Everything Is Not Predetermined, But Everything Was Known

There is a false doctrine that says everything that will happen, has already been decided by God.

The Bible doesn’t teach this. When Jesus lifted up His head and prayed to the Father in John chapter 17, He said in verse 6, “I have revealed you to the ones you gave me from this world, They were always yours.

If there are people who have always belonged to the Father, there never can be time when they were not His.

God lives in the eternal where time does not exist. In eternity everything that will happen has already taken place for God. He does not need to wait to find out who will believe in Jesus and be saved, He knew these persons before He created the universe. This is why Jesus can speak of the saved in a way that indicates that everyone who will believe and be saved, were known to God forever.

Some people have taken this fact and added to it, the idea that He predetermined who would be saved and we don’t have any say in this decision. You will not find a place in the Bible where God says this. You will find Him offering us the forgiveness of our sins, through the death and resurrection of Jesus. We must hear about Jesus and make a decision. God gives every one of us this opportunity. We have a choice in whether or not we will live in heaven. God did not predetermine the saved, each of us make this choice ourselves.

What we do see is that God knew who these persons were from eternity, and He chose these people for eternal life.

God allowing us to choose whether we will turn from our sins and trust in Jesus for our salvation, does not remove the complete sovereignty of God in our salvation. It is God’s sovereign right to allow us to make our own choice, and His knowledge in what we would choose, that displays both His great love for us, and His great power over everything that will take place.

Knowing what will happen, does not mean God made it happen. He decided before He created us, to give every person the right to choose their eternal destiny. Before Jesus came and died for our sins, we were all under a sentence of death for breaking the moral law of God. Because God is righteous and just, He must punish sin. God said: “the soul that sins will die” (Ezekiel 18:4), therefore God must punish those who break His law with death.

God also wanted to save us, and He did not want any human being to be lost. In order to make this possible for us so that we could have a choice, He came in the body of a man and lived a perfect and sinless life. Only a sinless Savior could save sinners. This is why no religion, church, person, or other god, can save us. Every human being is a sinner; every god of myth and legend, are sinful beings. There has only been one perfect and sinless man, Jesus. The testimony of everyone who knew Jesus and walked with Him for nearly four years, is that He was sinless. Isaiah 53:9 declares that the Messiah will do no wrong Himself, but will die for the sins of the world.

Paul wrote that Jesus is without sin:

For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.[1]

Peter testified that Jesus was without sin:

“…knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”[2]

Jesus claimed to be without sin:

Which of you convicts Me of sin?[3]

The Old Testament sacrifices for sins, illustrated the purpose of Jesus coming to die for us

In the Old Testament a person could find relief for their sins and the guilt that resulted, by bringing a lamb as a sacrifice for their sins. The lamb had to be without defect, it must be firstborn, male, and offered in faith that his blood would cover the sins of the guilty.

When Jesus arrived and John the Baptist saw Him, he said, “behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world.” John understood that God had come to earth in the body of a man, and offered His perfect and sinless life as the Lamb who takes away all sins forever.

The Old Testament described the Messiah as having a body prepared for us, so that He could offer His perfect life to pay the debt of all sins for every person. Hebrews chapter 10 references Psalms chapter 40:6-8, that God was not pleased with the sacrifice of animals for sins in the Old Testament, but it was the body of His Son who would come into the world to offer His perfect life, that God wanted all along. The blood of animals was only a picture from the Old Testament, of the perfect sacrifice Jesus would make for us later in the New Testament, that would pay for all sins forever:

Hebrews 10:5-7 “That is why, when Christ came into the world, he said to God, (Psalms 40:6-8) “You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings. But you have given me a body to offer. You were not pleased with burnt offerings or other offerings for sin. Then I said, ‘Look, I have come to do your will, O God—as is written about me in the Scriptures.’”

Jesus was sinless and without any defect. He was firstborn, a male, and those who trust in Him by faith, have their sins removed forever. These things all involve choices and things we must do if we will find the forgiveness of our sins.

The Old Testament laws and all of the sacrifices were never able to remove and cleanse us from our sins. This is why God determined before He made anything, that Jesus would come at a specific time of history, and die once for all sins.

Romans 8:3-4 “The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.”

We also see that all of our choices in accepting or rejecting Jesus as the One Savior who can cleanse us from all sin, was known to God forever.

Paul writes extensively that those who will  be saved by God from the future judgment of all sin, were “known by God forever.”

Romans 8:29-30  “For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.”

Notice the order of this text, that God first knew His people in advance, and then, based on what He knew, He choose these people for salvation. Because He knew them before they were born, and He knew they would choose to believe in Jesus, He called them to come to Him after they were born, gave these persons who choose Jesus, a right standing with himself, and ultimately, they will be glorified in heaven where they will live with Him forever.

Everything was not predetermined, but everything was known.

Based on what God knew about those who would hear and turn from their sins and believe in Jesus for all of their life, He chose these person from eternity, for salvation.

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[1] Hebrews 4:15
[2] 1 Peter 1:18-19
[3 John 8:46]

Categories: Robert Clifton Robinson

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