The Doctrine of Predestination and Ordained Salvation
The short answer to the mystery of predestination of salvation is no, God has not chosen certain people for salvation and others for damnation to hell.
Believers and non-believers alike struggle with the concept of predestination of salvation, being confused by doctrines of men who have questioned God’s gift of salvation for the world and complicated the subject matter. Some doctrines teach that God has hand-picked some people to be saved and left others to the damnation of hell, and this was all done before the foundation of the world.
Yet they leave an open hole of contradiction because this theory leads to the question of whether or not a person (non-believer) should even try for salvation seeing they could be one of the ones predestined for hell. It also leaves believers with the question of whether or not they should continue to strive for holiness and righteousness in God if He has already chosen some for salvation and they themselves could be predestined for hell, or they can do whatever they want if their path is set to salvation.
The theory that men have offered through this doctrine of predestination leaves God’s gift of salvation on the table as a lottery ticket, where people are simply drawing on luck to enter the kingdom of God. But this is far from how God works and contradicts His own word and will for humanity. The word says: “for there is no respect of persons with God.” Romans 2:11.
God would contradict himself if he handed-picked some for salvation and others for hell because Jesus offered salvation is to the entire world. “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:14, 15.
“Whosoever” means just that; anyone who believes in Jesus are ordained to eternal life. Predestination does not mean only certain people’s lives have been ordered personally by the Lord; it means that anyone who believes are set on a predetermined path for eternal life. The path has been set for them to enter the kingdom. “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,” Titus 2:11.
The theologians however, wrestle with the scriptures they use to justify their theory that some are predestined and some are not. They use Romans 8:29, 30 which reads: “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover, whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.”
This passage does not justify their theory; because it does not differentiate among believers as to who will be saved. It means that all who received Jesus and who are born again are automatically predestined to be transformed into the image of Jesus, as a first born, the way Jesus was ordained and predestined to be.
They also attempt to confuse believers using 2 Peter 1:10, 11, which reads: “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”
This theory suggest that believers have to make sure they secure their calling and election and when they do, they are ordained (or allowed) an entrance into the kingdom. But Peter tells them how to be sure throughout the preceding verses and chapter of 1 Peter.
The letters encourage the believer to remain on the path of salvation and not to waver and is a reminder from Peter not to forget they were purged from their old sins and to bring forth fruit of the Spirit. The letters from Peter to the church never gives the impression that there are some predestined and some are not.
When the Bible uses the word “elect,” it is talking about the church of Christ, all those who are born again. It is not talking about certain people who have been elected by God to be saved. This is one dimensional and worldly thinking as if salvation is a political election or as stated earlier, a lottery. This is all false doctrine. Believers must know that salvation is to all who believe, and all who believe are predestined to eternal life through the ministry given to them by Christ.
"…in whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: that we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,” Ephesians 1:11-13.
Theologians also suggest that God chooses people based on His own personal preference. They use the scriptures of Romans 9:15, 16 which reads: “For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.”
The rest of Romans 9 talks of how God can “make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour” and he chooses to mold people the way He wants to either good or evil. This is all true, yet they miss the point of the ninth chapter of Romans that it is, and always was, referring to the Jews and their rejection of Jesus and God’s option to offer salvation to the Gentile nations instead. “I will call them my people, which were not my people; And her beloved, which was not beloved.” Verse 25.
In Ephesians it talks about predestination and being chosen before the foundations of the world, but it never suggests that there are certain people being chosen. Ephesians 1:4, 5, Ephesians 1:11-13. It simply speaks in general about the church of Christ and those who are born again into the body of Christ. They are all one man in Christ. “till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:” Ephesians 4:13. And there are many members.
Now, there are some who were ordained to damnation: “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” Jude 1:4. “These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.” Verse 19. John confirmed that these people were never with us: “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” 1 John 2:19.
God did not take away salvation from these people, they chose not to believe in him, and God knows who chooses Him and who rejects him, He knew this before the foundation of the world, when he preordained the death and resurrection of Christ. “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Revelation 13:8.
God knew the end before it started. We, being in human form with carnal minds cannot effectively comprehend this foreknowledge of the world, its past, present and future, which is why theologians miss the hidden mysteries of the gospel and interpret it according to their own knowledge and limited understanding of God.
The short answer to the mystery of predestination of salvation is no, God has not chosen certain people for salvation and others for damnation to hell. Salvation is a gift to the world and all who chooses Jesus are preordained to be transformed into the image of Christ and have eternal life and those who reject him will parish. The fact is, God already knows who will do what.