Mailbag Page 26
A Widow Weeps for Her "Unsaved Husband"
Glenda writes - Could you please give some scriptures to explain predestination?
Bible Bell's Reply
The topic of predestination is complex. Entire books have been written about this subject. However, I will lay down a few facts for you and hope that they shed at least a little light.
|Strong's 4309. proorizw proorizo, pro-or-id'-zo
from 4253 (pro) and 3724 (horizo)
To limit in advance, i.e. (figuratively) predetermine:--determine before, ordain, predestinate.
Proorizo is used only 6 times in the Bible
This verse quotes part of a prayer spoken to God by John and Peter. As such, it is not "doctrinal" in nature.
|the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined (proorizo) before to be done. Acts 4.27b-28
|And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined (proorizo) to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined (proorizo), these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. Rom 8.28-30
|But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained (proorizo) before the ages for our glory 1 Cor 2.7
|just as He (God) chose us (believers in Christ) in Him (Jesus) before the foundation of
the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined
(proorizo) us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,
to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved. Eph
in whom (Jesus) also we (believers in Christ) have obtained an inheritance, being predestined (proorizo) according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. Eph 1.11-12
|What God HAS Predestined
From the verses quoted above, it is clear that God HAS determined before time (predestinated) just exactly the following four things, and ONLY the following four things...
|For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed
to the image of His Son Rom 8.29a
Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He (Jesus) is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 1 John 3.2
This mystery is defined by 1 Cor 2.2 (see also Rom 16:25, Eph 3:4, Col 1:27, 1 Tim 3:16)
|But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which
God ordained before the ages for our glory 1 Cor 2.7
For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. 1 Cor 2.2
|having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself Eph 1.5a
|being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. Eph 1.11b-12
What God Has NOT Predestined
The concept that each & every event in a person's life is pre-determined by outside forces (karma or whatever) stems from false religions, NOT from the Bible.
As summarized above, God has predestined ONLY four things, all of which pertain to salvation.
The Bible makes it clear that God does NOT predestine your day-to-day life and decisions. For example...
God may CALL you to a certain career or decision, but He does not predestinate or force your response.
To God's Glory!
In fact, the list of what God does NOT predestinate about your life could go on and on and on...
|Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Mt 5.16
For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's. 1 Cor 6.20
Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Cor 10.31
A widow writes - My greatest sorrow is the fact that my husband wasn't saved when he died. I weep every night, knowing that when I go to heaven, Carl won't be there.
What good did it do to pray for Carl to be saved? God didn't listen.
Bible Bell's Reply
Namely... who are YOU to decide that you know the status of your husband's relationship with God?
|For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Rom 10.10
Salvation is of the heart
You say Carl died unsaved.
But the Bible says that only God knows Carl's heart. ONLY God!
|(God said...) The LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. 1 Sam 16.7b
#1 - The problem of pride
But I took to heart what she said. Eventually I spoke to God -- PRIVATELY! -- and received Christ as my Lord and Savior.
Many months passed by before I became willing to reveal the fact that my daughter had "shown her dad the way." Why? Because for a long time I perceived that announcing my salvation would equate to...
You may say I was a fool. Yes I was, and often still am (God isn't done with me yet).
But so are LOTS of us sinful humans. Dear sister, think about that.
#2 - In the last moments
The basis for continued hope
|When His (the Lord's) disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, "Who then can be saved?" But Jesus looked at them and said to them, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Mt 19.25-26
You gave Carl the gospel, right?
Never underestimate the power of the Gospel to save.
|For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. Rom 1.16
You shared the Word of God with Carl, right?
Never underestimate the power of God's Word to instill faith.
|The word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing
even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents
of the heart. Heb 4.12
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Rom 10.17
You prayed for Carl's salvation, right?
Never underestimate the power of prayer.
|The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Jam 5.16b, KJV
|No greater love
You love Carl, right? But your love is only a pale shadow of God's own love for your husband.
NEVER underestimate God's OWN fervent desire to give Carl every possible chance to repent, even in the final moments of his life.
|(Jesus said...) Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life
for his friends. John 15.13
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. 2 Pet 3.9b
NEITHER do you!
Where does that leave you? It leaves you right where God has left us all...
God never said it was easy to do that. He just said DO it!
|For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God,
who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. 1 Tim 4.10
For we walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Cor 5.7