Please contact Pastor Ken Birks for any questions or comments at
Are some people destined to hell without a choice in the matter while others are destined for heaven without a choice? Do we have a choice in the matter? Or are we just subject to whatever God decides about our eternal conseqences? These are important questions that this study covers.
The purpose of this study is to come to an understanding of what the Bible says concerning Predestination and the Foreknowledge of God. This is one of the more controversial doctrines that has separated Christians throughout our history. We will see that both predestination and election flow out of God's foreknowledge.
The Foreknowledge of God.
"Fore" or before simply means that God knows before hand what the future holds. Because of His omniscience, He knows the end from the beginning. He is the Alpha and the Omega. Nothing is hid from Him, Who knows what things we have need of before we ask Him. (Quote from Herbert Lockyer)
Predestination is to foreordain or determine an act or event. It is not simply foreknowledge of a future event, but rather making that event take place. It is predetermined to happen and nothing can change it.
The Election of God.
There is no question concerning God's elect. The Bible very clearly states that there is a select group of people, a peculiar people different than the others of the earth because of their new spiritual birth that is according to God's grace.
Henry Clarence Thiessen defines election as a sovereign act of God's grace whereby He chose in Christ Jesus for salvation all those who He foreknew would accept Him. This is redemption in its elective aspect. In its simplest meaning, election refers to the intention, process and result of making a choice. It refers to an act of the will but more specifically in the Scriptures to an act of the divine will.
Like Christ, Grace does not force its way, it stands at the door and knocks. The Bible teaches very plainly that the gifts of grace are appropriated by faith. If by works, then grace is no longer grace. Likewise, if it is by sovereign imposition, the grace is also no longer grace. (Quote from Jack W. Cottrell)
The Universality of God's Grace and Call.
We must determine whether the atonement of Jesus Christ is a limited atonement or an unlimited atonement. Those who believe in the unconditional view of election believe that some are destined to be saved and others are destined for eternal damnation.
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
It is because He died for all that we can claim for ourselves and confidently extend to others the right and title to sonship and salvation through Christ, and live in a state of blessed assurance. The following scriptures make it very clear that Christ died for every person.
John Calvin's point is to deny the universality of the atonement by making the word (all) refer to worldwide distribution of the church, rather than the universally potential redemptive work of Christ. (Quote from Jack W. Cottrell)
The problem with this thinking is that there are Scriptures such as 1John 4:14-15 that personalize the atonement by using the word, "whoever."
Man's Free Will.
According to God's foreknowledge some will be lost to eternal damnation because they chose not to receive Him. Mankind has always had a choice since the creation of the world.
- Choice Was Available For Adam And Eve.
- Choice Was Available Under The Law.
- Choice is available under the New Covenant