WHAT mATTERS? What are we Predestined to?
We tend to lump certain words and phrases together by association to a subject. I think of words like election, chosen, foreknowledge, predestination, sovereignty, and free will. Some people attempt to associate all these word definitions and concepts together, employing the logic of Job’s three friends to understand God’s salvation plan. But these words may not link together as closely as they might seem to. I am glad that God’s Word encourages me to, “study to show thyself approved unto God…” 2 Timothy 2:15 yet reminds me that I “know nothing as I ought to know.” 1 Corinthians 8:2 So, with that, I enjoy conversing and praying with others about subjects that God gives a measure of light about in the scriptures, but has determined for us not to have full understanding of until we reach the unity of the faith. To understand what light God does give, I first ask God to show me what He means, then listen and look for the simplest and most literal interpretation of scripture possible. Comparing scripture with scripture, I still endeavor to be open to other’s ideas that differ from my own conclusions.
This week I’ve been looking at the significance of the word predestination. Predestine simply means “to decide beforehand.” Many people I’ve discussed this with think that God has decided beforehand whom He will save, and whom He will condemn. I instead think God saves them that freely choose to believe the Gospel, the unbelieving already being condemned in Adam. John 3:18 I also think that predestination possibly refers not to salvation, but rather to the sanctification of them who are already saved. Romans 8:29 emphasizes this idea by saying, “For whom he did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son…” He wants us to become like Jesus and He uses daily divine appointments to do that. He has pre-determined that we should walk in good works, becoming more like Jesus as we do. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10 He doesn’t force us to walk in good works, but He allows us to cooperate with Him by faith, “…both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13; 2 Corinthians 4:7
What matters is that the end of this age prior to God’s wrath upon man’s rebellion is now. “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming?” 2 Peter 3:3-4 Does that sound familiar? Yet God is still abundantly patient, giving man every opportunity to repent and be saved by believing the Gospel. “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 If you are not saved, God is offering you eternal life today, "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” 2 Corinthians 6:2 If you are born again, be alert to the opportunities and good works God has predestined for you to walk in with Him. God’s wrath is soon to fall during the 7-year Great Tribulation period. Daniel; Revelation Time is short. Warn others of the wrath to come. Tell them how to escape. Romans 1:16; 2:4; 10:9-10