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Many in the religious world believe and teach that God, before the foundations of the world
were laid, predestined each of us to live eternally in either heaven or hell. Are all things in our life
predetermined before we were ever born?
As we open the Bible, we find that words such as predestination, election and foreknowledge
are indeed Biblical words. They are found in passages such as Romans 8:29, 30; Ephesians 1:5, 11;
I Peter 1:2. But what do these words mean?
The word “predestination” means “to determine, decree, or ordain beforehand.” The words “elect” and “election” mean “to choose, to select, or to pick out.” The words “foreordain” and “foreknow” mean “to know, perceive, or understand beforehand.”
Unfortunately, some in the religious world have taken these words and built false doctrine around them. Some men have taken these words and assumed that God has predetermined every single detail of man’s life. If this is true, then man is not a “free moral agent” with the ability to choose between right and wrong. The “free moral agency” of man is evident throughout the Bible.
We first see it in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve were given the “choice” to obey God or
disobey Him by eating of the fruit of the “tree of knowledge of good and evil” (Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-6).
God’s people were told by Joshua, “Choose ye this day whom ye will serve” (Joshua 24:15).
The Bible is especially plain concerning the fact that Jesus died for EVERYONE! In Matthew 11:28, Jesus says, “Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.”
Jesus’ invitation is not limited to any group of people, nor is it for the “elect” only. “We see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor, that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man” (Hebrews 2:9).
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life; for God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but
that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:16,17).
Not one word in either of these passages mentions or even hints at the “elect” or any who are “predestined.” Jesus died for “every man.” There is absolutely no room in these verses for any exclusions or limitations. According to I Timothy 2:5-6, Jesus “gave himself a ransom for all…”
What does it mean to be “elected according to the foreknowledge of God?” (I Peter 1:2)
God foreknew the plan of salvation for man from the beginning and also the type of character (the
obedient) that He would save. When a person humbles himself and obeys the gospel call he is then
elected according to the foreknowledge of God.
Dear reader, if we are among the “elect” on the day of judgment, “predestined” to salvation,
it will be because we were obedient to that heavenly calling.
If you have Bible questions please mail them to: Rockford Church of Christ; 8997 U.S. Hwy.
231; Rockford, Alabama. 35136. You can email them to Dabass1962@bellsouth.net. May God
bless you as you search the Scriptures!
David A. Bass has been preaching for the last 42 years and has preached in Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Kentucky, and northern Russia. He began preaching for the Rockford Church of Christ in December 2022. He has done mission work in Costa Rica, Scotland, India, and Russia, as well. He is married to Kathy Isbell Bass, and they have 10 children and 11 grandchildren.