Thursday, July 26, 2007

Thoughts on predestination...

I have been thinking (not to hard though so be pre-warned) about predestination.

I wonder if even though God foreknows, and has predestined those in Christ to be conformed to His Image, that all are predestined, yet not all will believe that.

Meaning that Peter states that the will of God is that none should perish... 2 Peter 3: 9.

"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."

Now I hope that you can see that this verse is not about the "elect" but toward the lost. Yet, it seems that not all will go according to Gods will and some will be lost. Or the other idea is that there is some sort of Universalism, which I do not buy into as the bulk of scripture seems contrary to that idea.

Yet, if it is about "all the elect coming to repentance", then I think that we miss that God is still losing those who are not elect. Meaning that I the will of God is salvation for all mankind and all are forgiven, (not just the elect or there be not justice in the judgment against the non elect) there seems that there still is this aspect that some will be outside of God's will... which puts a damper on the Sovereignty of God and I can see why some choose Calvinism.

Yet, I see that there is another way to look at this.

I see that all are predestined... meaning all mankind was created in the image of God, yet choose not to fulfill that vocation. Instead, they choose not to walk in accordance to God's will but their own. God can rightly judge and be totally just in that man forsakes His will and man deserves his judgment,

Now, if all are predestined to salvation, yet some do not accept God's will in this they are lost. This may be close to what Spencer Burke was trying to convey in his book Heretics Guide to Eternity, but I think he fell short in that explanation. (Sorry Spence!)

The bible states God predestined us to be in Jesus before the creation of the world... yet also the bible teaches in Ephesians 1: 9-12

"And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment--to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ. 11. In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory."

Notice that God reveals this mystery of His will that He purposed in Christ and Him (Jesus) we are also chosen. So if one is not in Jesus THEN they are not chosen. For one must be in Christ to be chosen. Jesus was the One that was predestined and revealed according to the plan of God to bring all things into conformity through Jesus.

Now, again I have not fleshed this all out, but the point is this if you have gotten this far and missed what I am saying, which I would not doubt could happen.

Jesus was predestined to bring all things into conformity with God’s will. We were not in Christ at the creation of the world...

1. So point one I quote 1 Peter 1:20 -21 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.

2. Point 2 is that we were not in Christ at the foundation of the world. The only verse that state something like this is 1 Peter 1-2

"Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God's elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.”

Now if one looks closely that it does not say that you existed in Jesus before creation... it states that because of God's foreknowledge that the elect have been chosen, yet it is through the sanctifying work of the Spirit for the obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by His Blood... it all still hinges on being in Christ for it is Jesus that was foreknown and predestined... and to be part of that predestination one still need be in Christ.

Note Peter goes on in verse 20 -21:

“He [Jesus] was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God."

This is not about God knowing you and choosing you before the creation of the world... but knowing Jesus and His destination.

I know the next verse to be brought up is Ephesians 1: 4 -6.

"For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will-- to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves."

Note still it says "For He chose us IN HIM before the creation of the world" not "He chose us to be in Him before the creation of the world."

The difference is still that we must be IN HIM... meaning we must be IN CHRIST, to be part of His predestination... and be conformed to His Image.

Predestination as taught by some seems predicated on the idea man is am immortal being that has always existed... the bible teaches man is not an immortal being and that immortality is only though Jesus Christ for He is the only immortal One. (1 Timothy 6:15) This is where Gnosticism has entered Christianity as Plato taught that man was immortal and existed with God before creation.

Again, before you go off on me, this is just the beginnings of my thoughts on this and I have yet to fully flesh this out but I hope that one can see that Christianity is based all on Jesus and Who He is and not about man or that some are "special" and have been elected to be chosen over others for salvation.

Be Blessed,

Romans 8: 29-30. 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. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.


rick said...

Ok - that's it, you're banned from my blog ...

... just kidding.

iggy said...

Oh, not another one! Pretty soon I will on be able be on my own!


Really, I understand why someone will filter through Calvinism... but I just can't see to.

I try... I really do...


Daniel Partin said...

I can understand why people turn to Calvinism based on misinterpretations of Scripture, as well. I'm just glad it's not how God works. As a friend of mine once said, "If Calvinism is true, then God is the devil seeking whom He may devour."

iggy said...


My issues are with certain passages that are rarely if ever presented true to their original intent... such as Romans 9.

Yet, saying this I will say that i do have friends I hold dear that do hold to Calvinism.

Most the time they just tell I make then think... LOL!

The core is and should be Jesus Christ and as i posted before this one we all have bad theology...

There is a quote by someone I can't remember, but it goes like this:

Everyone will get to heaven with bad theology, but no one will get there without Jesus.

I think that is why Grace and Mercy are crucial... and though I will be quick to say NOT ALL CALVINIST are without Grace and Mercy, I see many have a tendency to be outright mean.

But, again, I run into people like Rick who posted here first and am reminded that not all are jerks and some are full of Grace and Mercy and truly love Jesus.