Predestination or free will?

  • Christian Chat is a moderated online Christian community allowing Christians around the world to fellowship with each other in real time chat via webcam, voice, and text, with the Christian Chat app. You can also start or participate in a Bible-based discussion here in the Christian Chat Forums, where members can also share with each other their own videos, pictures, or favorite Christian music.

    If you are a Christian and need encouragement and fellowship, we're here for you! If you are not a Christian but interested in knowing more about Jesus our Lord, you're also welcome! Want to know what the Bible says, and how you can apply it to your life? Join us!

    To make new Christian friends now around the world, click here to join Christian Chat.

Jaybrewer

Junior Member
May 17, 2018
30
4
8
54
Austin, Texas
#61
I have learned from past experience that it is a complete waste of time trying to explain anything to you and I am sure that this will have no effect on you. However, for the sake of others who may be following this, let me explain.

Verse 30 is part of a larger context of amplification that I will not go into at this time except as it relates to verses 29-30.
Amplified comprehension carries us beyond any mere psychological understanding of who we are. Man is not just the product of a set of supposed random cause to effect natural events that we call the evolutionary process. This is nothing but foolishness. Our presence on this earth and our relationship to the Creator is a matter of the eternal will of God.
1. “For those whom He foreknew,”
This makes us the subject of eternal foreknowledge. We were in the mind of God before time began. This means that time and everything in it exists for the benefit of those whom God foreknew. The language expresses not individuals but a collective.
2. “He also predestined.”
We are embedded in the eternal arrangement of divine fellowship. This is the purpose for our existence in this world. To what then were we predestined?
* We are predestined to conformity, To be conformed to the image of his Son.” 29.
* We are predestined to first-born status, “that we might be the firstborn among many brethren.”

3. “Those whom predestined, he also called.”
There is a misconception about the extent of God's calling among Calvinists. This does not say that God only called those whom he foreknew. This is not an exclusionary act. This is assumed by Calvinism to defend their idea of election. The call is not just some mysterious nebulous feeling or irresistible desire that God imposes on the hearts of a select few. The call is the preaching of the gospel. Everyone who has ever heard the gospel preached has been called. 2Thesselonians 2:14, “It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The call is not limited to only a select and predetermined few, and not everyone who is called is chosen. Matthew 22:14, “Many are called but few (of those who are called) are chosen.” The invitation from the Lord goes out to all, and all who are willing are encouraged to “come.” Revelation 22:17-19, “The Spirit and the bride say, 'Come!' And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.” This is an open invasion to all. God is actively pursuing the willing. In so doing, he has called those whom he foreknew. In time, here on the earth, and while up to our necks in experiences, both good and bad, God has called us to this hope.
4. “These whom He called, He also justified;”
We stand in accredited righteousness, free from sin. As Paul says in 2Corinthians 5:21, “That we might become the righteousness of God in him.”
5. “These whom He justified, He also glorified.”
We are to be distinguished from those who rejected the amplified comprehension. Those who wish to live according to this world forfeit glorification by God for ephemeral concerns. This certainly does not exclude members of the body of Christ. We are certainly not perfect but, the Holy Spirit has amplified our understanding of who we are and what we are about. We now exist, “To be conformed to the image of his Son that we might be the firstborn among many brethren.”
None of this says that God predestined anyone to be saved and as chapter nine explains, this is about a collective and not individuals. What God predestined was that the saved would be conformed to the image of his Son, that they would be called, glorified, and justified.


Dead or alive, we are part of the eternal family of God and we will remain so even when this creation is assigned to destruction.
You sir, have hit the nail squarely upon its head. I applaud this.
 

calibob

Sinner saved by grace
May 29, 2018
8,188
5,417
113
Anaheim, Cali.
#62
I have a school dictionary (for kids) and a medical dictionary and omniscient isn't in them but I know what omnipotent means it God and nothing or no one else. Recently (today) it dawned to me that for reasons I can't explain, possibly some people have no soul like Caligula, Hitler, Stalin, Manson... Those with a soul are predestined to desire God from within. When they can't find him, they make one up. Idolitry, Astrology, Necromancy... Others simply run from him and to their carnal desires but those who find him and follow him are rewarded. The human monsters I mentioned (and countless others) may be under some demonic influence, I can't say.

I'm not claiming this as fact mind you but in 'my' mind it explains how predestination and free will might both exist. I sure don't know but its a thought. calibob
 

preston39

Senior Member
Dec 18, 2017
1,675
240
63
#64
If God created everything then by logical extension he creates sin. If God did not create sin or free will then these were created by something or someone other than God or they continually pop randomly into existence from nonexistence.
j...,

You have it right...G-d created all....and that includes sin...so you and I would have a free will choice.
 
Mar 23, 2016
3,994
1,169
113
#65
Then God does not create everything, or God only created physical things. All mental things, then (such as will) were created by something or someone other than God and are thus beyond his control in determining whether or not mental things will exist before the fact. If mental things are not created by anyone or anything, they randomly and absurdly pop into existence from nonexistence.
When God told Adam in Gen 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it He knew Adam would, in fact, eat of the tree.

God did not want Adam to eat of the tree; God did not create Adam to eat of the tree. Adam did that all on his own, in complete disregard of God's instruction.

In spite of Adam's disobedience, God provided what was needed for mankind to once again live in peace with Him.

That it has taken thousands of years from the time Adam ate to yet realize the full promise of new heaven / new earth, does not mean God "creates sin", nor does it mean anything "randomly and absurdly" popped "into existence".

God knew Adam would fail and God made provision for Adam's failure.
 
May 17, 2018
118
46
28
#66
hmmm interesting GOD knows the future but each human does have a free will or choice. GOD can elect certain individuals for a certain tasks but the fate of the humans who chooses not to serve GOD can come with many consequences. Remember the enemy Satan comes for our souls to take control of our minds..perhaps for example you choose the route that leads to destruction than you already made the choice willingly or unwillingly. GOD can also change your ways to show you that what you are doing is not right but the final outcome is up to you in the end either to serve the world system or GOD. Their is no forceful attempt it is your free will. It is true your destiny can be altered due to unforeseen situations but you still have the choice to decide.
 

Dan58

Senior Member
Nov 13, 2013
1,987
320
83
#67
Everyone has free will, but I believe God predestined certain people for a specific purpose. The apostle Paul is a good example of that, he was busy persecuting Christians, but the Lord turned him around to take the gospel to the Gentles..
 

Adstar

Senior Member
Jul 24, 2016
6,365
2,878
113
#68
I've received an appropriate number of responses about my gay bashing post but it was mostly about gays, the second paragraph questioned predestination. I was not being sarcastic when I admitted I don't understand it. Predestination, free will or both, I want to know. The only text I have I have trusted over biblical matters is the bible, (usually NIV) and it isn't clear to me. Can it be both? Please respond. CaliBob
The debate is not Free will vs predestination.. because Both are supported in the Bible..

The reason there is a debate is because it is a debate between free will vs the Calvinist interpretation of Biblical predestination..

Calvinism teaches that God creates some people who have no free will, that God controls like they are automatons with no self will, forcing them to accept the offer of salvation and thus they are saved.. In Calvinism God also creates a lot of other people ( the majority ) to also be God controlled automatons who are blocked from accepting the offer of salvation and thus they where created for no other purpose but for God to show how ""awesome?"" He is in casting these people into hell because he created them to suffer in hell forever and ever..

Of course i see such a doctrine as being a huge insult to Gods character.. To say that God created people who have absolutely no opportunity to be saved but where predestined to burn forever makes God into an evil being..

So what is Biblical Predestination?

This verse is probably the most quoted predestination verse in the Bible Lets actually read it..

Romans 8: KJV
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."

Here we read that the word ""foreknow"" comes before the word predestinate.. This word ""foreknow"" is extremely important and should not be left out when people are trying to understand Predestination,, calvinists sadly have totally ignored this word and do not understand that it is the key to understanding biblical predestination..

God having knowledge of the future is well established in the Bible.. Indeed any form of prophecy about the future would be impossible if God did not know the future.. His Holy Spirit inspired prophets in the Bible to foretell the future events in this world because God foreknows all the future of the world, God knows the Beginning and the End and all in between.. God foreknows each and ever human being that will ever exist and He knew them all at the beginning of creation and from His foreknowledge of all our lives and how we would respond to His will He foreknew and did predestinate those who He knew would accept His will to be conformed to the image of the LORD Jesus Christ..

This is so basic.. Gods foreknowledge of our lives allows Him to foreknow all whom are going to be saved.. In this way we can have free will to either believe and trust in the LORD Jesus and we are free also to disbelieve and reject the LORD Jesus Christ.. In this way God remains justified in both saving and condemning individual humans based on their own free willed decision to accept or rebel against his will..

But sadly for those indoctrinated into the calvinist T.U.L.I.P 5 pillar doctrines they just cannot see the importance of the Word foreknow.. Indeed they try and reinterpret the word to fit into their ideology..

So it is not a case of free will vs Predestination..

It is a case of our free will AND Gods predestination based on His foreknowledge of our response to His will..
 

calibob

Sinner saved by grace
May 29, 2018
8,188
5,417
113
Anaheim, Cali.
#69
In the beginning God created everything. I think after Lucifer rebelled but not in the beginning he caused temptation (Satan cannot create) and Eve fell for it while Adam just stood by silent to see what happened. When he thought it was safe he did the same thing. Eve blamed the snake, "The snake beguiled me" she said, then Adam blamed the woman, then he blamed God, "the woman you gave me" he uttered. They both sinned tried to hide then both blamed someone else and to add insult Adam blamed God.

God was the only innocent party. Satan lied and told them (Eve was not alone) thew would become like God. They wern't honest and didn't appoloigise, I think they felt more sorry for themselves than for all of the sins they had comitted. So of course God got angry. I won't dare expound on Gods motivation fot allowing it to happen. Maybe God was angry at the devils betrayal (that got him cast down to earth) he allowed it to happen to teach them a lesson about arrogance but who cab read the mind of God? Not me. God is surely not to blame any more than a witness can be blamed for a crime. That's my best try.

It's Mjdnight here, goodnight bob





0
 

calibob

Sinner saved by grace
May 29, 2018
8,188
5,417
113
Anaheim, Cali.
#70
Everyone has free will, but I believe God predestined certain people for a specific purpose. The apostle Paul is a good example of that, he was busy persecuting Christians, but the Lord turned him around to take the gospel to the Gentles..
Yes, that's right he was chosen.. thank you, calibob
 
Mar 23, 2016
3,994
1,169
113
#73
God knowing Adam would sin is not the same as God "creating" sin.

God created Adam. Adam sinned.

God knew Adam would sin. God made provision for redemption.
 

JennyJ

New member
May 28, 2018
6
5
3
#74
From a logical standpoint I have this question..... If some are predetermined by God to be saved and some are predetermined by God not to be saved, then what initiative do we have to go to church? Is there really any purpose in having a missions program? Why should we even study the Bible? These are just a few of the questions I have when I think about predestination or God predetermining spiritual outcomes for us. I personally believe in Free Will I believe the Bible teaches that and I also believe God wants us to freely choose to love, serve, and worship him.
 
Mar 14, 2011
72,329
15,873
113
#75
I've received an appropriate number of responses about my gay bashing post but it was mostly about gays, the second paragraph questioned predestination. I was not being sarcastic when I admitted I don't understand it. Predestination, free will or both, I want to know. The only text I have I have trusted over biblical matters is the bible, (usually NIV) and it isn't clear to me. Can it be both? Please respond. CaliBob
Both

God can predestine based on free will, It just means he knows what is going to happen, and uses mans free will to make sure his plan is fulfilled.

example. pharaoh, He knew he would act the way he did, so he made sure he rose to power. vs someone else who would not have reacted in the way God needed him to react.

The bible says he predestined based on foreknowledge, God is outside time, and he knows all things,, not only that will happen, but could happen.. So he is perfectly able to be soverign and also, allow man the free will to relate to him as a father. In fact, it is required, no free will, no relationship.
 

Jaybrewer

Junior Member
May 17, 2018
30
4
8
54
Austin, Texas
#76
God knowing Adam would sin is not the same as God "creating" sin.
This is elementary. Using logic, it does not matter that God knew Adam would sin before God created the universe (yet decided to create Adam anyway rather than a sinless being like the angels...which would have prevented the entire gamut of suffering from the start). The point stands that if God did not create sin or the will to refuse salvation, then sin and will are created by something....or someone (!) other than God and God is helpless to prevent their creation by this other thing or person, or sin and will randomly pop into existence from non-existence without an antecedent cause or creative agency.

God created Adam. Adam sinned.
Using logic, God either created Adam's physical body but not any mental state (i.e. emotion, thought, will, etc.) or God created Adam's physical body and every mental state Adam will have from creation to death EXCEPT will. If the above is true then:

God did not create sin or the will to refuse salvation, then sin and will are created by something....or someone (!) other than God and God is helpless to prevent their creation by this other thing or person, or sin and will randomly pop into existence from non-existence without an antecedent cause or creative agency.
 

Jaybrewer

Junior Member
May 17, 2018
30
4
8
54
Austin, Texas
#77
From a logical standpoint I have this question..... If some are predetermined by God to be saved and some are predetermined by God not to be saved, then what initiative do we have to go to church? Is there really any purpose in having a missions program? Why should we even study the Bible? These are just a few of the questions I have when I think about predestination or God predetermining spiritual outcomes for us. I personally believe in Free Will I believe the Bible teaches that and I also believe God wants us to freely choose to love, serve, and worship him.
It's good that you see the logic problem that rears it's head in this. Many do not. It begs the question that if some are predetermined by God not to be saved, why create them, since they can only fulfill their predestined fate to end in hell? It would have been better never to have created them in the first place so that they could remain "happily" non-existent. One cannot argue that there is a chance for them to change their mind and choose salvation because God has foreknowledge that they are not going to choose salvation (or worse, lose it) and end in hell. They have been created only to end in hell. There is nothing they can do to prevent it. God's foreknowledge of past, present, and future is infallible, because if it wasn't it wouldn't be foreknowledge of a future event, but imagination of a possible future or idle imagination.

Norman Swartz in his paper: Notes On Free Will and Determinism explains the problem (if one sees it as a problem) of foreknowledge in this regard:

3. Epistemic Determinism (or, The Problem of Foreknowledge)

The following is the standard argument for Epistemic Determinism. It alleges to show that foreknowledge is incompatible with free will.
If x knows that you are going to do (some action) A, then you must do A. But if you must do A, then you have no choice in the matter. Thus if x knows (beforehand) what you are going to do, then you have no free choice. Put another way: foreknowledge is incompatible with free will.​
We will call this version of the Problem of Foreknowledge, the 'secular' version.

Often the argument is presented in its 'religious' version. In this second version, what is of primary interest to us is the relationship between omniscience and free will. For our purposes, I/we are neither assuming that God does exist nor assuming that God does not exist. We are simply examining the logical relationship between two concepts. (The puzzle occurs whether one is a theist or an atheist: Does foreknowledge preclude free will?)
God is omniscient, i.e. God knows everything (that is true) about the past, the present, and the future. In addition (it has been claimed), God has given human beings free will so that human beings can choose between good and evil.

But if God knows beforehand what you are going to choose, then you must choose what God knows you are going to choose. If you must choose what God knows you are going to choose, then you are not truly choosing; you may deliberate, but eventually you are going to choose exactly as God knew you would. There is only one possible upshot of your deliberating.

Thus if God has foreknowledge, then you do not have free will; or, equivalently, if you have free will, then God does not have foreknowledge.​
 
Mar 23, 2016
3,994
1,169
113
#78
Recently (today) it dawned to me that for reasons I can't explain, possibly some people have no soul like Caligula, Hitler, Stalin, Manson...
Every living person has a soul.

Those who appear to be soulless are those whose minds are reprobate to the point where the conscience is seared.

Romans 1 shows what happens:

Rom 1:16-17 — the gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation to those who believe and in it (the gospel) the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith.

Rom 1:18 — the wrath of God is revealed against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness. (The words hold the truth in unrighteousness mean that the truth is restrained or suppressed in unrighteouosness.)

Rom 1:19-21 — God reveals Himself in creation and people turn from Him and are not thankful. They become vain in their imaginations and the foolish heart becomes darkened.

Rom 1:22-24 — because the heart is darkened, they change the glory of God into an image (idolatry).

They are given up to uncleannesss through the lusts of their own hearts.

Rom 1:24-26 — because they are given up to uncleanness, they dishonor their bodies. The truth of God is changed into a lie and creation is worshipped more than the Creator.

They are given up to vile affections and the natural is changed into that which is against nature.

Rom 1:27-28 — because they are given up to vile affections, they burn in their lust and work that which is unseemly which results in receiving the adequate compensation for their error.

They are given over to a reprobate mind.

Rom 1:29-32 — actions of those with a reprobate mind. They know the judgment of God and continue in their foolishness and also have pleasure in those who do the same.

People are not born with a reprobate mind. They are allowed to step further and further from God and at certain points, God releases them to their foolishness. it is a downward spiral from their foolish heart was darkened (Rom 1:21) to God gave them over to a reprobate mind (Rom 1:28). It does not happen overnight. It is a progression over time.

At any point, a person can turn to God. God forgives those who are truly repentant. We have this lifetime to turn to God. Look at the malefactor who hung on the cross next to Jesus (Luke 23:39-43).
 
Mar 23, 2016
3,994
1,169
113
#79
The point stands that if God did not create sin or the will to refuse salvation, then sin and will are created by something….or someone (!) other than God and God is helpless
Sin and will are not created. Sin and will result from the actions of that which was created by God.

God is not helpless as it is God in His infinite wisdom Who devised the redemption of mankind (much to the dismay of satan who, if he had known of the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory would never have crucified the Lord of glory - 1 Cor 2:7-8).
 

oldhermit

Senior Member
Jul 28, 2012
8,802
447
83
66
Texas
#80
Sin and will are not created. Sin and will result from the actions of that which was created by God.

God is not helpless as it is God in His infinite wisdom Who devised the redemption of mankind (much to the dismay of satan who, if he had known of the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory would never have crucified the Lord of glory - 1 Cor 2:7-8).
Actually, will, like all other character traits that man possesses, is a shared conditionality with God. They are part of our identity with God. We are created in his image and after his likeness and every characteristic we have is a reflection of the nature of God. The difference is that we possess these character traits within limited parameters, God does not.