articles of chapter 6

Predestination

What does it mean? Who will be saved? Is salvation or damnation decided in advance for every human being?

Predestination means the eternal choice made by God. According to Jean Calvin, the founder of a reformed church, in the 16th century, God has decided in advance whom he is to save and whom He will reject. Calvin found horrifying that God would have created some people for salvation and others to be lost. On this basis, Calvin developed a steep, double predestination doctrine according to which God created some people for salvation and others for the damnation. The Calvinist legacy is the notion of irresistible mercy and the doctrine that it is impossible for the pre-selected chosen to abandon faith (the so-called once saved – always saved – doctrine).

How could this be generalized to all people? What significance has Christ’s redemption work then? What about human free choice, free will?

There are, however, passages in the Bible that indicate that God has already before the beginning of time chosen certain persons for his ministry and thus for salvation. God has for grace and according to his own intentions chosen from mankind a group for salvation, which he has preordain for eternal life. In Christ we were also chosen when we were predestined according to the purpose of the one who does everything according to the intention of his will, to the end that we should be to the praise of his glory, we who had before hoped in Christ: (Eph 1:11-12).

God has preordained a number of people to salvation. This could be called a positive preordain. And is there a God’s negative preordain? No, there is not. God’s predestination does not include condemnation; nobody is therefore predetermined to damnation. God wants that all people would repent and be saved. For that purpose, Jesus also proclaimed the gospel that people would make their own choice of salvation after hearing the gospel message.

 

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