I have not been on this chat in 3 years but I felt heavily compelled in my heart to write this today.
I have always struggled to make sense of the predestination verses. (Romans 8: 29-30, Matthew 11:27, Psalm 65:4, Romans 9, etc.) To make sense of it I tried to think that God chose people to be saved based of knowing the future and seeing people choosing Him, hence the “foreknowing” but now I know how flawed that way of thinking is. In regards to free will I used to think how God made the way of salvation clear and just waited for us to accept like a gift. I now know how flawed that way of thinking is as well.
Yes, these predestination verses helped me to better understand but I still fought against it because I didn’t want to believe that God would choose some and not others. Ultimately I wanted to believe that I had a choice. How selfish and prideful I was to think that way.
It was not a verse about predestination that opened the door to the truth but actually verses about our utter depravity of sin:
God looks down from heaven
on all mankind
to see if there are any who understand,
any who seek God.
Everyone has turned away, all have become corrupt;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.
I have read these verses before but about 1-2 years ago these verses really hit home to how sinful I really am. We always want to find some kind of good in us, some kind of tiny little ray of light (even if it’s the act of choosing God) and to show God saying, “Look, I did this! I chose You!”
Ultimately that is pride. It is us trying to believe that we are capable of goodness outside of Christ. In reality that is not possible. Even as Christians we are filled with sin: our actions, out thoughts, even our prayers are tainted with sin. There is no escape, no explaining away, and no changing it. We are filled with sin at all times.
In addition, because we are always filled with sin, our base nature is to reject anything that is of Christ. We were born into rebellion and live on in ultimate rebellion before becoming a Christian. It is impossible for anything in us to choose the salvation of Christ. No matter how free, wonderful, loving etc…..it is impossible. Our sin nature would never allow it. Evil would never choose its destruction which is Christ.
That is how I finally realized that predestination makes sense. Because it is literally the ONLY way that I would ever “choose” salvation. It is the Spirit of God that has given me the desire for Jesus, and it is His Spirit that has given me the power to “choose” Him.
Yes, at the age of eight, I remember making a conscience decision to accept His salvation through faith. I remember my fear of my sin and hell, desiring His love, of wanting a Father. I remember choosing Him. But I have come to realize that these desires for Him were not of myself but of His Spirit through me. I had no say in the matter.
Then how do I marriage the two facts that I consciously chose Him but also knowing that it is only God that would give me the desire to chose Him to begin with?
I don’t know. Any you know what? I am ok with that. I trust God that He knows how it works and that gives me peace. Confusion is not always a bad thing. Sometimes you just have to lay it at the feet of Jesus and say, “Lord, You know.”
There is song that I have found by a Christian rapper named Shai Linne called “Election”. I highly recommend you give it a listen as it explains Election/Predestination quite well. I know you might have heard how free will is like someone who is floating out at sea and salvation is God throwing a rope at us and all we have to do is grab it. There is a part of this song that explains how flawed that line of thinking is:
“Some people say that we were drowning in the ocean
Barely floating until God threw us the rope then
Our free will helped us as we groped
Our faith is the hand that grabbed the rope and God put us back in the boat
Nope! Without apology I deny that analogy
Reality- we were dead at the bottom of the sea
I was a swollen corpse with hope no more
Until Jehovah the LORD dove from the shore to the ocean floor
Yeah, I was a corpse and I smelled like it
I’ll keep it simple, why did God choose me? Because He felt like it!
He brought me out, not an act of my volition
Breathed life into my lungs and didn’t ask for my permission”
I was a corpse at the bottom of the ocean. I could not grab that rope nor would I ever want to even if I could.
Honestly, I so glad that I had no say in my salvation. How awful would it be that God had to depend on our choice? That is like stripping power out of God’s hands and placing it in ours. Knowing how utterly sinful and disgusting I am, I am so thankful that it could only be by the grace of God that I could ever be saved. Depending on myself to accomplish any type of good is horrifying because I know that I am not capable of producing any good at all outside of Christ.
Lord Jesus, thank You!
I apologize for this being so long haha. It was just on my heart all morning as I was cleaning the house.