Predestination

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Is it true or not?

Or if true, what is the correct definition?

28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.

30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

Romans 8:28-30

Wikipeida:

Predestination, in theology, is the doctrine that all events have been willed by God. John Calvin interpreted biblical predestination to mean that God willed eternal damnation for some people and salvation for others.

Explanations of predestination often seek to address the so-called" paradox of free will", whereby God’s omniscience seems incompatible with human free will.

In this usage, predestination can be regarded as a form of religious determinism; and usually predeterminism.

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Denominational views:

http://www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/today/predestination/

What do Presbyterians mean when they speak of predestination?


Calvin defines predestination as "God’s eternal decree, by which he compacted with himself what he willed to become of each [person]. For … eternal life is foreordained for some, eternal damnation for others."

So predestination is an act of God’s will through which God elects or chooses those whom God calls to faith and thus to eternal life, and through which God chooses those who will not receive faith.

Other theologians have seen in predestination only a positive calling to eternal life.

Still others have seen it as God’s foreknowledge of who would choose faith.

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St Augustine (Catholic):

It was Augustine who gave the idea of predestination its classical shape. He focused on the idea that God chose from all eternity who would come into the kingdom of God, to replace the fallen angels, to fill up the ranks of the heavenly choir.

He stressed that since Adam’s fall, all humankind was under the curse of original sin and could not hope to have life with God after death without God’s saving action.

Augustine understood that the work of Christ was God’s choice to save elected sinners, in order to show God’s mercy — but God also chose to allow others to remain in their sins, unsaved, in order to show God’s justice.

For Augustine the choice as to who would be predestined to eternal life was entirely in God’s will: Only those God had chosen from all eternity could turn away from their sins to God, because God would grant them grace.

This idea — the very strong stress on predestination as being entirely the result of God’s will, God’s own choice–was very difficult for tradition to hold on to.

Within about a century a church council dealt with the controversy over the issue by retaining Augustine’s idea that God must first take the initiative to give grace to sinners so that they could turn to God, but it opposed the idea that God would determine those who were not saved.

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Reaction to Augustine:

Through the Middle Ages there were a few strict Augustinians who held to Augustine’s view of predestination, but there were many theologians who redefined predestination.

Because the term was Biblical, they didn’t deny it, but they said God "chooses" the elect on the basis of God’s foreknowledge of how they will lead their lives.

Therefore, they held, the choice as to whether a person will be saved or not is no longer in God’s will, but it is in that person’s choice about God’s gift of grace — whether to accept it or reject it.

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Questions

I think this is more than an academic, theological question.

To think that there have been billions of people living on earth, who have not been saved, this is a serious personal issue.

Is it their fault?

Were they just put on earth, as a divine joke, to wage evil on the earth, and make the saints suffer?

Were they doomed from their birth to suffer in an eternal hell?

Is it useless to preach the gospel to them?

Are our unsaved loved ones part of the predestined group that are not chosen?

Is it useless to pray for them?

If God knew they were going to hell to begin with, then why did He let them be born?

Doesn’t that show a lack of compassion, not just for the doomed, but for all those the doomed will afflict and hurt?

I know people who have prayed for loved ones that went to their death as atheists.

Prayer did not change them.

Was it meant that they go to hell?

The bible predicts that most in the tribulation will not repent.

So why were they born to begin with?

To make life hell for innocent people?

Is free will not really free?

But preordained?

Is our real will being set at birth?

Is our “free will” pre-set by our genetic makeup, our DNA, and now we are just slaves to bag of chemicals in our brains?

God is sovereign.

He decides.

Does this also explain why, even among the “chosen,” that some are destined to suffer, and some enjoy blessings and joy?

What is the truth about predestination?

Does this passage only describe love for the pre-selected “CHOSEN?”

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  (Romans 8)

How does “predestination” fit with this passage?:

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

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Final Thoughts

All I know is God loves me.

Maybe it is because I am chosen.

But I did not always feel this way.

I used to think I was nothing to God because he allowed me to suffer.

I did not feel chosen to be loved, but chosen to experience harm.

It was like He did not care.

But one day, after many years, a lifetime, He revealed Himself to me, and all I felt was joy.

I forgot all the pain in His presence.

With that experience in mind, I would say that we are ALL chosen, even those who have never been saved, or will never be saved.

We do have free will, and God lets us decide whether or not we ACCEPT our chosen status.

When we reject God’s choice for us, it breaks His heart.  Sad smile

Why he allows those to be born who do reject Him, I cannot explain.

Maybe someday we will all understand this “election” and “birth of those who reject God.”

Right now, I keep telling everyone that God loves them, and He wants them to choose Him back.

Please, to all those who are rejecting God and His Messiah Son, Yeshua (Jesus), I plead with you to consider this hell you are headed for, and repent.

Repentance is all that is between you and eternal life of joy.

Repentance, acceptance of, and faith in Jesus as God’s Son who died to pay for your sins, is all that is needed for salvation.

God is LOVE.

Choosing hell is rejecting LOVE.

While you still have time…..

Please CHOOSE Him back.

Choose LOVE, not hell.

God is waiting for you to say “yes.”

Please say “yes.”

Choose to be “chosen.”


58 Responses to “Predestination”

  1. I for some reason always believed that God already knows who will go when and where. He already knew your beginning and end. He knew if you would end up in heaven or hell. He is all knowing, he set everything in motion from the creation of the universe until the end.

    He knows the outcome as it is his plan. Yes he gives us free will to make the choice of where we want to go, because he didn’t create us to be robots, but to experience human life and know the where humans fail, he won’t. Ever.

    But I always wondered would God allow you to pray for those that he knows will never make it to heaven. Would he tell you to stop that because it was no use?

    I feel we are predestined, but in a strange way we have to find our way to whereever we are going. Will I end up in heaven or hell? Only the lord knows.

    It worries me because I don’t know my own outcome because God hasn’t answered me in a huge way like he has others. I struggle with finding him and I don’t know how to repent and my patience gets the best of me.

    I found myself in the shower kneeling to the Lord, in a field kneeling staring at the sky praying to him, but hearing nothing back interacts with my attention span, and I don’t mean that as an insult I just have hard times staying focused.

    I give thanks even when I don’t hear anything back. I have a lot of worries, I have people pray for me and I try to read the bible, but I struggle.

    So where am I predestined to go? I have no idea, but the Lord knows and I wonder if those who have prayed for me over and over if they are wasting their time.

    I know what I want and where I want to be but I continue to lag behind and fall short and give up to easily as my attention is short.

    Sorry for blabbing, just it all began to.come.to my.mind when I was thinking of predestination.

    God knows and gives free will, but what will we do? Will we ever be saved? Or will we try but fall short to our predestined place?

    I’m just asking as I have no answers. I am open for talk🙂

    • serilei

      all we have to do is ask…we repent if we have made the effort to turn away from sin…and believe in the forgiveness of Jesus on the cross

      we cannot be 100 % perfect, which is why we need God’s help.

      he created us to be dependent on Him.

      I understand the “no response” to prayer. it happens to me also.

      jesus said to ask in his name, and to seek, ask, and knock, so keep trying until you feel a response.

      the answer may not be dramatic like with some people….but it will be a still, small voice you know is not you…talking.

      when the time is right you will get an answer..in the meantime, continue on in faith.

      god does not reward us for faith when we get our answers….because he is doing the work anyhow answering us…that is small faith when everything is easy

      god rewards us for faith when he does NOT answer, and he sees how we keep believing in him anyhow.. this is big faith.

      do not give up..

      I can tell you are ok…you will go to heaven if you remain on the path you are on.

      • I’ve asked many of times, and I’m not saying he is rejecting me or anything, but I am saying that after asking i try to mend my way, but again, my patience gets the best of me and it becomes very easy to fall back into the world, much like now.

        For me it has always been a battle, but every so often I get a spur to want and try again, but with repeated results, it is my fault, sure, but I hope that the change will come.

        Yeah, sometimes having no response can be a tough one for sure, and there is a reason of course. Either you aren’t doing something right, not keeping his commandments or a reason that only God knows and will reveal on his own time.

        As before I am trying, but it is definitely way too easy to be caught in the world. I need a change for sure and really want to see it.

        • Hi Serilei,

          Believe me, you are not going through anything that any Christian has not or are not currently going through and therefore, I, as well as many others can relate to what you are saying.

          A big part of faith is knowing that we are saved, for there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Your words tell me that the Holy Spirit is performing his sanctifying work upon you, which is the process of being made holy, which is a life long process. The important thing is to NEVER GIVE UP!

          When we come to Christ it does not mean that we are not sinners, but we are saved sinners, covered by the blood of Christ. And as we continue going from faith to faith we are being transformed into his image. It is a process of the new person in Christ displacing the old nature, which as I said above, is a life-long process. That very fact that you are concerned about your status tells me that God is with you and working on you.

          I became a Christian at a young age, but I could not get out of this pattern of life in the flesh and for many, many years I was in that state. Remember the Scripture,

          “So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.” (Gal.5:16)

          Sexual immorality is probably the biggest problem regarding the flesh and that of course because it is the most pleasurable. This was my biggest problem and with that sin, comes other sins. And because God never left me, even being in that state, I was experiencing what Paul mentions:

          “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. ”

          “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

          The word of God also states that the true believer will not be able to continue living in the sinful nature and that because the seed of God remains in him/her. We cannot be comfortable in that state because the Spirit of God dwells in us and thanks and praise be to the Lord that he never leaves us nor forsakes us. There is a struggle going on!

          You yourself know that the acts of sinful nature leads to death and God is working to get you out of that pattern of life. With me, I came to a point where I could no longer go on, being so grieved about that state and that because of this constant tug of war between the Spirit and the flesh. I remember my prayer to God regarding this, which was basically, “God, either you are going to remove me once and for all from this pattern of life in the flesh or it is going to destroy me.” And from that time on, I made it my goal to break free of the sinful nature and God brought me through it. It didn’t happen over night and that because the powers of darkness were working against me to keep me in that state, but I was determined to break free from it once and for all. The powers of darkness are behind trying to keep you living after the sinful nature (the flesh), because they know it ultimately leads us to our destruction. But if you will really set your sights on breaking free of this pattern of life, the sinful nature, God will be there to bring you out and set you on the Rock.

          Does this mean that we without sin? No! For the word of God says,

          “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.”

          There are sins however that we can address, such as the one I mentioned above, that being sexual immorality. Regarding sexual intimacy, God created this for the married man and woman. When a man and woman engage in this as a married couple, then the marriage has God’s blessing. But if we, like so much of the world does, engage in sexual intimacy with whomever and whenever we want outside of marriage, then we are living according to the sinful nature, which leads to separation from God and eternal torment in the lake of fire. We need to set our sights on breaking free from those things that we are in control of and that enslave us. It takes a real effort on our part combined with prayer in order to break free, because it is our own fleshly desires that keep us there, as well as the forces of darkness that are at work to keep us living after the desires of our flesh.

          In closing, if you will make a true effort to break free of this, God will be there to help you overcome, which is what the letters to the seven churches in Revelation are all about, overcoming the sinful nature.

          I hope this helps you.

          Yours in Christ

          • dmcal – I appreciate your input on this site, it is sort of like hearing “quiet wisdom” (if that makes any sense.) Scripture woven with personal experience. I always get something out of what you share, even though written to someone else.

            • Hi Denise,

              Even though no one here is speaking face to face, this is still a form of fellowship and the purpose of fellowship is to first to glorify God and to strengthen, to edify, that is, to lift each other up in the hope that we have, which is the appearing of our Lord and our being gathered to him. Therefore, as Paul said,

              “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,”

              The powers of darkness want to separate believers and make them think that they are the Lone Ranger when it comes to sin. But Scripture says that we are all sinners and that Christ died for us while we were yet sinners. “While we were yet sinners” means that Christ died for our previous sins and the ones that we commit and those that we will commit. We’re covered sinners undergoing construction.

              I’m comforted in the Lord’s response to Peter when he said, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” I believe that this is the Lord’s attitude towards us as well.

              I’m happy that you or anyone else has benefited from the posts, then God is glorified and we are all strengthened in our common faith.

  2. I think we are predestined by our own choices. We do have free will, but God decides, based on our free will, based on our own choices, as to whether we end up in hell or are chosen to ascend to heaven. If we feel God has forgotten us or forsaken us, I still feel it is because of choices we have made in our lives.

    I need to think more on this and may post more later.

  3. Makes you wonder why some hearts are open to God and others aren’t.

  4. He “FOREKNEW”…not “fore-chose”. God simply knew from eternity past, who would end up receiving Him and who wouldn’t. His very nature of grace and justice, would prevent Him from manipulating the choice that is all ours to make. God is an Equal Opportunity Dad!

    • Cindy – I hear your passion and devotion to our Lord. But, if what you believe is true, then I have some of the questions that Marianne proposed:
      “Were they just put on earth, as a divine joke, to wage evil on the earth, and make the saints suffer?”
      “If God knew they were going to hell to begin with, then why did He let them be born?”
      So, I wonder, are some of us really doomed from birth, and is it useless to pray for or try to save unbelievers? That just doesn’t make sense to me.

      I deeply believe that God wants us to CHOOSE Him for ourselves, otherwise, why go through all of the “drama” of the good, the bad, the righteous and evil, if none of us really have a choice to begin with – (that would include Lucifer as well). I know we don’t and can’t understand or know all the ways and reasons of our Lord but I just don’t see Him creating some sort of “fake play” for all of us to live out as if any of this was real – if we don’t have honest free will to choose.

      Why bother?

      Maybe I NEED to believe in free will and that I personally have chosen Him.

      • Of course God wants us to choose him and experience his love and peace. That is true.

        But also, do you think God doesn’t already know the outcome of everything? He created everything, so why would he hide the outcome from himself? He knows who will make it and who won’t.

        Now why does he allow those to be born who will never make it to heaven? Well I don’t know. I think personally there must be balance in the world of good and evil which was started in Adam’s time.

        Let us take a look at some evil people. People like Hitler for our first example. God already knew before Adolf was born that he would be taken over by an evil entity and then proceed to rampage and kill all those people who some also never believed in God or died before they were saved. So technically God knew Adolf would kill himself and would end up in hell once the world is over. God knew this already (I feel). So why did he let Adolf be born? Well, again, I personally feel it is the balance in the universe in which man has brought upon himself. But over all, I don’t know.

        There seem to be a lot of people who are born and will die and go to hell. God knows, yes, but, he allows them to choose. Yes it seems like a cruel joke to many of us, but maybe this is happening for reasons we can’t understand.

  5. I love God with all my heart but this topic is one that I struggle with a lot .
    I just have to trust His ultimate goodness and keep praying for those I love and those that I get a burden for.

  6. God is God, if he predestined it, you can fight it
    but he will make it happen, if you are a slave chained to a ship, you can either row and not get beat or not row and be beat by a slave master, your choice.

  7. many are called but few are chosen. there are some that have been chosen, they do not know this, only god does. why does god choose some; you will half to wait untill you get to heaven to get that answer. predestination has nothing to do with the entire human race. // we can look back at Pharaoh and know there are verses that god hardened pharaoh’s heart several times, so in those cases was pharaoh responsible for disobeying god? (would pharaoh be judged for those times god hardened his heart) obviously the answer hast to be; no.

    • I agree, good comparison

    • John – Regarding the “hardening of hearts” by God as releasing someone from responsibility – – – I’m not so certain of this, and am personally still out on this one. It is all so very confusing to me. You may very well be right. There’s a part of me that wants so deeply to understand our Lord (which is basically impossible unless He chooses to illumine and reveal to us.) My mind eventually starts to hurt and I have to let go. Things start to sound contradictory and God does not contradict Himself.

      I found an article online, a sermon on predestination by John Piper, “The Hardening of Pharoh and the Hope of the World.” I don’t know John Piper, never heard of him before, (he runs a ministry “desiringgod.org”) He raises some interesting viewpoints.
      Regarding God’s hardening of hearts, “God hardens whom he wills, and man is accountable. God’s hardening does not take away guilt, it renders it certain.”

      http://www.desiringgod.org/sermons/the-hardening-of-pharaoh-and-the-hope-of-the-world

      He also quotes another author: ” ‘Neither here nor anywhere else is God said to harden anyone who had not first hardened himself.’ That Pharaoh hardened his heart against God and refused to humble himself is made plain in the story. So God’s hardening of him was a judicial act, abandoning him to his own stubbornness.”

      I offer the link for some interesting (if not challenging) reading. I still struggle (and it sounds like there are a few of us here struggling) with predestination; free will; God’s omniscience and His “will” versus our “free will” (or is it even an either or?)

      Denise

      • Denise; be careful listening to anyone, including myself. we can try and help each other by giving our opinions about scripture, and we have the holy spirit to guide us, i have learned long ago to not listen to anyone and take it as god’s word. the holy spirit expects us to study the word of god and as we do the holy spirit reveals the truth to us best this way. if you read about pharaoh, you will see god did harden his heart several times,not just one time, that is important, when the word of god repeats something like it does regarding “and god hardened pharaoh’s heart” it is telling people to; “take note” if you read further, you will find it changes to pharaoh hardened his heart, it is specific. it is specific when god caused pharaoh’s heart, then it is specific when it was pharaoh hardened his heart himself. so when god hardened the heart so certain things would happen, pharaoh cannot be judged for that. god would not be just, and that is impossible! obviously when pharaoh hardened his own heart, he is then not justified. we all have free will, even pharaoh did, except for the period of time god hardened his heart, god did not harden pharaohs heart for his entire life. i have always wondered about the mercy seat. i thing it is for these kinds of situations.

        • I understand what you are saying and appreciate your comments here. I, too, am careful about other’s opinions, but I do use them at times to hear another perspective. In the end, for me, it is always that I do my own study, and take heed of the truth the Holy Spirit reveals in time.

          • On the hardening of Pharaohs heart, its not like God entered into hid heart to miracilously make it tough, but it is reported that God let the wizards of Egypt, the likes if Jannes and Jambres, to mimic the miracle of the plagues that had bern against Pharaoh and Egypt, and when Pharaoh would attest to their power also, then he was confused and presumed he too had as much power as that God of Moses, wherefore it is said that the Lord hardened his heart.

            It is also said, of them who reject the gospel of truth and choose to live in their own ways, that God shall send them strong delusion so that they will believe in a lie. Yet God does not lie. He only will let the course of their actions be augmented by the appropriate agencies.

            In the days of Micah the prophet, it is reported that a certain spirit was before God and volunteered to get down to the prpphets of Ahab to cause them to lie. Well, was this spirit angelic or demonic, and was he serving God, or was he at his own effect? Do the angelic spirits appoint to lie for God or just what was going on in heaven at that time?

            It is also said that God creates good, and also creates evil. The snare for the wicked is also set up by God?

            Perhaps if we appreciate that God is Lord of all, and even Lucifer, the ancient Serpent is caused to grovel before his might, for he commands even that great serpent to diverse effects, then we may begin to comprehend certain aspects of the great warfare.

            • “The snare for the wicked is also set up by God?” Perhaps. God has used evil to serve His purposes. God already knew how Pharaoh would respond to Moses. Pharaoh already had a hardened heart, he was already wicked. God did not temporarily suspend his free will. God provided the motivation for Pharaoh to express what was already within him. God was the force behind Pharaoh’s choice by putting Pharaoh in the position of him having to respond to His command, “Let my people go.” He forced Pharaoh to make a decision and declare it. But it was always Pharaoh’s choice to refuse or not.

              Denise

  8. Oh, the sweet mysteries of the gospel of Christ! This is a wonderful topic and one that determines really our understanding of God.

    Predestination is on two levels, and two angles. For as we plan for our children’s future, covering as much eventuality as we can, so God has planned for all our physical effects, covering all eventualities. Thus God has planned our futures in the physical plane.

    No one however is predestined on spiritual matters, until after they are born again either in truth and spirit, or into the world. For before being of age, (not distincting between good and evil) the individual has no name attached to them but are only children. In Nineveh, God restrained his hand from destroying the city for the sake of such younglings. But at a partucular age, God determines for each of us that we have become of age, and are tried as to what character trait we opt to bear as our name.

    Thus there are the names written in the lamb’s book of life slain from the foundation of the world. Such names include Love, Godly, Patient, Meek, Truthful, Just and such like. Now when we adopt such a name, when we are foreknown (in the childhood grace period) then we are predestined to the trials and path that leads to life eternal.

    On the other hand, when albeit all reproof and correction in the childhood grace period bears no fruits of repentance, but one is thus foreknown to bear the character of the wicked, murderers, liers and the profane, then likewise the Lord releases these to the path that leads to complete destruction. Once the predestination point is commenced, indeed it is nigh impossible to reverse or alter the appointed course.

    Does God foreknow all the future there ever will be in intricate detail and regarding each individual? Why would he then ask them to repent of their evil ways if he knew either way what they are to choose?

    In such regards, God too has limitations. He does not know what we shall choose to do when faced by diverse trials and temptations but he sends us all the succour we shall ever require to opt wisely.

    Well, am I limitting God? For what says the scriptures about God and lying? That its impossible for God to tell a lie. Imagine that. God cannot lie. He can do so many things, create life supporting planets just by his word, but He CAN NOT lie. He will not also share his glory with any other. He cannot ask us to choose the good and hate the evil, then pull up strings that would causr us to opt one way or the other contrary to our will, for then that would be cheating, and its impossible for God to cheat.

    The predestination therefore is for those who are called (named) according to the way of righteousness, having been observed to aspire to the character/name that is written in the book of life.

    Idolators, murderers, fornicators, sorcerers and such thel like are predestined, after they too opt these names for their character, to perpetual darkness.

    It is therefore unfitting to ask God to write your name in the book of life, for that book was filled in ancient times with the diverse names of righteousness, and all we can do is to aspire to any of these names by bearing within us that character.

    Predestination is a stumbling block when misunderstood, again so placed to augment the delusions of those who otherwise have opted for evil, but all who aspire to the good will find this block as a pedestal to raise them towards the abode with our God.

    Blessings.

    • i have a few issues with what you state; 1; that when children come of a certain age they them make the decisions which path (as to say) they will follow. there are many people who do not come to the lord untill they are in their 50.60,70,etc. but at some point they have their eyes opened and god welcomes then into his fold. 2; the holy word of god states specifically that god hardened Pharaohs heart, several times it states this within a chapter. then it states later that pharaoh hardened his heart. (their is a difference) 3; names written in the lambs book of life; they are peoples names, it states that your name can be blotted out of the book of life. you cannot blot out love from the book of life unless that was your name, same with ;mercy, etc. etc. please clarify . with respect.

  9. exodus chapter 7 verse 3;and i will harden pharaoh’s heart,and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt. .

    • As finite humans we attempt to comprehend God who is infinite. That is a given. I’m still very much struggling with this. (That is a given as well.) 🙂 How can we possibly know what is in God’s heart? Does God ever change a person’s heart for the worse? (I wonder, and I don’t think so.) God knew with certainty how Pharaoh would respond to His command to let His people go. God compelled a wicked person to do what was already in his heart in order to fulfill His purpose. I believe Pharaoh is ultimately responsible for his own actions, specifically refusing God’s commandment. Pharaoh had free will and a choice each time Moses came back to him.

      There are several times in Exodus where it is stated Pharaoh’s heart was hardened – several by our Lord, some by Pharaoh himself, and there are times non specific as to how his heart hardened. His heart was hard and cruel to begin with prior to his interactions with Moses. God was the spark that compelled Pharaoh, by having Moses go to him with His command, for Pharaoh to reveal his heart. God was “the snare for the wicked” and used Pharaoh for His own glory, to “multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt.”

      Just because God knows our past, present, and future, doesn’t mean He removes or manipulates anyone’s free will along the way. God creates situations forcing us to reveal our true nature. God’s actions caused Pharaoh to exemplify his stubbornness. But it was Pharaoh’s choice to refuse, he had free will to obey. He chose not to.

      I’m still trying to figure it all out, but this it how I see it – up to this point in my understanding.

      • all i am doing is quote gods own word. when god hardened pharaoh’s heart. god did that for a purpose. it does not mean that pharaoh was predestined to go to hell then the lake of fire afterwards, this was a short period of time that god hardened pharaoh.s heart, not the rest of his life. this example of god hardening someone’s heart is important, it was for a specific purpose.

  10. Regarding God’s foreknowing and predestination, consider the following:

    “Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: not by works but by him who calls—she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

    What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says to Moses,

    “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”

    It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.”

    Also, consider the following:

    “The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because he once was, now is not, and yet will come.”

    “All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written from the creation of the world in the book of life belonging to the Lamb who was slain”

    The verses above shows that God is the One who chose those whom he wanted to save and those he didn’t and that before the world even began. Those of the saved throughout all history, their names were written in his book before history even began. As Paul says, it therefore does not depend on man’s efforts. For God has mercy upon whom he will have mercy and compassion upon whom he will have compassion.

    We could speculate that God made his decision regarding those he would save and whose names he would write in the book of life because he knows their future, but it would be by assumption on our part, for this is nowhere mentioned in Scripture. Regarding this, Scripture seems to infer that the decision was made because God is sovereign and that salvation is not determined by individuals, but by God’s choosing, which would fit with the definition of “Sovereign”

    Sovereign:

    “Sovereignty means that God, as the ruler of the Universe, has the right to do whatever he wants. Further, he is in complete control over everything that happens.”

    Since we do not know whose names are not written in the book of life, that is, those whom God did not choose before the world began, we are to preach the gospel to all. Those whose names were not written in the book of life will simply not respond. For them, there is no call, there is no draw to Christ. But thanks be to God in his sovereignty chose to save some.

    Yours in Christ

    • The elder shall serve the younger was indeed predestined and was prophetic of how the elder heaven shall serve the future victors from earth. It had absolutely nought on character of the two. Besides, we all know that both Esau and Jacob lived exemplary distinguished lives, and that the one had more blessings than the other in their earthly lives does not affect their spiritual destiny.

      Our physical lives are predestined in one way and extent or another, but not our spiritual choices. That absolutely is the surprise we live hete for to give God and the heavens. But as with all experiments, time is the limitting factor, and God, and the heavens have ways and means of evaluating us early on what choice our characters tend to. Then we are predestined based on that.

      Age by which we are evaluated is not fixed, nor static ad with earth systems but sccounts with God based on the particular talentts we are diffetentially endowed with.

      As for a name being blotted out of the book of life simly means when our character stumbles back to be worldly, whence we loose the title that is in the book of life. For these names were written at the creation of the world before any of us ever had been named or called.

      Lastly, a living dog is better than a dead lion. For as much as we still breeth, we have opportunity to surprise heaven by relenting our evil and repenting to find salvation. The greater the odds are piled against us, the greater the joy we bring heaven when we turn our ways to God eventuslly.

      The excuse of predestination of our lives is false and a tool of the evil to keep us complascent in evil.

  11. Hi John,

    First on the age by which youth is pre-evaluated of God, this is only known for certain by God. Besides it behoves that such evaluation depends and varies according to the divers talents He as invested in diffetent persons. Also such evaluation is strictly to determine trends and is not judgenent perse. Level of selgishness for one in children is such a determinant.

    There is no age thereafter that the resumption of the pilgrimage of heaven cannot be resumed, although finding God and serving him in ones youth is greatly desirable. The wages however is equal for all labourers i eternal life.

    On the names wretten in the book of life, if these were written from the creation of the world, then how do they get blotten out, then perhaps rewrtten.? No, but name refers to a character trait that requires to be written into our hearts. The names in the book of life are us conformed to godly character, and these names were since the foundation of creation. In us however, they are written within our life times. When for one reason or another we fall back into the world, we loose the character of godliness which equates to the name of life being blotted out of our hearts, and thus our new character/name is blotted from the book of life. Thus I understand the scripture.

    In regard to Pharaoh and hardening of hearts, is not this the same lineage of kings who had sought the reduction of the Hebrews by the murder of their newly born? And thse Pharohs are said to have been god-kings?

    Nevertheless, there is in scripture instances where God intervenes strongly in the free choice affair, but these are the exception and bear their purpose and reason rather than the norm. Like this prophet who was asked to marry a harlot for a wife, and I suppose it was not a relented harlot. In most of these cases however, its more about the physical attributes destiny, rather than spiritual predetermination.

    Besides, its also said that many are called, but few are chosen. Indeed, all are invited into the marriage supper of the lamb, but only a few have the will to attend, and were this few already with certainty knon of God, well then, he would have made a close work if it all.

  12. Predetermining the outcome of an event that one is also the chief part player in is called cheating. It is impossible for God to lie. Predestination of an entity even before the entity is brought forth into existence is outright cheating. God does do this. Rather what God does is predestining all those who are born of truth and in spirit, at whatever time that may be achieved. We must be born again so as to be pre destined in the rest of our spiritual journey.

    When the Lord says he knew one before they were in their mother’s womb and chose them to be his prophet, that is a pretty wide statement. For the earth is indeed our mother, and in the born again scenario, there is also womb and a mother, hence the birth in spirit and in truth. So whichever womb is being spoken of in such regard is a key to understanding the declaration. Further, it is said that its God will that all his children were prophets. Before birth after the flesh, everyone is called and chosen for heaven. Thats the default programme. But its in the journey of life that creation rejects this call and chooses for themselves many inventions.

    If however predestination was as mostly consindered people, which is an imagination against God, carnality will always falter when imagining the mind if God, for no one can learn the mind of Godexcept tge spiritually minded, if predrstination was as its often suppossed, then in all due respect, Lord, let me pass the heaven you predestine for me, for I certainly would never appreciate such, when others just as me were predestined for the other place at no action nor ommission of their own. Nevertheless, evil and iniquity I ever shall abhor from the little integrity of my heart and I would pray to be saved from its snare.

  13. Why?

    Here is the answer – it is within Scripture.

    “There are people who live on earth whose names have not been written in the book [scroll] of life since the beginning [foundation; creation] of the world. They will be amazed when they see the beast, because he was once alive, is not alive now, but will come again” (Rev. 17:8, Expanded Translation).

    Blessings
    Psalm 27

  14. Cindy,

    “There are people who live on earth whose names have not been written in the book [scroll] of life since the beginning [foundation; creation] of the world. They will be amazed when they see the beast, because he was once alive, is not alive now, but will come again” (Rev. 17:8, Expanded Translation).

  15. Barbara,

    Pray for them because they are under the oppression of darkness.

    “Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:14-16).

    “Almighty God, I give you all the glory and praise for Your loving-kindness. You are so gracious and full of mercy to me. You sent Your Son so that He would be my righteousness for my righteousness is but filthy rages (Isaiah 64:6). He is my light and my salvation (Psalm 27:1). Thank you Lord, for I am now clothed in a robe of righteousness (Isaiah 61:10).

    Lord, the Word tells me, if I walk in the light, as You are in the light, I have fellowship with one another, and Your blood cleanses me from all sin (1st John 1:7). Thank you Lord for you are my deliverer (Psalm 140).

    I put on the armor of light with gratitude for I am a child of the light” (1st Thessalonians 5:5). Thank you Father God.

    Father, the Word tells me, “the gospel is veiled to those who are perishing” because “the god of this world has blinded their minds, keeping them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2nd Corinthians 4:1-6).

    Father God I earnestly pray that the light of eternal Glory, the light that overcomes darkness shine down upon (person’s name), dispelling the oppressive god of this world, keeping them from hearing the Gospel.

    I say this believing that the light will shine 24/7 upon them, driving the demonic oppression away, allowing their ears to be open to the glory of Christ.

    Please, give me the words to speak to them when the Spirit opens a conversation at His appointed time. Thank you Lord for sending the Spirit, my helper and counsel (John 15:26, 16:13 & 1st Corinthians 12:11).

    In the mighty name of Jesus, let the heavenly light of glory shine down, filling (name the home, office, church or classroom), where my beloved (family member, co-workers, or friend) resides so that they may experience peace of mind and soul, opening that specific place to the work of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:17).

    I rebuke the workers of darkness in the name of Jesus.

    The Word says, “but if anyone who follows the true way comes to the light. Then the light will show that whatever they have done was done through God” (John 3:16-21). I pray that they (name of person or those is a specified location), come out of darkness and into the Light.

    For God said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in my heart, giving me the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:1-6).

    You are my lamp, O Lord (2nd Samuel 22:29). Thank you Lord.

    In Jesus name I pray, amen”

    “’Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them.

    Then Jesus said to them again, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly'” (John 10:1-10, NKJV).

  16. Denise,

    Here is the answer – it is within Scripture.

    “There are people who live on earth whose names have not been written in the book [scroll] of life since the beginning [foundation; creation] of the world. They will be amazed when they see the beast, because he was once alive, is not alive now, but will come again” (Rev. 17:8, Expanded Translation).

    “…For the god of this world has blinded the unbelievers’ minds [that they should not discern the truth], preventing them from seeing the illuminating light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ (the Messiah), Who is the Image and Likeness of God” (2nd Corinthians 4:3-4, Amplified Translation).

    But God is full of mercy and compassion. He has given Him sheep, who know His voice and follow after Him (John 10).

    “You, LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light” (Psalm 18:28).

    Blessings
    Psalm 25

  17. Fall short?

    “[Therefore] My brothers and sisters, try hard [make every effort; strive] to be certain that you really are called and chosen by God [confirm your calling and election]. [For] If you do all these things, you will never ·fall [stumble]. And you will be given a very great [rich; lavish] welcome [entrance; arrival] into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:10-11, Expanded Translation).

    “…make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.

    For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins” (2 Peter 1:5-9, ESV).

    Blessings
    Psalm 40

  18. Denise,

    John Piper does writes thoughtful books and articles (smart guy). But, he struggles with comprehending the power of the Spirit (lacks child-like faith).

    I don’t think John has spoken a prayer, believing he has been given the Keys to the Kingdom. He likes to think, contemplate about the Keys but does not apply them.

    If you know someone who is not a Believer – and your heart’s desire is for them to come to the saving knowledge of the Gospel – pray this aloud, fervently (James 5:16).

    I know a woman who has prayed similar words for about a year. Her prayer is in the process of being answered this past couple of weeks. The evidence of her prayers being answered is an amazing change/transformation in the mindset and behaviors of the person being prayed for- thank you Lord.

    “Father, the Word tells me, “the gospel is veiled to those who are perishing” because “the god of this world has blinded their minds, keeping them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2nd Corinthians 4:1-6).

    Father God I earnestly pray that the light of eternal Glory, the light that overcomes darkness shine down upon (person’s name), dispelling the oppressive god of this world, keeping them from hearing the Gospel.

    I say this believing [confident] that the light will shine 24/7 upon them, driving the demonic dark oppression away, allowing their ears to be open to the glory of Christ.

    Please, give me the words to speak to them when the Spirit opens a conversation at His appointed time. Thank you Lord for sending the Spirit, my helper and counsel (John 15:26, 16:13 & 1st Corinthians 12:11).

    In the mighty name of Jesus, let the heavenly light of glory shine down, filling (name the home, office, church or classroom), where my beloved (family member, co-workers, or friend) resides so that they may experience peace of mind and soul, opening that specific place to the work of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:17).

    I rebuke the workers of darkness, in the name of Jesus.

    The Word says, “but if anyone who follows the true way comes to the light. Then the light will show that whatever they have done was done through God” (John 3:16-21). I pray that they (name of person), come out of darkness and into the Light.

    For God said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in my heart, giving me the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:1-6).

    Blessings
    Psalm 25

  19. John,

    You wrote, “But at a partucular age, God determines for each of us that we have become of age, and are tried as to what character trait we opt to bear as our name.”

    What?

    Scripture tells us, “There are people who live on earth whose names have not been written in the book [scroll] of life since the beginning [foundation; creation] of the world. They will be amazed when they see the beast, because he was once alive, is not alive now, but will come again” (Rev. 17:8, Expanded Translation).

    Parable time –

    “And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. Again he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.”’ But they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.’ And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests.

    “But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:1-14, ESV).

    Many are called, hearing His voice and opening their heart’s door to Him. They follow after Him wherever He goes.

    “Jesus said, ‘I tell you the truth – the person who does not enter the sheepfold [sheep pen] by the door [gate], but climbs in some other way, is a thief and a robber. [C The sheep represent the people of God; the thief/robber stands for those who would lead them astray; Ps. 23; Ezek. 34.]

    The One who enters by the door [gate] is the Shepherd of the sheep. The One who guards the door [gatekeeper; watchman] opens it for Him. And the sheep listen to the voice of the Shepherd. He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out [compare Num. 27:15–17].

    When He brings all His sheep out, He goes ahead of them, and they follow Him because they know His voice. But they will never follow a stranger. They will run away from him because they don’t know his voice.”

    Jesus told the people this story [figure of speech; illustration; parable], but they did not understand what it meant [he was telling them].

    So Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth [L Truly, truly I say to you], I am the door [gate] for the sheep. [C Jesus now refers to himself as the door rather than the shepherd.]

    All the people who came before me were thieves and robbers [C others who claimed to be the Messiah]. The sheep did not listen to them. I am the door [gate], and the person who enters through me will be saved and will be able to come in and go out and find pasture [compare Ps. 118:20, Ps. 23:1-3].

    A thief comes [L only] to steal and kill and destroy, but I came to give life [L that they might have life]—life in all its fullness [abundance]'” (John 10-1-10, Expanded Translation).

    Chosen – these would be individuals like Paul (and others) who know by experience (Devine appointment). There are relatively very few chosen and they know this by a supernatural experience. The chosen experience is confirmed many times over. Even the enemy knows those who are chosen, which is another confirmation.

    Blessings
    Psalm 1

  20. Denise,

    God told Moses what would happen – before Moses did anything. This was a pre-planned event. God told Moses what to expect.

    “And the Lord said to Moses, ‘When you return into Egypt, see that you do before Pharaoh all those miracles and wonders which I have put in your hand; but I will make him stubborn and harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go'” (Exodus 4:20-22).

    http://legacy.biblegateway.com/keyword/?search=Heart&version=AMP&searchtype=phrase&spanbegin=2&spanend=12

    Why?

    “I will harden (make stubborn, strong) Pharaoh’s heart, that he will pursue them, and I will gain honor and glory over Pharaoh and all his host, and the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord. And they did so” (Exodus 14:4).

    All Egypt and the surrounding kingdoms became aware of God’s great power and His might. Amen. So it will be in the very near future.

    God does this with His servant leaders, including Gideon:

    “The camp of Midyan was in the valley below him. That night Adonai said to him, “Get up and attack the camp, because I have handed it over to you. But if you are afraid to attack, go down with your servant Purah; and after you hear what they are saying, you will have the courage to attack the camp’ (Judges 7:8-11).

    Including Joshua:

    “‘Be strong, be bold; for you will cause this people to inherit the land I swore to their fathers I would give them. Only be strong and very bold in taking care to follow all the Torah which Moshe my servant ordered you to follow; do not turn from it either to the right or to the left; then you will succeed wherever you go. Yes, keep this book of the Torah on your lips, and meditate on it day and night, so that you will take care to act according to everything written in it. Then your undertakings will prosper, and you will succeed. Haven’t I ordered you, ‘Be strong, be bold’? So don’t be afraid or downhearted, because Adonai your God is with you wherever you go'” (Joshua 1:6-9).

    We have been given a choice, hearing His voice and answering the call,

    “But if from there you will seek (inquire for and require as necessity) the Lord your God, you will find Him if you [truly] seek Him with all your heart [and mind] and soul and life” (Deut. 4:29).

    “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you but [reverently] to fear the Lord your God, [that is] to walk in all His ways, and to love Him, and to serve the Lord your God with all your [mind and] heart and with your entire being…” (Deut. 10:12).

    Amen.

  21. Denise,

    Pharaoh had no choice – it is part of a Devine strategic plan, going back to the garden – see Genesis 5, “This is the book of the generations of Adam…”

    With that understanding, we can read Genesis and all Scriptures, seeing the generations of Adam (God’s chosen people) unfold, expand and grow like a family tree.

    Adam was created and placed in a garden as the father of Noah, Abraham, David – the human genealogy of Yeshua born of Mary. There were other peoples created but not placed in His garden. Cain left the garden, married a woman, and built a city (civilization of men not chosen).

    We are grafted into the “Adam family tree”, thank you Lord.

    However – “There are people who live on earth whose names have not been written in the book [scroll] of life since the beginning [foundation; creation] of the world…(Rev. 17:8, Expanded Translation).

    God knows who are His and who are children of Satan (father of lies).

    I’m still trying to understand all of this – but Scriptures tells us.

    Blessings
    Psalm 25

    • dj; we know that the word of god says; no one can come to the father least the father draw them, for god to be just, and it can be no other way, then at least one time each human god draws to the lord, they make a free will choice weather to knock on the door or not to. now for many are called but few are chosen is another matter completely, it is my belief that the called are those who accept christ but some of them fall back to their old ways and that is how their name is blotted out of the book of life. as for those who god chooses; these people do not know that they are chosen of god to have eternal life, they could not know for if they did, they could do as they wish with no fear of judgement by god. no one is predestined to go to the lake of fire (i am referring to humans) god wishes that all may find the light, he simply knows many will not. it can be no other way. if it were then god would not be just. and that is not possible, god cannot lie.

      • Hi Johnwaltz,

        The verse that you quoted which says, “No man can come to the Son except the Father draw him” would support God’s soverenity, not that God comes to each person and draws them. Paul made the issue of God’s foreknowing and predestination very clear when he said,

        “Not only that, but Rebekah’s children were conceived at the same time by our father Isaac. Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: not by works but by him who calls—she was told, “The older will serve the younger.”Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

        When speaking of this issue, Paul also made God’s sovereignity clear when he said,

        “Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?”

        But then you might say the same thing as in Paul’s following example to those who would protest about God’s election:

        “One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?” But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ ”

        Revelation also makes it clear that the names of those whom God would call, their names were already written in the book of life before the world began and there were names that were not written in.

        What about the people that God did not chose and whose names were not written in the book of life before the world began? They are still sinners and are accountable for them. God’s choice of not chosing them does not change that. It is God who justifies the wicked and as Scritpture states, “He has mercy upon whom he will have mercy and compassion upon whom he will have compassion.”

        And then there is this Scripture:

        “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

        The words, “And those he predestined” means that there were some that were not predestined.

        “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.”

        “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,”

        Foreknew – proginosko

        “proginṓskō (from 4253 /pró, “before” and 1097 /ginṓskō, “to know”) – properly, foreknow; used in the NT of “God pre-knowing all choices – and doing so without pre-determining (requiring) them”

        Predestinied – Proorizo

        “means “establish boundaries,” the added prefix (pro, “before”) makes 4309 (proorízō) “to pre-establish boundaries,” i.e. before creation.]

        Salvation is not in man’s hands, but in God’s. In his sovereignity, He did the chosing before the world began.

    • dj

      it may be that god can only harden what is already there.

      pharoah had the “cement” already in his heart…and god just hardened the cement, as punishment.

      • Hi Marianne,

        You said:
        “it may be that god can only harden what is already there. pharoah had the “cement” already in his heart…and god just hardened the cement, as punishment.”

        What you said above wouldn’t explain the rest of the Scripture which says:

        “For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”

        God didn’t say, “I raised up because you were already hardened, so no harm no foul.” The verse above demonstrates God’s sovereignity in that he can do whatever he wants. Notice that God says, “for this very purpose.” It therefore had nothing to do with Pharoah’s heart, but by God’s purpose. God’s sovereignity is also demonstrated by what Paul said:

        “Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?

        Here’s the new living translation of the same verse:

        “When a potter makes jars out of clay, doesn’t he have a right to use the same lump of clay to make one jar for decoration and another to throw garbage into?”

        With the demonstration of pharoah, Jacob and Esau, not to mention the fact that Scripture states that the names of the saved were written in the book of life before the world even began and there were names that were not written, it should be obvious that this is a preordained plan of God.

        So this is how it goes: God foreknew those whom he chose to save and wrote their names in his book before the world began, and when those people each come into the world and they hear the gospl, a little switch gets flipped on (our calling) and we respond. When we respond by receiving Christ, we are then justified (made righteous). We then begin the life-long process of being transformed into his image.

        • so should we stop praying for those who seem hardened to the gospel? and leave them unsaved?

          • i agree marianne. we are all aware of the verses that speak of god being the potter and man being the clay, and others similar, i still hold my belief that god would not create a human being and then automatically not place their name in the book of life as some have stated, first you half to accept jesus as savior, then your name is in the book of life. what about David who stated; take not my name out of thy book of life? this single verse states the fact that your name can be removed from the lamb’s book of life. god would not make a human soul and not give that soul a chance for everlasting life in heaven period. the reasons are obvious.

          • Hi Marianne,

            I’ll answer your question with a question: Do you know who God has chosen and whose names he had written in the book of life? If not, then we should continue to pray and to testify of Christ and share his word with everyone.

    • Hi DJ,

      You said:
      “There were other peoples created but not placed in His garden. Cain left the garden, married a woman, and built a city (civilization of men not chosen).”

      God created Adam and Eve and from these two, people multiplied on the earth. Scripture does not support that other people were created. I assume that you are claiming that God created other people because Scritpure states that after Cain was banished he layed with his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. The error in this is that, Scripture does not state how long after his banishment that he found a wife. At that time people lived in the area of 900 years old. As an example, It could have been 50 to a 100 years before Cain found a wife. Furthermore, both Adam and Eve were banished from the garden after their sin and an angel was placed there to guard the way so that no one could enter. In the mean time, Adam and Eve would have continued to have children and their children and their children and so on and so forth. My point is that, since the garden was off limits, people would have begun to spread out over the land and therefore, Cain’s wife would have had to have come from the offspring of Adam and Eve. A lot of people can come about within 50 to 100 years.

      To claim that God creatted other people like he did with Adam and Eve is purely conjecture, as Scripture is silent regarding this issue.

  22. first line above should state; no one can come to the light of christ unless the father draw’s them (sorry)

  23. John,

    Consider the words of Jesus –

    Pick a few translations of John 17; reading slowly, and meditate upon the passage.

    BTW – Judas was “destined for destruction” (17:12, Common English Translation) to fulfill Scripture. Judas never had a chance.

    Think about it.

    God established Judas’ life (genealogy) before the foundations of the world were set, knowing what Judas would do in order to fulfill Scriptures. Then, Judas would die, spending eternity in the lake of fire.

    It seems to me that God is applying Holy righteousness. He is God.

    http://legacy.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%2017&version=ESV;EXB;NKJV

    Key phrases within the chapter:

    “I pray for them [Desciples].

    I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them.

    I have guarded them [especially Peter] and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.

    Father, I desire that they also [Believers, followers beyond the Desciples], whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world” (John 17, NKJV).

    The above is in context as follows:

    “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word.

    Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me.

    I am praying for them.

    I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours.

    All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you.

    Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.

    While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.

    But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world [Satan is the Prince of this world].

    I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.

    They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.

    Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.

    As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.

    I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.

    The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.

    Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.

    O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them” (John 17, English Standard).

    So – here is what I think.

    I’m not God and so I don’t understand His ways or thoughts. He is God.

    Because I don’t know who is called and who is chosen, I’m to proclaim the Good News as a servant of the Lord.

    There are a lot of people living in this world and living, working around me that need to be in His ark while the door is open. His will be done.

    Blessings
    Rev. 12:11

    • dj ; what you are stating would make it seem that their are people that have no chance whatsoever repeat whatsoever to have a chance at eternal life in heaven. that is contrary to god. every human has the free will to either knock on the door or not knock on the door that leads to christ, jesus said; anyone who knocks i shall in no way not open unto them. the word of god also states that god wishes that all would come to the knowledge of christ, and none be lost, even though he knows some will. if anyone puts forth a message to people that in effect states your destiny is already set, (i am not referring to god or christ) then the enemy will make sure that this stays in the minds of those that have not seen the light of christ. that is a dangerous thing to tell people that are lost and may read on this sight, or be told this by someone that believes that everyone’s destiny is set already, therefore they have no free will.

  24. I never heard of a potter who creates a vessel so as they may destroy it. Perhaps only an insane one. Potters however do make vessels suitable for diverse uses and occassions. The key lesson in God’s pottery is that we all can’t be of the same glory and use in our earthly abode. And we have no right to question God why it is so, that some of us will be servants to others, and others will be kings, yet all be required to know and follow God.

    The pottery vessels are of clay, hence appropriate to our earth vessels and not the celestial glory that is promised. The earth vessel being the basis which we determine and build the spiritual character within us, is thereby debated, and of essence, lest anyone find occassion for excuses that they did not find God and heaven owing to their limitations in the flesh. For it has been proven, that not by might nor flesh do we attain godliness but by heeding to the Spirit of God.

    Predestination on spiritual grounds just as with prophetic warning is conditional to the choices we make daily. If one that has been righteous then ceases in the way of righteousness, then naught of their past righteousness is of any effect thereafter. The same serves for iniquity. These words in Isaiah ought to illustrate what nature if predestination there is with God. For by every choice we make in our earthly vessels, God has predestined us, based on our daily and aggregate choices, to either of the two eternal rewards.

    Predestination does not negate the free-will doctrine but rather operates within it. When we have made the wrong choice of evil, then God first reasons with us to forsake evil and choose the good, but when we are determined in our ways, then the same God reinforces our way in error, after we are pre-judged, that we may experience the fruit of iniquity and perharps in due time learn to hate it.

    Nobody has a name at the time they are physically born, as name denotes character, and no character is of the unborn. The spiritual birth however entitles us to names,of which some are found written in that book of life, and others not. To obtain this name however is usually our individual choices and not predetermined nor predestined of God as such would make God unjust and a liar and He has no part in either.

    Well, what kind of words can be used to dissuade man from imagining they have been predestined to operate in evil and culminate in destruction, save perhaps to reinforce with them, that as much as they revel in ‘predestined evil’ then as much will they rejoice in their ‘predestined’ destruction, within their ‘predestined’ futile complaints, and as predestined, the righteous will understand that it had all been their choices that had prompted God to predestine creation appropriately and that their is no injustice with God.

    So as the scriptures advise, let not even the scriptures separate us from the love of God, nor their misinterpretation of predestination and its time frames. Secondly, when you have preached to any town/person at least thrice and they forbear, let them be and leave their destiny with God, only warning them of the loss they court in rejecting the gospel of Christ.

    For it is clearly stated that the fuel of destruction is for those who were judged in times past, the Devil and his angels, but sadly have they fooled multitudes upon earth to join them.

    Its pretty unwise to sing the excuse of predestination while revelling in iniquity, for what shall one do, or gain when it is eventually proven to them that they instead choose destruction for themselves and had been fooled into miscomprehending predestination?

    Evil as drug addiction, when starting up on a drug, its usually by cognisant choice, whether by peer pressure or otherwise. But once the habit kicks in, and addiction folliws, thats predestination to death, unless a rehabilitation program can be followed to success. Our early sins/righteousness are as such the choices we make, and thereafter is the addiction by which we become predrstined to destruction unless we successfuly integrate with the salvation program that then predetines us to eternal life.

    Its a hard topic this predestination, but whatever our understanding of it should be, let it conform to the character of God, that He does not lie, nor is he unjust, and let iur conversation be so also lest we be as those who place stumbling blocks against their fellows.

    • john; i agree completely, any person that is a christian and truly believes that god would make a human being, and then give that soul no chance whatsoever to come to the light of salvation, and the soul was predestine to go to the lake of fire forever and forever without end, is not reading the spiritual meaning of the verses used regarding predestination, almighty god would not do such a thing. every christian who is worth their salt should know this./////// and of further point; when it states that god hardened pharaohs heart, which actually states; I WILL HARDEN PHARAOHS HEART. the I , is pretty obvious.! if i state i am going to do something, then it is i who have done it. that is pretty simple to understand.

  25. Johnwaltz and all,

    From what I gather from your arguments, they would infer that people are entitled to God’s grace, but in fact we are not. It is amazing to me that with all the Scripture supporting God’s sovereignity, that there are those who deem it unjust for God to chose some, but not others. That attitude displays entitlement, yet, no one is entitled to God’s grace.

    We do not nor can we save ourselves. It is God who justifies the wicked and he did the chosing. Rememeber, we are all sinners and are not entitled to God’s grace. It is a free gift. You may say that if God choses some, but not others that this is unjust, but remember, no one is entitled to salvation. Again, it is a free gift and only to those whom God chose. Though there are those who’s names that were not written in the book of life before the world began, they are still guilty and will be accountable for their sins. God did not not chose them, but he did not lead them to commit their sins and so they are still accountable for them.

    This is what the Holy Spirit is coveying through Paul regarding the Scripture pertaining to Pharoah of which God says, “I raised you up for this very purpose.” This should alert any read that this was God’s doing. Like wise, the Scriptures that state, before either of the twins were born God said, “Jacob I have loved, but Esau if have hated,” also show that God has mercy on whom he will have mercy and compassion upon whom he will have compassion. Then you take into consideratiion the Scripture that states that God as the potter has the right to make some vessels for special purposes and some for common use which shows that God being the potter does what he wants. Then we have two verses in Revelation that state “The inhabitants whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world,” which further displays God’s election.

    It is by God’s favor (grace) that he saved anyone at all! Let’s look at it from this angle, what if God chose not to save any at all? What if there was no plan of salvation? Could we say to God that he is unjust? Not at all! And that because salvation is through God’s favor and not something that we are intitled to. So God saved those whom he chose before the world began, throughout every generation of history and there are those he didn’t show his favor to, yet they are still accountable because of sin.

    • dmcal52; when the word of god states ; many are called but few are chosen, it is speaking of christians,and those who have not accepted jesus yet. the chosen are people that only god knows only, god does choose some people but as i stated earlier those that are chosen do not know it. going back to god hardening pharaohs heart;it specifically states in exodus chapter 7 vrs3; AND I WILL HARDEN PHARAOH’S HEART…../ it does not matter if pharaoh had a hard heart prior. god states ; I WILL HARDEN./// as for trying to imply that god would create human repeat HUMAN SOULS, and never give them a chance at salvation, that is plain nuts./ i am not going to argue scripture here god would not intentionally allow a human soul to be born or even exist if they would have been damned prior by god , that goes against the holy spirit.///////

  26. interesting discussion…Salvation is of the Lord..100 percent ! I believe thru his grace we are saved by faith. T he bible says when we seek him with all our heart we will find him not with 99 percent but 100. ie total commitment to find him.Then the holy spirit can and will reveal Christ and his saving power to the helpless hopeless sinner.Praise His name.Chist came to seek and save the lost. ie. me !

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