Doctrine #17: Predestination

When a couple is dating they only have two possible endings: Staying together or breaking up.

Does that mean they don't have a choice between the two options?

Everyone is limited in advance, however, each person's actions have not been determined in advance. Everyone's eternal destination has been limited in advance to two locations: new Jerusalem or lake of fire.

Question: Do you believe the circumstances in your life have been predetermined?

Next Doctrine: Doctrine #18

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If you need it, here is the support from the Word of God...

"14 And death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death, even the lake of fire.
15 And if any was not found written in the book of life, he was cast into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:14-15)

(Revelation chapter 20 ended with people whose name was not in the book of life. Those people were sent into the lake of fire. Your name is either written in the book of life, or it isn't; there are only two options.)

"1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth are passed away; and the sea is no more.
2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven of God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.
3 And I heard a great voice out of the throne saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he shall dwell with them, and they shall be his peoples, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God:
4 and he shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more; neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain, any more: the first things are passed away." (Revelation 21:1-4)

(The rest of the people live in the new Jerusalem, those people who had their names written in the book of life. The new Jerusalem is for people who have the Right Say with the Right Do; the lake of fire is for everyone else.)

"1 I exhort therefore, first of all, that supplications, prayers, intercessions, thanksgivings, be made for all men;
2 for kings and all that are in high place; that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and gravity.
3 This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
4 who would have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth." (I Timothy 2:1-4)

(God wants everyone to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. This was the effect, so what was the cause? If the cause was in God's control, then we wouldn't have to do anything, we would just automatically be saved or automatically be damned. However, why would Paul tell us to pray before stating that God would have all saved? By using non-contradiction, we can see we are responsible for the cause! God does not make people go to the lake of fire against their will. Notice, us being responsible for the cause is different than God being the source of our salvation. If we were the source of salvation we wouldn't need God in order to spend eternity in heaven. We will see this in detail later.)

"23 And he answered and said, He that dipped his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me.
24 The Son of man goeth, even as it is written of him: but woe unto that man through whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had not been born.
25 And Judas, who betrayed him, answered and said, Is it I, Rabbi? He saith unto him, Thou hast said." (Matthew 26:23-25)

(If Judas made it to heaven, that would be good. However, Jesus said it would have been good for Judas never to have been born. Why would that be good? Judas didn't make it to heaven according to Jesus' Words. Not everyone makes it to heaven.)

"13 Enter ye in by the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many are they that enter in thereby.
14 For narrow is the gate, and straitened the way, that leadeth unto life, and few are they that find it." (Matthew 7:13-14)

(Jesus said many will not go to heaven, even though God's Will is that all make it. We are the ones that choose which gate we want to enter into. Many will enter into destruction, and few find the narrow gate.)

"29 For whom he foreknew, he also foreordained to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren:
30 and whom he foreordained, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified." (Romans 8:29-30)

(This passage needs to be read from cause to effect, however, the ultimate effect cannot contradict the effect we know from the Bible. We saw that God's will is for everyone to be saved and we saw that not everyone gets saved. The way to read this passage is that all those who get glorified were justified, and all those who got justified were called, and all those that were called were foreordained, and all those who were foreordained were foreknew.)

(However, God foreknew everyone. In the previous passage, we saw God wanted everyone to be saved. So, God made arrangements for everyone to be saved. One of these arrangements was for God to call everyone. Now here is the tricky part. God provided the ABILITY for all to be justified through Jesus. However, the individual chooses whether he accepts this and is able to be glorified. It is like saying, those who are men play in the National Football League. Every player in the NFL is a man, however, not every man chooses to play in the NFL. A gnostic or mystic would read this passage out of context from the Bible as a whole and say that because God knew everyone, He saves everyone. It would be a contradiction if God saved those who did not choose to allow God to flow through them.)

(In the Bible, "foreordained" meant "to limit in advance". For example, men are limited in advance to not be able to bear children. In order for us to be able to be in heaven with God for eternity, we needed to be made out of eternal matter; we will always exist. God foreordained this. The problem is, if a person doesn't make it to heaven, they have to go somewhere because they cannot cease to exist. People abuse causality to say this passage meant God predetermined who would go to heaven and who wouldn't. By that logic, then God only foreknew some; which doesn't sound like God. Many people believe this man-made tradition. This is contradictory because God knows ALL facts, and a person in existence is a fact!)

"6 We speak wisdom, however, among them that are fullgrown: yet a wisdom not of this world, nor of the rulers of this world, who are coming to nought:
7 but we speak God's wisdom in a mystery, even the wisdom that hath been hidden, which God foreordained before the worlds unto our glory:
8 which none of the rulers of this world hath known: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory:
9 but as it is written, Things which eye saw not, and ear heard not, And which entered not into the heart of man, Whatsoever things God prepared for them that love him." (I Corinthians 2:6-9)

(God had a plan of action, wisdom, in advance of everything that has happened. The cause is loving God, and the effect is that we speak God's wisdom in mystery. Not everyone loves God.)

"3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ:
4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blemish before him in love:
5 having foreordained us unto adoption as sons through Jesus Christ unto himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
6 to the praise of the glory of his grace, which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved:
7 in whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,
8 which he made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence,
9 making known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he purposed in him
10 unto a dispensation of the fulness of the times, to sum up all things in Christ, the things in the heavens, and the things upon the earth; in him, I say,
11 in whom also we were made a heritage, having been foreordained according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his will;
12 to the end that we should be unto the praise of his glory, we who had before hoped in Christ:
13 in whom ye also, having heard the word of the truth, the gospel of your salvation,-- in whom, having also believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,
14 which is an earnest of our inheritance, unto the redemption of God's own possession, unto the praise of his glory." (Ephesians 1:3-14)

(Foreordained was used twice. The first usage was that we were "limited in advance" to be adopted as sons of God through Jesus, and the second was we are "limited in advance" to allow God's Will to be the cause in our life. These usages were like the Romans 8 usage: God had an individual plan for each person, whether we choose to believe is up to us.)

"26 The kings of the earth set themselves in array, And the rulers were gathered together, Against the Lord, and against his Anointed:
27 for of a truth in this city against thy holy Servant Jesus, whom thou didst anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, were gathered together,
28 to do whatsoever thy hand and thy council foreordained to come to pass." (Acts 4:26-28)

(God was able to carry out His plan in the midst of rulers who were against Him and Jesus.)

Tradition has given us a belief that everything is predetermined. Which God is more awesome, the God that sits back and watches eternity play out because He already knew what was going to happen in every moment? OR, the God who is constantly calculating a different world, at every second, based on every action that every person on the planet does? I would say the second. God allows us to choose to come toward Him. There is no greater feeling in the whole world than someone choosing, of their own free will, to be with you.

Do you think that God would ever force you to be close to Him? Some believe that God is so powerful that He can MAKE you choose Him! In the next Doctrine, we will find out if He can.