4Don’t Be Offended at Scriptural Predestination

4 Don’t Be Offended at Biblical Predestination

Predestination is a scriptural concept.  Don’t be offended by it!  On the other hand, where does the offense from predestination come from?  There is an element of rebellion there.  There’s got to be something amiss if you’re offended at the goodness of God, and that you have an inheritance. You had nothing, you were without hope, and now you have been granted the grace and mercy of God.  You were aliens from all the promises of God, and you were without hope in the world.  Now, because God is rich in mercy even when you were dead in sins, made you alive together with Christ and seated you in the heavenly in Christ (Eph 2:6-8).  Now you’re offended about this?  There’s something of a wrong attitude in this.  With the Arminians, there is a trace of rebellion, and with the Calvinists there is a different kind of rebellion.

The Calvinist rebellion is that of persisting in their own righteousness and rejecting the implications of the Gospel.  Both extremes are wrong.

Another extreme in Calvinism is called “double predestination.”  This says that God chose me for salvation but chose you for wrath.  The only way you can agree with that kind of theology is to be the kind of person that hates people.

Evil people can be attracted to this.  It fit my nature for a while, as one who was disgusted by everyone and thought everyone was an idiot.  I thought, “good riddance!”  It didn’t bother me but should have bothered me if my conscience was functioning properly.

I read Romans 9 and saw a vessel of wrath in Pharoah, and said “see, God, predestined him to hell.”  But the Bible doesn’t say Pharaoh was predestined to wrath, it says he was a vessel of wrath that was tolerated in the longsuffering of God.

God even tried to reach out to Pharoah.  Pharoah had only to believe and repent and even put blood on the doorpost of His home.  But he kept hardening his heart. It says God hardened his heart (Ex 9:12), but the scripture also says the Pharoah hardened his heart (Ex 8:32).  God allowed his heart to be hardened, and when he did harden his heart, God didn’t give him grace to not harden it.

Both are true, but you don’t have to be offended by this.  God knows for whatever reason.  There’s something that is in you that is accountable.    You have a will. And are accountable for believing the Gospel.  There is something that is in you that is responsible and there,is God’s sovereign, and He supersedes everything.  The balanced, scriptural way to see it is that both are true.  This used to bother me, because I don’t live in the “both-and kind of logical system.  I live in the “either-or”.  It’s either one thing or the other, and if two things contradict each other, they can’t both be true., unless there is a qualifier.  Maybe we don’t understand something.

Luther finally got the the point where he said, “there are things in God’s heart that he has not disclosed and you  will get yourself into trouble if you keep inquiring into these things.”  We have to accept our limits.  One of our limits is that we are creatures of time and God is the creator of time, dwelling in Eternity.  He is eternal.  Everything is with Him now.   The very act of Him doing something with us in the future sets the course.  He knows we will be there and He knows us and loves us.  He calls us his children if we are saved (whether we think we are Calvinist or Arminian or have been carried off as spoiled by some other heresy or if we are clear).  His grace is extended to anybody who wants it, and anybody who is thirsty can come to Him and drink the water of life, and He will not reject any of them.  Once they’re in,  they’ll find out that they did so according to His foreknowledge.  His foreknowledge was not just of their choice but of the whole history that they will have with Him in eternity. He already has “been there and done that.”

This should not clear everything up.  We shouldn’t trust anyone who is super clear on it because that means they’ve gone to an extreme.  They think they know more than what God has revealed. I used to be one of those people in this matter.  But God gave me a tour of the different issues so I could at least understand how it affects you in terms of your conscience and what kind of fears it brings concerning salvation.  I’m not here to clarify who “chooses more, man or God.”  I’m talking about the impact it has on our perception of salvation.

Don’t be offended at the word predestination. At least be willing to see it the way the scripture defines it in the light of sonship.  Maybe new light can come. It is a real scriptural term, and it is also the responsibility of man to hear and believe the Gospel and to come and drink the water of life and believes in Jesus and be saved.   Whether God gave you the grace or not, if you think He didn’t, then you’ve got a problem.  If you think you have something good in you that “chose God” rather than god’s grace working, that’s a problem.

But if you think you can’t frustrate the grace of God and His grace is irresistible, and Jesus only died for the elect, you have another problem.

Predestination is a scriptural concept. Don't be offended by it! However, where does offense from predestination come from? There is an element of rebellion there. There must be something amiss if you're offended at the goodness of God and that you have an inheritance. Previously, you had nothing and were without hope. Now, you have been granted the grace and mercy of God. You were aliens from all the promises of God and were without hope in the world. Now, you're offended by this? There's something of a wrong attitude in this.

With the Arminians, there is a trace of rebellion, and with the Calvinists, there is a different kind of rebellion. The Calvinist rebellion is that of persisting in their own righteousness and rejecting the implications of the Gospel. Both extremes are wrong.

Another extreme in Calvinism is called "double predestination." This says that God chose me for salvation but chose you for wrath. The only way you can agree with that kind of theology is to be the kind of person that hates people. Evil people can be attracted to this. It fit my nature for a while, as one who was disgusted by everyone and thought everyone was an idiot. I thought, "good riddance!" It didn't bother me but should have bothered me if my conscience was functioning properly.

I read Romans 9 and saw a vessel of wrath in Pharaoh and said, "see, God predestined him to hell." But the Bible doesn't say Pharaoh was predestined to wrath. It says he was a vessel of wrath that was tolerated in the longsuffering of God. God even tried to reach out to Pharaoh. Pharaoh had only to believe and repent and even put blood on the doorpost of his home. But he kept hardening his heart. It says God hardened his heart (Ex 9:12), but the scripture also says Pharaoh hardened his heart (Ex 8:32). God allowed his heart to be hardened, and when he did harden his heart, God didn't give him grace to not harden it.

Both are true, but you don't have to be offended by this. God knows for whatever reason. There's something that is in you that is accountable. You have a will and are accountable for believing the Gospel. There is something that is in you that is responsible, and there is God's sovereignty, and He supersedes everything. The balanced, scriptural way to see it is that both are true. This used to bother me because I don't live in the "both-and kind of logical system. I live in the "either-or." It's either one thing or the other, and if two things contradict each other, they can't both be true unless there is a qualifier. Maybe we don't understand something.

Luther finally got to the point where he said, "there are things in God's heart that he has not disclosed, and you will get yourself into trouble if you keep inquiring into these things." We have to accept our limits. One of our limits is that we are creatures of time, and God is the creator of time, dwelling in Eternity. He is eternal. Everything is with Him now. The very act of Him doing something with us in the future sets the course. He knows we will be there, and He knows us and loves us. He calls us his children if we are saved (whether we think we are Calvinist or Arminian or have been carried off as spoiled by some other heresy or if we are clear). His grace is extended to anybody who wants it, and anybody who is thirsty can come to Him and drink the water of life, and He will not reject any of them. Once they're in, they'll find out that they did so according to His foreknowledge. His foreknowledge was not just of their choice but of the whole history that they will have with Him in eternity. He already has "been there and done that."

This should not clear everything up. We shouldn't trust anyone who is super clear on it because that means they've gone to an extreme. They think they know more than what God has revealed. I used to be one of those people in this matter. But God gave me a tour of the different issues so I could at least understand how it affects you in terms of your conscience and what kind of fears it brings concerning salvation. I'm not here to clarify who "chooses more, man or God." I'm talking about the impact it has on our perception of salvation.

Don't be offended at the word predestination. At least be willing to see it the way the scripture defines it in the light of sonship. Maybe new light can come. It is a real scriptural term, and it is also the responsibility of man to hear and believe the Gospel and to come and drink the water of life and believe in Jesus and be saved. Whether God gave you the grace or not, if you think He didn't, then you've got a problem. If you think you have something good in you that "chose God" rather than God's grace working, that's a problem.

But if you think you can't frustrate the grace of God and His grace is irresistible, and Jesus only died for the elect, you have another problem.

1 thought on “4Don’t Be Offended at Scriptural Predestination”

  1. It’s taken a long time for me to unravel the doctrinal trauma that came about from Calvinism. Being in question as to whether the God who created you, actually loves you is utter torment to the soul and psyche. Peace has come through the simplicity of the gospel. I’m damaged goods through when it comes to dealing with predestination(there’s so much baggage attached) It is a miracle that the Lord recovered me from such despair.

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