I remember that I had to write a paper for one my classes and I chose to write about Calvinism versus Arminianism. At that point in time all I knew about it was that Calvinists believe in predestination and Arminians believe in free-will. At the time, I believe I was an Arminian. I wrote my paper and got a good grade, but I honestly cannot remember a single thing about that paper, the research I did, or whether I even thought to consider changing my position. I guess at the time it was just not too important to me.

Then I started listening to John MacArthur. Yes folks, he has influenced my thinking in many ways. I will say that I am not a disciple of J Mac’s. I simply appreciate the fact that of all the teachers I see on Youtube, he is the one who backs his teachings up scripturally the most. I never liked the term “predestination”. Most Arminians don’t. First, it implies favoritism on God’s part. It’s not FAIR that God chose some and not others. Second, it means that many of our loved ones will be left out of hell, not by choice, but because God ordained it that way. Again, NOT FAIR. And I confess that I have, and still do struggle with predestination, which from this point forward I will call election, because I want to believe that God is fair. The truth is, though, that God is not fair, nor does He have to be! He created and it is His prerogative to do with His creation as he pleases. That is called sovereignty. As a human being, I want the cards stacked with fairness. Nobody likes a cheat. But even before I understood Calvinism and believed in free-will, I never could reconcile how God could leave the choice up to man whether they be saved or not when He is omniscient. There is NOTHING that God does not know. And if He knows who will be saved, then how can man have true free-will? Arminians explain this by saying that God gives them just enough free-will to make the ultimate decision, but that would still mean that God has to wait until the day of man’s death to know whether or not he makes the decision to be saved. That is not possible if God is omniscient.

I also was always troubled with the story of Pharaoh in Exodus. Moses tells us that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart. God used Pharaoh for a purpose and it would seem that he was just a pawn. Likewise, look at Judas. He walked with Jesus, God incarnate for three and a half years! How could he possibly betray the Son of God after seeing all the miracles, signs, and wonders?? The answer to that questions was answered by Jesus Himself. In John 17, Jesus payed this prayer:

Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.
“I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.
“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

Jesus said, “While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.” It could be said that Judas was predestined, or elected, to be the son of destruction. Now does this mean that God created him that way? Would he have had any say in the matter? If not, then it’s not fair!

I do not believe that people are puppets that God plays with. I believe, based on Scripture, that God intentionally chose some of us “before the foundation of the world,” as Paul states in Ephesians 1:3-10.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

God does nothing haphazardly. He had a plan. I believe that Jesus died for those who were elected by God before the foundation of the world. If that were not true, then His work on the cross is incomplete, because if some people still go to hell, and Jesus died for everyone, then something is wrong. Well, we know that God does not make mistakes, so Jesus did accomplish what He set out to when died for the sins of mankind.

Believe me, this is difficult for me to reconcile as well, but I have to confess that I do not understand God. His ways are higher than mine and His thoughts are not my thoughts. I cannot judge the Creator of the universe. I just have to admit that I do not know. I could be 100% wrong, but Scripturally, it makes sense to me. And yes, it does make my brain hurt!

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

A Little Fun

August 2, 2016

I’ve decided to take a break from the “heavy topic” posting today to share a fun story that showed up in my Facebook feed. There is a site called The Babylon Bee, which is a Christian satire site. I almost always laugh out loud when I read their articles, but this one made me chuckle […]

Continue reading →

On My Soapbox Again

July 29, 2016

I am sure that this post is not going to win me any popularity contests, but honestly, I just cannot keep silent about things that are wrong any longer. Christianity is in the toilet because people are creating a god in their own image and it needs to stop. I see it everywhere, but today […]

Continue reading →

In Not Of

July 27, 2016

True story; I have always wanted to be liked and accepted. I suppose most of us can say that, but I have always been a follower. I’ve done things I didn’t really want to do in order to fit in. I wanted to be needed so much that I had a baby before I was […]

Continue reading →

Be Sober Minded

July 25, 2016

Good Monday morning. I hope you all had a very nice weekend. Mine was uneventful, which is not a bad thing. I did wake up Saturday morning to discover that my website had been suspended, though. I emailed tech support to ask them what was up and they responded that I had an unpaid bill. […]

Continue reading →