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Predestination Is In The Bible. Predestined Foreknowledge Is Not!

Posted by Job on December 31, 2010

Many Christians acknowledge the clear Biblical evidence concerning predestination. However, in order to preserve their belief that God must humble Himself, bow before, and submit to man’s free will decisions, they have incorporated this Biblical evidence into a doctrine called “predestined foreknowledge.” It basically allows free will to coexist with the rest of Calvinism (as opposed to pure Wesleyanism, which rejects Calvinism completely) and is largely the position of most evangelical and fundamentalist churches. However, this position still falls short of making the best use of the Bible’s evidence.

The “predestined foreknowledge” doctrine is based on Romans 8:29, which reads “For 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.” Unfortunately the piece below, which otherwise addresses all the other issues adequately, does not properly deal with this verse, instead choosing to deal with other verses that more explicitly teach the predestination doctrine.

Instead, the problem is a translation issue. The word translated “foreknow”, proginōskō, should actually be translated as foreordain. As a matter of fact, proginōskō is translated as foreordain in 1 Peter 1:20. And of course, this text, by the Palestinian Jew Peter as opposed to the more Hellenized diaspora Jew Paul,  says “Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you”. So, Romans 8:29 should read “”For whom he did foreordain, he also did predestinate [to be] conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” And that allows Romans 8:29 to be interpreted with 1 Peter  1:13-25. Not surprisingly, if you do that, they confirm each other in one coherent, unified doctrinal statement which relates election, predestination and salvation to sanctification, perfection and glorification in Christ Jesus.

The bottom line: Romans 8:29, especially when it is interpreted with 1 Peter 1:13-25 and being consistent with the translation of the same word (totally appropriate as they are used in the same context), clearly declares that God predestinates based on His choice, and not on His foreknowledge of our choice. Before you say “no fair, why can’t I just interpret proginōskō to be “foreknew” in 1 Peter 1:20″? Simple, because saying that God foreknew about the blood of Jesus Christ from the foundation of the world makes no sense whatsoever. God the Father didn’t just know that Jesus Christ would die for our sins. God PLANNED for Jesus Christ to die for our sins. How do we know this? The words of Jesus Christ Himself. John 3:16 – a favorite of free will Christians – does not say that for God so loved the world that He knew in advance that His only Son would come. Instead, John 3:16 says that for God so loved the world that He gave, He sent, His only Son. Jesus Christ bore witness in the gospels that it was God the Father’s plan, that it was God the Father who sent Him, and that He was being obedient to what God the Father ordained in advanced, not to what God knew would happen in advance and adjusted or adapted to. That is why even though “foreknew” is the preferred translation of proginosko (which is why the translators chose it for Romans 8:29), they had to use foreordain in 1 Peter 1:20 because there was no other viable option. For instance, the New Living Translation gives 1 Peter 1:20 to be “God chose Him as your ransom long before the world began, but he has now revealed him to you in these last days”, meaning that they translated proginosko in that passage to mean “God chose Jesus Christ by foreordaining Him.” And that fits John 15:16, where Jesus Christ says to the church (through His apostles): “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and [that] your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”

Now that Romans 8:29 has been dealt with

Please read:

How are predestination and election connected with foreknowledge?

Then

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23 Responses to “Predestination Is In The Bible. Predestined Foreknowledge Is Not!”

  1. Christine said

    AMEN!! We were foreordained or predestinated unto the adoption of sons by the will OF GOD, who works ALL THINGS according to the counsel of HIS OWN will.

    So now I am confused as to why you know and believe this and yet do not believe that this includes all men? If it doesn’t include all men, then shouldn’t Jesus be called the Savior of the elect or the Savior of the chosen, even the savior of believers, rather than “the Savior of THE WORLD”?

    How do you reconcile this view of salvation with your view of 1 Tim 4:10? Did you not claim in that article that Jesus Christ made salvation available TO ALL MEN even if all men are not saved? How can that be true if only those who were FOREORDAINED/PREDESTINATED unto salvation are saved and not all men are so ordained?

    • Rhonda Thrush said

      A hairy one on first reading. Even my husband was a bit stumped. After reading Matthew Henry’s commentary, a bit of light was shed on this verse. If you read the preceding verses, Paul is saying some men are saved from heresies in their beliefs but then there is those who are fully and wholly saved from damnation as well. My husband and I were brought up in demoninations that have a lot of false teaching and we believe the Lord kept our minds and hearts from ever accepting the heresies of our particular churches. I was not born again until I was in my early 20’s. The Lord led me to a Bible teaching church where I received very good teaching. I also have a note in my Bible from a previous time that all men means all races not just the Jews only. That alone did not satisfy my husband and I. Thank you for that verse and I hope this is helpful. Rhonda

  2. wbmoore said

    I find a tension between predestination and so called free will. But I tend more towards predestination, and have written a post on verses dealing with it. ( http://wbmoore.wordpress.com/2008/10/31/predestination )

    Personally, I think its easy to reconcile “savior of the world’ with predestination – There is ONLY one savior for the people of this world, the Son of God, Jesus of Nazareth. But this does not mean He is the savior of EVERYONE one in this world. Because he is the only savior for the people of this world, then He is the savior of the world. This does not mean everyone WILL be or even COULD be saved, in fact it does not speak to the issue of predestination at all – merely that He is the only savior available.

    But that is a different thing than universalism. People must repent and turn to God (Acts 26:20). Godly sorrow leads to repentance which leads to salvation (2 Corinthians 7:10). Not everyone will repent (Revelation 9:20-21, 16:8-11).

    Its obvious at least SOME people are predestined to destruction (John 17:12). They are destined to disobey the message of Christ (1 Peter 2:8). God made everything for its purpose – even the wicked for destruction (Proverbs 16:4). No one can come to Christ unless God draws and enables them (John 6:44, 6:65). The work of God is that we believe in Christ (John 6:29). Jesus is the author of salvation (Hebrews 2:9-10) and the author & perfecter of faith (Hebrews 12:2). It is God who grants repentance (2 Timothy 2:25). ALL that God the Father gives to Christ WILL come to Him (John 6:37). Its obvious that not all will be saved as not every one will believe in the Son of God so God’s wrath is still upon them (John 3:36), and their “names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world” (Revelation 13:8, 17:8). In fact, we know there are some destined for the lake of fire – the second death (Revelation 21:8).

    Part of the tension between predestination and “free-will” is that God apparently wants all people to be saved (1 Timothy 2:3-4). One way this can be reconciled with the rest of scripture is that while God might want this, it is not possible for what ever unknown reason. Another way is that “all people” refers to people groups or nations, not every individual – ie. people from every group. I think this is more likely, as we know some are destined for destruction.

    Part of the tension, as I see it, is that God gives people time to repent, but sometimes they don’t (Revelation 2:21). This could be only in the area of people who were believers falling away and needing to repent again, which is an impossibility, I’m not sure. But we know that “It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance” (Hebrews 6:4-6). So I would have to question that.

    • Christine said

      Hi wbmoore,

      I agree with you about the tension between predestination and free will. Some who believe in predestination go so far as to claim that God is in control of everything, every detail of our lives. I believe in predestination and the sovereignty of God, but that doesn’t change the fact that men do have a will of their own – though I would not call it “free”, as it is subject to many different things, including the will of God. I’ll check out your link when I get a chance, but I haven’t yet.

      I also agree with you that there is only one Saviour. However, I have to disagree with you when you say that Jesus Christ being called “the Savior of the world” doesn’t mean that EVERYONE will be or even can be saved. Jesus Christ is not referred to only as “a Savior” but the Savior OF ‘something’ (in this case, THE WORLD). Hard as one may try to rationalize it differently, based on their perception of what “the truth” is, you cannot possibly be the Savior OF ‘something’ that you did NOT SAVE. Not even an attempt to save something or someone can merit someone that title if their attempt was a failed one.

      This, to me, poses a problem for both Arminianism and Calvinism since, in both cases, Jesus is called the Savior of a world that neither believe He actually did save. But it seems, to me, to be especially troublesome to Calvinism since, according to it, God never even intended to save “the world” only those “foreordained” by Him to be saved. At least when it comes to Arminianism salvation was made available to all men (the world), though it was up to each man to “accept” it. Even so, that doesn’t alleviate the problem that Jesus was sent to be and is called the Savior “OF THE WORLD”. Yet, very few actually believe that He did, indeed, die for and save THE WORLD. Arminians believe that Jesus failed to save the world, due to man’s “free will”. Calvinists recognize the Sovereignty of God and the fact that God predestinated certain men unto the adoption of sons even before the foundation of the world, but cannot see that this includes all men. One believes that God wanted to save all men but can’t and the other believes that He can but doesn’t want to. Yet, even you recognize the fact that scriptures says that God does, indeed, want to save all men. But at the same time you claim predestination prohibits Him from doing so? Why would God foreordain something far less than what He actually says He wants to accomplish (WILL accomplish)?

      As far as some people being predestinated unto destruction, I have to disagree. Yes, there is a vessel of mercy and a vessel of wrath fitted to destruction, a vessel to honor and a vessel to dishonor. But this is talking about the flesh vs the spirit not one person vs another person. The “vessel” that is MARRED has to be destroyed so that the Potter can MAKE IT AGAIN. This speaks of the old man vs the new man, the outward man vs the inward man, the natural man vs the spiritual man, the first man vs the second man (which IS THE LORD FROM HEAVEN). John 12:17 which speaks of the son of perdition which was lost (typified by Judas) typifies that old man, that natural man, that carnal man, that vessel fitted to destruction. But remember that Jesus came TO SEEK AND TO SAVE THAT WHICH WAS LOST (=apollymi; the same word translated “perish/ed” and “destroy/ed” over 50 times throughout the NT).

      Of course, no one can come to Christ unless the Father draws (DRAGS) him and, of course, Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. And while it’s quite true that not all believe and not all have come to a place of repentance, and not all have eternal life (a present tense reality, not one reserved for the future), it is also true that God WILL HAVE ALL MEN to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth, that Jesus Christ gave Himself a ransom FOR ALL MEN:

      1Ti 2:3-6 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

      To be testified “in due time”. Just because we cannot yet “see” that end we are told what that end is, that every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess Jesus Christ as Lord, should we not then (by the faith of Jesus Christ) patiently wait for it?

      I don’t believe that the second death is what most people believe it to be. In fact, I believe that one must pass through “the second death” (by being baptized INTO CHRIST, even into HIS DEATH = THE SECOND DEATH) before they can even come to know the power of HIS RESURRECTION (= the FIRST RESURRECTION).

      The wrath of God abided upon them that believe not because they still abide IN DEATH. But even “the dead” are “in Christ”.

      • wbmoore said

        God wants everyone to be saved, but this does not mean God will force it to occur.

        Christ will separate people into sheep and goats. Those who do not trust Christ still have the wrath of God upon them (John 3:18). If God’s wrath is upon them at death, then they will go to eternal punishment (Matthew 25:31-46).

        31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ 41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ 44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ 45 “He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ 46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

        You are free to disagree with Christ, but it is evident to me that HE knows who are His and who belong to the world (John 17:9-10)

        9 I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them.

        Paul was clear that some reap destruction while others reap eternal life (Galatians 6:8)

        The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

        So find a way which reconciles all scripture (as is the case by recognizing that God would like everyone to be saved, made salvation available to all, predestines some to eternal life, and that some will have eternal punishment), or ignore scripture (which universalism does).

        • Christine said

          So you believe in “predestination”, but you don’t believe that God doesn’t “force” anyone to be saved? When did (or does) He “ask” those whom He “predestinated unto the adoption of sons” if they “wanted” to be saved? Do they have “choice”? And, if so, how is that foreordination?

          The separation of the sheep from the goats is the same as the separation of the wheat from the tares. These are parables and they about the dividing of the spirit from the flesh. It THE SPIRIT that is saved in the day of the Lord, sir. And these things are happening as we speak, for the kingdom of God is within not without and “now” is the judgment of this world.

          So, yes, Jesus knows who are His! And it’s not the outward, natural, carnal man that is “of this world” that is His, but the hidden man of the heart. That is why we are told to walk IN THE SPIRIT and NOT IN THE FLESH. That is why the flesh profits nothing! And why if you sow to the flesh you shall also reap corruption/destruction. But if we sow to the spirit we shall reap life eternal!!

          How am I ignoring scripture when you are the one claiming that God doesn’t “force” anyone to be saved while claiming, at the same time, that only those whom God “predestinated” unto salvation are saved? That, sir, is a contradiction. You admit yourself that it is God’s will to save ALL MEN. But then you claim that He won’t do that which He says He desired to do. Not only that, you believe that the few who are saved were predestined TO BE saved BY THE WILL OF GOD but (somehow) they are not “forced” into salvation.

          If God predestined some (even one) to salvation then He also presentined everyone else to damnation… by HIS OWN WILL and that, sir, leaves not a single one of us with a “choice” in the matter… whether saved or lost. The choice is, was and all will be GOD’S. You may not want to call that “force” but then I would have to wonder what you believe “predestined” means?

          • wbmoore said

            First, let me say I think the debate of predestination vs free-will is an empty and time wasting argument where neither side can be be proven to the satisfaction of people who believe the opposite position.

            Second, let me say that in practical terms, I think it does not matter if we believe in predestination or free-will. I say this because even those who believe in predestination have no idea who will be saved and must evangelize everyone. Beliving in predestination or free-will can comfort us in different ways, but it does not mean much in terms of evangelism and disicpleship.

            This, drawing someone is not forcing some one. God draws us; Hhe lays things out so people live in a certain time and place so they might seek Him. God is the author of our faith and our salvation. God predestines some to be salvation and some to destruction. God making something so irresitable that its a certainty does not mean He forced it to occur.

            Fourth, as I look at scripture, I am able to see clearly that God wants everyone to believe, He predestines some to be saved, and others are doomed. I also see clearly that people are either going to destruction or eternal life.

            But what I dont see is WHO is predestined. Nor do I see that EVERYONE who believes and is saved is predestined to do so. Nor do I see that EVERYONE who does not believe and is doomed is predestined to do so.

            That is to say, I think scrpiture had its original audience, and I think its eternal principles apply to all, but does that mean an individual statement is applicable for everyone? Ie, Bathesheba was Solomon’s mother, but that does not necessarily have application for me. I think the same is true for the man made construct of predestination versus free-will. I dont think it necessarily applies (and practically is unimportant, as since we do not know who will be saved, we must still evangelize and people will either believe or not ).

            I dont think we’re supposed to understand it completely, which is why I say there is a tension between the two.

            Scripture teaches that God sent Jesus to suffer and die for our sins. We will be judged for our actions. We who trust in what God has done in sending His One and Only Son to suffer and die for our sins and have faith in the saving work of Christ have Christ’s righteousness attributed to us, and so are not counted as guilty when we are judged.

            If we do not trust in what God has done, then we do not have the righteousness of Christ counted as our own righteousness, and so are guilty.

            Fifth, I have no problem with the idea of certain people being predestined to eternal life and all the rest being predestined to eternal hell. I think that fits with a loving and holy and righteous God who demands people meet His qualifications to have eternal life. But I think its more likely to be a blending of our understanding of predestination and free-will.

            I pray you will pray for God to open your understanding to truth and go back and read the scripture again about the separating of the sheep and goats and the separating of the wheat and tares. Neither of them are of the body and spirit. They both speak of the separation of believers (those who trust in Christ and are saved) and non-believers (those who do not trust in Christ and are not saved). Jesus was JUST as clear in the separation of believers and non-believers when He gave the parable of the rich old man and Lazarus and father Abraham.

            • wbmoore said

              Let me add that while I THINK a combination of predestination and free will can be supported, I haven’t been able to do so from the Bible.🙂

              Its my human nature trying to reconcile experience with scripture that tends to want to believe that we are free to choose while at the same time recognizing that God chooses us and we do not choose God.

              • Christine said

                It’s not a matter of not being able to choose; it’s a matter of we “can” choose, as (remember) we are “by nature the children of wrath” and “to be carnally minded is death” for the carnal mind IS NOT SUBJECT to the law of God.

                Please see below for additional response. Thanks!

      • Christine,
        I have been following this thread. I have a few questions to ask about your view of eternal life. First of all, you say:

        ” And while it’s quite true that not all believe and not all have come to a place of repentance, and not all have eternal life (a present tense reality, not one reserved for the future), it is also true that God WILL HAVE ALL MEN to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth, that Jesus Christ gave Himself a ransom FOR ALL MEN” Can you please explain what you mean by “a present tense reality, not one reserved for the future”?? It seems as though you believe no one will suffer the eternity of hell. Do you believe in the existence of Hell and of satan as part of eternal life?

        Let’s look at one of the scripture you mentioned without reference: Philippians 2:11. However; I prefer to look at scripture in “context”, so I will be quoting Philippians 2:10-12: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
        In verse 10, we are told that things in heaven, and things in earth, and things UNDER the earth. If you look at the greek word used here for “under”, you will see it is katachthonios which refers to the departed souls that live below the earth. This is obviously NOT heaven, because heaven and earth have already been mentioned. I do agree that ALL WILL declare Jesus Christ is Lord, especially after they have ended their mortal life and find their eternal home is NOT heaven.

        What do you think is the difference in eternal life and being saved? I see a direct correlation between the two. Accepting Christ, having a relationship with Him, living for Him, obeying Him, will lead to eternal life. However; not ALL will accept Him. Scripture is clear on this. Matthew 7:13-15 tells us “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” The greek word for “destruction” in verse 13 is apoleia meaning destruction of a vessel or destruction which consists of eternal misery in hell. Verse 14 is very clear that the way to LIFE is narrow and few will find it. We are also warned to be aware of false prophets. In our world today, we see false teachings in many outlets that claim to be Christian. The views are that of the world and not of the Word.

        I am very confused about what you seem to believe. You mention in some of your posts and blogs that there is destruction. So, for whom is the destruction? Do you feel that ALL will go to heaven?

        As a human, I absolutely could do nothing to deserve God’s grace. He loved me enough to send HIS SON to die for my sins and to rise on the third day. He sent the Holy Spirit to dwell within my heart when I accepted Him as my Savior. There ARE things required of us when we choose to live life as a follower of Christ. God’s Word is very clear that we are to carry His Word to others and disciple them. We are to Love God and one another. We are to have no other God before our Creator. We are to live holy lives. These are things that are not suggested or hinted to us, but commanded of us.

        I want to end with this thought: John 3:16-18 tells us, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He 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.” Verse 16 is clear that “whosoever believes in Him” will not perish but have everlasting life. It doesn’t say EVERYONE will have everlasting life. There IS a condition listed there, as in many other scripture. Verse 17 DOES tell us that God did NOT send his Son to condemn the world; but that the world, through HIM, MIGHT be saved. This verse does not say so that the world WILL be saved. In verse 18, we again see a condition given for salvation. He that BELIEVETH is not condemned, but he that believeth NOT IS CONDEMNED already. WHY? Because he has NOT believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

        I do not know your testimony, but I do know mine. I was a sinner, lost, dying, and headed straight for a very real place called HELL! Through God’s mercy I am now a sinner, saved by grace with a promise of a life everlasting. I accepted HIM as my Savior. Through FAITH in Christ, I have been, am being, will be saved from an eternal punishment and to eternal life with Christ. I make a conscious decision, a heart decision, to live a life of obedience to HIM. I make every effort afforded me to live the way God’s Word commands me to live, to “go and make disciples”, to love others as Christ has loved me, to be HOLY because He is HOLY.

  3. […] of all men” ( Timothy 4:10) that indicates EVERYONE will be saved. See the comments here and here. The idea is that everyone is destined to be saved, so if you believe in predestination, […]

  4. John Kaniecki said

    Hello

    Hope you are well. We have been discussing this issue on a chat group I belong to. I see no conflict between predestination and free will. Man can do whatever he chooses and so can God. Ultimately nothing can refute God. I do not believe God plans everything in our life. That is these words I am typing right now. But I believe critical junctures God intervenes. I recall in college I was going to pledge a certain fraternity and then did pledge another. In the fraternity I became a member I met my next door neighbor who introduced me to the Church of Christ. I believe that certain event God exerted His will.

    Saying all that God knows who will be saved. As much as important to salvation is the call the Love others. Love is the essence of Christianity.

    Please pray for my family and I. My dad died a week ago and today was the wake. God willing tomorrow we will bury him.

    Love,

    John Kaniecki

    • wbmoore said

      John, I’m sorry to hear of your dad. I pray for all his family and friends….

      God works everything out according to His purpose – His plan includes everything (Proverbs 16:4; Ephesians 1:11).

      It seems to me that God has ordained all the days of our lives and written them in a book (Psalm 139:16).

  5. […] I was surprised that someone actually thought that Matthew 25:33-46 is referring to a separation of people’s physical and spiritual bodies. […]

  6. […] Someone said that the parable of the wheat and tares is about separating the body from the spirit. […]

  7. […] Someone said that the parable of the wheat and tares is about separating the body from the spirit. […]

  8. Christine said

    Mr Moore,

    Either God is Sovereign or He is not. The scriptures say that He is and also say that He works all things according to the counsel of HIS OWN will, not the will of men. That doesn’t mean that men do not have a will of their own, but then neither do the scriptures say that men do. According to the scriptures the creature (men) was “made subject to vanity by Him who subjected the same in hope”…. So then men were made subject to vanity by GOD. For what? The hope of ETERNAL LIFE. Men are CANNAL BY NATURE and that means that they ARE NOT SUBJECT TO the laws of God and neither indeed can be. So unless man is acted upon BY GOD the only thing that man will ever choose are those things man is subject to… the lusts of the flesh and the things of this world, those things that the spirit OF MAN can know… as only the spirit OF GOD can know the things of God. Man does NOT have a “free” will. Man’s will is subject to many different things and it cannot and will not ever trump the will of God…. And God WILL HAVE all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. However, as we are told by the Lord in the scriptures, that is something that is mean to be made manifest “in due time”. So just because we cannot yet “see” it we are told it is or will the case, as scripture very clearly tells us that EVERY KNEE will bow and EVERY TONGUE will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord TO THE GLORY OF THE FATHER and God WILL BE “all in all”.

    So , as far as evangelizing to everybody because we don’t know who will or won’t be saved, all I can say is that it is not about evangelizing (if, by that you mean “converting people”) it is about spreading THE GOOD NEWS, about telling people that GOD LOVES THEM and WHAT JESUS DID FOR THEM. It is about telling people that God has reconciled THE WORLD unto Himself through the cross of Christ and telling them “be ye reconciled to God”. We do this “in Christ’s stead” as part of His body.

    You say that drawing someone is not forcing someone, but the fact remains that the Greek word in the passage (helkō) means TO DRAG. And “predestination” leaves no room for “choice”. So you cannot have it both ways and say that God doesn’t force us to come, yet we were predestined to do so, so don’t really have any choice in the matter at all… but it’s not “force” is because God’s “drawing” is “so irresistible” that we can only (really) choose to come to Him. Call it what you will, we are not saved by our own will, but by the will of God. And if he can do that for ONE he can certainly do that for ALL and clearly states that His desire is FOR ALL and they will DO ALL HIS PLEASURE (all He desires).

    As far as judgment goes. You say that we “will be” judged. Yet Jesus said “NOW is the judgment of this world”. We are judged in the earth, Mr. Moore, even recompensed in the earth (Pro 11:31), even into our bosoms (Isa 65:6-7). That is why Jesus said: “I am come TO SEND FIRE ON THE EARTH”. It’s NOT a literal fire!!! We can sew to the spirit and reap LIFE or we can sow to the flesh and reap CORRUPTION (DEATH). That has nothing to do with our “eternal salvation”.

    Mr. Moore, when did Jesus say that the tares would be gathered to be burned and the wheat be gathered to the barn? And who did He say the reapers are? Perhaps it is you who needs to take another look at scripture and “pray for God to open your understanding to truth”, as you say. (By the way, I did not say body and spirit, I said the flesh and the spirit.) You might also want to take another look at the parable of Lazarus and the rich man. It is not about two men, but about two nations. And while both “men” DIED only ONE was buried and found himself “in hades” LOOKING UP to see the other in the bosom of Abraham (who he called “father”). What nation might that be? And why do you suppose that it was HIS TONGUE that he wanted a drop of water for because he said “I am tormented in this flame.” (SINGULAR) What is the significance of the tongue?

  9. wbmoore said

    Christine,

    I agree and disagree that man has no free will. If man was not able to do as he desired, then Adam and Eve would have obeyed God. Its abundantly evident that men chose. Its also evident that God chooses. God’s plan will ALWAYS preempt man’s. God does not make men chose to sin, yet men sin – so yes, men have free will. But at the same time, God uses the choices of men to ensure HIS will is accomplished. I can show sufficient scripture to support both the arminian position and the calvin position. As I have said, I find them pointless from a practical point of view. We still need to evangelize (share the good news) and disciple (train believers to become more like Christ).

    we are not saved by our own will, but by the will of God

    I agree. But the question is does this mean EVERYONE will be saved? Since some people have eternal punishment, then not everyone will be saved from judgment to eternal life.

    As for NOW… Well, yes and no. Yes, we can see judgement began when Christ came into the world.
    John 3:18-20

    18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.

    Indeed, it may even be the fact that the nation of Israel was to be punished for denying Christ (with the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple).

    These things began (from man’s perspective) when Christ came, and continue forward in time until the final judgment. But we were saved, are being saved, will be saved – past, present, future. But its obvious Satan is not yet in the lake of fire, so it is not yet done (from our perspective). It is complete from God’s perspective because HE is outside of time.

    Revelation 6:10 tells us Christ is refaining from judging. 2 Peter 3:7 tells us that the earth is being kept for the day of judgement, and the destruction of ungodly men. 2 Peter 3:9 tells us that God is patient (not yet juding the earth) because he wants people to repent.

    So no, the final judgement, which is when the unrighteous will be destroyed, has not occured. THAT WILL happen in our future.

    As for your question about the wheat and tares, I have written a post on it: http://wbmoore.wordpress.com/2011/01/04/wheat-and-tares/
    But the short of it is that JESUS told us in Matthew 13:36-43
    that the tares (the unrighteous) would be gathered up by “His angels” “at the end of the age” and they “will throw them into the furnace of fire.”

    As for the parable of Lazarus and the rich man in Luke 16, Please go read it:

    19″There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried, 23and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. 24And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ 25But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. 26And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ 27And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house— 28for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ 29But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.'”

    It is evident that this is not about two nations, as all the people involved were Jews (they had Moses and the Prophets). Godly people will receive reward in heaven, while those who had no mercy in this life receiving no mercy in the next. While the Jews at the time believed (as many Christians today believe) that if they had riches, then they had the favor of God – but the fact is that its not necessarily material riches that God rewards us with but peace and love. Jesus was saying that if the Jews ignored Moses and the prophets, they would ignore someone who would rise from the dead as well – as indeed they did and do with Jesus.

    Yes, the fire Jesus brought is spiritual – the Holy Spirit is represented by fire.

    What we sew has EVERYTHING to do with our salvation. We are saved from the results of receiving what we are due because of our sin at judgement and we are given eternal life rather than eternal death because of our love for God and trust in Christ.

    If we trust Christ, then we will love God and love others (as we are commanded to do). This love causes us to show mercy and forgiveness. If we have no mercy, if we hate, then we do not trust Christ. If we do not trust Christ, then we are not saved and face eternal punishment. If we DO trust Christ, then we WERE/ARE/WILL-BE saved (all three) from eternal punishment to eternal life.

  10. Christine said

    Mr Moore,

    Saying that men do not have a “free will” is not the same thing as saying that men do not have a will of their own or that they do not make choices. It’s simply saying that it is not “free” from outside influence, from things that men have no control over. Of course we choose. We make choices all day long every day, right? That doesn’t mean those choices are “free”. The carnally minded cannot know and are not subject to the laws of God, right? So will they ever “choose” to obey the law of God? NO! That is why our minds have to be renewed, right? Why God has to give us a new heart, right? Why He has to be the One to write His laws on our hearts, right? Why He has to choose us and why we have to be “drawn” (dragged) to Him. We have no control over that; that is up to God, which is why it is not by the will of men or the will of the flesh but by the will of God that are born again.

    You seem to be equating eternal life with a life we are given after we physically die and that is not what it is. It is LIFE during the ages and the ages come to an end. And only those who KNOW GOD AND JESUS CHRIST whom He sent will ever HAVE “eternal life”. That does not mean that we will not ALL be given LIFE AND IMMORTALITY in eternity, as it is those who seek such who are given “eternal life”. But that life (“eternal life” or “aionios zoe”)is the life that we have NOW. So if “eternal life” (aionios zoe) is the life that we HAVE (now) IF we walk after the spirit rather than the flesh, then what is “everlasting punishment” (aionios kolasis)? And how can we PASS from death unto life?

    Scripture says that “the way of LIFE IS ABOVE to the wise, that he may DEPART FROM HELL BENEATH”. (Pro 15:24) How do we “depart from hell” and PASS “from death unto life”? By faith, right? Then we get to rule and reign with Christ during THE DAY of the Lord (being no more children of THE NIGHT, who are tossed to and fro… but children OF THE DAY and children OF THE RESURRECTION).

    Yes, the tares (and the wheat) are gathered by His “angels”. Now who are “the angels”? The reapers are the angels, right? (Mat 13:39) Who did Jesus Christ send to reap?

    I’ve read the parable of Lazarus and the rich man. What makes you believe that only Jews are involved? Neither man is called a Jew and it is only the rich man’s brothers who “have Moses and the prophets”. Lazarus was a poor man, full of sores, who was laying at the gate, whom the rich man would not even raise a finger to help. A Jew? How about a Gentile? Were the Gentiles not referred to AS DOGS? Who was it that was licking the wounds of Lazarus? And who was it the gospel was given to when the Jews rejected their Messiah? So, who was it that was “carried by the angels to Abraham’s side” after he died? (This is not about two literal men and it’s not about not about physical death.)

    So, I agree with you, as to the IS, WAS, and WILL BE, as all of things are being carried out in all of our lives, in whatever generation we live in… past, present, or future. But that doesn’t change the truth nor the way these things should be applied to our lives, as it is while we are physically alive that these things matter, for UNLESS Christ be formed IN US, we shall remain dead in our sins, never knowing God or Jesus Christ whom He sent. Never attaining “eternal life”.

  11. wbmoore said

    Christine,

    So you think people can have life and immortality without eternal life? Please provide scripture for this idea.

    Please provide scripture for the idea that eternal life is not lived after we die?

    What happens to believers (who have “eternal life”) when they die physically?

    What are we saved from?

    Christ lives forever.
    Hebrews 7:24

    but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood.

    And while the world will pass away, those who do God’s will (those who believe in Christ) live forever.THAT is eternal life (ie. living forever).
    1 John 2:17

    The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

    To have eternal life is to not die, to live forever.
    John 6:47-51

    47 Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. 50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”

    We do not live forever physically. But we live forever spiritually and will be united with a imperishible spiritual body (see 1 Corinthians 15:35-58). So no, eternal life is not lived before we die. It is lived AFTER we die and are united with Christ. Eternal punishment occurs after non-believers die and are judged.

    • Christine said

      I believe that “eternal life” is the life that believers have NOW, having passed from death unto life (after a spiritual truth). However, that doesn’t mean anyone ceases to exist or ceases to live after they physically die. Why would it? Jesus said that those WHO LIVE AND BELIEVE “shall never die” (obviously not counting the flesh; ie physical death). Even the verses you posted are spoken in the present tense, Mr. Moore. Believers HAVE “eternal life”. They HAVE PASSED from death unto life. You can check your blog where I talk more about the Greek word translated “eternal”. I won’t post that here since I already posted it there.

  12. Duns said

    The Douay Rheims Bible, the reference Bible for the Roman Catholic Church, gives Romans 8:29-30 as follows: For whom he foreknew, he also predestinated to be made conformable to the image of his Son; that he might be the firstborn amongst many brethren. And whom he predestinated, them he also called. And whom he called, them he also justified. And whom he justified, them he also glorified.

    And the commentary therein explains the verses as follows:

    “He also predestinated”… “That is, God hath preordained that all his elect should be conformable to the image of his Son. We must not here offer to pry into the secrets of God’s eternal election; only firmly believe that all our good, in time and eternity, flows originally from God’s free goodness; and all our evil from man’s free will.

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