How does predestination, election,and God’s foreknowledge affect the salvation of mankind?

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Answers to Bible Questions

Scriptures are from the KJV of the bible

(Q)  How does predestination, election, and God’s foreknowledge affect the salvation of mankind?

 

(A)  In effect, the above question is asking, “who can be saved?” Are some predestined for salvation while others are predestined to be lost? Does God elect some to salvation and others to the lake of fire? Do all people have the same opportunity to be saved regardless of their ethnic origin or background? Can God elect or predestine some to salvation according to His foreknowledge?

These are some very tough and thought provoking questions which only the scriptures can provide answers to. However, I would like to make it clear that as human beings we may not fully comprehend what God is telling us about predestination, election, and His foreknowledge, because these issues have been debated for centuries by some of the greatest scholars that have ever lived and most had to humbly confess that these things went beyond their complete understanding. With that in mind we will begin to look at the scriptures and see what can be gleaned from them about the words stated above and what influence (if any), they might have on man’s salvation.

 The words Predestination and Foreordain come from the same Greek word (prooridzo) meaning to determine beforehand ; Election and Calling mean chosenand Foreknowledge means the knowing beforehand certain events that will happen.

There are a few scriptural facts we must keep in mind before we begin our study. The first is that God is absolutely righteous in all things: Romans 9:14 say’s:  14What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. The second fact we need to consider is the estate of man under sin. Man is a responsible being who is fully accountable to God. He is responsible for his apostasy from God and his lost condition. He merits only the judgment of God. The third thing which Scripture presents is that no man of himself seeks after God. In other words, Scripture teaches that even though God provided a salvation for the whole world, not one would accept it and be saved unless God first of all took the initiative by Himself seeking after man, Romans 3:10-12: 10As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:  11There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.  12They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Also we learn from scripture that God is no respecter of persons, Romans 2:11: 11For there is no respect of persons with God. God’s will is for all to be saved, 1 Timothy 2:3-6:  3For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;  4Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.  5For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;  6Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. Christ has already paid for the sins of the whole world, but all need to be reconciled back to God on a personal one on one basis by “believing” in what Christ accomplished on their behalf at Calvary.  11 Corinthians 5:18-21:  18And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;  19To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.  20Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.  21For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

The following are some scriptures about Predestination, Foreordain or ordained, (they all have the same meaning of “determine beforehand”).

Acts 4:28:  28For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.
1 Corinthians 2:7-8:  7
But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:  8Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.(CHRIST JESUS)

Acts 13:47-48: 47For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.  48And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. Romans 8:29-30:  29For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.  30Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. Ephesians 1:5,11:  5Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 11In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

The Greek word “prooridzo” is translated determined before in (Acts 4:28);  predestinated in (Rom. 8:29-30; Eph. 1:5, 11); and  ordained in (l Cor. 2:7). In these passages we find that God predestinated Christ to die for the world (Acts 4:28); that some (it is not stated who or which ones) would be saved by believing on Jesus as their Savior (Rom. 8:29-30); that those who would freely choose to be saved were predestinated to be holy and to be children of God through Christ (Eph. 1:5); that these children of God have a predestinated inheritance according to the eternal purpose (Eph. 1: 11);that they were predestined to be enlightened with wisdom kept secret from of old (1 Cor. 2:7); but no statement is made that God’s predestined plan and purpose includes over-riding the free acts of free moral agents, nor does it name those who will conform to the plan.

This means that God’s law is the thing that is predestinated and not the individual conformity to it. All Scripture is clear that men are absolutely free to choose for themselves whether they conform to the predestined plan or not (John 3:16; Revelation 22:17). Those that do conform will enjoy forever the predestined blessings, and those who do not will suffer eternally the predestined judgments of the plan. This and this alone, is all that the Bible teaches concerning predestination in connection with free moral agents.

There are no reasonable or scriptural arguments that can be presented to prove that God saves or keeps men contrary to their free choice. Nothing is hard to understand about election, foreknowledge, or predestination when we realize that it is God’s plan itself, and not personal conformity to that plan that has been foreknown and predestinated. God decrees that all who do conform will be saved and all who do not will be lost, and this is the sum and substance of these doctrines. God’s decrees were never made to determine the choices of free moral agents as to whether some will be saved or others will be lost. The decrees of God are those parts of His plan to which all must conform in order to be saved and those who refuse will be lost. Men have made the great mistake of making the doctrine of decrees, to which all must conform to be saved, the same as the free acts of men in conforming to those laws. God does not determine our choices and actions, but He does decree the basis of the action for free moral agents that will save or damn them accordingly. This does not mean that the initiative of man’s salvation is with man. It is with God who chose to make a way of salvation for all men, especially of them that believe and that conform to this plan of their own free choice.

 

Election and Calling (simply means chosen). Any person or group of persons selected or chosen of God for any particular purpose is the elect of God. Christ is called “God’s elect” 1 Peter 2:5-6:  5Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.  6Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Israel as a nation is spoken of as “the elect of God” Isaiah 45:4: 4For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me. The church of today called the Body of Christ made up of both Jews and Gentiles, is called “the elect of God”  Romans 8:33:  33Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.

We can say with assurance that any calling and election of God is based upon the free moral agency of those called and chosen. There are no direct statements of God choosing to save certain individuals contrary to their own will as some teach.


 Election or chosen
; 11 Thessalonians 2: 13-14: 13But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:  14Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 11 Timothy 2:8-10: 8Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:  9Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.  10Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.


 Whosoever is another word used in connection with salvation:  Romans 10:12-13:  12For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.  13For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 1:16:  16For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 1 Timothy 2:3-4: 3For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;  4Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.John 3:16:  16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.  18He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Election deals with all creatures as sinners and therefore must deal with them on the same basis or the plan is faulty and the planner is a respecter of persons and unjust in His dealings. The reason God saves only a few is because only a few choose the way of God, and therefore God is free from the final responsibility of the salvation or damnation of anyone. God cannot say to some that He did them no wrong if He does not deal with them in justice and righteousness on the same basis as others and make them personally responsible as to their destiny. If God offers pardon to all, then all can accept it alike or the offer of pardon is a fraud. If all can accept it, then He is fair to all and the salvation and damnation rests with the individual and not with God. To argue that God offers a pardon to all alike and then to contradict this by saying that He offers it to only a few special ones whom He has chosen to save, does not make logical sense and it is not scriptural. God does not force one to become willing and another to become unwilling to be saved. He deals with all men, seeking to persuade them to be saved. Because some become willing and others do not is no sign that God is responsible for the choice made.
 God gives an example of Jacob being chosen in preference to Esau, but a study of the history of these boys shows why God made the choice. It was not simply because of His will only, or because He was a respecter of persons, but it was because of the nature, traits, and disposition of the boys. Esau was devoid of spiritual things and he freely chose to be this way, Heb. 12: 16.  Jacob was a man who loved God and had a disposition to choose spiritual things. God saw the difference in the make-up of the two boys before they were born and made His choice on these grounds. God can see and know the types of people from the very beginning. Before Ishmael was born God predicted that he would be a wild man and that his hand would be against all other men, Gen. 16:11-12.

If God could see the different kind of persons that both Jacob and Esau were going to be, then He had plenty of grounds for His choice of Jacob over Esau. When God said He loved Jacob and hated Esau He simply meant that He preferred Jacob to Esau. To hateis a Hebrew and Greek idiom meaning “preference.” This is what Jesus meant in Lk. 14:26 when He said that if a man “hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” This simply means that one must prefer Christ to his relatives and his own life and put God first. So it was in the case of Jacob and Esau, Mal. 1:2-3; Rom. 9:10-13. God preferred Jacob to Esau and this preference was naturally based upon what God could see in them. With God, He can see the innermost traits of each person and He also naturally prefers the ones who desire spiritual things and who choose to do His will. Whether they do His will or not, that is another question. All can do His will if they choose to do so because the means of grace are for all alike, Ephesians 2:8:  8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

God tells us in the scriptures that He has what is called the book of life, and it seems that all the names of all the people who have ever lived are written in that book,  Psalm 139:13-16  13for thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.  14I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.  15My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.  16Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.(“and in thy book” is referring to the Book of life. Exodus 32:33: 33And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him “will” I blot out of my book. (names must be written there in order to blot them out) Revelation 3:5:  5He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will “not” blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

If God predestined some to be lost, then their names would never have been in the book of life, then He would be an unjust God for they would not have been able to make that free will choice to choose their own destiny. God never takes away our free will under any circumstances. The only names God will blot out of the book of life are those who will not believe in Christ and what He did at Calvary to pay for their sins. If you are still in your sins when you die, then your name will be blotted out of the book of life and you will be part of the eternally lost.

God is in the salvation business! He does not do anything that would be harmful to a person’s salvation! 11 Peter 3:9  9The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Now, let’s summarize what we discussed here in this article in the hope that it will all make more sense to you.

God can and does predestinate or determine beforehand some (not all) to salvation. He can do this because of His foreknowledge. God knows beforehand who will, and will not choose His way of life. Those God determined beforehand to salvation do not become His final sealed elect until that person makes his own free will choice to believe in Christ for his salvation and choose God’s way of life. But again, God knows who will make that choice to live His way of life. Anyone called or chosen by God is called His (God’s) elect, but they by their own free will could choose not to accept God’s calling and reject it. Remember in Isaiah 45:4 quoted above in this article, Israel was called God’s elect, but they rejected their calling in Acts 13:44-50:  44And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.  45But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.  46Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.  47For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.  48And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.  49And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region.

50But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts.

Also, anyone or whosoever can become God’s elect even if God did not predestinate them to salvation, but if they  make that free will choice to believe in Christ who is their Lord and savior they become part of God’s elect. God want’s all to be saved and He is not willing that any should perish, 11 Peter 3:9.

However there is one big condition to all this. How does anyone become God’s final sealed elect to salvation? Ephesians 1:11-14:  11In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:  12That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.  13In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed”, ye were sealed”with that holy Spirit of promise,  14Which is the earnest (assurance) of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

The key to predestination, election, calling, or chosen is based on our free will to believe” as stated above in Ephesians 1:13.  Can you see or understand that predestination, election, calling, or chosen will mean nothing for your salvation, until, or unless you choose to believe of your own free will. The verse in Romans 10:13 where it says  “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” means whosoever “believes” shall be saved. “Believing” is the thing required for salvation.Believing” is what saves you; not the predestination, election, calling, or choosing.

A few other scriptures to make the point about believing are as follows:

Romans 10:9-13:  9That 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.  10For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  11For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.  12For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.Romans 1:16:  16For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.Romans 3:22:  22Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:Romans 4:5:  5But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.Romans 9:33:  33As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.Romans 10:9-11:  9That 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.  10For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  11For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

What more can I say! The salvation of every living person depends on that one little word; Believe! Believe what? The gospel of your salvation found in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4:  1Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;  2By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;  4And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

I hope you have a good day, Maranatha (Lord come)

John

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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