The Doctrine of Unlimited Predestination Examined  (Part 2)

As far as I know the only way of determining the meaning of a piece of writing is by the meaning of the words of which the writing is composed. With a view to finding out exactly what is said in their connection I now copy each text in which the two words “Predestinate” and “Predestinated” appear in the Bible.

First: “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:” etc. Romans 8:28-30. These are the two instances in which the word PREDESTINATE appears.

And Secondly: “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, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved,” and, “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ,” Eph 1:4-6 and 11 – 12.

These are two instances in which the word PREDESTINATED appear. And these are the only instances the two words are used in the Bible. I now hope that the reader will note carefully what it is that is said to have been predestinated. It is not things, it is people. Whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate. And, whom He did predestinate, them He also called. So it is people that He did predestinate. And again: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children, and in whom we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated, etc. So we see again that it is people that God did predestinate. According to these texts God did not predestinate things, He predestinated people. Please remember that.

Now unto what did He predestinate them? To the adoption of children – to be conformed to the image of His Son. I don’t believe there is a man living who can prove that He predestinated them unto sin and death, or to apostasy. Before defining the word PREDESTINATION and going farther into this point, I should like to return to my young friend and to his question in the church bulletin.

“Is man really a free moral agent, or has God already mapped out his life, even to designating the day of one’s death?” There they are: Free Moral Agency, and the unlimited predestination of all things. Now which is the truth? I repeat “neither one.” Since there are so few who profess to believe in the unlimited predestination of all things, and since they do not actually believe it and live according to it, I will briefly dispose of that phase of the discussion as follows:

Speaking of the children of Judah, the Lord said, “And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart,” Jeremiah 7:31 and 19:5. Here we learn of some folks doing some things which the Lord commanded not, neither spake it, neither came it into His heart or mind. I wonder if God predestinated things that He did not command, nor spoke and that came neither into His heart or mind? Of course He did not. How the cause labors that tries to prove such things! Now if these people of Judah were burning their sons and daughters as offering in idol worship, which they were, and if such thing was neither commanded or spoken by the Lord and came neither into His heart or mind – which it did not – then upon what premise can it be said that God did eternally and unconditionally predestinate them to do it? Certainly not upon any scriptural premise. That doctrine did not originate in the Scriptures. It originated in the mind of Man.