Tag Archives: Predestination

That Ugly Sweater from Grandma

Admit it, just like every other American you have received an ugly sweater from your grandma.  It is has become almost a right of passage.  After all is that not why they have those ugly Christmas sweater parties?  You open the box and make your best effort to be grateful, reminding yourself that with her poor eyesight she may have saw the splash of color and fainted dead away.  How could you not love something so beautiful?

 I have the perfect solution:

  1. Invent a time machine.
  2. Visit your family Christmas parties every year of your life.
  3. Make a thorough description of each ugly sweater.
  4. Go back to your present time and then convince yourself you actually want each and every one of those sweaters.
Other than step one (and let’s face it, step four), it is pretty simple, right?

Sound a little crazy?  It really doesn’t matter what time you travel between, if you wouldn’t want the sweater when you unwrap it you probably wouldn’t want it even if you knew it was coming.  Even if you chose to like each sweater, it would still be Grandma’s choice to give them to you and so you are still at her mercy.

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Review: Chosen by God

Chosen by GodChosen by God by R.C. Sproul
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When I was just a lad I heard the story of Jesus from my pastor at the end of a week of Vacation Bible School.  It was not new to me, having grown up in the church, but when he told us to “come forward if you want to receive Jesus into your heart” I thought, “Okay, if that’s what I am supposed to do!”  Taking my hop, skip and cantor down the aisle, I still recall looking over my shoulder and wondering why some kids still sat.  Was there something special about me?  Was I smarter? Did I pay closer attention? Was my hearing just better?

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What Is ‘Predestination’?

What is your understanding of the term predestination?  The concept usually stirs up high emotion and opinion.  Some think that the concept is a heresy of Satan, and others find it amazingly conforting.

Did you know that it is a word that the Bible uses?  Consider the following passages and share your understanding of what the Bible means in the comments:

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Predestination: It Isn’t an ‘If,’ It’s a ‘What’

A few days ago I happened to have a conversation with someone on the differences between Arminian and Reformed thought on the teaching of the Bible.  During the conversation my friend exclaimed, “You believe in predestination?”

“Of course,” I replied.  “It is a biblical concept.  So the question isn’t ‘if’ I believe in predestination, but what do I believe about it.”

This further dismayed her.  So I showed her the classic passages that talk about predestination and actually use the term (Romans 8 and Ephesians 1).  As I did, I happened upon another occurrence of the term: Acts 4:28.

for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place (emphasis added).

Acts chapter 4 talks about the passion of Jesus Christ, his betrayal, his appearance before Pilate, and finally his crucifixion.  Could this passage suggest that God predestined Christ?  Of course that is the case!  We read about God’s promise of salvation in the scene of the first sin, in his promise to Abraham, and on and on throughout biblical history.

If God predestined Christ to die, could he not have also predestined us to salvation?

The question is thus: what do you believe the Bible teaches about predestination?