Double Predestination - Answering the "free willers" complaints against Monergism (Calvinism)
Double Predestination - Answering the "free willers" complaints against Monergism (Calvinism)
Many professing Christians who believe “I chose of my own free will to believe the gospel” have written me stating things like: "The Bible states God is just. Sin must be punished, however, Calvinistic theology would put the punishment, Hell, before the sin."
The Doctrines they are attacking are both Predestination and particularly what is called Double Predestination.
Here is my response to one such Christian.
Hi my "free will" friend, your thinking is not very clear on this. You are disagreeing with what the Bible teaches. Here is why.
God most definitely states that he chose us (the elect) in Christ before the foundation of the world. And he predestinated us (those he had previously chosen) to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will." Ephesians 1:4-5
Ephesians 2:4-10 goes on to explain that those God chose IN Christ before the foundation of the world were also IN Him when Christ died, and were QUICKENED TOGETHER WITH CHRIST, and RAISED UP TOGETHER WITH HIM.”
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
5 Even when we were dead in sins, HATH QUICKENED US TOGETHER WITH CHRIST, (by grace ye are saved;)
6 AND HATH RAISED US UP TOGETHER, AND MADE US SIT TOGETHER IN HEAVENLY PLACES IN CHRIST JESUS:
7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
10 FOR WE ARE HIS WORKMANSHIP, CREATED IN CHRIST JESUS unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
The plain truth of Scripture is that God chose his people before the foundation of the world IN CHRIST, and that we were IN CHRIST when he died and we were raised up TOGETHER WITH HIM when he was raised, and we are now seated in the heavenly places IN CHRIST JESUS and that we are GOD’S workmanship CREATED IN CHRIST JESUS.
This is God’s work - “his workmanship”, not ours.
No where in these passages of holy Scripture do we read a single word about the vaunted “free will of man” or his “decision to accept Christ” or even of him “placing his faith in Christ.” It is ALL of God.
If you were not chosen IN Christ before the foundation of the world, and were not IN Christ when he died and rose from the dead, then you are no child of God at all, and never will be.
“But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because GOD HATH FROM THE BEGINNING CHOSEN YOU TO SALVATION through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:
Whereunto HE CALLED YOU by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14.
It is THIS doctrine that so many Christians hate with a passion and will do almost anything to twist the meaning of these words around, and will grasp at any straw they think they can find, to somehow explain away and nullify what is clearly written.
If God chose some, then he necessarily did not chose the others. Is God unjust? No. Justice, pure and simple, would have been to condemn all of us to hell.
Why? Because of what all of us are like in our fallen and sinful nature. The Bible does not paint a very flattering picture of fallen mankind.
God’s word tells us that “there is none righteous, no not one. There is none that understandeth. There is none that seeketh after God, and there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” (Romans 3)
God’s Book describes us all as being “without strength”. Not just weak, but WITHOUT strength.
We are not just “sick” but are DEAD in trespasses and sins. (Ephesians 2:1)
We are UNGODLY, SINNERS and even ENEMIES of God. (Romans 5:6-8)
The natural man “loves darkness rather than light” - (John 3:19)
And “we have turned every one to his own way” - (Isaiah 53:6)
Man is not some innocent babe in the woods who does not know the difference between right and wrong. He is a rebel who is at enmity with God and hates the light. And if we all got what we deserve at this moment, we would instantly be tossed into the torments and fires of hell.
It doesn’t really matter whether you agree or not with God’s assessment of what fallen human nature is like or what we deserve.
WE are not the Judge and when we finally appear before the thrice Holy Creator who hates sin, our mouths will be stopped in recognition of the truth and “all the world will become guilty before God” - (Romans 3:19)
Unlike you or me or any mortal man, God alone sees the end from the beginning. “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure” (Isaiah 46:10)
He knew beforehand that Adam would sin by his own free will. And if every man since Adam had not fallen in him but stood on his own, and we did the same thing all over again, we too would do the same thing Adam did
We would eventually rebel against God and what he had told us to do and would go our own way. WE have all gone our own way many times in the past, and we STILL do it to varying degrees, even as Christians.
Only when there is one, truly Free Will - God's Will - will there be permanent peace, holiness and harmony in the universe.
That is why the second Man, the Lord from heaven, said "Not my will be done, but thine." And "I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me." John 6:39
See “Free Will - The Cause of Sin!”
Double Predestination - Seen From the “free will” Arminian Side of Things -
Let's turn things around for a moment and take a look at your point of view. I hope that you have not gone so far into your own reasoning that you think God does not know everything. “Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.” (Acts 15:18)
Some professing Christians have embraced the idea that God does not know what “free will” choices men will make, and He doesn’t know for sure how it will all turn out. This growing heresy is called Open Theism. It is “free will” theology gone to seed and on steroids.
Free Will Theology is the official Roman Catholic Doctrine found in their own Catholic Catechism.
The Roman Catholic Catechism
It is directly opposed to the correct doctrines as taught in the Reformation. Have you ever heard of Martin Luther’s favorite book he wrote called “The Bondage of the Will”?
IF you still believe that God knows everything and he sees the end from the beginning (which he does) then God also knows before they are even born and brought into this world, that vast numbers of people will never believe in the Son of God as their Saviour, and every one of them will be born an ungodly sinner who does not seek the true God, who loves darkness rather than light and who is an enemy of God (Romans 3 and 5)
He knows beyond a shadow of doubt that they will be born, live and then die without "accepting Christ" ("free will" terminology) and then they will be punished each one according to their works - because as even you said - God is just.
YET he brings them into this world anyway, knowing all the while that they will end up guilty and condemned.
So how has your particular brand of "free will" theology solved this "problem" you seem so concerned about?
Wouldn't your god be "unfair" (yet somehow just? - not quite sure how that works in your mind) for knowing beforehand that large numbers of people would end up in hell and yet he created them and gave them physical life anyway?
The real issue is that you just don't happen to like the God revealed to us in the Book. This is the God who, as the Potter, makes of the same lump one vessel unto honour and another unto dishonor, and he makes vessels of wrath fitted to destruction (by their own sin?) and he makes the vessels of mercy WHICH HE HAD AFORE PREPARED UNTO GLORY."
How much “free will” does a lump of clay have?
Your imaginary "free will" (even though you were born dead in your sins and are in bondage to them) has nothing at all to do with which of the two kinds of vessels God makes out of the same lump. And you just can't stand it.
It hits at the very core of your pride. You are trying to give yourself credit for something God did in you and for you, and you are stealing from God the glory that belongs only to Him.
And so you fight against this God revealed to us in the Book. After all, “Who does he think he is? …God?!”
Here is a brief summary of why any of us are true Christians at all. I can back up every point from the Scriptures.
Do you happen to have a single verse from ANYWHERE in the Bible that teaches this idea of “I chose of my own free will to believe the gospel, and that’s how I got saved.”? Just one, maybe?
Hint - there isn’t one. It is a Doctrine of Dung that is a stench in the nostrils of God. (dung - man’s own efforts to be righteous in any way instead of through “the faith OF Christ” - Philippians 3:3-9)
If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, then you are one of those whom the Father chose in Christ before the foundation of the world. (Ephesians 1:3-6) He drew you to himself (John 6:44), called you by name (John 10:3), worked in you "both to will and to do of his good pleasure" (Phil. 2:13) and gave you both repentance (Acts 5:31; 11:18; 2 Timothy 2:25) and the faith to believe in him as your Saviour from sin. (Romans 12:3; Philippians 1:29; Hebrews 12:2; Ephesians 2:8)
And all this was “NOT of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.” (Romans 9:16)
Before you trot out the usual litany of verses you think refute the doctrines of God's electing grace - verses that you both misunderstand and misapply, and that ALWAYS end up pitting one verse against many others as though the Bible were chock full of contradictions - may I suggest you go to my site and scroll down to the bottom of the page. There you will see my articles that deal with Monergism versus Synergism - or what is commonly known as Calvinism verses Arminian "free will" theology.
Look for the verses you are about to bring up as your "Gotcha" verses like John 3:16, 1 John 2:2; John 12:32; 1 Timothy 2:3-5, 2 Peter 3:9 or Revelation 22:17 "whosoever will", and read it before you post your objections. And try to refute these doctrines with Scripture, rather than your own opinions or what your "pastor" told you the verses mean last week in Sunday school. OK? God bless.
"He that hath ears to hear, let him hear." Luke 8:8
"But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant." 1 Corinthians 14:38
ALL of grace, believing the Book - The King James Holy Bible.
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Notes from the Internet
Answering a free willer's complaint -
Craig M. says: "On the other side of the coin, the logical implication of that is that something called Unconditional Reprobation must also be true, meaning that God chose most people for hell not based on anything intrinsic to the person (not even sin!).
So then, man does not burn in hell because he is a sinner, he burns in hell simply because God wanted him to.
Sin was simply just the "sign" of the non-elect, whereas "faith" is the "sign" of the elect. Neither come about from man's choice (because he has none), but rather are gifted to the individual by wrath/justice and grace respectively.
Knowing this, how can anyone be a Calvinist? I want to know."
Hi Craig. I think I understand the point you are trying to make, but I think you missed some very important things because of your faulty views of God.
It is true that God chose his elect before the foundation of the world and predestinated them unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will. That is what the Bible plainly says in Ephesians 1:4-6.
You just don't believe the Bible or you don't like or agree with what it says.
You seem to be saying that man is not condemned for any intrinsic sin in himself, but rather as some arbitrary decision made by God.
What I think you are missing is the fact that God, who himself is the beginning and the end, sees the end from the beginning. Nothing takes him by surprise.
What he saw and knew before it even happened was that Adam would have a true free will. That is what man most boasts about. And any time there are two or more independent free wills in the universe, they are going to eventually come into conflict. And that is what happened with Adam and God.
All of humanity that would be born was in Adam. If Adam hadn't done what he did - act independently and in disobedience to God, and YOU had been there instead, you would have done the same thing, and would be just as guilty.
"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." Romans 5:12
We all sinned in Adam. And if you or I had been in his place, we would have done the same thing. You still sin willingly and disobey God even now, right?
That is your nature.
So, since God sees the end from the beginning, it is actually free will that is the cause of sin, and not God. And all men ARE guilty of willful sin against our Creator, not only in Adam but also in ourselves.
You will be held accountable for your sins, your OWN sins and rebellion and disobedience, and God would be perfectly just for condemning you. And me too, along with everybody else.
So, when it says that God chose his elect before the foundation of the world, this does not mean that men are not responsible for their actions and are not condemned for their sins. It just means that God saw the outcome of what man would do from the very beginning and he decreed to save some out of the mass of the future sinners.
Your "free will" theology leaves you with the same problem. If you are a Christian who is free will, then most Christians still believe that God knows everything, right?
This means that God knows beyond any doubt that multitudes of people that will be born will continue to "not seek God" and not do good, and love darkness rather than light, and will not believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, will not repent and will be lost and condemned forever, and he knows all these things before they are ever born.
YET he brings them into the world and gives them physical life ANYWAY, knowing full well that they will perish in the lake of fire.
So you have not "solved the problem" you seem to find so distasteful at all. Let's face it. You just don't like the God revealed to us in the Bible and are looking for some way to absolve yourself of blame and place it on God.
Think about it.