- Parent Category: FAQs
- Category: Questions about Sin and Salvation
- Published on Saturday, 05 February 2011 16:32
How does Scripture present Predestination? Is it true, as I have heard it said, that “we are not out to save souls, God will do that; we teach believers”?
As for the latter part of the question, we believe it to be a most dangerous perversion of the truth. If it were so, why did the Lord tell His disciples, “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28), and “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature” (Mark 16), and again, “Ye shall be witnesses unto Me” (Acts 1), where clearly the thought is evangelising? True, we cannot save souls, but what is an evangelist for, if not to evangelise? All believers are called to this publicly or privately in their measure. Directly we allow election to tinge our gospel, the latter is spoiled, and is no longer “glad tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people,” and our election becomes fatalism. We preach Christ as a Saviour available for all sinners. “Whosoever” is the word for the unsaved; all might be saved did they repent and believe the Gospel. This being so, we equally believe in the electing grace of God. We do not need to understand in order to believe; we believe and so we understand. But not only is “election” a truth by itself, but it is to be distinguished from “Predestination.” Thus in Ephesians 1: 4 we read that the saints are “chosen (eklego) in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blemish before Him.” But they are also said in the next verse to be “Predestinated.” Now this has to do with their adoption, or receiving a place as sons. Thus the distinction would seem to be that Election determines eternal blessing to the objects of it, whereas Predestination determines the special character of the blessing. All the elect are chosen to be holy, but the special character of their blessing varies according to the class of elect persons to which they belong. We do not gather from Scripture that the angels, though they are certainly called, “sons of God,” are that, except in the sense of creation. Israel belongs to the earthly family, the Church to the heavenly. So we see later in the chapter that the saints of the present dispensation are predestinated to the inheritance (i.e., the heavenly), and in Romans 8, are predestinated to be “conformed to the image of His Son,” which is not the portion of the redeemed of every age. The same word is found in Acts 4:28 with reference to the “sufferings of Christ,” of which it could not be said that they were “elected,” but “determined to be done,” i.e., mapped out or planned beforehand. Again the word is used in the same sense in 1 Corinthians 2: 7, of the wisdom of God revealed in Christ, which is said to be “ordained before” the world unto our glory. We who have by mercy believed, are exhorted to “make our calling and election sure,” by adding to our faith the practical graces of Christian life (2 Peter 1:10). W.H.