Does the Bible Teach Predestination Or That Man’s Will Controls His Destiny?
According to the Bible, God controls all things, and indirectly controls our will through our emotions (heart). But since he does not directly control our will, we are still responsible for our emotions. It’s like when you get an animal to move in the direction you want by leading it with food.
“The king’s heart is in the hand of Yahweh; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases.” – Proverbs 21:1
“For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: ‘I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.’
Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden. One of you might say to me:
‘Then why does God still blame us? For who [can] resist his will?’
But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?” – Romans 9:17-21
When the Pagan Romans began mass murdering the Christians of Rome, and later when these Pagans started becoming Catholic making a pagan Christianity, they began to dominate the world, at what little true Christians were left they tried to kill too. I’m not saying that they knew who the true Christians were, but that because of their ignorance, or misundertanding, and Satan’s influence of their heart (God controls the heart of Satan), they would end up killing Christians who were truly forgiven by God. This went on for hundreds of years, and whether or not there were any true Christians left, I don’t know, or whether over the years there would be some Catholics, who when they read the Bible, become a true Christian, I don’t know, because for hundreds of years there is no record of any Christian who wasn’t a heretic. Even Martin Luther, when he understood the Bible more correctly, even he did not seem to be forgiven, and I say this because he thought that you must be baptized to be forgiven, which is what people who don’t understand the Bible correctly on the subject of salvation tend to believe, or always believe. People who believe you must be baptized to be forgiven also usually believe you must earn your salvation/forgiveness, and according to the Bible, no one can earn salvation, and those who try are only angering God more, because God requires perfect obedience.
“In regard to baptism, [Luther] taught that it brought justification only when conjoined with [faith in God], but that it contained the foundation of salvation even for those who might later fall.” – http://www.tlogical.net/bioluther.htm
In other words he thought that belief in the Bible being God’s word, and that God existed and had the power to save and could save, combined with being baptised, would save you, and that even if you later lost faith in these things, that baptism somehow kept you forgiven of your sins.
“Further, we [Lutherans] say that we are not so much concerned to know whether the person baptized believes or not; for on that account Baptism does not become invalid…
Further, we say that we are not so much concerned to know whether the person baptized believes or not; for on that account Baptism does NOT become invalid…” – The Large Catechism (Infant Baptism), Martin Luther
About John Calvin:
“Calvin taught two sacraments: baptism and the Lord’s supper. He differed from sacramentalists [like Luther] who believed that the sacraments were a means of receiving justifying grace. Rather, they are the badges, or marks, of Christian profession, testifying to God’s grace.” – http://www.theopedia.com/John_Calvin
Another biography of Calvin: http://www.tlogical.net/biocalvin.htm
Calvinism is the teaching that (though we all start out sinless) that we sin and become more sinful from then on, becoming more and more addicted to disobeying God and hardened against the truth, and that we can’t break free from this unless God changes our heart and enables us to understand how to truly be forgiven of our sins (the key being that we must trust that Jesus obeyed God’s laws perfectly in our place, that Jesus suffered and died for all of our past and future sins, including the sin of disbelief in God or rejecting him in anger – and rejecting him is always an act of anger, and trusting that you are forgiven forever and will never end up in Hell or be punished forever in any way then.)
Calvin did not say exactly those things as I said them, but he did in his own way, and it’s because of the Bible, and God’s work through him, that there are many true Christians today.
Martin Luther, the German Refonner, was born at Eisleben (23 m w. of Halle) Nov. 10, 1483, and died there Feb. 18, 1546. His father, Hans, was a miner, formerly living at Mohra, while his mother, Margarete (nee Ziegler), came from a family of the middle clans. …
Calvin’s teaching’s are:
1) That humanity is totally morally corrupted. Due to the Fall, the original relationship that Adam and Eve enjoyed with God was severed by sin. This affected the entire human race, corrupting the heart, mind, and will of every person born.
In other words he meant that no human whom God has not forgiven and whose heart he has not changed, is considered good by God (no one can feel love for God till God changes their heart, so any attempt to obey God will always fall short of being pure/good). That is a Biblical teaching:
“All have turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.” – Psalm 14:3
Now whether or not Calvin needed to say, “Totally” or “Completely” corrupt, I don’t know, since it seems to mean that a person if unforgiven can’t do anything right at all, but the Bible doesn’t teach that. I don’t think most Christians, even Calvinists, believe that a person if not saved/forgiven, can’t do anything right, but we believe that the unsaved/unforgiven will always fail by not loving God when they obey him, like a child who obeys a parent, but hates the parent.
Psalm 53:2-4 (New International Version)
“God looks down from heaven on the sons of men
to see if there are any who understand,
ny who seek God:
Everyone has turned away,
they have together become corrupt;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.
Will the evildoers never learn—
those who devour my people as men eat bread
and who do not call on God?”
“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered.
“No one is good—except God alone.”
Jesus didn’t mean that he wasn’t good, he was speaking in a riddle, saying that he was God, and that God is the source of moral perfection, and is really the only one who is good because he does not need anyone to keep him good, but is by nature good.
“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:6-8
2) Calvin taught “unconditional election”. That is the teaching that God chose those whom he was pleased to bring to a knowledge of himself, not based upon any merit shown by the object of his grace and not based upon foreseen faith (especially a mere decisional faith). God has elected, based solely upon the counsel of his own will, some for glory and others for damnation. This is based on various verses, including these ones:
[the children of the Jewish Christian Rebekah] had one and the same father, our father Isaac. Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: not by works but by him who calls—she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. – Romans 9:10-16
3) Calvin taught “limited atonement” which is the doctrine/teaching that Jesus only died for all the sins of a limited number of people, and not every human ever born.
This is based on the verses which teach that some will go to Hell, and suffer for their sins. If Jesus had died for the sins of all, then then it wouldn’t make sense for anyone to suffer for them, because Jesus already did so God would not get angry again after having already satisfied his justice. For God to punish someone for what Jesus already suffered for, would be unjust and would mean that Jesus suffered for no logical reason, since God knowsthe future and so did Jesus, so then why would Jesus suffer for someone who wouldn’t need it? It’s unbelievable. Here is a verse which shows that Jesus did not obey God/suffer/die for everyone:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven [which are the true Christians whoses hearts God changed]. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'” – Matthew 7:21-23 and,
“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the [most lowly of those in need], you did not do for me.’ Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” – Matthew 25:44-46 and,
“there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping. For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell,[a] putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment; 5if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people… if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment.” – 2 Peter 2:1-9
4) Calvin taught “irresistible grace” which is the teaching that:
a) God’s love for a person, and
b) the Holy Spirit allowing them to understand the knowledge given to them of how to be forgiven – knowledge given to them by someone preaching to them – and
c) the Spirit changing their heart to be sorrowful and regret disobeying God, and
d) the Spirit causing them to decide to stop disobeying God (which is called repenting of sin), and
e) the Spirit causing that person to call out to God for forgiveness with
d) trust that Jesus suffered and died for all their sins and that they have eternal life.
I don’t know if it also means that a person will from then on obey God throughout their life and forever, but that’s what will happen. It’s also the teaching that a person will be unable to not be able to resist God’s changing their heart and mind to do these things, but can only be saved once God starts and continues to change them.
5) Calvin also taught “perseverance of the saints”, which is teaching that those “called” by God to come to him and be saved, and justified by Christ’s obedience and sacrifice, will be permanently exalted in status above those who are condemned, will be beautified, and that their bodies will be made immortal.
The Bible refers to “saints” as anyone whom God loves, it’s not what Catholics twisted it to mean, which is a “a miracle-worker”.
So these five things are what Calvin taught, and what he considered the most important things to know in order for a person to be saved, not lose faith and to an obedient life to God. Because if we have no belief that God will save us from our addiction to sin, from sinning, from pain and death, if we believe that we can defeat God’s will, and that we will be treated no different from those God does not love, whom he has not forgiven, then how can we behave and think no differently from them, from those going to Hell? Without trust in God’s abiity to save and keep his promises, we will fail.