Session 6 Election and Concerns Notes

Concerns and Questions about Predestination Doctrines


A. These doctrines are for mature audiences only, and therefore, shouldn’t be actively taught.

  1. If this is true, then who determines what parts of Scripture should be taught and what should not. Who determines what is profitable and what Is not profitable.
  2. To practice this selective teaching is to take the first step toward liberalism in theory and/or practice, as well as pragmatism (doing only that which has favorable results or that which Is popular and doesn’t cause problems).
  3. Perhaps the church, as a whole, is powerless because the great foundational truth of the sovereign grace of God is not widely declared.
  4. II Timothy 3:16,17; Acts 20:27.

B. Predestination is simply fatalism.

The contrast between predestination and fatalism

Item

Predestination

Fatalism

Ultimate Goal

Glory of God

None

Final Cause

God

No relationship between cause/effect

Perspective

Confident hope

Despair

Freedom/ Responsibility

Human liberty ordained

None

Operation

Both end and means predetermined

Only end predetermined


2. Fatalism says that men will be saved or lost no matter what they do. Predestination says men will be saved or lost as a direct result of what they do.


C. Predestination makes God the author of sin.

God’s plan does include everything. It encompasses the actions of men. Therefore, God does foreordain sin (Revelation 13:8).

This does not, however, make God responsible for sin (Acts 2:23; 4:27). God permitted and planned for sin, but did not cause sin. Wicked men serve God’s purposes all the time, even by their most wicked acts (Genesis 50:20).

Two things are true. a) Man is responsible for his wicked actions; b) God is not the author of sin (James 1:13-15: Isaiah 10:5-15).

The real difficulty is how God could have even allowed sin to enter the world. This is a problem for everyone, and there is no rational answer.

D. Predestination not fair.

Paul assumed this concern, and therefore, wrote Romans 9:10-22 (Note verses 14,19-21).

God doesn’t have a debt to save anyone. No one merits salvation. It is, therefore, a moot point to claim it is unfair for God to save some and not save others. The only fair way would be to save none at all. The question should be not why aren’t more saved, but why are any saved.

God does not treat everyone alike.

This is obvious from birth, health, wealth, etc.

I Corinthians 12:11: Matthew 11:25

God’s treatment of men is not unjustly partial. Matthew 20:13-15.


E. Predestination precludes a genuine offer of the gospel.

Christ gave a universal offer, and therefore, so must we. We do not know who His chosen ones are.

Those who deny predestination still have the same problem. God does foreknow who will believe, and therefore, how can a genuine offer be made to those He knows will reject.

The offer of the gospel is no less genuine simply because some will refuse.

Notice the historical cases of Moses and Pharaoh in Exodus 3:18,19; Isaiah and Israel in Isaiah 1:18,19: 6:9-13; Ezekiel in Ezekiel 3:4-11.


G. Predestination contradicts human accountability.

The question is raised as to how man can be held accountable for not responding to the gospel If he is not capable of choosing Christ of his own free will.

It must be noted that man is held responsible not only for his will, but for his whole nature. So long as his nature remains what sin has made it, he will not come. I Cor. 2:14; Rom. 1.

H. Predestination discourages work and prayer.

Historically this is not true. Countless advocates of predestination were tireless workers for the gospel.

We must always remember that the means as well as the ends are foreordained. Therefore, God has foreordained our work to accomplish His end. He also has ordained prayer as the means to his ends.

The future is hidden to us. We don’t know the ends which God has foreordained, and therefore, we must work toward a biblical end.

Working and praying is ultimately a matter of obedience not subscription to a certain theological perspective.

I. The concepts of divine sovereignty and human responsibility are contradictory.

It is Impossible to fully reconcile the two concepts rationally. Yet, we must realize that both are taught In the Bible, and therefore, both must be accepted even though we don’t understand them, or maybe even like them.

God’s ways are not designed to necessarily make sense to the human mind. I Cor. 1:18

We must conclude that these two truths are only apparent contradictions. We see them from a finite perspective. God, however, is infinite.

Our authority must always be the Bible, not our own reason.

It is appropriate to conclude, ‘1 don’t know.” Isaiah 55:9; Romans 11:33-36: Deut. 29:29

Consider the apparent contradictory nature of the following true statements.

God grants faith, yet It Is up to men to believe.

God foreordained everything, yet He answers prayer.

God predetermined the end, yet men must work.

God did not choose all, yet He gives the gospel indiscriminately.

© Copyright. Joseph Flatt. 2017. All rights reserved. May be used for educational purposes without written permission but with a citation to this source.

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