestinated to be carried out by God, saving some by grace from ancient times and also those sealed during the events of the apocalypse:

ROMANS 11:4-5 (NIV)
4 And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 5 So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace.

REVELATIONS 14:3 (NIV)
3 And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth.
——————————————–

As we can see, only both the church and the jews that were found justified were to populate the Millennial Kingdom

REVELATIONS 20 (NIV)
4 I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.
—————————————————-
However, it is mentioned that ALL FLESH is to be judged rightfully, even those who had to rely on their free will to make their ways through life or people who didn’t have a chance to know about the son of God, so even though, there’s provision for everybody:

REVELATIONS 20:12-13 (NIV)
12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done.

ROMANS 2:14-16 (NIV)
14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) 16 This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.
———————————————–

The ultimate reality is that God has certain preferences for he had selected in advance some to conform a first offering of priests and kings that are to reing with him but WILL UNDOUBTLY SAVE for eternity people from all backgrounds that indirectly (not being conscious et al) did as He likes, choosing the right things from the pot.

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Revelation Knight October 31, 2013 at 6:28 am

No Jew who rejects Jesus will enter into heaven.

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Michael September 16, 2013 at 12:03 pm

Jack,

I am disturbed that so many, like you, present only cherry-picked verses to support their “belief” instead of looking to the whole council of God to form a proper understanding of these deep truths.

You have very conveniently left out the many verses speaking of God offering His gift of salvation to “all”, “everyone”, “the whole world”. You have entirely ignored the many passages related to free will. You have bypassed the multitude of passages talking about how God judges people for the choices they make. You have not even touched on the foreknowledge of God and how certain passages tie this into the doctrinal question of predestination.

Calvin was wrong in his view of predestination. We know this because his theology simply cannot be reconciled to the whole of Biblical Truth. Wesley was also wrong, because again he contradicts points of Biblical Truth. YET THERE IS a proper theology — a proper belief. It is a middle ground, one that coincides with ALL of scripture. One that does not require defending a man-made belief against Scriptural truth.

I do not have time or room in this response to unpack all of this, or explore the hundreds of verses required to fully understand this doctrine. But I beseech you to go back and read the whole of scripture — in context — before you come to a “belief”. Wrestle with the seeming contradictions. Sometimes you will need to go back a chapter or even two for the context. What you will discover is the unity of the message becomes incredibly clear as you set aside pre-conceived notions and quit trying to justify a belief with scripture…instead trying to FORM a belief with scripture. IT IS AMAZING! You will discover that the doctrine of predestination does have a clear Biblical answer that IS NOT IN CONFLICT at all between free will and God’s sovereign plan. Then you too will say Calvin was wrong…and Wesley was wrong. But the Bible is right.

One concept I do want to call out specifically is an improper logical argument always used for this debate. That somehow God cannot be sovereign if man has free will. That is nonsensical. Permitting a person to make a choice does not in any way compromise the authority of the one who permits that choice! We see this in action every day. A dad gives his son a choice as part of the process allowing that boy to become a man. The dad hopes his son will chose wisely, but has decided to let the boy choose either way. Is the dad no longer in control? Of course the dad is! He simply exercised his authority by allowing the boy to make a choice. And so God can exercise His authority in the same way, by letting us choose. This does not diminish God’s authority, it simply is a different way of exercising that authority.

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Jack Wellman September 16, 2013 at 2:30 pm

Michael…I am sorry that so many like you choose to attack and not just cherry pick but place as targets any and all that do not agree with you. I have seen you taking pot-shots at me and at Preston with accusations about not believing the “whole counsel of God.” I am finished with you my friend. I can see you only want to argue and that you can not be wrong and everyone here who is contrary to your view is wrong. I suggest Bible Forums which is a website that allows Christians to debate and wrangle over issues that are non-essential to salvation. This issue is hard to wrap our minds around and is not essential to one being saved or not.

You can not plumb the depths of the knowledge of God and so don’t overestimate yourself. Neither can I. I hope you do well on your next hunting mission. Goodbye.

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Mauro September 16, 2013 at 3:51 pm

Hey Michael,
No one’s leaving apart free will, I cannot say free will is not present in the bible, in fact here are some evidence the thing is very real:

DEUTERONOMY 30:11-19
1 KINGS 11:6,9
2 CHRONICLES 12:14
LUKE 7:30 ***
ISAIAH 30:1 ***
———————————
God’s plan is to establish a Millenial Kingdom after the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ, only inhabited by the “elected ones” (christians and jews). After these 1000 years, All he rest of Mankind (non believers/common people) is gonna be judged, accordingly to the choices they made using their “own free will”:

REVELATIONS 20:12-13
ROMANS 2:14-16
MATTHEW 7:21
——————————–
There’s provision for everyone, and his authority was never put into jeopardy. God took some measures to ensure that those who will receive titles of kings and priests are according to his hugest standards, a this will make up the “first offering”; then a second offering conformed of good people (all the rest) will simply be citizens of New Jerusalem ;D

Blessings!!

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Revelation Knight October 31, 2013 at 6:35 am

I read in his article that “Freewill and God’s sovereignty are not opposed to each other but run parallel with one other.”

Did you miss that? Yeah he didn’t put every verse about free will in there but I thought it was not so bias as to be calvanistic.

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John October 5, 2013 at 7:31 pm

I read you article, but i still have some questions.

As i understand it God is perfect, infinite he is all powerful and all knowing.

So by that logic anything we do God knows we are going to do it or he would not be all powerful. Lets say that God gives me two choices, would he not already know which choice i am going to make? If he does then it is not really a choice, it is me doing what God knows i am going to do. If he doesn’t know what choice i am going to make then God has limitations which the Bible says he does not.

If we take this further God knows if we are going to heaven or Hell as soon as we are born. This is the Calvinist part. The troubling question about that is why would God choose some people to go to hell. If in fact we don’t have free will, then why are their so many less Christians (% per population) now then their were. Wouldn’t God want every one to go to heaven and receive his love.

This contradiction is something i just cant get my head around. The idea that God is all powerful, yet we have free will is a paradox. Just like the paradox “Can God create a stone so heavy he can’t lift it.”

If some one could answer this with out saying, “We can’t comprehend the will of God” or some other type of cop out answer i would really appreciate it. If you don’t know the answer its ok to say “I don’t know”.

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Jack Wellman October 5, 2013 at 7:46 pm

John, I don’t know how to answer this because you are putting my responses in a box although for me to say “I don’t know” may be the best fit. God does not choose someone to go to hell…they make that choice by rejecting belief in Christ, even though God new in advance of this, He didn’t make that decision for them. The Bible is clear that whosoever believes may come but that whosoever is known by God but He doesn’t twist their arm to do it so God does not choose to send people to hell…they send themselves there by willful rejection of Christ and failure to repent and trust in Him (See below link for an article that asks “Does God Predestine People to Hell?”)

God desires no one go to hell (2 Peter 3:9 I believe) and Ezekiel 18:32 I think says that God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. That is all I can say. You and me both can not get our mind around this John because the finite can never understand the infinite but that doesn’t mean it is not correct. Outside of this, I must fall back on “I don’t know” on all these other issues but I do know that God knows and is perfectly just and fair and the clay can not question the character or validity of the Potter Who always knows what is best.

Sorry John but I am sure I have disappointed you but thank you sir for coming to address this most difficult issue.

http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/does-god-predestine-people-to-hell-a-bible-study/

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John October 6, 2013 at 7:18 pm

Thank you for taking the time to respond, I apologize if you felt I was trying to put you in a box. I added the comment about the cop out answer, so I would get a thoughtful response back instead of a wrote one. Reading what you and others have said perhaps the wrote response is in fact the correct one, it is something I have to consider. Thanks again for taking a shot at it.

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Jack Wellman October 6, 2013 at 7:46 pm

John, your comment gave me much pleasure for it is sometimes like the explainable (me) explaining the unexplainable (God). I am just thankful that we can comprehend enough to be saved (John 3:16-17) and those things that humans wrestle with are those things that are not necessary to be saved (and thank you God for that!). I know that I am never, ever going to be fully capable of explaining what I myself can not even fully grasp but that is why our God is so awesome and incredible and beyond human comprehension. Please do come back again sir…we do “try” to cover a multitude of other issues that Christians puzzle over.

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Revelation Knight October 31, 2013 at 6:40 am

Just because God offers you a choice and then immediately knows what you will choose does not mean you never had a choice, it just means He knew what you would choose.

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Anne December 21, 2013 at 3:22 pm

John,

I have written a lot at times and don’t want to repeat in what has become a very long question and answer post. However, I do want to try to answer your question. You see God never chose anyone to go to Hell. He simply left some where they were destined by their own nature and wickedness in the fall of man. In fact that is where we all deserve to go. The grace of God is that He chose any of us to be saved from an eternal hell. But that also shows his amazing wisdom. If our salvation depended on what we would do, choose, how we behaved, the works we did, being perfect and sinless, then we would have failed. God knew this. He also knew that day by day we choose good and evil, so if it was based on our choice, His salvation would have to change with each choice we made bad or good. That is not secure and again we are all so fickle and sinful, that ultimately we would all be in hell. In God’s wisdom, mercy and grace, He chose a people OUT OF the fallen human race and committed to loving them no matter what they did, sent His son to die to pay their sin debt, and secured their place in Heaven with him for all eternity. He had to choose us before we were born, before we had done any good or evil, ( Romans 8) so that man would never be able to boast about what he had done to commend himself to God, and God would get all the glory for saving sinners. God chose to adopt some of the human race into his own perfect family and our inheritance is that one day we will be like Him. He did not have to adopt any of us, and He did no harm to those He left where they were. He simply left them to their own devices, proving that man is incapable of saving himself. God created man out of clay and He has the right and power to raise up some vessels to honor and some to dishonor. Who are we to complain or even comment on what he does with his creation. Clay pots are used for many things from flower vases, to cooking utensils, to chamber pots. Would anyone dare suggest we cook and eat from the chamber pot? Then don’t expect God to have shed His precious blood for those who will remain as wicked as their father, the devil. And also remember if God wants you in heaven you will be. God doesn’t lack for anything he wants, so it is foolish to try to believe that he wants you to go to heaven but just can’t make it happen because you won’t let Him. As God’s word says, O foolish man, who hath bewitched you? We mortals have no power but what is given to us. If you have the power to see God, He gave it to you because He made you His son, and you can rest assured you will be with Him in heaven.

God bless you all and may you have a very merry Christmas season with your loved ones.

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Revelation Knight November 22, 2013 at 7:24 pm

The Bible teaches free will and Gods sovereignty therefore they are both true. Just because you can’t understand something doesn’t make it false.

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John November 23, 2013 at 6:06 pm

Me not understanding it has nothing to with the fact it is a contradiction. That is what makes it false. Perhaps you are too blinded by what you want to be true to see what is true. I would also remind you that this issue was important enough to split the Christian church, that you would dismiss it so easily is very shows you have not put much thought into the subject. You are correct that the bible teaches free will, but as I said before an all knowing God makes free will impossible.

The illusion of choice is not the same as free will. It still means God has planed everything and still knows everything that is going to happen. Free will would mean you could do something that God did not plan. If you were able to surprise God then he is not all knowing. It is really that simple, why you have trouble with it is because it makes you uncomfortable. You want to believe the why you do even if it involves contradictions.

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Robert January 30, 2014 at 10:16 pm

Thank you!! That helps me understand predetermination a little bit better, and it’s the major disagreement I have had with Calvinism. I still believe that free will is the overarching theme in the Bible. I’ve always seen it as incompatible with God’s word. John 3:16 says whosoever believes shall be saved. I take that to mean that we all have the opportunity to be saved, but it’s up to us to accept it. That doesn’t take away from God’s sovereignty. I believe He has a plan and purpose for all of us, not just a select few. But at the same time if we refuse His offer of salvation we will be condemned. The Bible makes that clear. The Bible indicates that God wants all to be saved, and that hell was not meant for people.

What loving God would allow human beings to live life here on earth with the intention of sending them to hell without the opportunity to be saved? I just can’t reconcile that with the God I know. I think the verses that you mentioned indicate God’s intended purpose more than making a clear case for predetermination. Is it possible that God called those people knowing how they would respond to Him? He is omnipotent after all. Is it also possible if those He called walked away He could raise someone else up to do that job? I think that’s equally possible. A third of the angels chose to follow Satan, and leave heaven. If God could allow that to happen could it be that He would allow us to make a similar fateful choice? I believe the answer is possibly.

Judas. Was he saved in the beginning? Did he fall away? Was he always destined to betray Jesus? A wolf in sheep’s clothing? The Bible doesn’t say. I would think Jesus knew, but we have no way of knowing if he lost his salvation or was never saved to begin with.

I have heard predetermination used as a justification to condemn entire groups of people of particular origin. That those people are unworthy of salvation, and because of their linage they couldn’t possibly be part of the elect. Knowing people of that particular origin I’m certain that is not possible. Some of those people are the most Godly people I know. I’m not saying that’s your position I’m simply pointing out that we can get ourselves into real trouble when we start putting God in a box and saying this person or that person can’t be saved.

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Pius Ogola August 12, 2014 at 7:25 am

Robert,

The “whosoever” that so many people usually emphasize upon does not even exist in the Original Koine Greek NT. It is an english participial phrase for “the believing ones” or “everyone believing.” If you clearly look at the grammar, the issue to do with choice [always justified by the phrase whosoever] doesnt even come up. Defend “choice” or libertarian freewill from some other verse, NOT from John 3:16, coz it doesnt support choice/libertarian freewill.

About Judas, of him Christ says in John 6:70: – “Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and yet one of you is a devil?”

In John 17:12 christ calls Judas THE SON OF PERDITION, the same title Paul heaps on the man of lawlessness/Antichrist in 2Thessalonians 2:3. Son of Perdition means Judas came from Hell/Eternal Damnation and goes back there. In entirerty, this verse ends somewhat with a clear open-shut case, that IT WAS TO FULFILL SCRIPTURE THAT ONLY ONE DISCIPLE WAS LOST……..read on : “While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.” . May God Bless You.

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wendy September 7, 2014 at 11:59 am

The son of perdition is the devil who entered Judas.

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Doug March 21, 2014 at 2:22 pm

Only God has free will. For humans there is simply no such thing as free will.
If you believe you have free will then do something for me. Go for one week without sinning. That should be simple for someone with freewill, right. You are free to make whatever moral decision you want, right.
If you are born in outer Mongolia in the 3rd century do you have free will to accept the Jewish messiah as your god when you have never heard of him and never will? NO!
Do you have free will when your are born in the 21st century and are brainwashed from day one that anyone who believes in a higher power is a fool and should be ignored? NO!
Thank goodness God has free will. He gets what he wants and he wills that all be saved. Now that REALLY is good news.

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Dan March 22, 2014 at 12:51 am

The fact that a person can choose to sin, means they have free-will. Otherwise, its God’s will that we sin. I chose to post this response, thus, I have free choice. If people don’t have free will, then we are equal to plants, and are nothing more than robots. jmo

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Pius Ogola August 12, 2014 at 8:42 am

Spot on Doug. If one can freely choose outside his nature [libertarian freewill so to speak], then let him/her make the good choice of not sinning for one week. Real killer point.

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Deborah March 25, 2014 at 2:42 pm

Dan,
I haven’t read all the other comments, just skipped down to yours, and it really is that simple, isn’t it? We could spend hours debating these things, but you spelled it out simply — thank you — I couldn’t agree more. :) If God determined the outcome of everything, then He would be responsible for sin. That can never be, and is, in fact, a blasphemous idea (in my mind).

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Doug March 26, 2014 at 8:42 am

Deborah and Dan,
It really is simple. If I’m wrong and you’re right then there is only one simple way for you to prove it. Simply use your powerful free will and do not not sin. One week, go one week without sinning. Anyone out there can prove me wrong by taking my challenge.
There is a reason why only one human being has ever been sinless. He was the son of God. We are not the son of God and thus we are sinful. We have no choice. God made us this way. God made us this way to show us his power and mercy. If there was ACTUALLY such a thing as human “free will,” why would we need God to save us from sin?
Romans 11:32 “For GOD has BOUND everyone (all) over to disobedience (sin) so that SO THAT he may have MERCY on them ALL (everyone).” Emphasis mine.
I’m sorry but there is no such thing as human free will. I sin because he made me to be in need of my creator’s love and mercy.
God has given us a measure of “will” just as he has given us a measure of physical strength. My strength does not compare with God’s strength and my will does not compare with God’s will.

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Deborah March 27, 2014 at 4:52 pm

Doug,
You say that you sin because He made you in need of His mercy. That is the same as saying you sin because He made you sin. I am simply saying that God can’t be held responsible for sin.
I think the “all” in the passage above is referring to both Jews and Gentiles being alike under sin. Perhaps it is best understood in light of its historical context. Jews thought of themselves are righteous and deserving of God’s blessing. I think Paul was simply trying to point out that Jews can’t escape from the guilt of sin just by their ethnicity/chosen status. He might not have been attempting to prove what you seem to be attempting to prove — that God makes people sin in order to have mercy on them. I think he’s just saying that there is no such thing as being found righteous in God’s sight simply because you are Jewish. The Jews and the Gentiles are alike under the judgement of God because of their sins and are in need of the mercy that only come by faith in the Son of God — in Christ crucified. And anyway, if we take the verse above in such a literal fashion, we must believe that nobody is going to hell, since he says he will have mercy on ALL. The second “all” here also refers, in context, to “both Jews and Gentiles.” That is how I understand it right now. Sometimes we shove verses into boxes they were not intended for.
Also, the Bible says that nobody can be “tempted” by God. They are led into sin by their own desires. This verse clearly suggests that God has nothing to do with the individual’s choice to sin. Let’s leave God out of our sinful human predicament! We got into this mess ourselves. I do not understand how people can be born with a sinful human nature, and how, at the same time, God cannot be responsible for it. There are a lot of things I don’t understand. But I do know that evil is not God’s will — why would He ordain it? If I am wrong about this, God will make it clear to me. Right now, I believe that He provided a plan of salvation in the event of sin, but far be it from us to trace the origin of evil back to His determining decree. Frankly, that makes me sick. God is too holy, too good, too loving, and too just to be the author of sin.

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Dan April 3, 2014 at 2:52 am

Doug,

If there is no human free will, then what’s my motivation not to sin? Without free will, I am responsible for nothing. I can’t make decisions unless I’m free to choose. Your suggestion that God will save everyone, pretty much gives me a license to freely sin because salvation is automatic.

Free will can prevent sin as easily as it can cause sin. Belief is a choice, disbelief is also a choice. Without free will, we cannot make choices, we cannot be disobedient, we cannot repent, and we cannot sin. jmo

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Doug April 1, 2014 at 9:10 pm

Deborah,
Sorry it took me so long to get back.

All I’m asking you to do is use a little common sense. Not one human being has ever walked this earth without sinning, A LOT! I’m not saying God forces us to sin but isn’t it obvious that he has created us with a sinful nature? We sin almost as naturally as we breath. Isn’t it a little silly to act as though this is something unplanned by the all-knowing and all powerful Creator. If we believe God created us to love how can we deny he created us to sin?

I disagree with you saying that God can’t be held responsible for sin. I think the verse very clearly says that God takes responsibility for sin. He created us this way for a purpose. To show his mercy to all. I’m sorry, but I think you should put your preconceived notions away and just read the verse.

So you can’t believe the verse because that would mean nobody is going to hell. Really? We all read scripture through a filter. Try putting yours away for a minute and listen to what a couple verses say.

1 Tim. 4:10 says God is the savior of all.

Christ said if he be lifted up he would draw (“drag” in the Greek) all people unto himself. Why can’t we simply believe that verse for what it says and let our traditions be shaken if that is the result?

If we constantly let our traditions dictate how we interpret scripture we will never have new insights into the will and purpose of God.

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Jack Wellman April 1, 2014 at 9:17 pm

Doug, are you really saying that God is responsible for sin because this then makes Him responsible for them that go to hell but doesn’t James 1:13-15 say “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” What verse are you talking about that says God is responsible for us sinning? Please advise me on this sir.

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Jack Wellman April 1, 2014 at 9:18 pm

Doug…please forgive me, I meant to say “Deborah” so I apologize and that comment was directed to her sir, not you. I am so sorry. Missed the right reply button. My fault…but Deborah, would you please explain what you mean to us, both Doug and I? Thank you.

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Deborah August 1, 2014 at 9:23 pm

Jack,
I am so confused. I don’t know what you are referring to. Which comment do you not understand, and when did I say God is responsible for sin? Wasn’t it Doug who said that God is responsible for sin? I believe I said I do NOT believe God is responsible for sin. Am I missing something?
Doug, I’m afraid I don’t understand your last comment. Did I state that I was a very hard-core Calvinist for the first 38 years of my life? My “preconceived” notions are Calvinist. The views I expressed above are the result of my setting aside THOSE preconceived ideas and trying to get to the truth.

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Deborah August 1, 2014 at 9:34 pm

Jack,
Okay, I figured out what you were referring to. It’s been so long, and I am very tired right now. Sorry, but it was so long ago, I’m not sure what I was thinking at the time. Looks like I offered a confusing and unstable argument.
Bottom line is that God did not ordain people to sin, and I think Doug is misinterpreting the passage to mean something it isn’t intended to mean. ‘

Doug, it’s rare that a Calvinist actually comes out and says that yes, God is responsible for sin. You are honest and brave to admit it. But I could not disagree with you more. I suppose we could say that God is, in an indirect way, responsible for sin because He allowed mankind to be created knowing in advance that they would sin. I guess I would agree with that. But that’s a whole different thing than saying what you said, that “God created us to sin.” Do you really mean to say that from before the creation of the world, God ordained for all men to sin?

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Deborah August 1, 2014 at 9:44 pm

Jack,
Ahhhh, never mind the last part about knowing what you are referring to, I still don’t know what you are talking about!! So sorry . . .
I was actually referring to Doug’s comment about the idea of “all” people being saved . . . I think he is taking the “all” so literally as to mean each and every person individually, when it is probably meant to convey that BOTH Jews and Gentiles are alike under sin and in need of God’s mercy — in the ethnic sense. I could be entirely mistaken, however, and the Calvinists could be right that the verse refers to each and every person. I just don’t know, but I think it’s rather dangerous for Doug or anybody to build an argument for God having ordained sin from all eternity based on that passage, since the Scriptures are saturated with the idea that God is repulsed by sin and holds men responsible for it. How could God hold us responsible for sin if He ordained for us to do it?
I agree with C.S. Lewis on almost everything, so from here on out y’all can refer to C.S. Lewis if you want to know what I think — and do not blame Lewis for anything I said, either. Thanks.

David Bennett April 28, 2014 at 5:29 am
Evangelic Angel August 1, 2014 at 2:53 pm

I don’t have much to add to the conversation, but I will say that I have never seen one side of this argument persuade someone from another point of view to their own. It all ends up boiling down to how you interpret scripture. I would hate to think that anyone thinks they’ve got it all figured out (such people are historically very dangerous, though I think there was one of those dangerous people who did. I’m betting if you’re reading this that you’ve heard of Him).

I believe from life experience that there are definitely people who are chosen and that there are also people who voluntarily choose to believe. And, from my interpretation, I believe there’s enough scripture to back up what I think, but I have no inclination to look them all up because, well really, look at what all the scripture references above have accomplished in this forum. Not much, from what I can tell.

While in this body, I cannot believe that everything that occurs is God’s will. I simply cannot believe that is the case and, from the things I’ve learned happen on this planet, I can’t say that I would want to follow a Creator whose will is for some of these things to happen. It’s not just death, but the manner in which some of these deaths happen.

I also do not doubt that I sincerely could be completely wrong and that when it’s all said and done – other than the simple things – we’re all going to be off-base in our understanding of things. That the answers could be something beyond what our brains are simply capable of comprehending. So, I do not doubt there are elements from everyone’s arguments that could be part of the truth.

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Jack Wellman August 1, 2014 at 10:39 pm

Hello Evangelic Angel. Thank you for your comment. This is so hard to understand because our finite minds cannot ever fully grasp the infinite (God). You said that ” can’t say that I would want to follow a Creator whose will is for some of these things to happen” but what “things” do you mean my friend. Whoever will be saved can make that choice. To not choose to “follow a Creator” will surely end in judgment but that is your choice. No choice is still a choice to reject God and His Son, the only way to be saved (Acts 4:12) from His wrath (John 3:36; Rev 20:11-15). You said “the answers could be something beyond what our brains are simply capable of comprehending” which is very, very true my friend. That is spot on the mark of truth. I do hope you will more than follow this Creator God and our Savior Who died for you by repenting and trusting in Him (if you have not already done so and I am hoping you already have).

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Pius Ogola August 12, 2014 at 9:25 am

“but I will say that I have never seen one side of this argument persuade someone from another point of view to their own. It all ends up boiling down to how you interpret scripture……”

Funnily enough, my first comment on this post and i was vehemently arguing that the two existed – and by two i mean one is LIBERTARIAN FREEWILL, well after reading through most of the comments [they were only sixty something at the time, lost count really], going to youtube and watching some Revelation TV Debates [A British Christian TV] and articles on the net pitting both sides, you can count me as one who has certainly had a huge paradigm shift, to a more reformed position [i know the misnomer, classical arminianism can at times be categorized under reformation].

Previewing On the Bondage of the Will and Luther’s other letters to Erasmus brought me to the firm scriptural conclusion that the will of man is truly under bondage to the nature and as such, Libertarian freewill cannot be exegetically defended from Holy Writ, as such rendered arcane.

A close reading even of the 2nd account of creation brought me to much more reality than normal stories and church tradition……. that Adam and Eve, though with a mature adult body [say 25yrs old], were as naive as a young kid, to the extent they didnt know a difference between good and evil, until they ate the fruit OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL…..

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Bob August 2, 2014 at 4:24 pm

Free will I don’t understand especially when it comes to the gospel. According to John 1:13 Who owe their birth neither to [c]bloods nor to the will of the flesh [that of physical impulse] nor to the will of man [that of a natural father], but to God. [They are born of God!] Amp. If there was a concern about man free will wouldn’t it be most important here?

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Jack Wellman August 2, 2014 at 4:31 pm

Thank you Bob. Certainly, we don’t have control over who is born again or not for we are born from above (literal Greek in John 3:3) but we are still held responsible for making that choice, freely. My own mind is incapable of wrapping around this tension between free will and predestination. I am just glad that He does the choosing for if it were solely up to human endeavors, who would choose God? My finite mind cannot ever comprehend the infinite mind of God and that is why He is God. In this life, I don’t know if we will ever fully grasp how these two fit together in God’s purpose but I just know that they do and that is enough for me. Thank you for your comment sir.

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Evangelic Angel August 4, 2014 at 9:05 am

Thanks, Mr. Wellman.

I am a Christian because, well to be blunt, I’ve decided for what are most likely purely selfish reasons that I’d rather believe in a benevolent and merciful God than not, and as so, without a Savior in Jesus there ain’t no other way I’m making it through the pearly gates. So, Glory to God and all that. I like to think that I’ve been enlightened on many truths, but I am very…reluctant to share because I also think I could be, and likely am, wrong about so much.

One thing I’m sure of is that it’s a dangerous policy to limit God based on what I believe of Him. However, I am sure that mercy, life, love, health, forgiveness and other virtues that escape me at the moment are good and pure. To believe otherwise, I think, would be blasphemous.

I do think that it’s unfortunate there’s a schism between the philosophical issues of free will and predestination, and what appears to be so much anger while arguing one’s POV, but I don’t believe that whatever one’s position is on the issue, based on what I’ve read, affects their salvation.

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Jack Wellman August 4, 2014 at 9:13 am

Amen to this my friend. I so agree. On those things that we disagree on we should not be disagreeable but loving in seeing that we might have differences. These things will all be known in time but on this earth, today we only see thru a glass darkly and as you said, the main thing is that God is merciful and better to us than we deserve. Who among us should not fall on our faces in gratitude that He saved such wretches like us and that His great love was displayed so powerfully on the cross for those who truly deserved His wrath. Thank you and your words are spot on.

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Anne August 18, 2014 at 11:18 am

Pius,

I have friends from church who visit Kenya and Tanzania. Not sure how close to you they are. They have church services there and listen to the radio and internet ministries. Thought you might be interested. Here is a link:

http://tanzaniaprimitivebaptistchurch.blogspot.com/

Not all who go by the name Primitive Baptists are true to the scriptures as some are Calvinists in disguise. (Thus the reason for my own misunderstandings.) Anyway just a warning if you look up Primitive Baptists and run across those who believe in the absolute predestination of all things, don’t accuse us all of being Calvinists because we aren’t! The link I gave you is to some of the pastors I have heard and met with personally and am much encouraged in the teachings and rejoicing in the truth of God’s Word.

May God richly bless you always,

Anne

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Anthony September 15, 2014 at 10:20 pm

God is omnipresent and we are told that He saw the end from the beginning and that He was there at the beginning and He will be there at the end. So if He saw the end from the beginning, how does that fit with free will because what I understand about free will is one has a choice to make but if God saw the end from the beginning then He has already seen the outcome and doesn’t that remove free will. Because lets say that you are at point A going to a given point and according to what we are told He saw the end from the beginning so God saw that you would end at point C even though you are still at point A how does blend with free will?

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Jack Wellman September 16, 2014 at 7:24 am

Hello Anthony and thank you sir for your question. Just because God sees the end from the beginning doesn’t mean that we don’t have responsibility for repenting and trusting in Christ or rejecting Christ. It is such a hard thing to see how both freewill and predestination work together. Yes, God knows the outcome but this is based upon what we will freely chose to do. I knew my children would love to play with toys and when we knew we would have a boy we knew boys love trucks and trains so we had some ready for when he was old enough to play with them. Sure enough, he did love the trucks and trains and we know for certain that he would play with them but he was free to choose to play with them or not. We didn’t make him play with them, we just knew that he would. He had freewill but we knew from the beginning what he would do. Poor human example I know but this is a mystery so hard to explain. Today, we only see thru a glass darkly. Someday, we can see Him face to face and seek a better understanding of this subject. Thank you Anthony.

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Jack Wellman August 1, 2014 at 10:42 pm

Thank you Deborah. I think Doug may be long gone (even though I hope he is not). Evangelic Angel said something that is very true. He wrote “the answers could be something beyond what our brains are simply capable of comprehending” which is very, very true and is spot on the mark of truth. As I wrote to him or her, whoever will be saved can make that choice but to not choose to “follow a Creator” will surely end in judgment but that is your choice. We are still responsible for our own sins and choices and that is why I chose to trust in Jesus. No choice is still a choice to reject God and His Son, the only way to be saved (Acts 4:12) from His wrath (John 3:36; Rev 20:11-15).

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Deborah August 2, 2014 at 9:25 am

Thank you, Jack. I agree. :)
I don’t think my many Calvinist friend will ever understand my leaving Calvinism, but it’s okay.

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Anne August 9, 2014 at 1:09 pm

Deborah, and anyone else interested; I just read a book by Elder Harold Hunt, “The Lost History of Calvinism,” and it explained so much! For years I have discussed the doctrines of the scripture and had people tell me I sounded like a Calvinist, but yet I knew I was not. I however could not explain the difference or why I was not. Now I clearly understand the difference, but even more important to me personally is that I found out I did indeed grow up in the Calvinist world, but by God’s mercy and grace, I was brought to the truth. Truth has most certainly set me free! Also this idea several have spoken about, saying we can not comprehend or wrap our minds around the seeming contradiction of both predestination and free will, yet thinking both are taught in the scriptures, so they must be true. Well, truth is most definitely true, and when you find it, there is no problem wrapping around it and embracing it. If we can just get our own ideas as well as the traditions and customs of men out of our heads and stop letting others help us misunderstand, then God’s Word will enlighten us with all we need, to have joy, peace, comfort, and rest in Christ, His finished work, and His redemptive power.

If you get a chance to read Elder Hunt’s book I feel certain it will help you understand the confusing ideas, not just from John, Calvin and his followers, but from back much further to Augustine and even those alive in Jesus’s day, have propagated to such a degree as too cause the confusion and strife we wee and feel today. May the Lord richly bless you and may you find the comfort of the scriptures to guide you as a shining light set upon a hill. Matthew 5.

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Deborah August 10, 2014 at 7:53 pm

Anne,

I find comfort in Christ alone.

I was raised in Calvinism, I have read and delighted in John Piper’s longest and deepest books (The Pleasures of God, Desiring God, etc.), part of Calvin’s Institutes, much of R.C. Sproul’s literature/CD’s, several of Tim Keller’s books, all the Reformed creeds and confessions and catechisms, and much more. Suffice it to say I “get” Calvinism.

To summarize, I don’t find comfort in John Calvin or any other human being’s ideas.

I find comfort in a Savior crying on His knees on the steps of the Temple to His people that He would have gathered them together like a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but THEY were NOT WILLING. It doesn’t say, “but GOD was not willing.” It says, “but you were not willing.”
Is Jesus the exact representation of the Father, or not? The Bible clearly says so. If Jesus pleaded and cried over His lost Jewish people for their unwillingness to repent, I may safely take it that that is how God in all the Trinity also feels about it. And if He feels that way about it, He didn’t predestine their unwillingness to follow before the creation of the world.

So yes, I take comfort in the Scriptures because they reveal a God who has done everything possible to gather up every soul who would believe so that we may live together eternally in the love relationship that God has shared within His being from all eternity. He has spoken through His final Word — the Son — and He has done everything possible to save every soul on this earth. He has spoken and He has done it. We have only to accept the free gift. Yet, some reject this gift because they’d rather choose sin than God. And God grieves over this. That is what the Scriptures reveal. Nothing a mere man like John Calvin, John Piper, R.C. Sproul, Augustine, Jonathan Edwards, or anybody else could convince me otherwise.

This is my last post.

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Anne August 11, 2014 at 12:38 am

Deborah,

From your reply, I feel I was very unclear. I did not suggest you read the book to understand Calvinism or Augustine either. The book helped me to understand better where their ideas came from but the joy was in the scriptural truths that refuted Calvinism. I am very sorry for misrepresenting and please don’t let the title fool you. It is not a support of Calvin or Augustine but to me it was a delight in understanding why I am not a Calvinist. Elder Hunt is not a Calvinist either, which is why he thought it was important for people to have a clear understanding of the deceptions behind many of todays false teachings.

But however you have gotten to where you are today, it would appear that you have exchanged one false doctrine for another. If God has truly done EVERYTHING possible to save every soul on this earth, then all would be saved. God cannot fail. Since we know everyone is not going to heaven, then it is not possible that Christ died for everyone. If He died for you, you SHALL be with Him. God said He would not lose one. So if anyone goes to Hell, they can not be one that Christ died for. We must rightly divide for no scripture refutes another. They will harmonize with each other if we put them in proper context and meaning.

Deborah, please keep searching diligently, that you be not deceived and can finally rejoice in the truth that shall set you free. My prayers are with you. May God richly bless you.

Anne

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Pius Ogola August 12, 2014 at 9:31 am

Is this the same Anne who argued in this very post on the side of calvinism and the authority of KJV 1611 back in 2012 or 2013????? Or its another Anne?

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Anne August 12, 2014 at 7:07 pm

Pius Ogola,

I am the very same Anne I was then, just hopefully a little wiser. It appears that you too have spent much time in diligently study of God’s Word. I read your other recent posts and I thank-you very much for the defining of “whosoever.” I have tried to explain that one before, but you gave me a more intelligent way to show the truth. I hope you are doing well and the Lord continues to bless you.

Anne

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Pius Ogola August 18, 2014 at 9:01 am

Oh I see, good to know. AM fine, yes, done more and more reading, watched many debates on youtube, from Revelation TV [Its a UK Christian TV]. I used to argue more on the side of the so called Freewill [libertarian] before i slowly by slowly realized that it was a heretical church tradition. I’ve actually realized most of the beliefs i’ve held have always been unscriptural, like altar calls, disregard for sola scriptura etc. Here in Africa, Nairobi, pentecostalism and charismaticism have been taken to another alarming level, making heresies easily enter the church. Anyway, thats that! Glad tidings to you.

Pius.

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