Autumn/Winter 2015-16 Issue
The following posts are part of the Autumn/Winter 2015-16 Issue. Articles that are in this issue contain information about Knowing Your Enemy the devil, find out how not to use God’s love as an excuse, learn God’s definition of homosexuality, discover if you are a light of the world, plus topics on how to be a modest woman and a godly, submissive wife.full course
- Moment of Truth: Casting Down Lies #1
- Let Your Yes Be Yes and Your No Be No
- Are You Being a “Light of the World”?
- God is Love, But Don’t Use That as an Excuse
- Moment of Truth: Casting Down Lies #2
- How to Be a Godly, Submissive Wife
- So You Think You’re Not Turning Tricks?
- Hope for a Better Tomorrow
- 10 Subjects That Should Be On Your Prayer List
- Modesty Minute: Who Can Find a Virtuous Woman… ?
- Why You Should Sing To The Lord All The Time
- Know Your Enemy
- Don’t Believe the Hype: Homosexuality and the Church
- Predestination without a Choice?
- Moment of Truth: Casting Down Lies #3
- Moment of Truth: Casting Down Lies #4
Predestination without a Choice?Estimated Reading Time: 27 minutes
God has predestined everyone as either a vessel of honor or a vessel of dishonor. Some say that this means that no one truly has a choice about whether they are saved or not, but this is not true. Because God knows the end of everything, He knows who belongs to Him because they make the choice to choose Him and so He ordained them from the beginning. Being predestined by God does not mean that God randomly picks people who will be evil and who will be good. We absolutely have a choice. In the very beginning of the book of Genesis, Eve had a choice, but because she chose to believe a lie through temptation, she failed. People who believe that no one has a choice in our salvation due to predestination are also contradicting other scriptures in the Bible. Here are several scriptures that show us that we have a choice:
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. ~John 3:16 KJV
Notice that Jesus died for the whole world, not just a portion of it. This gives people a chance to believe.
The 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. ~2 Peter 3:9 KJV
The above scripture shows us once again, that He waits for people to repent. This shows us that they have a choice in the matter of their salvation. In the next passage below, Jesus gives advice in Revelation.
I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. ~Revelation 3:15-19 KJV
Notice that Jesus is warning the lukewarm Christian. Since He already knows every choice they will ever make, He is telling them to make a choice by being zealous and repenting before He comes.
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. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. ~John 3:17-21 KJV
Notice that Jesus again desires for the world to be saved, but He knows that not everyone is going to walk in Him so the Word is correct in using the term “might.” Because of predestination, we know that God knows who will choose the light and succeed, and who will choose darkness and fail. This is why there are warnings from Jesus and commands from the apostles to warn one another in the body of Christ within the proper order and context that He has laid out for us in His word, which is perfect. Otherwise, what would be the point of warning, but to give a person an opportunity to choose to change.
People who believe that no one has a choice in the vessel that God gives them, are usually those who believe that they are the “chosen ones” who recite scriptural phrases like “no one can pluck them out of His hand.” However, the scriptures refer to those who specifically hear Him, He knows them, and they follow Him.
Jesus answered them, “I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of My sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.” ~John 10:25-30 KJV
So we know that these are not only important aspects of belonging to the Lord, people have to make the right choices. Notice Jesus is talking about hearing. Here’s another passage,
Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. ~Matthew 7:24-27 KJV
Notice in the above passage, the Lord makes a clear distinction when He spoke to the Jewish hypocrites who asked Him to tell them plainly whether or not He was the Christ. The first points we should recognize are that Jesus uses the words whosoever and every one. Right away this tells us that all people have a choice. The previous point that Jesus makes in the other passage is that His sheep hear His voice and they follow Him. This means that they are following His Word, which is also a choice. Again, in the second passage, from Jesus’ speech we see that He is talking to every one “who hears His sayings.” Therefore, to those who are believing false doctrines, it is obvious that even when they hear Jesus’ voice, they are still unable to follow His Word because they have to first repent of their belief. For us to discover why they hear, but cannot follow, look to the “seed of the sower” parable. Here’s a portion:
A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. ~Luke 8:5 KJV
Though we are predestined, people definitely have a choice on how they build their foundation and there are many scriptures in the New Testament that continue to make the point of choice. However, many who ignore these scriptural references are also holding to a belief that those other people were never born-again at the start. This scripture below makes it clear that this also is not true.
These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; ~Jude 1:12 KJV
Notice that the phrase “twice dead” is referencing being born twice. You cannot die twice unless you have been born twice. This is where we get the words “born again,” which comes after our adoption into Christ by the Holy Spirit. So we see that a person can actually be born again and yet, still not follow the Lord properly.
When reading the many scriptures about predestination, it is very easy to assume that no one has a choice. This is because God chooses people to be vessels of dishonor. I say, doesn’t God know their limitations from the start? Therefore, doesn’t He have the right to hide from them what He finds them not worthy of and allow their form to take place into who they are because of the choices they made?
And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, “By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:” ~Matthew 13:14 KJV
However, we know that if they choose to turn their own heart to the Lord, they will be able to see because God willingly takes the veil away.
 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ.  But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart.  Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. ~2 Corinthians 3:14-16 KJV
Look further at the scriptures in the context of everything else that God has said because the Bible does not contradict itself. Believing that no one has a choice contradicts several of the holy scriptures and it ultimately causes many to believe that they are “chosen” and basically in a safe zone because they have been water baptized, attend church faithfully, and are conservative in their views, etc. (Remember, “many are called, but few are chosen.” But we are living in a time where many ‘Christians’ believe they are already chosen when they are still in the place of being called because they are stuck believing in vain.
 “Not every one that saith unto Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven.  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.’” ~Matthew 7:21-23 KJV
Also, Jesus warns all people by telling stories about the wise and the foolish virgins. The wise were prepared, but the foolish were not. Why? Because of the choices they made. We are warned so that we can prepare by working out our salvation with fear and trembling knowing that our God is very serious about His Son’s sacrifice.
For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? ~1 Peter 4:17-18 KJV
If we were predestined without a choice, it would nullify Paul’s warnings, plus the “efforts” we must make of spreading the gospel, and our ministering would be nothing more than an exercise because after all, “some will be saved and some won’t.” Therefore, knowing better than to believe that salvation is simply a “luck of the draw,” we do all we can to be counted worthy to escape the things that are to come and to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. This “predestination without a choice” belief has been a danger to the Christian doctrine because it can take away the fear of working it out. Plus, it highly supports the other false doctrine of “once you are saved, you can never lose your salvation,” otherwise known as “once saved, always saved.” Yet, even now the time has come where many will not endure sound doctrine, but instead will heap up teachers for themselves who have convinced them to believe fables.
I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. ~2 Timothy 4:1-5 KJV
Now I’ve given you many New Testament reasons from Jesus’s words coupled with some of the apostle’s words. Yet, I know that those of you who disagree are still shaking your head and are thinking about all the predestination scriptures in Romans chapter 9. Well, the predestination scriptures extend past Romans chapter 9 to Romans chapter 11 because there is a conclusion to what Paul is saying; this is how he writes so this is why people miss the mark.
Here’s a secret:
We are trained by the world to see “chapters” as a new beginning or a new subject. However, new chapters in the Bible do not necessarily mean that. Paul is often in the middle of a speech when a new chapter begins. Therefore, regarding predestination, I will give you three simple summaries of each chapter. Romans chapter 11 is loaded with information so I will sum it up the best way I can so as not to make this process of explaining why you are perhaps believing wrong things any longer than it has to be, but through those summaries you will be able to read the scriptures on your own to see the conclusion of the matter that we do have a choice in our salvation even though we are predestined.
 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. ~Romans 9:8 KJV
(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) ~Romans 9:11 KJV
The scripture above references Jacob and Esau who had not yet done good or evil, but God knew who would call upon Him.1 Jacob He [God] loved, but Esau He hated. Does this mean God is unrighteous? No, because Romans 9:16 KJV
 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
Why did God hate Esau? It was because Esau sold his birthright for a morsel of food. Compare that birthright to salvation of the Jewish people. Esau made a choice and the Jewish people make a choice to reject their birthright, therefore God is not unrighteous to conclude them in unbelief, but shows mercy through His ultimate plan so that they can be stirred up to make the right choice.
These two scriptures below begin to explain why God did it this way. Please keep in mind, at first it seems like we have no choice, but in context, Paul is talking about how God has formed the Jewish people and has mercy on the Gentile. As we read through to Romans chapter 11, we will ultimately see that everyone has a choice in their salvation because of God’s mercy in the end.
 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 will? ~Romans 9:18-19 KJV
Here’s the good news, you are about to find out that God hardened the Jewish people on purpose in order to stir up jealousy in them (so they can choose!) by having mercy on the Gentile. Woop!
 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?  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, ~Romans 9:21-23 KJV
 What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.  But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.~Romans 9:30-31 KJV
Notice that Paul is asking rhetorical questions that he is about to answer in the next chapter.
 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves2 unto the righteousness of God.  For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.~Romans 10:3-4 KJV
Paul sums up why and how they could be saved.
 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  For the scripture saith, “Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed.”  For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him.  For whosoever shallcallupon the name of the Lord shall be saved. ~Romans 10:10-13 KJV
We see clearly that this “call” is a choice of the heart and the mouth. Then Paul says that this is why we preach, but they must hear, which connects back to faith.3
 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. ~Romans 10:17 KJV
 I say then, ‘Hath God cast away His people?’ God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.  God hath not cast away his people which He foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how He maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying,.. ~Romans 11:1-2 KJV
Notice in the above scripture Paul clearly states that God has not cast away His people. Remember, didn’t it sound like Paul was saying that God had blinded the Jewish people so that they did not have a choice in Romans chapter 9? But now we see Paul saying that God has not cast them away because Paul himself is a Jew.
 But what saith the answer of God unto him? ‘I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.’  Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. ~Romans 11:4-5 KJV
They were elected to receive God’s grace. God gave the others a spirit of slumber. Again, those who did not worship idols made the choice not to worship idols because we just saw in the previous scriptures that there were those who did not submit themselves to God’s righteousness, but obviously these seven thousand did. Yet, they obtained God’s favor (grace) because of their faith, not of their work. (However, remember faith is completely dead if it does not have works. ;) )
 I say then, ‘Have they stumbled that they should fall?’ God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. ~Romans 11:11 KJV
Therefore, God does all this so the world through Him, even them who are blinded, might be saved.
 If by any means I may provoke to emulation [imitate] them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.  For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? ~Romans 11:14-15 KJV
Then Paul explains they were broken off, so that we, the non-Jew, could be grafted in. Paul, a Jew, works to try to convince them because he knows that they have a choice to believe.
 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:  For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest He also spare not thee. ~Romans 11:20-21 KJV
God could break the Gentile (the non-Jew) off and put the Jew back because they are natural. However, the Gentile cannot be grafted back in once they have rejected the Holy Spirit after being born-again. Paul reminds Gentiles not to be wise in their own conceits by not believing that their salvation was possible due to the blindness of Israel and that they could be broken off because of unbelief, but a Jew could be grafted in again.
 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again. ~Romans 11:23 KJV
 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. ~Romans 11:25 KJV
Paul sums up that ultimately they have a choice in their predestination, which comes through God’s mercy that we have obtained through their unbelief. Now our mercy will help them to obtain mercy so that God could give it to them IF they would believe because like Paul said at the beginning of this chapter, God has not cast them away and there is grace for the faithful (vs 1-5) and mercy for those who would believe (vs 23). God had to stir up jealousy in them through salvation of the Gentile so that they could obtain mercy. This is why He hardened them, but not so that they would be cast away (vs 1). It ultimately comes down to the fact that they must choose to hear, repent, and believe. Sounds like a heart waxed gross.
 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:  Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.  For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that He might have mercy upon all. ~Romans 11:30-32 KJV
Some of you may have this scripture in mind still after all I have revealed. I like this scripture because it is a great example of why we are “thinkers” —although the well-meaning atheist community thinks we are mindless faith believers. Let me explain:
Remember what I shared with you in Romans Chapter 9 through 11 about God having power over the clay, which is the Jewish person, in order that the Gentile might be saved, which ultimately helps the Jewish person to be saved. The scripture above was spoken by Jesus to His disciples. Think about this for a moment. The original twelve disciples were all Jewish, therefore, the fact that Jesus “chose” them makes complete sense because they may not have been able to choose Him because blindness was upon the Jews due to unbelief. Therefore, seeing them having faith would have probably been more elusive. Jewish people have been blinded by their own unbelief until they come to repent and believe and it is the Gentiles who shall stir them up with jealousy. Another thought is this: Like all of us, Jesus knew them from the beginning. Being the Master and Shepherd, He chooses those who He knows belong to Him because they truly will love Him and will abide in Him. He knows them already. He is not a random picker leaving the good behind. Amen.
So you see that if a person only focuses on Romans chapter 9, they will leave with the understanding that we absolutely have no choice. But the matter does not end at chapter 9. Even the apostle Peter tells of how Paul’s writings are not easily understood.
And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. – spoken by the apostle Peter in 2 Peter 3:15-16 KJV
Therefore, to sum it all up, we are all predestined because God knows everything from the beginning, but through this, we have a choice in our salvation through God’s mercy. In chapter 9, Paul tells us of predestination and in chapter 10, we find out that Paul was referencing the blindness of the Jewish people in chapter 9 being concluded in unbelief so that the fullness of the Gentiles can be saved by grace through faith if they repent and believe, which ultimately means that the Jewish people can be saved when they repent and believe because the Gentiles will stir up jealousy in them as stated in chapter 11. To repent and believe starts with faith and faith is a choice. God did this so that we ALL would have His mercy in order to make our choices.
Give God an Amen. Look what Paul says after all this,
“O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!”
Could we have ever come up with such a marvellous plan to help the whole world?
I choose. As for me and my house, we will choose life and serve the Lord. Click To Tweet Cite this article: Please update the Accessed or Retrieved date (September 13, 2015).
“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:” ~ spoken by Moses in Dueteronomy 30:19 KJV
“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” ~Joshua 24:15 KJV
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