Does God determines who will be saved and who will be lost before the foundation of the world?
This is the doctrine of Predestination
If we assume that God is an existing entity within the system of this universe and that God is the catalyst of the cosmological constants that drive the development of the universe, we have to believe that God generated those laws with intention. If the intention of God in creating those laws was indeed to trigger a process of matter and energy expansion culminating in this universe, God must operate in accordance with the laws that God generated. For, if God violates those laws, God derails the development of the universe. Now, with the assumption of God as the generator of the cosmological constants of the universe who operates within the confines of those principals, we would expect to see demonstration of these principals through predictability. Physics is our confirmation of the existence of these constants. So, it stands to reason that the development of this universe is a contingency of those laws. So, assuming that God intentionally bound the universe to behave within the confines of cosmological constants, the state of every person is a contingency of a conscious choice by God. Therefore, whatever belief or behavior or lack thereof results in salvation is at the very least indirectly determined by the will of God. Free will could perhaps exist but only to the extent that no choice alters the course of the development of the universe according to the original intention of God.
God did not determine who will be saved or lost before the creation of the world. Human beings help decide that in accordance with the free will that they are created with.
God does know who will be saved or lost, and He provides a way for humans to be saved. But if they reject God's way, then they will not be saved. We are not born with immortality, but those who accept God's way of salvation will be saved and receive eternal life.
Only God is immutable. All else changes as can destiny by God's will.
No! God wants all to turn to Him. It would be unfair to create people with the intention that they cannot be saved.
Well....we don't know for sure that they were not saved. Some scholars believe that Judas was not saved because Jesus told him it would have been better for him not to have been born at all...but we just don't know.
Lolita , You're right! God is a JUST God who has given us free will (Josh 24:15="Choose!") Re: Judas & Pharaoh; Ex 33:19; Rm 9:15 (GOD has Mercy on whom He pleases.") Therefore, "we just don't know."
The Bible teaches that God has indeed predestined the saved to be saved. In Ephesians 1:4-6 we read:
"even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved." (ESV)
At the same time, we know from Scripture that God does not desire the death of the sinner, but that he should turn from his way and live (Ezekiel 18:23). We also know that God desires all to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4).
Now, we can do three things with this. We can go the Arminian route and maintain free will at the expense of God's election. We can go the Calvinist route and assume that God actually kinda wants the death of a sinner. Or we can hold these equally true passages of Scripture in tension. We can hold that God elects the saints from before the foundation of world, and that he does not elect people to damnation, but that they by their impenitence harden themselves, at least at first (see the example of Pharaoh). They seem logically incompatible, but then again, so does the doctrine of the Trinity. Theology need not fit a logical system. It merely needs to repeat back to God what He has said to us in Scripture.
Well said Kris, this is by far the best response I've gotten. thanks.
Translation: I don't have a clue and it doesn't make sense at all, but I'm gonna keep on believing it because that's what I'm comfortable with.
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