What Does the Bible Say About Destiny or Fate? A Christian Study

by Crystal McDowell · Print Print · Email Email

Are you destined for heaven or fated for hell? Do you have a choice in the matter at all or is your final destination determined even before you take your first breath? These are the questions that we must ask ourselves when it comes to the destiny or fate of people within and outside of the faith. The answers to these questions lies in the 5 W’s and H of the scriptures:

Who is in control?

“For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified” (Romans 8:29-30).

God is sovereign and therefore, in control of everything. The Lord could’ve made all people like clones or robots to do His every bidding without a second thought. However, He made us people of free will to make choices that will lead our destiny to eternity in heaven or hell. God remains in control even when it seems like everything is out of control.

What is the fate of humankind?

“It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart” (Ecclesiastes 7:2).

The death ratio is still 1:1. Unless Jesus comes first to rapture up His church—everyone will die at some point in time. Death remains the great equalizer; however, there’s hope for those who put their trust in Jesus as He’s promised that a place has been prepared for them. The door of death was opened by Adam and Eve, but the sting of death was overtaken by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The fate of mankind is to die, but the hope for the believer is eternal life.

When is our destination determined?

“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” (Ephesians 1:4-5). 

The destination of every man, woman, and child is determined when they choose to accept or reject Jesus Christ as Lord. He was sent to die for the world—that is, every single person on this earth has an opportunity to be saved. Because God is sovereign—He knows those who will put their trust in Jesus before they even know it. He provides every opportunity through the promptings of the Holy Spirit, the testimonies of His people, the teachings and preachings of the Bible, and the creation itself speaks of God’s love for the world.

Are you destined towards a future glory? 

Are you destined towards a future glory?

Where does destiny lead us?

“For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame” (Philippians 3:18-19). 

Hell wasn’t created for humans, but for Satan and his demons. (2 Peter 2:4) God desires that every person come to know Jesus and accept His sacrifice for their sins. Yet the hearts of many people are hardened and they want to be the masters of their destiny. There’s no amount of good works that can cover the multitude of sins. Only the innocent blood of Jesus is accepted for the redemption of sins. Destiny of all mankind leads to Jesus—those who accept Him are destined for eternal life and those who reject Him are destined for eternal destruction.

Why does God give us choices?

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)

How much sweeter it is to be loved for yourself rather than for what you do for someone else! The Lord is gracious to reach out to us when we were yet in our sins. His love is unending, pure, and unconditional. He will still love those who reject His Son, Jesus. When we obey His precepts, we reveal our love for Him. We choose to love Him because He first loved us. Our choice (that is a gift from God) reveals the depth of true love—one that isn’t forced on anyone.

How are we to know our destiny?

“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 order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1:11-12).

We know our destiny when we put our trust in Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirits that we are the sons and daughters of God. There’s an assurance that comes to our hearts and minds as we pray and read the Bible. There will always be times of doubt especially when difficulty or tragedy comes to our lives. However, the love of God endures through the storms of life to encourage our faith and trust in God.

What’s your Destiny?

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).

Are you destined towards a future glory? There’s a place beyond this world that has been prepared for your arrival when you accept Jesus Christ as Lord. It’s a place without sorrow or sickness. It’s a place where God’s glory and light shines all the time in peace, joy, and love. Your destiny lies in humbling yourself and surrending your will to God’s will for your life on this earth. Today is the first day of your great destiny in Christ!

More about that place beyond: What Does the Bible Say Heaven is Like?

Resource – New International Version Bible, The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblca, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Cody June 13, 2014 at 10:19 am

So, did God predestine or is it free will? You can’t have it both ways, particularly with free will pertaining to salvation never being mentioned in the Bible.


DocReits June 16, 2014 at 12:45 pm


“So, did God predestine or is it free will? You can’t have it both ways…”

…said the clay to the Potter…;-)

Way 1) If we do not have “Free Will” we are robots who have no choice to accept or reject God. We are simply “moved” as chess pieces on the board of life, the “white or black” pieces having won before the start of the game.

Way 2) If we have “Free Will” why would God say that we were predestined before the world began?

“According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love” Eph 1:4

Please consider:

1) Is it possible that God knows everything?
2) Most who believe in God would say, “Yes”.
3) If “Yes”, then He also knows what will be.
4) What “will be” includes what “will be”, including your decision to accept or reject His offer of salvation through the Gift of His Son Jesus. (He knew your decision before the foundation of the world)
5) This does not preclude your “Free Will” ability, it simply means God knows and by extension “knew” what your decision would be beforehand.

All of these “words” (beforehand, know, knew, etc) are “time” words. We have our past, present and future tenses in our language, and are “forced” to operate within them. God does not have “time” words as His reality permeates and, at the same time, transcends them all, at our same “time”.




Robert June 19, 2014 at 2:48 pm

Also, notice that we are predestined “in Him”. This means that God did indeed predestine anyone who repents and becomes a follower of Jesus, thereby being “in Him”, to inherit eternal life. Something to ponder.
Yours in Christ,


Patricia Schneider June 26, 2014 at 1:38 pm

WOW, Crystal! You realize this is the first clear-cut explanation I’ve ever read explaining Romans 8:29-30, Ecclesiastes 7:2, Ephesians 1:4-5 & Ephesians 1:11-12?!

Have only been daily studying God’s Word since late 2011. What used to be a chore is now a ‘task’ I can’t wait to get to each day!
Have several sisters & brothers in Jesus who are helping me comprehend God’s Word, but usually it’s Jesus’ Holy Spirit that guides me to the answers. (Also through folks like you, Crystal, Pastor Jack Wellman, Derek Hill, and DocReits above, to mention a few. BTW, Doc, really appreciated your reply to Cody!)
Whenever I come across a passage in God’s Word I don’t fully understand, I pencil in a question mark. How thrilled am I now to be able to erase the question marks on those 4 passages mentioned above! THANK YOU, Crystal! (Really should read WCWTK more often!! Yet, Jesus’ Holy Spirit has guided me to other means to know and love our Father better. Know what I mean?)
God’s wonderful blessings & His graces be showered upon you, Crystal, your beautiful family, your ministry, and EACH soul who visits this site!!
Your Sis in Christ Jesus ~ Patty
P.S. Gonna print this article with Scripture, Crystal, in case
I should ever forget! As the saying goes, at my age,
“The mind’s the first to go~!” Hee-Hee! Just as long as it
goes where our Father wishes! Right, Sis?


nnadozie July 20, 2014 at 6:05 pm

wonderful! i clearly was searching for answers to this topic, I’ve had it in mind since. then the holy spirit brought me here and now i have a better understanding of pre-destiny and free-will. thank you sister crystal for your article. it is wonderful. God bless and also thanks to DocReits whose comments i also read and it gave me a good understanding of the terms. God bless you both


nnadozie July 20, 2014 at 6:05 pm

wonderful! i clearly was searching for answers to this topic, I’ve had it in mind since. then the holy spirit brought me here and now i have a better understanding of pre-destiny and free-will. thank you sister crystal for your article. it is wonderful. God bless and also thanks to DocReits whose comments i also read and it gave me a good understanding of the terms. God bless you both


Blake Peace June 11, 2015 at 8:39 am

I am reading through finding good scripture on “destiny” and because you choose to place “ad choices” on your blog I see TWICE a woman clad in very little leather with her rear end up in the air. Horrible choice for affiliations on a blog for a faith-based web-site. Takes everything away from the article and makes you look fake. I KNOW you are not and this is why I am telling you that you should RID yourself of this worldly advertisement that does NOT care about the faith one bit.


Jack Wellman June 11, 2015 at 12:07 pm

Thank you Blake. These ad’s are “google ads” I believe what you are seeing and we are not “choosing” these so please forgive the random nature of them. There is a little tiny “x” that you can click on and report it as inappropriate or offensive or repetitive” and you’d do us a favor by doing that when you see them my friend in Christ. Our apologies for these.


Kelly December 3, 2018 at 8:14 pm

I’m not the most educated bible scholar and so I’m still confused. I have been struggling with with my salvation and whether or not i can change it. Doc stated (He knew your decision before the foundation of the world) If God is sovereign and knows all things then he knows before i was born if I am going to accept Jesus Christ as my personal savior? So my salvation is predetermined? Where is my choice (free will) in that decision? I can grasp the concept of i could live a better life if God did chose me to have a place in eternity and I would live my life accordingly, but is it all for nothing if he predetermined me not to have a place in heaven? Is every human being predestined to heaven and having free will you have to make the right decision? Then God doesn’t know your individual destiny?
As you can tell i’m struggling with destiny and whether or not I can change it by my decisions….
Thanks in advance for any direction 🙂


Jack Wellman December 3, 2018 at 8:39 pm

Hello Kelly. Instead of struggling over your salvation over this issue of predestination (found in EPh 1, etc.), just rest in His promises (Gospel of John is good). It is not so much “free will” as it is human responsibility. Most people I speak or write to that are worried about losing their salvation are saved because a person who isn’t saved doesn’t even care about sin or may not even believe in sin. God does know you’re eternal destiny. CLing to His promises (John 6:37-39; 10:27-29; Rom 8) and don’t worry about the rest of the “how” of all this. It is a struggle even for great theologians, and who can know GOd’s mind? None! I pray this helps you Kelly.


violet April 25, 2021 at 8:00 pm

Hi! I just have a question about free will, if God knows what we are going to do before we do that isn’t that him making us to do those things? For example God knew Eve would eat the fruit off the tree, but he still made her and let the world live in the consequences that came from it. Is that really free will?
Thank you you 🙂


Jack Wellman April 25, 2021 at 9:18 pm

Hello Violet and thank you for such a good question. God knew Eve was going to pick the forbidden fruit, but He didn’t for her to do it. She was carried away by Satan’s deceiving her, so we can’t say God made them do this. We are all responsible for our own actions and must face the consequences of our sinful choices as we are doing what we please and God cannot sin nor does He tempt anyone to sin. It is Eve’s freewill but God knew it would happen. Just like it’s night and dark out, but we know for sure the sun will rise. Our knowing the sun will rise doesn’t cause it to rise.


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