There are many misconceptions about the doctrine of predestination in the beloved Church today. I have taken the opportunity to write down seven things that the doctrine of predestination is not from a lecture by Dr Joel Beeke. I have added a few of my own words in attempt to clarify and encourage those who struggle with this doctrine.
1. It does not mean sinners do not sin of their own will:
God is not the author of sin and so sinners must answer to God for their own sins. Those rejected on judgment day will not be able to blame God for not predestinating them, but they will be rejected for their own sin.
2. It does not mean that fatalism is true:
Fatalism implies the sovereignty of a God who does not care. A force called chance or fate that does not concern itself with the welfare of human beings. It turns human beings into a number. That is the opposite of predestination. Predestination is warm and intimate. “I have loved thee with an everlasting love. Therefore I have drawn thee with loving-kindness” Jer 31:3b
3. It does not mean people can be saved without faith in Christ:
Though chosen before time in eternity past, salvation happens in time and we are children of wrath up unto the time of faith in Christ. Faith in Christ is the means. Romans 10 teaches that faith comes by hearing the gospel which is the means God uses to call those predestined.
4. It does not mean that the universal gospel offer is a fraud:
It is a very real well meant offer and boneified offer to come to Christ and find life. While it is true that not all are predestined to salvation, but the well meant offer is a well meant offer. No one who comes to Christ comes in vain. In John 6 Jesus said” All who come to me, I will not cast out” So those who reject this well meant offer have only themselves to blame forever.
5. It does not mean that the door of mercy is bared to anyone who wants to come in:
The idea that some imagine about this doctrine is that there are some knocking on the door of salvation wanting to be saved and finding that they can’t because God hasn’t elected them is false. This is the way some paint this doctrine and it is wrong.
6. It does not mean we can identify the reprobate or non- elect:
Yes we can say at this point in time that it seems certain men are without God in the world, but we do not know whether or not if they will at last come to Christ.
7. It does not mean we may know our election before we believe:
The knowledge of election is not a warrant of faith. The warrant of faith is the universal invitation of God, the word of promise; we can’t know that until we have believed. An illustration of this point is of a ark which reads above the door on the outside “Whosoever will may come in” and once entered inside the ark there reads on the inside “Chosen before the foundation of the world” We can’t not know our election until we have come to Christ and believed in Him. Then after entering into the safety of Christ through saving faith do we understand God has elected us. We cannot feel or know that until we are saved. Election is the answer to the question “why am I a believer today”