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Monday, July 19, 2010

Predestination vs Freewill

Our Sunday School Class has been discussing the difference between predestination (Calvinism) and freewill .  Sarah Scheuermann, one of the members of our class wrote this thoughtful piece and I want to share it with you.  

Predestination vs. Freewill
by Sarah Scheuermann

First of all I believe that God is in control, but He doesn’t control everything that happens.

As I think about Predestination and Freewill there are two areas, P&F and salvation and P&F and fate.

Predestination and Salvation:

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”2 Peter 3:9

If God already predestined who would be saved, wouldn’t that render the Great Commission useless? But God is timeless, no past, no future, so He knows how everything is going to turn out.

But there are verses that throw a wrench into the mix.

2Thess. 2:13,” because from the beginning God chose you to be saved.”

Ephesians 1:4, “For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ in accordance with His pleasure and will.”

1 Thess1:4 “For we know, brothers loved by God , that He has chosen you..”

Col 3:12 “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved…”

Wait a minute, just because I choose somebody doesn’t mean they choose me back! I suppose I believe that God predestined everybody to be saved, but He knew that everyone wouldn’t accept His gracious gift.

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

17 For God sent His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

18 He that believeth on Him is not condemned, but he that believeth not is condemned already because He hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” KJV

That says it all. I believe God chooses grace for everyone, but we have to accept it.

Predestination and fate:

There is a joke, a Baptist pastor falls down some stairs, and he says “Thank you, God, that I didn’t break my neck.” The Presbyterian minister falls down the same stairs and says, “Thank goodness that’s over with!”

First of all I believe that God is in control, but He doesn’t control everything that happens. If everything were predestined to happen we would not have to read the Bible or try to make the right decisions. I don’t believe God meant for me to have this speech problem anymore that it is in His will for tragedies that we don’t understand to happen to people we love. But I trust ‘that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

I sometimes have trouble thinking about all the evil in the world. I wonder why God is allowing it. If he created everything and it was good, why in such a short time did everything go wrong? Then I read Job 38

2 "Who is this that darkens my counsel

with words without knowledge?

4 "Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation?

Tell me, if you understand.

5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!

Who stretched a measuring line across it?

6 On what were its footings set,

or who laid its cornerstone-

7 while the morning stars sang together

and all the angels shouted for joy?

12 "Have you ever given orders to the morning,

or shown the dawn its place,

17 Have the gates of death been shown to you?

Have you seen the gates of the shadow of death?

18 Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth?

Tell me, if you know all this.

19 "What is the way to the abode of light?

And where does darkness reside?

There is a reason that God is God.


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