In this sermon, we are going to look at the true meaning of predestination.
And to answer and understand this question accurately, after looking at the true meaning of predestination, we will also deal with the following related topics:
- Why we were predestined by God.
- Bible verses that prove predestination wrong.
- Why predestination must not make a believer lazy.
- What we must do to guarantee our predestination.
- Winning the Christian race determines our predestination.
I hope you read this sermon in the Spirit with all amount of understanding in Jesus name. Amen.
What is the true meaning of predestination?
Even so then, at this present time there is remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.Romans 11:5-6
In trying to answer the question; what does predestination mean in the bible, so many Christians continue to misquote the above scripture to arrive at the conclusion that their salvation is sure since the beginning of time, so it doesn’t matter if they struggle to do good or not.
Furthermore, they misinterpret ‘work’ as used by Paul in the passage to mean “striving to be righteous”.
But in order to understand what Paul really meant; let us use our method of interpreting the bible in its whole context to study Romans 11:7-32.
What predestination means in the bible?
Predestination simply means that God has already chosen those who are going to be saved right from the beginning of the world.
To further explain this, let me point out an understanding of two tribes as used by the passage i.e; the Israelites and the Gentiles.
The Israelites are the Jews, who rejected their Messiah Christ and are still in the religion called Judaism today.
While the Gentiles are the Christians, who accepted Christ as their Messiah and are in the religion called Christianity today.
So from here, we can understand that Paul was trying to show the newly converted Christians that as God has rejected the Israelites, who were originally elect, and chose them, He will also reject them if they continue in their sinful ways.
And on this topic of what predestination mean in the bible, we can see that the grace God gives grace only to unbelievers.
And it was not because we did any good work back then or that we were living right in any way.
Now let’s examine other passages that talk about what predestination means to further prove our point.
Why we were predestined by God.
1. God chose us to be holy and blameless before him.
Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.Ephesians 1:4-6
As we can see from the above passage, God chose us in order for us to be holy and blameless before him. And you can answer this question for yourself: will continuing in sin ever render you holy before God?
2. God chose us for salvation through sanctification.
But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by your gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.2 Thessalonians 2:13-14.
This one says that He chose us for salvation through sanctification, and as we all know another word for sanctification is ‘holiness’.
3. God chose us to bear fruit that will remain.
“You did not choose Me, but I choose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain.John 15:16
Bearing fruit means: studying the word of truth, practicing it, and teaching it to others.
Now the next scripture shows us that those who sin belong to the devil and not Jesus.
He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.1 John 3:8
So therefore, if as a believer, you find yourself continuing in sin, you must call Jesus to come and destroy this work of the devil in you.
Bible verses that prove predestination wrong.
Now to understand what predestination means in the bible, let us see some of the bible verses that prove the destination wrong.
1. The outcast sons of the kingdom.
“But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”Mathew 8:12
Are these not the elect or predestined who disobeyed His commandments? Are they, not the ones He gave these instructions?
‘If you love Me, keep My commandments.John 14:15
2. Those who claim to know God but disobey him.
Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His words, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk as He walked.1 John 2: 3-6
And knowing that we ought to walk as He walked, and you claim to be a believer but continue in telling lies, cheating, adultery and fornication, anger, strife, envy, hate, malice, worshipping idols, bearing false witness, covetousness, etc.
Do you stop to ask yourself: did Jesus walk that way?
Why predestination must not make a believer lazy.
To further understand what predestination means in the bible, Christians must never think that because of predestination they should sit back, relax and allow God to perform every duty on their behalf.
Because if He wanted to do so He would have created us like robots; He wouldn’t have made us in His own image and given us the power to dominate other creatures. (Genesis 1: 27-28).
He even showed us that, we are His counterparts in this art of creation by making us man and woman and causing our coming together sexually to bring forth another human being.
Thus, if He wanted to do everything by Himself, He would have been in the duty of creating humans and dropping them on earth by Himself at intervals.
John the Baptist even shows us in Luke 3:8 that God is able to take stones and make them turn into human beings.
Therefore, Christians must desist from the idea that predestination means their heaven candidature is sure.
They must realize that predestination is not the final destination because if they don’t perform well they will be cast out of the kingdom.
Example from the political election.
Now let us consider the election we do in our physical world.
We all know that whenever someone is elected to a position of authority, he is commended by the masses according to his performance.
And so his performance is what determines his achievements and his final destination.
Because they may choose to impeach him, or never give him another chance to rule because ‘one good turn always deserves another’.
For example, if he is a governor and throughout his first tenure he cannot provide even water supply for the people he governs. They will refuse to freely and fairly vote him back to that office for a second term.
And even if he wins the election through manipulation, rigging, and forgery, such a person can never honestly claim ‘democracy’ because his government is not of the people, for the people, and by the people.
What we must do to guarantee our predestination.
Having had the knowledge of what predestination means in the bible; let us see how we can guarantee our predestination as Christians.
Peter knew about this, and that was why he showed us the things we must do; in order to make the grace of God manifested in our election and predestination sure:
Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.
For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.2 Peter 1:2-12.
Winning the Christian race determines our predestination.
Another illustration on this matter is a game of race; observed by the same Paul who brought the concept of grace, where many runners are elected to compete but one of them wins the prize in the long run.
Now do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.1 Corinthians 9:24.
What race was Paul referring to?
N/B: The game Paul was referring to in the above passage was an isthmian game; which was well known to the Corinthians.
And in this game, people who took part were subjected to hardship; fed strictly on a spare diet and forced to practice their exercises extensively.
That was the same attitude Paul wanted the predestined or elected Corinthians to incorporate into their Christian service. He even used his own life to set an example:
Therefore I run thus; not with uncertainty. Thus I fight; not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.1 Corinthians 9:26-27
Again the same Paul, who wrote about this predestination or election; further wrote to his godson, Timothy, that in order to win a prize an athlete must obey all the rules.
And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.2 Timothy 2:5
After he had earlier urged him to:
Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.1Timothy 4:16
Beloved, Paul was not talking about grace as a free gift; and predestination or election the way most of us Christians misinterpret it today.
Because if he was, he would have made that known in clear terms to his godson Timothy; but knowing what he meant he wrote to him:
Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontious Pilate, that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ appearing.1 Timothy 6:12-14.
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