Friday, July 25, 2014

The Doctrine of Predestination ... Part II

I ended Part I with this statement ... There is scripture that some say alludes to the assumption that God foreknows those who He chooses to be saved.  If you look closer ... it does not say that.

Continuing ...

Romans 8:29-30 ... "For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate (pre-determine, ordain prior to, appoint, decree, specify) to be conformed to the image of His Son ... Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, (through the Gospel, the preaching of the Word) them He also justified, them He also glorified." 

Simply stated ... isn't it true that God didn't just foreknow only those He would save, but He also foreknew all things and all people who would ever live.  Before God ever created anything, He knew every event and action that would ever take place.

Yes, God did foreknow or had knowledge of all those who would accept Jesus as their Lord and savior.  But all this scripture is saying is that spiritually, God also did predetermine and ordain prior to creation that those who accept Jesus would be conformed to the image of Jesus and follow the example He set, to become Christ like and walk in love. 

My last argument against the doctrine of predestination as it is taught concerns something God has already done.  This doctrine states, He has already written down in the book of life the names of all those who will be saved.  If so ... why waste our time and money preaching the gospel.  We don't need to.  God will see that it comes to pass. 

When God determines something ... it will come to pass.  There is nothing that can change His declared will.  When He declares something, it must come to pass.  He is God.  These people whose names are in the book ... will be saved ... with or without you.  So, you are wasting your time and effort trying to make it happen.  It will come to pass ... He declared it as God.

I am not saying that the good news of the Gospel should not go forth.  I'm just looking at the argument.  Why tell the lost world about Jesus?  Because we are told to.  God knows who will receive the Word and accept Jesus and who will not.  But before they can choose, they must hear the offer.

Now ... let's look at this book of life a little closer.  Why are the names there?  Is it possible that God removes names from the book of life once they are placed there?  And if He does, why would their names be removed?  Since God knows all who are going to be saved ... what would be His purpose in removing some of their names? 

Both the Old and New Testament contain scripture affirming the removal or the blotting out of the names of the unrighteous, the unsaved ... those who are not born again.

When Moses came down from the mountain after he had received the Ten Commandments, and saw that the people had made a golden calf to worship, he pleaded to God to forgive the people of their sin.  We find Moses in conversation with God about this in ...

Exodus 32:32-33 ... "Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin; and if not, blot me I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.  And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against Me, him will I blot out of my book."

Jesus is the judge ... and if our sin hasn't been covered by His blood ... then He will remove our name from the Book of Life, or so it seems according to Revelation 3:5 where He says to those who overcome ... "I will not blot out your name from the book of life" ... meaning there will be some that He blots out.  

To my mind, this destroys the election theory of only the chosen of God having their names written in the book of life.  In fact, there are some people who teach that ... "The Book of Life" is not a book of the "saved" ... but rather a "Book of the Living," containing the names of all those who have ever lived.

Psalm 69:28 ... "Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous."  In this scripture, David is speaking of the unrighteous that do not know God.

Compare with Isaiah 4:3 ... "And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem."

The Jews were accustomed to register the names of all the people.  Those names were written in a register, or book of the living.  When a death occurred, the name was stricken out, hence the expression ... the book of life ... meaning only the living. 

With this theory, (as a book of all those who ever lived) the Lord could ... remove or blot out the names of the lost souls, perhaps at death ... so as not to find their names in the book of life at the time of the judgment, as in Revelation 20:15

So we see that this book could be used to speak of both ... the saved or as all who ever lived.  I certainly do not know that much about this "Book of Life" except to understand that I do not want my name blotted out.  I want my name to be found in it.  

To bring this two part study, (such as it is) to a close ... my "Doctrine of Predestination" is this ...

God has predestined that those who freely choose to be saved by the blood of Jesus will spend eternity with Him.  All others ... well, He has predestined their eternity without Him.

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