- Category: Salvation
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The Importance of Predestination
Predestination is one of those topics mostly overlooked by a majority of Christians. It is not that they do not care about predestination but it's a topic that seems distant and not impacting our everyday life. We have our religious life - the scriptures, prayer, worship, church attendance, etc., and, just living out our Christian life in this present world is challenging enough, why do we need to understand Predestination?
Predestination is absolutely one of the more important doctrines of Salvation for from it we learn when we were saved, how we were saved, and for what purpose we were saved. Understanding predestination is essential to clear thinking on the subject of how one is saved. Consider the deep disagreements among churches as to how a person is saved. Is God the Author of this disagreement? Absolutely not. Division in the Church on the question of how one is saved is a source of great confusion and absolutely not God's will. The Apostle Paul dealt with these divisions and told us that there should be no divisions among believers for there is one Faith, one Lord, and one Baptism.
It is popular (but not true) to say that understanding "doctrine" is not really all that important but a sincere "belief" in God is . On the face that statement sounds good but the practice of the religious world is very different. To most religious people, their personal understanding of how a person is saved is derived from the "doctrines" of their particular church and very important to their understanding of Salvation.
All Churches believe in God - Catholics, Mormons, Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah Witness, and Protestants but each teach a different way of Salvation and the millions of people who belong to these different denominations believe they will be saved by following the doctrines of their individual Church. This is a major problem!
The doctrine of Predestination answers this problem for it shows that God saved His elect prior to any religious system-this is profoundly important. Predestination simply means to choose beforehand. The doctrine in it's simplest form says that God, prior to Creation, chose who would be saved, He chose the way they would be saved, and He chose the purpose of their Salvation.
By choosing prior to Creation who would be saved and the way they would be saved God effectively eliminated dependence on any Church or their individual doctrines. He chose to save people through the Person and work of Jesus Christ, period. The Earth did not exist so there were no Churches, no Prophets, no Priests, no religious laws, no holy sites, and no religious practices on which we can depend; Predestination limits the work of Salvation to Christ alone; we cannot add our own beliefs or our own doctrines. Do you think maybe God had a good reason to save a man prior to Creation? Do you think He is perhaps trying to communicate something very important to us? Do you think maybe He does not want people to trust in religious systems that cannot save? Do you think maybe He understood that men would build their own religious systems and He wanted to keep His people from believing in these man made systems? Does not the timing of Predestination emphasize Christ alone? Before Creation no religious system existed and Predestination clearly shows that God did not choose any religious system, or religious practice, to save. Also, the truths of Predestination make one curious as to the origin of doctrines that teach Salvation is found in ones Church rather than Christ.
Prior to Creation God determined that He would save people through Christ, even stating that Christ was slain from the foundation of the World; only through the atoning work of Jesus Christ would God save His elect. The local Church is important to the eternal purposes of God but never are we to entrust our eternal soul to an imperfect religious system. Christ alone is perfect and He alone is chosen by God to save us.
Before the world began.
Listen to 2Tim 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus "before the world began."
Before the Foundation of the World
Eph 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him "before the foundation of the world," that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.
Eph 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.
The Foreknowledge of God
1Pe 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Rom 8:29 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.
Rom 8:30 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.
Predestination ought to cause Churches to preach Christ as the only way of Salvation. Churches who teach that Salvation is found within their particular teachings do a grave dis-service to the cause of Christ. I have some very nice ladies that come to my door in an attempt to get me to attend their Church. They honestly believe that I will be lost if I do not attend their Church and do not accept their belief system. Never once have they preached Christ to me but always their Church as God's way of Salvation. The Catholic Church teaches they are the Kingdom of God on Earth. The Mormons teach that God's message of Salvation is communicated through their Church. The Seventh Day Adventist's teach God's favor through Sabbath keeping. Jehovah Witness' believe in their "service", their "church" and the Name of Jehovah to save them. Some protestant denominations believe you must be baptized by their particular church and some believe unless the right words are spoken then you can't be saved. We could go on and on. Any Church that believes and teaches that, because of their practices, they are God's way of Salvation have not seriously considered that God defined the way of Salvation, and saved His elect, long before any Church existed!
Abraham is God's prototype of how a man is justified (made right) with God; Paul in Romans 4 uses the example of Abraham to teach justification by faith rather than works. Those who believe their Salvation to be in their Church should ask themselves how is it possible that God can justify a man before any Church existed. I know this is redundant but if God has chosen to justify Abraham apart from the Sacraments, apart from a Priesthood, apart from a Sabbath, apart from Prophets, apart from any religious laws, and apart from any organized religious system then He is saying these things cannot save. God, by justifying Abraham, prior to any religious system is saying Jesus Christ, slain from the foundation of the World, is the only way of Salvation. Let's hear the Lord and put our faith in Christ alone.
Paul's teaching in Romans 4 is that every Christian is made right with God in exactly the same way as Abraham. God doesn't have multiple ways of justification otherwise Romans 4 has no meaning. If your particular Church teaches justification differently than Romans 4 then your Church has a serious problem and perhaps you should re-evaluate your commitment to that Church. If your Salvation is found in your Church then have a good look at Romans 4 so that you might understand what God says about how a man is made right with God.
God bless you,
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