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About Predestination

Question: what’s you’re position on Predestination? Do you believe God sovereignly chose the eternal destinies of all people? Do all men have the ability and freedom to believe? Or both? I believe the Bible says both are true somehow.

Answer: I'm confident that being all-knowing is not the same thing as being all-controlling.

Despite what it means (which I don't think is entirely clear), what is clear to me is that Jesus told me and anyone who hears, to believe in him for everlasting life. Regardless of election, and destiny, it seems to me that we have an incumbent responsibility to consider the evidence and have an open mind about him. Trying to spin things into some complex version of future-seeing voodoo seems damaging to the simple message of grace. 

Why try to make it so hard and complicated? Jesus said, "Believe." Whether he predestined me to believe or not, does not remove the responsibility that he presses me with. 

Predestination may be a heavenly mechanism, but belief is our earthly responsibility. 

It's like this: My wife tells me to take the car and pick up a gallon of milk. My responsibilities are simple. Do I need to know how a dairy farm works, how the internal combustion engine on my car works, or how the cash register at the store works? No. I don't have to understand all the mechanisms that are in play for me to fulfill my duty and responsibility. 

In the same way, I don't have to understand predestination in order to believe in Jesus.

It's fun and edifying to learn and grow in knowledge. I like learning from the Bible, and I'm in love with the words God gave to mankind. However, there are lots of things I don't understand. When I'm faced with verses that are beyond my cognitive grasp I have a choice. I could spend all my time arguing and bickering with people about what it means, which would draw me away from the task of evangelism and discipleship. Or, I could say, "I don't get it, but that's fine." and keep doing evangelism and discipleship. 

When the confusing mechanistic concepts begin to cause divisions among believers (especially when they are non-essential issues) that makes my stomach turn.

God's ways are beyond our understanding. Predestination falls squarely in the realm of "God's ways." There is no instruction from the verses about predestination that I spend all my time trying to understand. In fact, that seems incredibly wasteful. 

What's essential is that people believe in Jesus for salvation. What's not essential, is that I or others understand how predestination works. Let's focus on what matters, for the time is short.


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