In our last monthly pastoral fellowship, a question on Predestination was raised. One of the pastors said he had encountered the question severally among his congregants and wanted to find the best approach. Having encountered the topic in the past, I had conducted numerous studies and took the time to explain the subject’s great importance and what it meant in the biblical context. I also promised the fellowship to put my study into an article so that it could benefit more people. As a Christian or a minister, have you ever encountered questions on the subject and wondered how many times Predestination is mentioned in the Bible?
The word Predestination is itself not mentioned in the Bible. However, it appears in its past tense, “predestined.” The word predestined appears four times in the Bible in the letters of Paul. The message of Predestination appears more than 20 times in the Bible, although the word Predestination is not explicitly used.
In this article, we will discuss what the Bible says about Predestination and find out from the Bible whether a person can be saved but not predestined. Continue reading to learn these and more.
What does the Bible say about Predestination?
It happened before the creation
The Bible says that Predestination happened before creation or the earth’s foundation. God existed before any creation because he was the one who created. So, before he decided to create, he did things and made plans. One of the things he did was Predestination. The Bible says in Ephesians 1:4-5 that He chose us (meaning believers) before he established the earth. The Bible also says that he made us holy (separated us) and blameless because of his love. Further, he predestined us to become his sons in Jesus Christ. Therefore, the Bible says that Predestination happened before the earth was formed.
It happened due to God’s foreknowledge
Predestination happened because God can see the future and make choices depending on what is in the future. Romans 8:29 says that God predestined those he foreknew so that they could take the image of His son Jesus Christ. Therefore, God’s knowledge projected in the future to know those who would be in Christ.
The Bible says that Predestination is God’s way of choosing people beforehand because he has foreknowledge. Think of a farmer who has hundreds of seedlings in his nursery. Think also that the farmer can see the future and know which seedlings would give the best yields and those that would quickly die due to pests and diseases. A farmer with such knowledge would choose to transplant the seedlings that would, in the future, yield more and be less affected by pests and diseases so that they can bear him yields. In the same way, God foreknew, so he predestined or chose beforehand.
What Is Predestination according to the Bible?
According to Romans 8:29-30, Predestination is an act of God determining what things to occur ahead of time due to his foreknowledge. Predestination was translated from the Greek word proorizo, which means deciding ahead of time, ordaining, or determining beforehand. Therefore, God chose that certain things should occur in the future. In the context of the Bible and Paul’s writing, the things that God determined to appear in the future were that certain people would be like Christ, be declared innocent or absolved from the penalty of sin, and be bestowed with glory.
In 2 Timothy 1:9, Paul teaches that believers were chosen by God, even before they believed. The Bible says that God called us with a holy calling without considering our works- good or bad. He did that because of his purpose and because of His grace, even before time began. Therefore, Predestination happened for God’s purpose to be fulfilled.
Luke conveys the same idea as he wrote the book of Acts. Acts 13:48 says that the Gentiles who heard the gospel were exceedingly happy and praised God. It says that those who had been chosen for eternal life believed. Such can be translated to mean that although many heard the gospel, only those selected for eternal life believed. Therefore, Predestination is being chosen before time for eternal life.
Bible Verses About Predestination
Romans 8:29 says that those God foreknew, he predestined to be similar to Christ so that Christ will be the firstborn among many.
Romans 8:30 says that God called those he predestined, absolved from the penalty of sin, and glorified.
Ephesians 1:5 says that God predestined believers to be adopted as sons through Jesus Christ according to his will and good pleasure.
Ephesians 1:11 says believers have received an inheritance predestined as God purposed.
Is it possible for a person to be saved but not predestined?
No, it is not possible to be saved without being predestined. Such would mean that the plan of God was not perfect and did not hold to the end. In Romans 8:29, Paul shows that Predestination was God’s plan. Since God is supreme and powerful, His plan cannot fail. As such, it is impossible for those not elected to be saved.
Additionally, Predestination happened due to God’s foreknowledge. If a person who was not predestined would get saved, it would mean that God’s foreknowledge was incorrect. It would also mean that God made an error and did not know what would happen in the future.
People who pretend to be saved but are not predestined would not be able to overcome the deception of the anti-Christ. John expresses such in Revelation 17:8. The Bible says that the beast will deceive everyone whose name was not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world.
What are the types of Predestination?
Universal Predestination is a doctrine that says God’s predestination includes every human. It teaches that every person has an equal chance before God and that everyone was elected for salvation. It argues that God’s will is that everyone is saved and is not happy with the death of individuals who do not receive salvation.
Conditional predestination doctrine points out that God knew beforehand those who would believe in Christ and accept him as their savior. Using His foreknowledge, God chose those who, in the future, accepted Christ. In this view, God predestines individuals for salvation based on His knowledge of their faith or acceptance of the gospel.
This doctrine asserts that God has foreordained the salvation of some individuals (the elect) and the damnation of others (the reprobate). Those who subscribe to the doctrine argue that God is supreme and all he does is fair and good. Therefore, choosing those who will be saved and those who will perish is fair because all humans are born sinners destined for eternal destruction.
Single Predestination emphasizes God’s predetermination of salvation for some individuals (the elect). However, it does not assert an active divine decree of damnation for others. Instead, it suggests that those not chosen for salvation are left in their fallen state without God’s intervention.
Do Christians believe in Predestination?
Christians believe in Predestination. Predestination exists in the Bible, and genuine Christians can’t avoid it. However, there are different interpretations of what Predestination means. While some believe that Predestination means God choosing some people for salvation and leaving others, other Christians believe that everyone is predestined for salvation.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.