What is predestination? What is free will? What is fate? Does it have to be all or none? Is there a middle ground? This is a big topic that many have trouble arguing one way or the other. First let us look at a dictionary definition of predestination:
1. The act of predestining or the condition of being predestined.
a. The doctrine that God has foreordained all things, especially that God has elected certain souls to eternal salvation.
b. The divine decree foreordaining all souls to either salvation or damnation.
c. The act of God foreordaining all things gone before and to come.
3. Destiny; fate.
So basically, the definition of predestination is that God has pre-selected or pre-determined who will be saved and who will not. In my article on Salvation, I already discussed what it means to be saved and I briefly touched on how grace relates to predestination.
Before looking at the Biblical evidence, let’s look at three reasons why man feels they have free will:
“We are all ruled in what we do by impulses; and these impulses are so organized that our actions in general serve for our self preservation and that of the race. Hunger, love, pain, fear, and some of those inner forces which rule the individual’s instinct for self preservation.” – Albert Einstein
As Einstein put it, man is ruled by self-preservation. This not only includes our actions, but also our views on theology and life. If we admit that God has predestined us, then it means we don’t have control of our lives. Instinctively, we want to have control of our lives, the length of our lives, and even our afterlives.
In the same way we want to have control of our lives, we want to have control of our salvation. Man’s pride wants to have the choice to choose God or not. Deep down, man wants to do some sort of tasks or good works to obtain salvation. Man wants to think he has to meet God halfway on his own initiative. As I stated in my salvation article, people tend to think of salvation as voting for God as leader. When in fact, God is already the leader, but you have been ignorant of it. Salvation is simply admitting that God has always been in charge.
3. Origin of Evil
The last reason man innately thinks there is free will is to explain the origin of evil. If we think that each individual has their own free will, and a particular individual commits a crime of evil, then that individual is solely responsible for that evil. It has nothing to do with other individuals, nor some supreme being. Most Christians believe that God relinquished His sovereignty, or His control over His creation, in order to give man and angels free will. Angels then fell to create Satan and demons. Therefore Satan, demons, and man’s sinful nature are responsible for evil, not God. This logic is paradoxical, complicated, and not Biblical. Although our self-preservation and pride doesn’t want to admit it, the idea that God created sin, evil, and Satan makes much more sense. For more on this see Origins of Sin, Evil, and Satan.
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