NOBODY BELIEVES IN PREDESTINATION ANYMORE
By Curtis Pugh
A relative once asked this preacher about the differences between two Presbyterian groups. His answer mentioned that the two Presbyterian groups held somewhat different views of predestination. His relative’s reply was, “Predestination! I didn’t know anybody believes in predestination anymore!” This relative was an active member of long standing in a Protestant denomination. Perhaps because she never heard any teaching in her church on the subject, she thought that nobody in this modern era still believes in predestination.
Actually, the truth of a thing does not depend on whether it is believed or not. The truth of a religious teaching depends on whether or not the Bible teaches it. Since the words “predestinate” and “predestinated” are found in the Bible, if you believe the Bible you must believe in predestination. The aforementioned words are found as follows: “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). “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). “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,” (Ephesians 1:5). In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will,” (Ephesians 1:11).
A careful reading of these four verses along with an examination of their context should convince any unprejudiced person that there is indeed such a thing as predestination. That predestination involves certain individuals is clear for it is “whom he [God] did predestinate.” That predestination took place sometime in the past is obvious. That predestination or pre-determination has been accomplished by the God “who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will,” is stated. God accomplished this predestination “according to the good pleasure of his will.” It is sad that many professing Christians spend their time either in outright denial of the teaching of predestination or in trying to explain it away.
Predestination is the second step in God’s plan of salvation following foreknowledge. Foreknowledge is God’s knowing or setting His love upon individuals. Following predestination comes the effectual calling to Christ by which the lost sinner is brought to Christ. Next comes justification: the judicial act of God in declaring the believer righteous. After justification comes glorification. Notice all these are in the past tense in Romans 8:30. The salvation of those predestinated is so sure that God views these persons as already glorified – i.e. they are in His mind and purpose already in possession of their eternal glorified bodies. The Bible says, “Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world,” (Acts 15:18). This is the God with whom we have to do. The teaching of predestination will promote the fear of the Lord and humility in those predestinated. But, alas, almost nobody believes in predestination anymore.