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Predestination?
A Widow Weeps for Her "Unsaved Husband"

Predestination

Glenda writes - Could you please give some scriptures to explain predestination?

Bible Bell's Reply

The topic of predestination is complex. Entire books have been written about this subject. However, I will lay down a few facts for you and hope that they shed at least a little light.

Definition

  • "Predestinate" is a verb meaning "to determine ahead of time, decide beforehand."
  • "Predestination" is a noun meaning "the act of determining ahead of time."
  • In the Bible, "predestinate" translates the Greek word proorizo (Strong's #4309).
  Strong's 4309. proorizw proorizo, pro-or-id'-zo

from 4253 (pro) and 3724 (horizo)

To limit in advance, i.e. (figuratively) predetermine:--determine before, ordain, predestinate.

Proorizo is used only 6 times in the Bible

  • The first occurrence of proorizo is in Acts, where it is translated "determined."

This verse quotes part of a prayer spoken to God by John and Peter. As such, it is not "doctrinal" in nature.

  the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined (proorizo) before to be done. Acts 4.27b-28
  • The second and third occurrences of proorizo are in Romans.

  And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined (proorizo) to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined (proorizo), these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. Rom 8.28-30
  • The fourth usage is in First Corinthians.
  But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained (proorizo) before the ages for our glory 1 Cor 2.7
  • The fifth and sixth occurrences are in Ephesians.
  just as He (God) chose us (believers in Christ) in Him (Jesus) before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined (proorizo) us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved. Eph 1.4-6

in whom (Jesus) also we (believers in Christ) have obtained an inheritance, being predestined (proorizo) according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. Eph 1.11-12
What God HAS Predestined

From the verses quoted above, it is clear that God HAS determined before time (predestinated) just exactly the following four things, and ONLY the following four things...
   
  • #1 God predestined that His children will be conformed to the image of Jesus.
  For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son Rom 8.29a

Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He (Jesus) is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 1 John 3.2
  • #2 God predestined that the Gospel of Christ would be a mystery until He chose to reveal it.

This mystery is defined by 1 Cor 2.2 (see also Rom 16:25, Eph 3:4, Col 1:27, 1 Tim 3:16)

  But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory 1 Cor 2.7

For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. 1 Cor 2.2
  • #3 God predestined that believers in Christ Jesus would be adopted as God's very own children.
  having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself Eph 1.5a
  • #4 God predestined that believers in Christ Jesus should be to the praise of God's glory.
  being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. Eph 1.11b-12

What God Has NOT Predestined

The concept that each & every event in a person's life is pre-determined by outside forces (karma or whatever) stems from false religions, NOT from the Bible.

As summarized above, God has predestined ONLY four things, all of which pertain to salvation.

The Bible makes it clear that God does NOT predestine your day-to-day life and decisions. For example...

  • God does not predestinate your career -- whether you will be doctor, lawyer, Indian chief, or whatever.
  • God does not predestinate whom you will marry, or even if you will marry at all.
  • God does not predestinate whether you will get cancer or some other life-threatening disease, or enjoy a life-time of good health.

God may CALL you to a certain career or decision, but He does not predestinate or force your response.

   

To God's Glory!

In fact, the list of what God does NOT predestinate about your life could go on and on and on...

  • If your house ever burns down, it will NOT be because that disaster was predestinated by God.
  • The manner in which you deal with the good and bad events in your life, however, IS predestined.
  • Why? Because God has predestined your life to be such that it will bring PRAISE to the glory of His name. And so IT WILL! Amen.
  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Mt 5.16

For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's. 1 Cor 6.20

Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Cor 10.31

A Widow Weeps for Her "Unsaved Husband"

A widow writes - My greatest sorrow is the fact that my husband wasn't saved when he died. I weep every night, knowing that when I go to heaven, Carl won't be there.

What good did it do to pray for Carl to be saved? God didn't listen.

Bible Bell's Reply
Dear sister, I must ask you a question in all loving kindness, but I also must ask it clearly and bluntly.

Namely... who are YOU to decide that you know the status of your husband's relationship with God?

  • May I say that you are being just a bit arrogant when you say (in effect), "Because Carl didn't tell ME he was saved, that means he was not saved."
  • What counts isn't what your husband said to you, but what he said to God.
  • It is with his HEART that Carl could believe unto righteousness.
  • It is only by words spoken to God -- to GOD! -- that Carl could confess unto his salvation.
  For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Rom 10.10

Salvation is of the heart
Carl's salvation could ensue ONLY from a change in his heart...

  • Not by walking the aisle of your church.
  • Not by what he did or did not say to you.

You say Carl died unsaved.

But the Bible says that only God knows Carl's heart. ONLY God!

  (God said...) The LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. 1 Sam 16.7b

#1 - The problem of pride
My daughter was the first Christian in our family. She witnessed to me and I resisted. After all, a child shouldn't be able to "out-talk" her dad, right?

But I took to heart what she said. Eventually I spoke to God -- PRIVATELY! -- and received Christ as my Lord and Savior.

Many months passed by before I became willing to reveal the fact that my daughter had "shown her dad the way." Why? Because for a long time I perceived that announcing my salvation would equate to...

  • "Losing an argument" with my daughter.
  • An admission that my kid was smarter than me.

You may say I was a fool. Yes I was, and often still am (God isn't done with me yet).

But so are LOTS of us sinful humans. Dear sister, think about that.
Continued next column==>

 

#2 - In the last moments
As a person is dying -- in the last few moments before he or she passes into eternity -- it seems that God has provided that there will be sort of a "video-tape playback" of all the events in that person's life.

  • Many folks who have had near-death experiences testify to this fact with words such as, "My whole life passed in front of my eyes."
  • I believe that a dying person will once again see and hear every sermon, every prayer, every testimony that has ever been spoken concerning his need to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior.
  • It is, so to speak, "the Gospel's last stand."
  • The person may seem comatose, as far as human eye can see. But in the deepest recesses of the dying person's mind, unheard by anyone but God, that dying person may at last be praying the sinner's prayer.
     

The basis for continued hope
Read carefully the verses quoted alongside, and trust in God. I do not mean to foster false hope...

  • With God, there is no such thing as false hope.
  • ALL things are possible with God.
  When His (the Lord's) disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, "Who then can be saved?" But Jesus looked at them and said to them, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Mt 19.25-26
Gospel power
You gave Carl the gospel, right?

Never underestimate the power of the Gospel to save.
  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. Rom 1.16
Scripture power
You shared the Word of God with Carl, right?

Never underestimate the power of God's Word to instill faith.
  The word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Heb 4.12

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Rom 10.17
Prayer power
You prayed for Carl's salvation, right?

Never underestimate the power of prayer.
  The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Jam 5.16b, KJV
No greater love
You love Carl, right? But your love is only a pale shadow of God's own love for your husband.

NEVER underestimate God's OWN fervent desire to give Carl every possible chance to repent, even in the final moments of his life.
  (Jesus said...) Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends. John 15.13

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. 2 Pet 3.9b

What next?
When you get to heaven will Carl be there? I don't know.

NEITHER do you!

Where does that leave you? It leaves you right where God has left us all...

  • Trusting in God.
  • Walking by faith.

God never said it was easy to do that. He just said DO it!

  For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. 1 Tim 4.10

For we walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Cor 5.7

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