Predestination, Election of god and Free will of man
Predestination, doctrine of election and free will (of man)
Predestination and election of God
Based on the foreknowledge (since there is no time limit for God) and His will, God already decided each
individual’s final destination regarding salvation (being saved or not) even before the world was created.
And the election was purely based on His choice solely; no human’s effort at all. Then the question will
“How would the “free will” play in the salvation if God already decided everything?”
Free will can be defined as the right that God gave to man to choose to follow/or disobey His command;
turning toward/or away from Him. Like what happened in Eve at the Garden of Eden.
Man’s heart toward/ away from God will be decided by each individual exercising his/her free will. And
this turning direction can get worse through the life span of each individual. There are many verses in OT
to ask “our heart” to turn back toward God, especially in book of Psalm. If our hearts fail to do so, then
He will use His way to turn us (the chosen one) back toward Him. The ways, time and occasion that God
will use to turn us around will be determined by Him since He can see through our spirituality change
life span and make a decision regarding whom the chosen ones should be.
It is us who choose to be away from God using our free will; NOT GOD HIMSELF.
God’s election and free will of man
Our heart’s turning (toward God or the world) through the maturity of our life is the decisive factor of
God for election since there is no time limit for HIM to see through each individual’s spiritual future.
It is not God but us who allow our hearts being away from God under the influence of sin through the
growth of our age. Abel and Cain would be a good example. When Abel and Cain start to hunt or plant
vegetable, they have to be 12 years old or older (I think). Their hearts become more mature through
their life (becoming toward or against God). Apparently God see through their life to realize that Abel’s
heart was (would be) toward God and Cain had (will have) a heart with jealousness and anger. And God
also saw that Cain would conduct severe sin act since HE told Cain that he should resist Sin’s swallowing
Therefore, their hearts’ toward God/or the world is the decisive factor for God’s election. It is the
individual’s responsibility for his/her heart’s turning toward/away from God more and more through
one’s life time.
God wants man to confirm His calling with his/her free will. The one who confirms His calling is the
chosen one (elected one).
His sovereignty; God can harden or/ (cause to) soften one’s heart
God is Lord of almighty. HE can alter (or make us to change) our heart (mind) with HIS will.
In Exodus 7 and 8, it recorded that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart. In Ezekiel 11:19 it also mentioned
that God will (cause to) remove Israelites’ stone heart and replace it by a flesh heart; soften the heart of
Israel’s by using other external resources (HIS calling) to “cause” it happen. God’s divine sovereignty
shows in here.
Since the disobedience started with man’s free will, the returning should also end with free will by
responding to HIS calling. God will not directly change one’s heart to force him/her to accept His
Major events in our life and His calling
HIS calling can be with various forms (like natural disasters, life event change, illness, misfortune,
poverty, loss of lovers etc.) and it can occur at any time and location by His will. Of course not all the
callings will receive positive response (Luke 17:11-19). It is also worth to be mentioned that NOT every
major event happening in each individual’s life span (which were mentioned above) can been treated as
His calling unless His will appears.
Then this is the calling from God; the calling onto us to be humble.
One major reason of “not recognizing that it is God’s calling” is due to the pride inside us. For example
we are happy and satisfied with our current life and we can solve our own problems by ourselves. Even
we are in the ditch, we still will use our own power or wisdom to look for resolution of our issues; not
turning toward God for help. The fact is that God will use all varieties of “method” to make us in poor
(humble) situation in order to make us to realize that He is the almighty and everything is in His control.
Many people (if not all as I mentioned before) will receive this calling but only few will respond
positively (being humble of admitting that God is the almighty). Many examples can be found in OT like
books of Isaiah and Jeremiah to call the Israelites to return to God that He used external force to ask
them completely relying on God and in NT like the example of Saul’s conversion.
These few people who respond God callings positively will be the chosen ones (the elect). That is why in
2Peter 3:9 recorded as follows:
“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not
wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”
By responding individual’s response, God will pour the Spirit of the fear of the Lord onto this person and
he/she will be able to understand the knowledge of Gospel through the same spirit (the Spirit of
knowledge) and admit that he/she is a sinner and being converted by the Holy Spirit. (Isaiah 11:2).
This responding of God’s calling is this individual’s responsibility of exercising the free will that God gave
to each of us to confirm God’s election (the Prevenient Grace’ John Wesley)
God can give (in a consecutive form) the whole Israelites an undivided heart, (cause to) remove their
stone heart (Ezekiel 11:19) and also hardened Pharaoh’s heart (Exodus 7 and 8). God’s divine
sovereignty shows in here.
Ezekiel 11:19 NIV84
“And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone
from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh,”
(1) Give them an undivided heart; not toward any other false god, only toward HIM. Not hearts for
all of them.
Give: Qal, waw-consecutive (连续式), 1st
Jump to: navigation, search The Waw-consecutive or Vav-consecutive is a grammatical
construction in Classical Hebrew. It involves prefixing a verb form with the letter waw in order to
change its tense and/or aspect.
(2) God did this for the sake of His Name.
“9 But I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations among
whom they lived, in whose sight I made myself known to them in bringing them out of the land of
“22 But I withheld my hand and acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the
sight of the nations, in whose sight I had brought them out.”