Not Chosen To Salvation
By Dr. Max D. Younce, Pastor
HERITAGE BAPTIST BIBLE CHURCH
P.O. Box 573| Walnut Grove, MN 56180 | Telephone (507) 859-2519
EXPLAINING PREDESTINATION AND FOREKNOWLEDGE
The word "predestination" comes from the Greek verb "proorizo." It means, according to Vine's Expository Words on the Greek New Testament, to "mark out beforehand, to determine before, foreordain." In essence, "predestination" means that something has been predicted by God and it must and will come to pass. The word "predestinate" as translated in the KJV is found only twice; that being in Romans 8:29 and 30. "Predestinated" is found only twice and that is in Ephesians; once in Ephesians 1:5 and once in 1:11. These two words do not appear in the Old Testament. We shall examine who is predestinated, what event is predestinated and when it will take place.
Let us begin with Ephesians 1:5...
"Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of his will."
Notice who is predestinated. It can only be one of two groups: the saved or the lost. Paul identifies the children of God as the object of being predestinated, "Having predestinated us (plural pronoun)." This is Paul and every saved person. God did not predestinate anyone to be saved, but this teaches He predestinated something for those who are already saved.
What did God predestinate for the Christian? The Scriptures are pure and simple. The Christian is predestinated unto the adoption of children (Greek, HUIOTHESIA, meaning sonship). When we trust Christ as our Savior, we become His children:
"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons (Greek, TEKNON, meaning-a child.) of God, even to them that believeth on his name."
We are positioned in Heaven as a son now, but we do not come to the realization of our sonship until the Rapture.
The Jewish Bar Mitzvah may aid in understanding adoption and sonship. Bar Mitzvah means "a son of the commandments, or the placing of a son." When a Jewish boy reaches the age of 13, he is then considered as a adult. He is expected to accept adult religious responsibilities. It is a joyful occasion accompanied by gifts from friends and family. He is no longer considered a child, but an adult son.
The word "adoption" is from the Greek word "huiothesia" from "huios", meaning "a son" and "thesis" "a placing." Therefore... "the placing of a son." Just as a Jewish boy is placed as an adult son on the day he reaches 13, we Christians also experience our sonship when we are placed in Heaven at the day of the Rapture. This is when we have our physical bodies redeemed for a new glorified body. It could be no clearer than stated in Romans 8:23:
"And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, WAITING FOR THE ADOPTION, TO WIT, THE REDEMPTION OF OUR BODY."
- WHO: Negative: Nowhere are the lost said to be predestinated to be saved.
Positive: The saved are predestinated to receive something.
- WHAT: The Adoption. Romans 8:23, "the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body."
- WHEN: At the Rapture. 1st Thessalonians 4:17, 1st Corinthians 15:50-54.
"In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: that we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ."
Notice the use of the word "we", a plural pronoun. Paul is including himself and all Christians. They have obtained an inheritance. This identifies those who are predestinated for something as being already saved. We can see in verse 12 what the Christian is predestinated to receive.
What is predestinated is according to the Lord's purpose. He will also bring it to pass "after the counsel of his own will." "His own will" lets us know that God does not leave what He predestinated to be brought to pass by the volition or faithfulness of man. Therefore, we can rest assured... what God predestinated will come to pass!
In summary: The saved are the recipients of being predestinated. It was God's purpose to do so and He will bring it to pass Himself. We are told in verse 12 what is predestinated:
"That we (Christians) should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ."
At first glance one may think this means it is God's will that every Christian should lead a separated life, which would be to the praise of His glory. This is certainly God's will for every believer (Romans 12:1,2). However, this cannot be the meaning of this verse, if taken in context, as the fulfillment of what was predestinated. If this were true, then it has not come to pass in every Christian's life. Remember, what God predestinates will, without expectation, come to pass. The reason being, every Christian is the recipient of what is predestinated. Not every Christian leads a separated life. In fact, some Christians never lead a separate life from the time they are saved until they leave this earth!
To what is this referring? It has reference to the event of the Rapture when, without expectation, every Christian will be to the praise of His glory. The Bridegroom (Christ) is looking in expectation for His Bride (the Church). The Church (every believer) is looking for the Bridegroom to return and so shall we ever be with the Lord. This meeting is the fulfillment of what Christ predestinated for every believer. Remember--what is predestinated must come to pass.
If "to the praise of his glory" meant leading a separated life, it may not come to pass, for all Christians are not yielding their lives to God's will. Christ never leaves what He predestinates to be fulfilled by the volition of man. By the determined will and power of God, the Rapture will fulfill every qualifying aspect of His predestination, "that we should be to the praise of His glory."
"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."
The statement is heard many times, "You cannot reconcile the sovereignty of God and the free will of man." This is not true--one can understand both. The confusion exists when one does not properly understand the meaning of foreknowledge and predestination. Foreknowledge is an attribute of God's omniscience. Primarily, foreknowledge had to do with persons and places, and predestination is centered in God's purposes.
Foreknowledge contains one element, that is, knowing what is going to happen before it takes place. In relation to people and places, it does not contain the element of bringing it to pass or making it happen.
Predestination, on the other hand, is different from foreknowledge in that it contains two elements: One is the prediction (His omniscience) and the other is the act of God ( His omnipotence) to bring it to pass. The confusion begins when one inserts meanings into a word which it does not contain. Remember, keep these two words separated as to their meaning.
Foreknowledge has one element, that of foreknowing what is going to happen. Do not add any other meanings to this word, it contains one element only!
Predestination has two elements; one is predicting, the other fulfilling. Again, predestination is related to God's purposes, foreknowledge is related to persons and places.
In verse 29 we are told:
"For whom he (Christ) did foreknow..."
This simply states that Christ knew ahead of time every person who would trust Him as their Savior. The word carries no other element which would impede the free will of a person to make their own choice. Every Christian who would be saved is foreknown of God. We also see that every Christian is going to be the recipient of what God is going to predestinate.
"For whom he did foreknow (every Christian) He also did predestinate."
He foreknew every person who would be saved. His purpose is seen in predestination as we are predestinated to what?
"To be conformed to the image of his son."
When will we be conformed to the image of God's Son? At the Rapture, of course!
In Philippians 3:20,21 we are told:
"For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body."
This is being conformed to the image of His Son.
In 1st John 3:1 we read:
"Beloved, now are the sons (Greek, TEKNON, children) of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when he shall appear (Rapture) , WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM; for we shall see him as he is."
Predestination becomes very clear if we do two things: One, take exactly what the Scripture says and believe it. Two, know the difference between foreknowledge and predestination and add no other elements of meaning to them. Foreknowledge has one element while predestination has two.
In summary: Verse 29 teaches the following according to predestination:
- WHO: Only the saved are predestination, not the lost.
- WHAT: Christians are predestinated at some future time to "be conformed to the image of His Son."
- WHEN: At the Rapture. Philippians 3:20, 21, and 1st John 3:2.
"Moreover whom He (Christ) did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified."
Let us briefly examine each aspect of this verse as we observe the simplicity of God's Word.
"Moreover whom He did predestinate."
As we have found, those who are predestinated are only Christians, never the lost to be saved.
"...them he also called..."
How are Christians called? In Romans 10:17 we are told that:
"So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God."
And we are told in John 6:44:
"No man can come to me, except the father which hath sent me draw him."
This verse is comparable to that of Romans 8:30. The phrases "them he also called" and "draw him" lead us to ask, "How then does God draw or call the lost?" In John 12:32 we have the answer:
"And I, if I (Christ) be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me."
"All men" here does not mean "all men without exception," but "all men without distinction of race, creed, social standing, etc."
We are called or drawn by the Word of God which testifies of the resurrection and ascension of our Lord. So then, if "faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God," Christ will draw men by the hearing of the Word. This is the preaching of the Gospel:
"Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you...how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he arose again the third day according to the Scriptures."
1st Corinthians 15:1,3,4
Christ never calls us outside of His Word (Romans 10:17). The called are those who have established His Word by accepting Christ as their personal Savior.
"...them he also justified..."
All are declared righteous upon receiving Christ by faith. As it says in Romans 5:1, "Therefore, being justified (declared righteous) by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."
"...them he also glorified."
Notice the use of past tense here. This is a positional truth. God looks upon Christians as though they were already in Heaven (Notice the past tense of Ephesians 2:6).
In summary: Romans 8:30 simply teaches that the ones who were the object of God's predestination were already saved. For "whom he did predestinate," these are the "called, justified, and glorified."
No one is ever predestinated to be saved. You must, personally, realize you have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). God sent Christ to pay for our sin (2nd Corinthians 5:21) so we do not have to pay that debt ourselves in Hell. If one will only believe in (trust) Jesus Christ as his Savior, God will give him eternal life.
"These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God."
1st John 5:13
It should be recognized that all of the Old Testament prophecies could be stated as being predestinated. Other words synonymous with "predestinate" would be "foretelling, prophecy, predicting and etc." For God to predict the future of people, places and nations, he would have to foreknow the future.
We are grateful to God for His precious Word. There are thousands of prophecies where synonymous words are used instead of "predestinate." I have limited our study only to the four places where the actual word appears in the Bible--due to its misuse. Expanding any further into prophecy would constitute a book, or books, on that great subject!
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Dr. Max D. Younce, Pastor
HERITAGE BAPTIST BIBLE CHURCH
P.O. Box 573
Walnut Grove, MN 56180
Telephone (507) 859-2519
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