God has predetermined something great for you. Will you make the choice to accept it?
[Darris McNeely] Does the Bible teach predestination? Are you predestined to either eternal life or eternal damnation? We began to discuss this in part 1 of this 2-part Beyond Today series, “Does the Bible Teach Predestination?”. In the first, we showed that God offers mankind fundamentally always a choice to obey or to disobey, and that skews the whole question to a reality that, no, the Bible does not teach predestination. But what God did predetermine – and the Bible does tell us this – is that human beings created in the image of God would have the opportunity for salvation – that God would call through the ages people to the opportunity of eternal life. And the choice was always will you accept, or will you reject that? And that is very fundamental. He determined that He would call first a few. The Bible talks about these as “firstfruits” of salvation. Christ is the first of the firstfruits. But that there would be a group of people called is fundamental to Scripture.
In 1 Corinthians 1:26-27 1 Corinthians 1:26-27 26 For you see your calling, brothers, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
American King James Version×, the apostle Paul writes, “For you see your calling, brothers, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.” There is a calling, and God does choose whom He calls, when He will call them, and the situation in which they will be called. And God has determined, or predetermined, we can say, that He would give a chance of salvation to people, which means that most people are going to have to be brought back to life to receive their chance for salvation because they never got it in the first place. That’s a whole other topic to go into, but God is very fair in offering to every human being who’s ever lived the opportunity for salvation. It’s the timing of that, and the fact that God has determined all of this in advance, is the key to understanding this entire topic.
Now, it is true, you will find instances in Scripture where God did choose individuals even before their birth. There is a well-known verse referring to Jeremiah the prophet, where God says, “I knew you in the womb before you were born” (Jeremiah 1:5 Jeremiah 1:5Before I formed you in the belly I knew you; and before you came forth out of the womb I sanctified you, and I ordained you a prophet to the nations.
American King James Version×). Those are exceptional cases where God did know those individuals after they were conceived and that certainly is a very important teaching for us to understand a whole other topic about life and the value and the importance of life. But those instances where God pre-knew people such as Jeremiah are exceptions.
The reality is God doesn’t predetermine either the existence of a person or the eternal fate of a person. Those are all determined upon the choice of human beings – either parents of a child, and the choices they make, or the individual once that calling comes before God. Scripture also shows very clearly that one who has been called and who has received God’s Holy Spirit can choose to turn from God, and there is a fate that waits those who reject God and turn their back on Him completely. That’s another topic, as well. But don’t get hung up or fear that God has already predetermined you or anyone else. God has predetermined that He will call those whom He will, and their exact timing and order, according to His eternal plan. And God always gives us as human beings the choice to obey once He shows us the right way to live, righteousness – He gives us that choice. And that ultimately shows the deep, eternal love of God as our Father.
That’s BT Daily . Join us next time.