Foreknowledge and Predestination I have


Foreknowledge and Predestination

I have always wondered about predestination. In certain translations of the Bible there is no question that some verse indicate that we are "predestined." And how does predestination fit in with free will. If we are truly predestined in the way humans must understand this, then free will is a farce and not worthy of further consideration.

It seems to me that predestination is actually an open-ended path. Think of it this way. God knows all things. He knows all the possibilities of all things. Our lives are often a series of branching choices. Each of those choices leads to a predestined end. At the end of each choice are more choices, and so forth. Like a master chess player, God sees the end of all moves and knows all the possibilities. There is a predestined end for those whose choices are always self-centered and largely unthinking, equally there is a predestined end for those who have God at the center of all the choices. God knows all the paths we will take and so He knows ultimately whether or not we will come to Him. (I would also favor with a God of mercy and justice that the paths may be ever so slightly rigged in His favor). Thus we are predestined in the sense that every outcome is known, but we are not predestined in the sense that ever choice has been made in advance. Our choices do make a difference and they do shape the paths of our lives in ways already known.

Each time we opt for closeness to God, the paths tend to lead us further in the same direction. In this sense we can begin to understand the claim "Once saved, always saved." It isn't true, as Paul tells us when he says that he "is working out my salvation in fear and trembling." However, it certainly appears to be the way things happened. Once we make a choice for Christ it is more probable that our next choice will also be made for Christ and so forth.

Do not let that lull you. Choices can be made, and are made all the time, that lead away from Jesus. We can and do sin. Each sin is a choice made against the paths God would have us follow, and each sin draws us further away from that path that stays closest to God. You can fall away--many have. Even so, we are assured that the good shepherd will leave the ninety-nine to go and seek the one. It is through these life choices and paths that we are sought. Even on the paths totally lost in dissolution and darkness, we can choose to move back toward God. They may not be dramatic choices at each step, but getting out of the eddies at the bank and back into waters that lead to the deeper channels is a choice made in the right direction.

God knows our lives, He knows their shape. He allows us a shape that does not conform to Him, and yet conforms perfectly to the shape of all other lives. He also allows us a shape that is in close, if not perfect conformity to Him. We choose, spiritual laws direct. God knows us, and His knowledge is judgment and mercy. He is a good father who, refrains as long as He can from discipline, hoping that the discipline will come from within. But sometimes the precipitous decline of our fortunes is the chastening required to hurry us back to the right path.

Thus the twenty-third psalm can be called the "Psalm of Predestination" for those who heed its advice and who choose to follow the shepherd. "He leadeth me in right paths for His name's sake." Those paths, the paths of foreknowledge and predestination, always converge in the throne room of our Lord. The Shepherd cannot lead us wrong, we can only stray from His guidance.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on September 23, 2002 8:02 AM.

Bending the Knee?" I loved was the previous entry in this blog.

Lest You Come to Admire is the next entry in this blog.

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