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theophilus

Predestination and prayer

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Those of us who are saved were chosen for salvation before the world was even created.

 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 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 to himself 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.  

Ephesians 1:3-6 ESV

 

Since God has already decided who will be saved and who won’t there is no point in praying for the salvation of another person.  If he has been predestined for salvation he will be saved; if he hasn’t been predestined he won’t be.  Our prayers will have no effect.  This seems like an unanswerable argument against praying that someone be saved.  But Paul, the author of the above quote, wasn’t persuaded by it.  He prayed for the salvation of his fellow Israelites.

 

Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. 

Romans 10:1-3 ESV

 

Why would Paul pray for their salvation if God had already determined whether they would be saved?  He understood that God doesn’t experience time the same way we do.  We only experience one point in time.  Some events are in the past and we can do nothing to change them.  Some are in the future and the choices we make now can affect them.  God doesn’t experience time this way.  To him the past, present, and future are all the same.  One of his attributes is omnipresence.  His omnipresence is temporal as well as spatial.  He not only exists everywhere at the same time, he also occupies all of time.

 

The things we do can only affect the future.  Our prayers can affect the past.  If you know people who are unsaved, pray for them.  God can answer the prayer you make now by selecting that person to be saved before the creation of the world.

 

Before they call I will answer;
    while they are yet speaking I will hear.
 

Isaiah 65:24 ESV

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On 1/14/2019 at 9:10 AM, theophilus said:

Those of us who are saved were chosen for salvation before the world was even created.

 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 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 to himself 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.  

Ephesians 1:3-6 ESV

 

Since God has already decided who will be saved and who won’t there is no point in praying for the salvation of another person.  If he has been predestined for salvation he will be saved; if he hasn’t been predestined he won’t be.  Our prayers will have no effect.  This seems like an unanswerable argument against praying that someone be saved.  But Paul, the author of the above quote, wasn’t persuaded by it.  He prayed for the salvation of his fellow Israelites.

 

Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. 

Romans 10:1-3 ESV

 

Why would Paul pray for their salvation if God had already determined whether they would be saved?  He understood that God doesn’t experience time the same way we do.  We only experience one point in time.  Some events are in the past and we can do nothing to change them.  Some are in the future and the choices we make now can affect them.  God doesn’t experience time this way.  To him the past, present, and future are all the same.  One of his attributes is omnipresence.  His omnipresence is temporal as well as spatial.  He not only exists everywhere at the same time, he also occupies all of time.

 

The things we do can only affect the future.  Our prayers can affect the past.  If you know people who are unsaved, pray for them.  God can answer the prayer you make now by selecting that person to be saved before the creation of the world.

 

Before they call I will answer;
    while they are yet speaking I will hear.
 

Isaiah 65:24 ESV

Hi and God bless! I believe the issue of predestination is always a good opportunity to share something I think might be significant relating to it. Myself, I find that God's omniscience helps explaining much of this subject. Instead of us considering that God chooses I think it might be able to be considered more so that He knows what we will be choosing prior to bringing us into this life. Therefore when He is creating us to enter this life He knows whether or not He is creating, or "fitting" us "to destruction" (Heb 9:22); and to me I can relate His foreknowledge of this with the idea that He is choosing us before we are choosing Him—via His allowance of our choices.

 

I believe the most significant determination concerning our end has to do with our personal choices and this can be seen in God's "command" (Gen 2:16, 17) concerning the "tree of Knowledge of good and evil." It's clear to see that God desired them to make a personal choice concerning this Tree, which stood within the same area as the "tree of life" (v 9). I see the concept of choice through the entirety of Scripture, i.e. Deu 30:19.

 

Concerning our prayers, He knows everything we are going to prayer for, and of how He's going to answer.

 

Wishing you well in Christ!

 

 

Edited by NetChaplain

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Hello to both @Theophilus & @Netchaplain,

 

It is so good to see this subject commented on without dispute and the pointing of the finger: for it can be quite controversial, and polarising, can't it? 

I have enjoyed reading through both of your entries, for you have raised thought provoking points, which I will follow through privately. 


* God has foreknowledge, as has been said, and He knows the end from the beginning.  It is also not His wish that any should perish, but that all should come to a knowledge of His saving grace.  However, as we know, not all will hear with faith, not all will believe the gospel of the grace of God and believe on the all-sufficient sacrifice of His Son.  He knows who will believe, because of His foreknowledge, and He is able to predestinate those who will believe accordingly:-

  

 'For whom He did foreknow,

He also did predestinate

.. to be conformed to the image of His Son,

that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 

Moreover whom He did predestinate,

.. them He also called:

and whom He called,

.. them he also justified:

and whom he justified,

.. them he also glorified.'

(Romans 8:29-30) 

 

* These verses tell us that foreknowledge comes before predestination:

* They tell us also what are believers predestinated to? - To be conformed to the image of His Son.

 

Praise His Holy Name! 

 

In Christ Jesus

Chris

Edited by C.Jord

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