Keith's Comments
Predestination
The question is, does God choose whom will be saved and who will be lost? No. God does not flip a coin and say, 'This one is to be saved, this one is to be condemned...' . Remember, God would rather that all mankind would be saved:

"The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9)

But, we must also remember that God knew everything that would take place in the future even before the beginning of time:

"Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:" (Isaiah 46:10)

This Divine knowledge also included the choice we would each make in respect to salvation; that is some of the "things that are not yet done". God knew before the world began whether each of us would choose Jesus as our Lord and Savior or not. This is the 'free will' aspect of salvation. He does not force us to be saved, but allows each of us to make that decision for ourselves. And through His Divine knowledge, He knew what decision we would each make, and who would be saved before we ever came into being.

However, there are those that believe God actually 'picks and chooses' who would be saved. Usually, the following verses are used for this thought:

"According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will," (Ephesians 1:4-5)

We have to first see what it means to be "predestinated" by the will of God:

"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." (Romans 8:29)

God knew us before each of us ever were; that is His 'foreknowledge'. Those He saw would be saved He then "predestinated" to be like Jesus:

"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 8:30)

"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." (1 John 3:2)

Remember each time you heard the Gospel message before you were saved? That was God calling you. He calls to everyone, but not everyone heeds the call:

"For many are called, but few are chosen." (Matthew 22:14)

If you heard the call, and made the decision to be saved, you were chosen before the world began to be like Jesus.

Now, don't start thinking that just because you made a personal decision to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior that you can take credit for your salvation. On the contrary, no one can come to saving grace in Jesus without the direct intervention of the Holy Spirit:

"And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." (1 Corinthians 6:11)

The Holy Spirit draws us to the Lord, convicts our spirit, brings us to repentance, and ministers to us to provide strength, comfort and assurance. There is no credit we can take for choosing Jesus, for the Holy Spirit guides our path to Him.

In short, God knew each of us that would be saved through the ministry of the Holy Spirit before the beginning of time, and those He did predestine to be conformed to the image of His Son. Do you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior? He's very close to coming back for those who do. If you'd like to receive the free gift that He's offering you, please visit our Salvation page.

Keith

12-10-2003

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