Predestination

In order to help improve this article

Presuming you are a Christian:

“If you agree continue.” appears after each thought below. If you disagree at any point please copy and paste the text for which you disagreed in the comments section at the bottom of this post. Thanks ahead of time! PS If you are not Christian there is no need to comment. This is a topic for Christians and will not make sense in any other view.

In this post, I will not go over the history of predestination as found in the scripture. If you are here you have likely heard and or thought about this subject. If not there is plenty to read and various points of view so click this link if you are interested.

Many Christians, including myself, have been on both sides of this question. Below is the way I try to explain it. We start by answering some basic questions for ourselves before getting wrapped up in the discussion.

  • Do you believe God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and always present? If you agree continue.
  • Do you believe God is the Alpha and the Omega, beginning, and end of all things? If you agree continue.
  • If you disagree with either of the statements above the paragraphs below will not make sense to you. What follows below is predicated on the answers being “yes I agree” to the above questions.

Man views things in a timeline but God is at all places at once, knows all things at once, and has control over all things at the same time. Therefore, the past, present, or future from our human perspective is not past, present, or future for God. If you agree continue.

However, since God speaks to us as created things we hear Him in relation to time. If you agree continue.

Sometimes analogies work best to explain complex ideas. Analogies are not precise in their description but only hint at how to compare things.

Imagine God as the scriptwriter, producer, and director for a movie. The movie script is written from beginning to end. The end is known only by the author until it is acted out, produced, and goes into public circulation.

Note: This part was added on 31 Jan 22 in order to clarify the analogy above. Brother Mac suggests that actors can ad-lib in scenes of a movie. Also, note that I had warned ahead of time that analogies are not precise. Simply change the analogy to a book rather than a movie. The author knows the whole thing before it is published and enters circulation.

That is how I view predestination as it is described in the Bible. Did this help?

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4 comments

  1. The truth is that the greatest and most precious gift God gives to man is the freedom to choose, that is our “Free Will”.

    Many will wat to ignore this gift because if man has no choice in the life he (she) lives, then man neither bears responsibility for his sin, after all, it is “predestined” by God, right?

    We used the movie analogy to describe God’s predetermination over our lives, yet we know that the most famous and often most enduring dialogue in any movie are the lines that were an “Ad Lib”. Heck, almost the entire movie of “Good Morning Vietnam” was Robin Williams “ad-libbing his lines. Let’s see:
    “Here’s looking at you, kid.” (Casablanca, 1942)
    “Heeeere’s Johnny!” (The Shining, 1980)
    “You’re gonna need a bigger boat!” (Jaws, 1975)
    “”You can’t handle the truth” (A Few Good Men, 1992)

    What does the Bible say about free will?
    Deteronomy 30:11-19
    Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it? Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it? No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it. See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess. But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.

    John 7:17
    Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.

    Joshua 24:15
    But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”

    Mark 8:34
    Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.

    Revelation 3:20
    Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

    Galatians 5:13
    You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.

    These verses and others clearly indicate that each individual has a free will to choose or not. The thief hung on the cross next to Jesus chose Jesus and thus was saved.

    The rich man in the bible asked Jesus ““Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” Jesus told the man to obey the Commandments (certainly indicating a choice) Jesus also answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When the rich young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. Again, Jesus indicated that the man had the “Free Will” to choose or to not choose.

    Since God is not bound by time as human beings are, it seems like our lives are “predestined, because God knows our decisions before we make them. His timelessness gives him knowledge of all things. Can humans make righteous decisions and change their lives? Does mankind possess “free will”. Can we “Ad Lib” our way into a different future?

    Free Will indicates that we can!

    1. Brother Mac, thanks for the lengthy reply. This was covering the subject of predestination only. I planned and plan on posting on the subject of free will.

      What I was looking for from people is if they disagreed with the premises about God being omni-attributed and the beginning and end, without time.

      Note: I could have used the analogy of a book rather than a movie. You cannot ad lib the book. More coming soon, Lord willing.

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