Mar 15

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A certain college had two geography teachers.  As each received a list of their students before the new classes met, the first teacher went through the list assigning each student a final grade of either passing or failing.  However, the second teacher made a list of class requirements (weekly tests, a grading scale, mid-term and final exams) to which all the students would be equally subjected.  It was then up to each student to meet the requirements which would determine whether they passed or failed.  Thus, the first teacher pre-picked the students, while the second teacher pre-picked classification of students who, on their  own, fulfill the requirements which are to be met.

While it is easy to see the gross injustice of the method of the first teacher, there are many in religion who assign such a method to God.  The doctrine is called predestination.  Its advocates claim that God, before the creation of the world and the existence of man, pre-picked the eternal and unchangeable destiny of each and every soul.  That is, before you came into being, and before you had the opportunity to prove what kind of person you would be, your eternal destiny had already been decided—and there is absolutely nothing you can do to change it.

However, such makes God out to be like that first teacher—an unjust judge.  But we know that God is a just judge.1 Predestination also implies that God is imperfect in that He does that which is meaningless.  That is, if each person’s eternal destiny had already been pre-picked, then why did God go to such great extent for 1500 years to produce the Bible, …send people to preach to the lost, …actually, why did God even make the earth in the first place!—just send the elected to heaven and the rest to hell! But we know that God is not an imperfect God who does that which is meaningless.2

Predestination teaches that it is God’s will (choosing) that some be saved and some be lost; but the Bible teaches that it is God’s will that all be saved.3  Predestination teaches that God is a respecter of persons; but the Bible teaches that He is not a respecter of persons.4  Predestination teaches that man does not have a choice; but the Bible teaches that man does have a free-will to choose his eternal destiny (by complying with the conditions of God).5

It is claimed that Ephesians 1:4-11 teaches predestination.  But notice, verse four (as well as eleven) makes clear that this predestining is done “according to the good pleasure of his will.”  So the question is, what is God’s will in the matter of eternal destiny?  Is His will like that of the first teacher—to pre-pick souls?  Or is it like the second—to pre-pick the classification of students who, on their  own, fulfill the requirements which are to be met?  Our answer is not left up to guesswork – – we are clearly told, God “is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9).  Thus, it is not God’s will, not His choosing, not His pre-picking that any should be eternally lost.  Rather, it is His will that all repent – – which is a requirement that God has given to be met by man in order to obtain eternal heaven.6

Of a truth, our God is a perfect and just God who has predetermined the requirements to be met by the free-willed man in order to obtain eternity in heaven.  May you, out of a love for God and your soul, choose to follow those requirements.7

Gary Henson

Endnotes for the article

1Zephaniah 3:5;

Isaiah 45:21;

Psalm 96:13;

Revelation 19:11.

2Deuteronomy 32:4;

2 Samuel 22:31;

Psalm 18:30.

31 Timothy 2:3-4;

2 Peter 3:9.

4Romans 2:11;

Acts 10:34-35.

5Joshua 24:15;

Matthew 23:37;

Revelation 22:17.

62 Corinthians 7:10;

Luke 13:3,5.

71) Hear the Gospel [Rom. 10:14];

2) Believe that Jesus is the Son of God [John 8:24];

3) Repent of your sins [2 Cor. 7:10];

4) Confess faith in Jesus [Rom. 10:9-10];

5) Be baptized for the forgiveness of sins [Acts 2:38; 22:16; Mark 16:16; 1 Pet. 3:21].  One then must remain faithful to God’s teachings in the Bible [Rev. 2:10].

Permanent link to this article: https://okcsbs.com/pre-picked/