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Thoughts on the Meaning of Life…..by Todd Helmkamp

Predestined: Yes, or No?

Posted by Vogeler on November 20, 2006

Today’s Question for Debate:

Has God predestined us to be His followers and to receive salvation?  Or do we have a choice?  I would prefer examples from the Bible to support your position.  And remember, Be Nice!!  (this is obviously from a Judeo-Christian/ Fundamentalist Christian worldview.  If you have another view, feel free to share it, just make sure to tell us so we don’t miss it!)

Have the best Monday possible.

Thanks,

-Todd

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10 Responses to “Predestined: Yes, or No?”

  1. Adam said

    I think we have a choice. If we DIDN’T have a choice, then why did God create the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? God wants our devotion, and not giving us a choice isn’t true love and devotion.

    However, God DID know what choice we would make since the beginning of time. But he didn’t make the choice for us.

  2. joe said

    I don’t know if it’s quite that simple, Adam.

    We are unable to come to know and serve God on our own; we are completely dependent upon his decision to save us, and his work in our lives to transform us.

    But at the same time, we are responsible for our own decisions, and God will judge us for how we respond to him, and how we deal with each other.

    Where do we draw the line? If we draw the line to close to God being responsible for us then we venture into fatalism. If we put all of the weight on human decision, then we end up in the Pelagian camp. Both are fairly unbalanced views with poor biblical support.

    So, I think the question, for me anyway, is how much of the responsibility is mine, and how much is God’s?

    Even though I have presented a fairly Calvinist view, I don’t believe in double predestination.

  3. Hmm. Good points, gentlemen. However, I’m not seeing any references…..which makes me sad, because it’s a lot easier for me to research stuff if someone’s already done the legwork! Ha ha! I told you eBible spoiled me!

  4. joe said

    Well, I gave you the short answer…I am working on a full fledged answer, but it might be long, because this is one sticky subject. 🙂

    joe

  5. dustin said

    well, todd, this is a very difficult question.
    but i believe i have a simple answer.

    Ephesians 1:11 says that “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,” meaning that God does know all that happens and has something to do with the way it happens.

    I think that Joe and Adam both made very good points, but I also think its a LOT more complicated than what I have room to type.

    You see, I can only type from here to here. Versus, from here to (your nose). I think its the same way with God. See we are restricted to thinking in three dimensions. God has so many more…de veras.

    Thats why I just know that God has it in control. Thats good enough for me.

    dustin

  6. Adam said

    Yea. I know it isn’t as simple as I wrote. i just wanted to prime the pump. 😀

    But frankly, I’m really not in the apologetics mood right now. lol. I’ll be back later. 😀

  7. Don’t “apologize”… har! 🙂

  8. Adam said

    Has God predestined us to be His followers and to receive salvation? Or do we have a choice?

    My answer: “Yes.”

    My existence is predestined by God (Ps. 139:16, Mt. 10:30). But some time ago, 22 years (plus nine months before my birthday) my parents made a choice to do their thing. So I am predestined. Yet I was also a choice.

    Unless you get caught up on the Calvinist’s viewpoint and can’t get past certain terminologies. . . i think the answer to your question, Todd, is “Yes.”

    Are we predestined? Yes.
    (Eph. 1, Ps. 139:13-16, Rom. 8:29-30, 9:6-26).

    A great verse is 2 Thessalonians 2:13, “. . . because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit . . .” This clearly shows that GOD CHOSE US. Yet this same verse continues, “and through belief in the truth.” So not only did God choose us, but we chose God (by believing in the truth).

    So did we have a Choice? Yes.
    (2 Thess 2:13; Rom 10:9,13; 2 Peter 3:9 (this verse shows that God waits on humans to make a decision for Salvation – so if God is waiting for a decision, then certainly we have a choice); John 1:12; Rev. 3:20 (why does he bother knocking if we don’t need to open a door)).

    So the answer to both questions, I believe, is yes.

    But I’m with Dustin on this one – “I just know that God has it in control. That’s good enough for me.” De veras.

  9. joe said

    OK, I do my best thinking after 1 am, but this is a sticky and confusing subject, so I hope it makes sense. I’m only including the scripture references in order to save some space and lots of typing…

    Well, here goes:

    Scripture clearly teaches that fallen man is totally depraved. He is spiritually dead and an enemy of God. See Ephesians 2:1 and 4:18.

    There is clear biblical evidence to support a doctrine of predestination. Romans Chapters 8-11, specifically Romans 8:28-30.

    Of course, this raises some tough questions. For instance, if a person is saved because he is chosen for salvation, what about those who are not saved? Do they end up in hell simply because they weren’t chosen? Have they been chosen for damnation? Has God limited his salvation to only a select few?

    The New Testament repeatedly refers to salvation for all. God’s grace is universal. For starters, check out the following: John 3:16, 1 Timothy 2:3-4, 2 Corinthians 5:15, 2 Corithians 5:19, 1 John 2:2.

    The Bible also clearly teaches that sinful man is able to resist the Holy Spirit and reject the grace of God. If a person ends up in hell it is not because God put him there, it is because he chose to ignore or reject the Gospel of Jesus Christ. See Matthew 23, Mark 7:9, Acts 7:51, 2 Timothy 3:8, Hebrews 4:7.

    And, last but not least, while God promises to keep us from falling (Jude 1:24) and to complete the work of redemption in us (Phillipians 1:6), we are able to reject God and turn away from the truth. If this wasn’t possible, then the New Testament wouldn’t be full of warnings, and Jesus wouldn’t have talked about it in the parable of the sower. (Luke 8:6-8, and the explanation is in Luke 8:11-14.)

    Frankly, I believe that predestination is a mystery that is hidden in Christ (Colossians 2:3). How it works out that God has chosen us, and yet we have the free will to choose for ourselves, is impossible to fathom.

    I am going to agree with Martin Luther’s opinion that some things should remain a mystery, and just believe that, in his sovereignty, God has it all worked out.

    Sorry for the length, but I wanted to make certain that I remained balanced and rightly divided scripture (2 Timothy 2:15, NKJV).

  10. joe said

    Adam, we must have been typing at the same time. I posted and then I saw yours. I was thinking of some of the same scriptures, but couldn’t remember the references off the top of my head. So, I used other ones I could remember the references to.

    It would appear the Dustin, Adam and I all came to the same basic conclusion, but none of us used the same scriptures, and none of us contradicted each other.

    Isn’t it amazing how three different people were able to effectively come to the same conclusion while using three completely different groups of scripture references?

    Now tell me the Bible isn’t the inspired Word of God! I dare you!

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