Many Will Be Called, But Few Chosen! Predestination Debunked!
(Ver 1.3) This is Part 2 in an important series of Bible lessons addressing the erroneous belief of extreme “Predestination”. If you did not read “Part 1” I would highly recommend that you start there and come back to this lesson. Today I will address the erroneous philosophy of “predestination” again using the Bible. In my last blog I talked about how some believe that God intentionally hardened Pharaoh’s heart so that God could work great signs and wonders in Egypt. I guess some people think that God was just wanting to show-off! I do not know how people can get such mixed up ideas, but I guess it takes all kinds. In this blog I want to talk about another “hard saying” found in the Bible that appears on the surface to indicate that God has preselected some people and others He has purposely rejected. It appears to me that some even take it and twist this message to say that God has predestined some for salvation and others for damnation. This of course to me is clearly in error and it violates the character of God and it turns Him into something that He is not. If this was true, it would make God the Great Nazi Deity in the sky, who kills the inferior races and only selects those who are worthy or superior enought to be saved. Isn’t this what Hitler did? Is God the same as Adolf Hitler? I do not think so! What we have is a classic example of what I call “taking ‘a’ truth and trying to make it ‘the’ truth”. This is a widely popular error found throughout the church body where men choose to wrongly divide the Word of Truth in order to believe in their incorrect interpretation of the Bible. People need to realize that there is more than one truth found in the Bible and in order to correctly interpret any verse you have to take into account all of the other related verses. This of course is a very challenging problem we all face, because none of us knows every related Bible verse. Bible study is like building a house or a building. You must start with a basic firm foundation of Biblical truths to begin. If you try to build on anything else your house of interpretations will fall down too easily. So what we do is learn everything that we can about the basics and then start to build upon what we know and correctly apply these things to the new things that we learn. That is the best that any of us can do. Truth always builds upon truth yielding a sound and tight fitting construction, which will result in a structure that is not easily blown down. True Bible Interpretation is not a house of cards that can be toppled easily. So let’s look at one of these Bible verses that seem to indicate “predestination” on the surface.
Mat 20:16 So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.
Here we have Jesus, God in the flesh speaking to us directly and you can very easily take it the wrong way. You can use your limited human mind to conclude that God is omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient and therefore, whatever God wants is what happens to everyone. You can take this statement by Jesus to mean that God has chosen some and others He has rejected. I mean on the surface it really looks like this is what it could be saying. However, if you think about it more closely you will see that interpretation is a house of cards. You see why would God call “Many” and only choose a “Few”? If God was only going to select a very few, you would think that God would already know who was going to be selected and not bother calling those that would not be selected! Don’t you think that makes logical sense? Why even call them if they are not being selected? That would make God a teaser and a tempter. Hang some bait out in front of someone and then yanking it away right before they get to it. Sorry, you were not selected! Is that your God? That is not my God, so either we have different Gods or one of us is deceived! However, there are other hard sayings found in the Bible that are equally hard to accept on the surface and here is one of them:
Rom 9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
This is a difficult verse on the surface. How can God choose one son over another? You could take this as a predestination act of God, if you wanted to. The verse before this one says that while the children were still innocent and were even still in the womb, that God said the “elder shall serve the younger”. What people do not realize is there is a major difference between “predestination” and “foreknowledge”. There is a major difference between causing something to happen and knowing what will happen. God clearly tells us that He makes known the end from the beginning. Is this because God has predestined the end, or is this because God lives outside of the dimension of time and can forsee the end results. I personally believe that God can see the end and this is what He reports, especially when it comes to the knowledge of what people will do like Jacob and Esau. God already knew the character traits of each child and what they would do and what they would not do. However, “predestination” would dictate that God predetermined what each child was purposed for and preselected one and rejected the other. In other words in the “predestination” theology man plays no role in who God selects. I talked about God being the great puppet master in the sky, pulling everyone’s strings making them do this or that depending on what God wants done at that time. This is a common religious philosophy that is widely taught in some churches. These people subscribe to a “no fault” religion. They believe whatever happens to them in life, it is just not their fault! They did not do anything to cause it and they could do nothing to stop it! That is very ignorant to believe like that, but many people do it any way! After all it relieves them of any responsibility or accountability for what they do.
So why would God choose Jacob and not Esau? If you recall Esau ended up selling his birthright. Jacob probably did some unethical tricks to get his father’s blessing but nonetheless Jacob has became the rightful heir to his father’s name and fortune. You also have to realize that Jacob and Esau and this story is a spiritual foreshadowing of events to come. This story has parallels in the natural that are patterns and types of what God was going to do in the spiritual realm. Jacob is a type of Jesus Christ. I believe Esau is a type of Adam, Jesus Christ’s older brother. But, I know I do not have time to teach this and I probably already opened a can of worms that is causing some readers to draw back, so I’ll stop there for now. What we must realize is that Jacob was selected by God, because of what Esau had decided and the actions that he had chosen. People play a role in what God does through people more than most people realize. What people want and desire, what people think, what people say and do all play a key role in whether God is able to use them. If you want to live in sin and be mightily used by God, guess what, God is not going to hesitate to look for someone else. You are the determining factor to whether God is able to use you!
So why would God hate one son and love another? What does God hate? Let’s look in the Bible for the answer to that important question:
Deu 16:22 Neither shalt thou set thee up any image; which the LORD thy God hateth.
It would appear that God hates it when people serve false gods and idols. Hate is a very strong word. If God hates something it must be very bad. Do you think that Esau could have been involved with another god or idol? Do you know that it is exactly possible, here is another verse that speaks about Esau found in the New Testament:
Heb 12:16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.
This verse in Hebrews is interesting, isn’t it? The verse is talking about “fornicators”. In the Greek this word means “male prostitutes”. Because Esau compramised his integrity and sold his birth right God selected Jacob. You should use your Bible search program and go through and study the verses you can find out about “Esau” for there are many references in the Bible to him. He is a natural type of something in the spiritual realm that God hates. But, also look for verses that refer to “Edom” for this is the nation of children that came from Esau and see what God says about them. It is a fascinating study. Maybe after you read all of these verses you can begin to see why I believe that Esau represents Adam and Satan.
So let’s move on to some verses found in the Bible that directly challenges the theory of “predestination”. These verses will cause a conflict that must be resolved in order to correctly interpret the Bible. I’ll start with one in Proverbs:
Pro 24:23 These things also belong to the wise. It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment.
You see on the surface you ask, why is this verse related to our subject and that is why the Bible is so difficult to understand for many. They just don’t put the pieces of the puzzle together correctly so they end up confused and wrong. This verse ends in a statement that a judge should be fair to everyone. If a judge gave one man a 10 year sentence and let another man off for no time for the exact same crime, would that be fair to the one that got 10 years? Does God have mercy on some people like this and others He does not let off the hook and throws them into hell? Isn’t God the Supreme Judge of the Universe? So does God judge differently than you should? Why do you think that God came to the earth in the flesh in the first place? I believe it was to set an example that we should follow. So we should be attempting to become just like God? I believe that we are. So if God tells us to judge without respect to persons, God is already this way! Do you get it?
Act 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
So God tells us what Peter the Apostle discovered. Peter says that God shows no “respect of person”. This Greek word has the following definition from the Strong’s:
From G4381; to favor an individual, that is, show partiality: – have respect to persons.
This Greek word is pretty clear in its definition. To be partial to someone means you look favorably towards them. It means you place a higher preference or priority upon one than the other. It means you esteem some and look down upon others. This is the Bible definition to having “respect of persons”. It is clear that this is not an attitude that we should possess towards anyone. But, that doesn’t mean we should accept everyone as they are either. If you do, you will have to let your pedophile teachers, teach your Sunday school classes and that would be crazy wouldn’t it?
Rom 2:11 For there is no respect of persons with God.
Unless you are spiritually blind you cannot read a verse like this and still believe in the philosophy of “predestination”. This verse clearly says that God does not show favoritism towards anyone. God does not play favorites. God does not grant favors to anyone. God is fair and treats everyone the same or God is being unfair. You of course can ask a lot of questions and refuse to believe that this applies to God, but you would be failing to see what God is saying in the Bible and that is a huge mistake. So God has said for us to be fair towards everyone, because I am fair to everyone. So what is the determining factor of why God chooses one and not the other? As we saw with Jacob and Esau, it had more to do with what they did and not so much with God forcing the decision. Here is another interesting verse that is certainly relevant to our subject of “predestination”.
Luk 10:42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
Jesus is at Mary and Martha’s house teaching and Martha comes to Jesus and complains that her sister is not helping fix the food for everyone. What was God’s response to this question? Did God say, “Mary I have chosen her and not you, I have done all of this for a purpose and a plan that you do not understand”? You see that would be a true “predestination” theologian’s viewpoint. Fortunately for us God did not say this. But, God says “Mary has chosen to hear the good things and I will not take it from her”. It appears that Martha could have chosen the same thing that Mary chose and asked Jesus to feed them when they all got hungry, but she didn’t do that. Jesus seemed to think that Mary’s choice was better than Martha’s choice, can’t you see the difference? Did what Mary choose to do affect her personally and the results that she got? Did what Martha choose to do affect her personally and the results that she got? The answer to both of these quesdtions is, YES! The decisions people make are directly involved in God’s ability to use them and that determines what they get. People have more to do with what God does, than they can possibly imagine.
Rev 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
Apparently God wants to come in and have dinner with you! If God wants in the door, do you think that God is not powerful enough to come in? Why would the omnipotent God be standing on the outside knocking if He really just wanted to come in to eat with you? The answer to that question is because God is a Divince Gentleman. God will not force anyone into anything. They must choose to open the door to let Him in. Do you see how ignorant people can get with their invented religious ideas that God is in control of everything that happens to a man, to his house and him opening the door to let God in? If God was in complete control He wouldn’t be knocking and waiting for someone to let Him in would He? God is God and He is all powerful, but He does not violate your freewill choice. God will not force you to open the door to your heart and let Him in. You have the responsibility to open the door and invite Him in. If you do not do this, God is a perfect gentleman and will not kick the door down like a thief or a robber.
Let me end this blog with this new and different perspective to the subject of predestination. Many times people do not think when they read the Bible so here is something new to consider. If God only chooses some why does this Bible verse say what it says?
Psa 69:28 Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.
You see you can very easily read a verse like this and completely miss what it says and think that it does not apply to anyone or anything. However, Jesus thought it was important enough and says this about it:
Rev 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
So what does this have to do with predestination? It is because you do not see, that you do not understand. This verse says everyone’s name was written down in the “Lambs book of Life“, but that some of these names have now been blotted out. In other words, God expected everyone to be saved, but obviously there are many who did not accept the free gift. You see God did not write your name in the “book of life” after you got saved. The Lamb’s book of life had every name of every human that was supposed to be here on this planet already enter into it. We can therefore conclude that God wanted everyone to be saved and those that overcame are the only ones that their names now remain in the book. So if God predestined anything or anyone, God predestined everyone to succeed and to be saved, but some chose to reject God’s plan and do their own thing. The word “Blot Out” means that the name was already there and removed or covered over using “God’s Whiteout”. People who are young do not understand the concept of “whiteout”, but those who are older do, before computers were around people would type pages manually and have to cover mistakes up with a white liquid paper product. I think you can still buy this product, but I doubt if it is very widely used for anything. This is however, the concept given to us in Word of God. God writes every name in the Lamb’s book of life and then depending upon their actions and decisions, God is forced to remove their name, if they so choose. It is truly amazing what the Bible says when you can see it! God Bless you and may you be blessed with the knowledge of Him that freely gives us all things!
If you would like to continue to read about this subject you can go to “Part 3“.
Posted on May 3, 2010, in Bible Basics, Bible Study, God, Understanding and tagged Bible, Christianity, Church, God, Holy Spirit, Interpretation, Jesus, man, Prophecy, Religion, Revelation, Satan, Truth, understanding. Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.