Probably every Christian has heard about predestination. The Apostle Paul writes about it in Romans 8:28-30
28. "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. 29. 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. 30. 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."
What does "Predestinate" mean?
Predestinate is a word that many people have stumbled over. Many words have had their meaning corrupted by false teachers. Used in its true bible context the word simply means that God has great plans for you. In general we know our future that God has planned for us because he tells us about it in the bible. We can say we have a destiny or we are predestined to certain things. But all of God’s plans and blessing are conditional on you repenting and obeying him. Obeying God is a foundational principle of all creation and plainly taught throughout the bible. You can see the conditional statement in verse 28 above where it says, “things work together for good to them that love God.” To love God is to obey him. In John 14:15 Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” In other words, the great plans God has for you (your predestination) comes with a condition that you must meet--love God and keep his commandments.
The five words with bold underlined in the scripture above have been called “Links in a Golden Chain”
The Weak Link
The Foreknow, Predestinate, Called, and Glorified links are things God does without your help. But the Justified link requires your participation. This makes it the weak link in the chain. Justified means to be made righteous and you are not righteous unless you do righteousness. 1John 3:7-8 says, "Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he (God) is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning." Justification and righteousness begin with having your sins forgiven but if you don’t start doing what is right, you will not be counted justified or righteous.
God's salvation and grace should lead you to repentance and obedience but If after all of God’s help and grace you do not do what is right and obey God, then you are not justified and the plan of God for you (your predestination or the “Golden Chain”) is broken.
People That Should Have Been
If you don't think that God's plans for you can be changed by disobedience please read the following scripture.
18. O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea: 19. Thy seed also had been as the sand, and the offspring of thy bowels like the gravel thereof; his name should not have been cut off nor destroyed from before me.
In the verse above you see how God wanted the people to have "peace as a river" and righteousness, but it didn't happen because they were disobedient. Then he speaks of people that could have been born but are not because of the people’s disobedience. God obviously foreknew the people spoken of but the calling and justifying and glorifying were never accomplished in them. You see how disobedience can break the chain of events spoken of by Paul in Romans. Isaiah 48 was written to the people of Israel that God was planning to kill because of all their sin. All their descendents that could have been born were cut off. How sad that millions of people were cut off from ever being born--all because of sin and disobedience. You should never think your behavior affects only you and your future.
Examples of Ruined Predestination
The bible has many accounts of people that God had great plans for but because of sin everything was ruined. Below are some examples. Remember the same can happen to you.
"Wherefore the LORD God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever: but now the LORD saith, Be it far from me; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed."
"And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the LORD have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever. 14. But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee."
God said of Saul, "for now would the LORD have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever." This shows what God was planning to do for Saul. When the eternal and all powerful God plans to do something for you, then you can say you have a destiny. But Saul's planned future was all changed and lost because "thou hast not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which he commanded thee." It appears that if Saul had been obedient, then Jesus would have come from descendents of Saul and not David. God certainly made major changes to Saul's destiny---and God is no respecter of persons. What he does to others, he can do to you.
"And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it; 10. If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them."
These scriptures show how God had good plans for people but everything got changed because of disobedience. These are unchanging principles that God uses. It is vain and foolish for people to think they don't need to obey God to receive his blessings.
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