Archive for September, 2021

Predestination (Faith vs. Works)

Sunday, September 26th, 2021

I read your piece on predestination. I found it very interesting. The one part of it I cannot reconcile is the idea that God doesn’t grant the unsaved the WILL to turn to Him. Yes, I know the Lord “hardened” men in the Old Testament, but to me, the idea that He would deliberately “cripple” the intellect of some men, and thus deny them the freedom to choose to love him and follow His laws seems inconceivable. We are told in the New Testament that ALL are granted “a measure of faith,” and that “all” are capable of being saved, not just an elite group of pre-determined people.

I also see a conflict in the idea that God “looking down the corridors of time” would mean that He is in time, when in a different place you say the elect was created “in the past.” The “past” would also imply a time bound decision and put God in time, wouldn’t it? Hence, if the time-bound rule stand; that is, that any explanation that puts God in time can be impeached, then it seems the entire idea of “pre” determinism can be impeached, no? …

Thank you for your questions. You have touched upon some difficult issues, but I’ll do my best to try to shed some light on them.¬†Yes, I believe that evangelization includes acts of human effort. However, neither this nor any other human effort is required for one to be saved. If there is any merit in a believer performing evangelism, then he will be rewarded for it at the Judgment Seat of Christ, but it has nothing to do with his salvation.

Yes, I do believe in the doctrine of election (or predestination). Specifically, you asked, “What is the point of evangelicals going out and communicating/preaching to the unsaved that they can be saved, if God alone can choose to save them, and they have no choice in the matter whatsoever?” First of all, the point in performing the evangelism is that we are commanded to do so (Matthew 28:18-20). Also, we do not know which people are among the elect, or even which people are truly saved, since we don’t truly know the heart of any other person. So, we must spread the gospel to everyone.

You also asked, “Why would I go tell an unsaved man that he can repent and believe and be saved, when in reality he can only repent and believe and be saved if he has been pre-determined to be saved?” This, of course, is the more difficult question. I believe that it is technically true to tell an unbeliever that he can be saved if he believes the gospel. However, it’s also a fact that the non-elect person simply will not believe. It’s still true that he would be saved if he believed, but the Holy Spirit will simply never move his will to make him believe. If, on the other hand, the person that we explain the gospel to is among the elect, the Holy Spirit will (at some point) move upon his will to believe the gospel. In some cases, it will be our explanation of the gospel that finally compels that person to believe, and in other cases, it will not be.

For a full explanation of my position on election, please see my article entitled Predestination.