Predestinated from the Foundation of the Earth
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. Moreover
whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he
also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
One of the great doctrinal ambiguities of the present church is how predestination relates to salvation exactly. Calvinism in fact has deceived multitudes with the idea that predestination somehow precludes free will. It is a devious doctrine where faith is replaced with what amounts to positive thinking, a type of circular logic (I’m saved because I believe, I believe because I’m saved). At first it sounds good, but the problem is that it doesn’t take into account a person’s fruits or their free will, as God does.
And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my
name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we
not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy
name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never
knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
These days we see delusional behavior becoming the norm; men calling themselves women and homosexuals calling themselves Christians are just two examples. The church is no different. Jude plainly told us that wolves would sneak into the churches and this is just what has happened. The tares have taken over the field. In the above verse we see that many will sincerely believe that they know Christ, but they don’t. Simply believing something doesn’t make it true, nor does putting on lipstick and a dress make you a woman. Similarly, casting out demons and doing good works does not make a person a Christian.
What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make
his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted
to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the
vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,
In Romans 9 Paul really gets into the mechanics of predestination. I once spent a week studying this chapter and only scratched the surface. Just as we believe that we were preordained for glory these souls were preordained for destruction. Tragically, many seem to miss the real lesson in this truth our brother Paul has shared with us. How so? They assume that they have been preordained, but without evidence; namely manifesting the fruits of a preordained soul in the way in which they live.
For the Christian our fruits are a natural extension of a changed heart, but for the tare they are forced in an attempt to earn salvation through works. But say what you will about these tares, at least they know enough that they have to appear to be manifesting fruits. This is contrary to the believer in the eternal security lie who not only do not show any fruits, but they don’t even care! They actually think that since fruits are a sign of a person trying to earn their salvation that it must mean no fruits are required.
Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather
grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth
forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree
cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good
fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast
into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
Hopefully you are beginning to see that the idea of predestination can be a very dangerous thing in the wrong hands. But just as dangerous is the other side of the coin; arbitrarily deciding that certain people or groups are ‘vessels of wrath fitted to destruction’ and using that assumption as a basis to ignore their eternal destination. However even this is not as clear cut as one might like, because many a foolish Christian has been gored whilst trying to cast their Godly pearls before swine.
For the which cause I also suffer these things:
nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am
persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him
against that day.
Contrary to the opinion of many, although faith is involved in our relationship with Christ it is not blind. Faith is actually the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1 KJV); it fills in the gaps for us. We do not walk blindly, but see through the glass darkly as Paul so eloquently put it in Corinthians 13:12 (KJV). Like Paul we have become persuaded through a combination of evidence and faith. Faith is a form of evidence just as real as any other, but it is spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:14 KJV).
Every try to explain spiritual truths to someone but just get nowhere? It is because carnal people cannot grasp them no matter how hard they try. It is like trying to see in the dark with a hammer.
For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this
same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and
that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he
mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Thou wilt
say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his
The essential question here is this: How can all humanity possibly have the free will to choose their eternity whist still having been predestined from the foundation of the earth; some for Heaven, but most for Hell? I can explain it, however without the benefit of the Holy Spirit you may not be able to discern it.
Let’s focus for a moment on the hypothetical question that Paul proposes “Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?” The answer to that is yes, no one has ever really resisted God’s will in the ‘big picture’, however at the same time mankind has also completely maintained our free wills throughout. How is this possible? Praise God, the answer is as always simple, yet profound.
Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
We are referred to as the ‘bride of Christ’ for good reason. Ours is a walk with Christ; a walk of bride and Bridegroom, hand in hand. We didn’t know we would come to choose Christ, but He knew we would from the foundation of the earth! Our decision to follow Christ was completely voluntary to us, yet determined from the beginning of time. Glory to God!
As for those who think they resist His will, in reality they do nothing of the sort. Like in the example of Pharaoh that Paul gave us, God chooses to harden hearts or soften them . All of mankind serves at the pleasure of our Master Jesus Christ. Although in reality we have all indeed been chosen from the foundation of the earth, the only being with perfect knowledge of our preordained eternal fates is our omniscient God.
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