The Doctrine of Predestination
The doctrine of predestination says that God selected those who would be saved and those who would be lost before the world began. It further continues to allege that for those who are predestined to be lost, there is no reason for them to obey the Gospel or try to live the Christian life since they will be lost anyway.
It is interesting that the doctrine of predestination seems to be taught only by those who think they were predestined to be saved. We never hear it taught by those who believe they were predestined to be lost.
Passages such as this one might lead one to believing predestination if he or she was trying to believe it anyway-- but this passage from Romans 8 is lifted out of context:
Rom 8:28 And we know that to them that love God all things work together for good, even to them that are called according to his purpose.
Rom 8:29 For whom he foreknew, he also foreordained to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren:
Rom 8:30 and whom he foreordained, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
Romans the eleventh chapter ties together a rather long and involved argument by Paul to the realization that God predestined that there would be a class or a category of saved persons that would include Jews and Gentiles. Neither he nor any author in the Bible states that the individuals who will be saved have been predestined, only that there will be a category or class of saved persons and lost persons (Matthew 7: 13, 14 for example). Paul penned the statements of Romans chapters 8 through 11 so that both groups in the first century, Jews and Gentiles, would accept each other in Jesus Christ. Further evidence for the need of this can be found in the tenth chapter of the book of Acts where Peter is told to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles for the very first time.
This passage in II Peter is also sometimes used to try to justify predestination:
2Pe 1:10 Wherefore, brethren, give the more diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never stumble:
2Pe 1:11 for thus shall be richly supplied unto you the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
However, what was just passed in verses 2-9 of the same chapter was a discussion of the Christian Graces, and readers were enjoined to grow in those. IF they grew in those, they would never fall. Most scriptures that would seem to teach predestination (or foreordination as it is sometimes called) were lifted out of context in similar fashion.
The following passages are only some of the proof that although God knew before creation which ones of us would respond to Him and which ones wouldn't, he still allows us the option of making a free choice for Him:
There are five passages in the New
that directly say that God is no respector of persons: Acts 10: 34, Romans 2: 11, Ephesians 6: 9, Colossians 3:25, I Peter 1: 17. If there was no further disproof of the doctrine of predestination, these would be sufficient. A God who was no respector of persons could not decide ahead of time to mark some for Hell. Also see II Peter 3: 9, "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some count slackness; but is longsuffering to you-ward, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." Why would God say that He was not wishing that any should perish if He had predestined that some or most of them would be lost? And why would He have Peter write that whole third chapter about being prepared for the judgement if it was already decided who would be lost and who would be saved? The admonitions of Matthew 25 and Luke 17 would similarly seem non-sensical.
We reject, then, the teaching that the individuals who will be lost or saved have been pre-determined. We also are not troubled by the 144,000 of Revelation 14: 3 as if to worry that the 144,000 have already been reached and that there might be no more room in Heaven; rather we have faith that God is able to save those who approach Him in belief and do their best to obey His will.