Ministry of Love

The intention of this blog is to share Biblical messages at least on a weekly basis. Any response is appreciated. I do not expect everyone to agree with my interpretation of Biblical passages. I will try to respond with love and thoughtfulness.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Predestination, A Little Understood Doctrine by John.

Predestination, A Little Understood Doctrine.
Ephesians 1:3-14, Romans 8:28-37
1. Paul used the word "Predestination" in some form only four times in Romans and Ephesians.
2. He used it twice in each of these Books.
3. Christians as a whole generally steer clear of talking about Predestination. Do you wonder why we don't talk about it much?
4. I believe there are at least three reasons:
(1) Most of us know little about predestination, and therefore we do not understand it very well, so it makes us uncomfortable to talk about it.
(2) We do know people differ in their opinion about it, and in the past, their feelings were strong enough to divide denominations.
(3) We may also be aware of some of the strange teachings concerning it. Ill. One of the most interesting to me is: the two-seed-in-the-spirit predestinarianism. Those who hold, or held, that doctrine believed everyone was born with either a "good seed" or a "bad seed." The "good seed" people became Christians, lived good lives and went to heaven when they died. The "bad seed" people remained lost, lived sinful lives and went to hell when they died. They believed they could not be converted, or changed. They were locked into the group in which they were born. (They followed John Calvin's teaching).
5. I think that group has died out completely, but I may be wrong.
6. There are a lot of lost people who believe "Que sera, sera!" or "Whatever will be, will be" as in the song Doris Day made popular many years ago.
7. Predestination is not complex, and it is a word we will run into now and again. We need to know about the doctrine since it does refer to how God has done things.
8. Ever so often someone asks me if I believe in Predestination, and I always say, "Of course, I do. It's in the Bible!"
9. First, let's consider "destination."

I. All Mankind Has a Final Destination.

1. Last Sunday I reminded you that the Bible says people in their natural, sinful state are hell bound.
2. I based that on a number of things.
(1) For instance, I Corinthians 2:14 says, "The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned."
(2) Romans 3:9 says, "What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin."
(3) Romans 3:23 says, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
(4) Romans 6:23 says, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
3. Now, people, that's where you are if you are not in Christ!
4. Your destination is hell, but that's not the end of the line!
5. Satan is going to be imprisoned for a thousand years. (That is an apocalyptic number, and it may refer to a period of time we can only guess at, but it is certain). Revelation 20:3 tells about that.
6. Then in Revelation 20:10, we read, "And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever."
7. Revelation 20:14,15 give the final destination of lost people. "Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire."
8. People, no one wants to reach this final destination that God has decreed for all who refuse Him! It's an everlasting lake of fire that God prepared for the devil and his angels.
9. It was not prepared for mankind, but God will send you there if you determine before hand that you want to spend your life with Satan! That's your destination!

II. Now, Let's Consider "Predestination."
1. We frequently speak of God as being Omnipotent, omni-present, and omniscient. That means He is all-powerful, present everywhere at every given moment, and that He knows everything, no exceptions! He knows the past, the present and the future.
2. I think we need to add another adjective to the attributes of God that we don't usually consider. He is always completely prepared!
3. Predestination is obviously the word, "destination," with the addition of the prefix, "pre."
4. It's a good word to describe this whole thing. I believe God planned all of this before Satan sinned the very first time!
5. Of course, we do not know when that was, but it was before the creation of human beings. We know that from Genesis 1-3 because Satan was there in the serpent.
6. Paul used the word, Predestination, in more than one form twice in Romans and twice in Ephesians.
7. Ephesians 1: 9-14 is all about Predestination, and the term is used once in v. 5, and again in v. 11.
8. People go astray when they think about Predestination because they fail to connect the word with its context.
9. In vv 3,4, the writer blesses God. The reason for pronouncing that blessing is that God has blessed us.
10. Let's borrow some of the questions news reporters use.
(1) What happened and to whom did it happen? Answer? He blessed us and chose us!
(2) When did He plan this? Answer, before the foundation of the world God planned all of this in great detail.
(3) How did He plan to bless us? Answer, He intended to bless us by cleansing us of our sin and adopting us as His children.
(4) Why did He do it? Answer, He did it because He loved us.
(5) When does this blessing take place? The moment we trust Jesus for our salvation and make Him the Lord of our lives!
11. Does this seem to contradict anyone's idea of Predestination?

III. Predestination Works with Free Will.

1. John Calvin believed in "Unconditional Predestination" and "Irresistible Grace." Jacob Arminius believed in "Free will."
2. If he, Calvin and I had lived at the same time, we would have had a three-way argument about these beliefs.
(1) Calvin's first indicates a person has no choice of destination.
(2) His second indicates a person "predestined" to salvation cannot do anything to avoid being saved because grace is irresistible!
3. Arminius believed a person's will determined it, so he could be saved or lost more than once.
4. If any of these were true, why would Joshua say, (Joshua 24: 15) "Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. "
5. Why would Jesus tell the rich young ruler, (Mt. 19:21) "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."
6. Why would Jesus say, (Luke 11:8) "I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God."
7. We have choice, and once we choose Jesus, we receive eternal life.


1. Before time began, God knew what Satan would do, He knew what mankind would do, and He planned accordingly.
2. His knowledge is so complete, and so flawless that everything that happens simply is used to accomplish His will!
3. He loved the people He made.
(1) That did not take away their responsibility for obeying Him.
(2) But He did not base our salvation on acts, but on faith.
(3) All He asks of us is that we put our trust in His Son, listen to Him and live for Him.
(4) That takes a lot of determination on our part, but whatever is lacking, He will provide if we really want to be saved.
4. He predestined that every single person who put his trust in Jesus will be saved!
5. He predestines all who refuse His Son will be eternally lost.
6. They will endure eternal destruction with Satan in the lake of fire!
7. That's the reason the Scripture says, "I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation." (I Cor. 6:2).
8. God decided who will be saved before He made mankind. All who put their trust in Jesus are predestined to spend eternity with God in heaven!

Emmanuel Community Church 2/26/2006


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