Predestination in the New Testament
Posted: 25 May 2011 in Acts, Ephesians, Hebrews, Mark

“And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, THEY WHICH ARE CALLED might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.” (Hebrews 9.15)

“For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God SHALL CALL.” (Acts 2.39)

“And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect’s sake, WHOM HE HATH CHOSEN, he hath shortened the days.” (Mark 13.20)

“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: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.” (Ephesians 1.4-5)

The above passages could be multiplied endlessly. I find it scarcely possible to pick up the Bible without stumbling across another verse, which I had previously glided over without noticing its real meaning. The above all speak of they same thing, which is the absolute sovereignty of God in electing some people to eternal salvation, whilst leaving others to perish as a consequence of their sin. It is easy to see why this is an unpopular doctrine, but it is one which runs throughout the New Testament, and, to a lesser extent, the Old Testament as well.

A reasonable expectation might be that, if we are unable to effect our own salvation, and we are wholly dependent upon God’s grace, then he might elect all equally to salvation. Reasonable though that might be, there seem to be many sayings of Jesus which tell against it. For example:

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (Matthew 7.13-14)

Clearly the Christian God is not the santa claus god atheists love to lampoon, and for us Christians our ability to accept what God reveals of himself in the Bible is a test of our humility and theological seriousness.

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