Predestination or Free Will
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 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. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” (Romans 8:28-30)
The following is a quote from a Presbyterian named Dr. R.C. Sproul that is based in part on our scripture for today. He said, “The Lord does not make His decision based on our decision; rather we choose to believe based on His prior choice of us.” I would disagree with this statement and modify it to say, “The Lord accepts our decision when we choose to believe, in agreement with His foreknowledge of our choice.”
Dr. Sproul and all those that believe the doctrine of Calvinism which includes predestination look at the definition of predestination (to determine by foreknowledge) as if God is predicting the future. But, I can assure you that God is not a psychic with a crystal ball or a prognosticator, or prophet. He is not a predictor of the future – that’s a very humanistic view of God. No, our God is the almighty, all knowing, I AM. He is self-existent and eternal. He created a linier (time based) universe and not only lives within it but lives outside of it and can see all of time and space, from the beginning to the end, because (in my opinion) He is an eyewitness to every moment in time and every point in space simultaneously. He sees this universe He created all at once.
In verse 28, the author of Romans mentions, “to them who are the called according to his purpose” but this is not God dictating those who are called, but is more a general statement referring to those who are called (heard the Gospel) and who love Him. We have the free will to love Him and that love is why we accept Christ. God knows who will choose Christ but does not command us into accepting Christ. Verse 29 speaks of God’s knowledge of who will be transfigured like Jesus and be, “conformed to the image of his
Son”. This does not mean that we will be transformed against our will, but that those who know and love Jesus will accept Him and eventually be transfigured and be like Him. In verse 30 we read, “whom he did predestinate, them he also called” or in other words, all those that God knew would accept Jesus were “called” – the gospel was shared with them – and those that answered the call will one day be justified and glorified. In other words, they will be transfigured to serve and be like Christ and will be known as the sons and daughters of God.
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Romans 10:9)
Just like God provided the freedom to choose to Adam and Eve. God grants us the freedom to choose. We will both accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, and receive eternal life and a personal relationship with the Creator, Master and Sustainer of everything, or we will choose to reject Him and eventually be tossed into the Lake of Fire. It is our choice.
God knows the “who” but doesn’t dictate the “when”. His Holy Spirit simply beckons to whosoever will.