Predestined to Hell or Heaven?
Recently I had a twitter friend of mine who genuinely wanted to know what I believe about Calvinism and predestination (election), and when I asked on Facebook about what I should do my next article on, several people suggested this subject. Here’s my belief on Predestination which is a core tenant of Calvinism.
Predestination is a belief within Calvinism. Predestination for a Calvinist basically says that God predestines certain people to hell and certain people to heaven, meaning that God has sole sovereignty over salvation and that men play no part in choosing salvation. Because of man’s inherent, sinful, depraved nature he is uncapable of choosing Christ in his own power; therefore, God must choose for him. In a nut shell, only those whom God has willed to get saved will get saved.
This doctrine is categorically false. A proper comparison of the entirety of scripture surrounding this subject, comparing scripture to scripture, and interpreting within context will bring you to a proper exegesis and logical consistency which is that predestination concerning salvation is a false doctrine.
First, we must understand that God does not will anyone to perish.
2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that and should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (Also see 1 Timothy 2:3-4 and Matthew 18:12-14)
If God was not willing that any should perish and only those whom God willed to be saved got saved, wouldn’t “all” men get saved? God does not only want the “elect” or “chosen” ones to be saved. He wants all men to get saved.
We see that not only did Jesus love the whole world but also is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world.
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.”
I John 2:2 “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”
There are several key phrases in these passages: “the world”, “whosoever believeth”, “not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”
Firstly, we see that God loved the world, not just the chosen. The entire world. Secondly, we see that the Bible says whosever believeth. This has no condition attached to it, not only in this verse but also throughout scripture. Thirdly, Jesus was not just the propitiation for our (the believers’) sins, but for the sins of the whole world.
Don’t confuse God’s foreknowledge or omniscience with predestination.
I Peter 1:2a “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit…”
Because God knows who will be in heaven and hell does not mean he willed it (again refer to point 1). Many times in scripture God is speaking by his foreknowledge, and it can seem like the Bible supports predestination.
Men can only get saved if God draws them to him.
John 6:44 “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”
Many Calvinists use this verse to say that man cannot choose Christ in his lost condition but can only come to Christ if God draws him. I agree to the second half of this assertation, but here is the thing: GOD DRAWS EVERY MAN.
John 12:31-32 “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die.”
When this self-fulfilled prophecy of Christ’s death was fulfilled, all men were drawn to him. When Jesus was lifted up (on the cross), all men will be drawn to Him. Christ draws all men to Him. It is now their choice to accept or reject that calling.
“Whosoever” eliminates any questions.
Revelation 22:17 “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”
Acts 2:21 “And It shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
John 12:46 “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.”
Romans 10:13 “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
I John 5:1a “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God:”
There is no condition on whosoever. Whosoever and predestination are oxymorons. They cannot exist simultaneously in any doctrine, especially salvation.
Predestination, calling, justification, glorification, and election always refer to those who are already saved.
In 1 Peter 1:1-2 and Romans 8:29 God states that He predestined those whom he already foreknew; therefore, foreknowledge precedes predestination and election. So basically, foreknowledge governs predestination. God only predestines those whom he already foreknew would get saved.
For those who believe that only the chosen few get to heaven, they would have to throw out a whole lot of verses in the Bible. Romans 10:13-15 says, “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” The only “condition” is mentioned in the following verses, verses 14 and 15. Verse 14 says, “how shall they hear without a preacher?” If people are going to get saved regardless of man’s will, there would be no need for a preacher to preach the gospel of peace. Soulwinning would be a waste of time because those who are chosen are going to get saved regardless. Why should I waste my time going out telling others about salvation? Calvinism breeds laziness and pride.
God clearly loves every person who was ever born otherwise Jesus would not have died for the whole world.