Are Some Predestined To Be Damned? Essay, Research Paper
Are Some Predestined to be Damned? Before I can answer that question I have to explain what predestination is. Predestination, in the dictionary, is said to be the doctrine that God in consequence of his foreknowledge of all events infallibly guides those who are destined for salvation. Scripture has 2 very good passages for defining what predestination is: Jeremiah 1:5 which says Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. God is talking about Jeremiah in this passage and how God chose him before time; he was predestined for his job. Romans 8:28-30 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover, whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called them he also justified: and whom he justified them he also glorified. This passage speaks about God s ultimate omniscience concerning our predestination and how we would react to the message of God s Word.The Reformed churches believe in a different kind of predestination called Double predestination, which says that God not only determines the salvation of the elect, but also the damnation of the reprobate. It seems interesting that Rev. Herman Hoeksema (Reform Church) would chose II Timothy 2:19 to base his belief in this double predestination. For this passage only says that God knows who are his and that those who are his shall depart from iniquity, it doesn t say anything about the rest of the world being chosen to be damned. From this passage he speaks of a purposeful divide among our race that causes a constant matter of suffering as long as we are in this present time. His beliefs on this subject are similar to John Calvin s that God decreed to leave some in the common misery and not to bestow on them living faith and the grace of conversion. Calvin also believes that God predestined everything for everything that it does, such that God predestined me to be writing this report right now for my religion class, so that this isn t my own free will but it was God s set plan for me. Zanchius, a Reform Theologian, writes that there is most certainly a double predestination and gives passages to prove through God s Word that there is no other way. II Cor. 4:3 If our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. I Peter 2:8 They stumble because they disobey the message-which is also what they were destined for. II Peter 2:12b They are like brute beasts, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like beasts they too will perish. Jude 1:4a For certain men who were marked out for condemnation long ago have secretly slipped among you. He concludes his arguments by saying that God could not erase a name that has been placed in the book of life or add a name because it was from eternity. He quotes Luther with, This is the very thing that razes the doctrine of free-will from its foundation, to wit, that God s eternal love of some men and hatred of others is immutable and cannot be reversed.
The truth about predestination is that God gives man a free will that he doesn t take control of or manipulate. So an unbeliever has a choice, he can either accept salvation through Jesus Christ of his own free will and have a relationship with God or he can reject his Savior and have eternal damnation. God knew, as a result of their free will, who would be saved and who would reject him, he knew the answer to that before time even began. So God predestined believers to be more like Christ. The most compelling evidence that there is no double predestination is John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For if God loved the whole world that means he loved everyone, not everyone but you, but everyone. God continues to try to help us accept the word, even though his foresight tells him that it is a lost cause, because of his great love and grace that he shows for us. So in answer to the question are some predestined to be damned there can only be one right answer, no. God did not predestine anyone to be damned but it was of their own free will that they rejected Jesus as their savior.