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Written by David Montgomery   

Of Predestination


Election tells us that God chose His people. Predestination tells us that His people will be "conformed to the image of his son." In other words, someday the elect will be LIKE Christ and WITH Christ. Wow! What a concept! To be like Christ means to be totally sinless and completely everlasting. To be with Christ means to have the right to dwell in Paradise. Think about that...living forever in a perfect environment with no sin, no bad conscience or regret; to see truth and beauty that even our best imagination cannot conceive. Doesn’t that sound good? On earth, we get just a teeny little taste of that magnificent destiny and all we can say is, "How beautiful heaven MUST be."

Now you would think after reading that sparkling introduction that everyone would just adore this doctrine, but it is not the case. Some people take issue for they think it turns us into mindless robots or little puppets where God is holding our strings and controlling our every movement. Some feel that God should give every one a chance at this wonderful destiny, but we know this is impossible for we are totally depraved, we were dead spiritually and we would have never chosen God. We should be ever so thankful that He chose us and gave us such a great destiny.

Predestination teaches us that we are totally dependent on the mercy of God. Again, we are no-good, hell deserving, no count bushwhacking sinners and it took a ton of mercy for God to predestinate us. And truly, it is mercy in its purest form for it was extended to us before the world was created. I may tell my kids, "do this and I will pay you." But that is not mercy...that is a conditional reward based on services rendered. I would need to be in a VERY good mood for me to tell them, "I'm gonna pay y'all a hundred bucks when I get home" and still pay them even though they had acted like a bunch of reprobate screaming hyenas. Uh huh, that would take way too much mercy. It’s a good thing I’m not the Predestinator.

So, to deny predestination, is to deny the greatest act of pure mercy ever demonstrated. It would also deny the scriptures that prove it. Notice...

Romans 8:29 "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."

Ephesians 1:3-6 "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved."

Ephesians 1:11-12 "In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ."

Now, did you notice something muy intrestado in the verses above? Predestination is always about *people* not *events*. Notice the words "we" "us" "whom" and "brethren." This is a huge point and please do not miss it. God did not predestinate all things that transpire (and the Amen Corner says, "AMEN!") but He predestinated all whom He foreknew. Some out there get a little kornfused on this point...oh ok, they get hugely kornfused on this point. Some say that God predestinated everything we do, even the sin that we commit. Now, THAT would make us mindless robots and would make God the author of sin.Now, there are some things God “decreed” to happen when they did (as the first and second coming of Jesus) but that is a completely different subject. Predestination is only concerned with the destiny of the elect. So, just leave it right there folks, cause that’s where it belongs.

There are some strange and interesting views in the world that get associated with Predestination, but some are not even a close cousin to it. Consider the following:

Karma—everything we do actively shapes the past, present, and future. (It does not take into account the providence and intervention of God).

Ka— A mysterious force that leads all creatures. Taken from the “Dark Tower” books by author Stephen King and has made its way into common speech. (It’s from Stephen King people, ok?…nuff said).

Kismet—a predetermined or unavoidable destiny. (It also entails everything that happens in this life, including the time and manner of your death. This is not taught in the Bible).

Serendipity—the effect by which one accidentally discovers something fortunate, especially while looking for something else entirely different. (Why does this even have a classification? Who comes up with stuff like this???)

Synchronicity—the experience of two or more events which are causally unrelated occurring together in a supposedly meaningful manner. In order to count as synchronicity, the events should be unlikely to occur together by chance. (See comment on Serendipity).

Fatalism—everything that occurs has been predetermined...a.k.a. Absolute Predestination of All Things. (I don’t believe this doctrine and you shouldn’t either).

Infralapsarianism (also called sublapsarianism)—God predestined sinful men for salvation. (I don’t know everything about this doctrine but I reject it because of its stupid name).

Supralapsarianism—holds that God decided to save, and to damn; he then determined that the fall of man into sin would accomplish His purpose. (uh, no, He didn’t. Stupid doctrine with a stupid name)

Single Predestination—God sent his Son to atone for the sins of the whole world on the cross. Those God saves have been predestined from eternity in Christ. Those who are condemned are condemned because of their fallen will. (But God did not desire to save the whole world—only those He elected).

Reprobation—God predestinated some to heaven and others to hell, a.k.a. Double Predestination or Double Election. (Not taught in the Bible at all. He predestinated all those he foreknew and the rest were left in their fallen state).

So, yeah…there’s a lot of philosophies out there…they sound smart but to me, they take too many words to explain. Some people spend their lives studying this stuff and can spout out mysterious things that nobody can understand, but what good is it?? Like these dudes who talk about God’s secret will or the revealed will or the permissive will or the causative will, or the…oh hush, you’re making me nervous! As Paul wrote in Romans 1:22, “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” Predestination isn’t that hard to understand really…just look at those verses I supplied, say a little prayer, and that’s all you need to grasp it. Why are we so good at making simple stuff difficult?

Here it is again: Before the beginning of time, God chose a people and has made it so that they will all eventually be LIKE Jesus Christ and WITH Jesus Christ. As the poet Keats said, “that’s all you know and all you need to know.” Ah but Mr. Keats, one of these days, we shall know as we are known. Folks, we got a happy landing coming soon. It may get pretty lousy in this life, but just wait. When we finally experience that great destiny, we shall know happiness like never before. And that destiny is so sure that it was predetermined before the world began. Awesome!

Thank you,
David Montgomery


Calvin believed in predestination, but Hobbes wasn't so sure.
Last Updated ( Friday, 03 April 2009 )
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The Primitive or Old School Baptists cling to the doctrines and practices held by Baptist Churches throughout America at the close of the Revolutionary War. This site is dedicated to providing access to our rich heritage, with both historic and contemporary writings.