Question:

I am having a hard time with predestination. What I mean is, I see choice throughout the whole Bible; yet I see other stuff predetermined, such as certain events, kingdoms predicted to fall or the rebuilding of the temple. In Revelation there are people would not turn back to God and they would be destroyed and each time they don't turn back to God, God keeps putting His wrath on people, and then in Revelation it says none of them will turn back as the outcome.

I have always held the belief God works within our time well in the sense of the spiritual realm and heavenly realm (as most people would put it). What I mean by heavenly or spiritual realm would be like the chariots of fire, Satan, God, angels (more of the spiritual realm and physical abide in both) and physical realm where we abide. We might have, back in the Garden, been abiding in both and could see both or whatever back when man was pure and blameless before God; I don't know. But God made us in His image and so I have held the belief He works with in the time of both realms (I don't like using that word). Not so much He can go into the future or the past just He (like you said on your web page) that He is like a Master chess player who knows every man's heart, knows every desire before they even think or feel it. Thus, He can influence us to do anything. Basically He is the ultimate in everything, but I never see time travel mentioned in the Bible (if you know what I mean), just certain events are predestined to happen, and it doesn't matter if we are here or not, it will still happen. Yet we see that in Revelation that He says something along the lines that a third of the world will be wiped out and it happens a couple times. Shows He knows before they are even born that they will not turn. I just get confused and all. Yet if you turn to where in one of the Gospels when Peter cuts off servant's ear by the Mount of Olives, I think, Jesus tells him to stop because Peter had the choice of changing the outcome of the meeting where Jesus could have died or they fought there with swords. (I can't remember the verse, but it's in one of the gospels where it shows Peter or I think it was Peter who could have changed the outcome, but Jesus rebukes or tells him to stop it). Yet in the next few verses the 11 were chosen not to fall away or be killed and be kept safe until his resurrection that prophecy would be fulfilled that he should lose none that are his or something along those lines. I see freedom throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament, yet also predestination. It's weird in a lot of senses. I am just trying to figure it out but mostly just with nations or governments. I see mostly predestination used and only on a few direct people is it actually used for the individual. Sorry I know you have tons of stuff on the website I think I have read most of it. But my mind still wonders with certain stuff and I hoped I explained myself well.


Answer:

You explained what you believe, but after rereading it several times, I'm puzzled as to what is your concern or question. It's hard answering when you don't know the question.

On this site, predestination and free-will are discussed in the following areas:

Questions and Answers regarding Predestination
Articles on Predestination
Articles on Free-Will
Sermons on Predestination
Sermons on Free-Will

Sorry if that was quite confusing. Basically, in the sense where it says stuff like I see predestination and free will. So can someone's free will violate predestination for that person where God would want them? Because I get confused do both apply or does one apply and not the other.

In John 18:8-11 Jesus answered, "I told you that I am {He;} so if you seek Me, let these go their way," to fulfill the word which He spoke, "Of those whom You have given Me I lost not one." Simon Peter then, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's slave, and cut off his right ear; and the slave's name was Malchus. So Jesus said to Peter, "Put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?"

I see predestination being fulfilled in not losing one of those the Father has given Him. Then I see predestination about to be broken by man's will because of Peter striking the servant but Jesus stops him from doing any more. Two reasons why Jesus has to stop him was one that Jesus should not lose one of them, but also like Jesus says is that so that He may die the right way (as in how it's put in Scripture) of how the Father has predestined it to happen.  I hear a lot of things like Calvinism (which I think most of it is all false from reading Scripture). Then I hear God is outside of time where He can move past to present to future (nor do I endorse this idea too much not saying its impossible, but I don't find it in the Bible to the extent of how people say it). Then there's where like it's said on the website God Is the ultimate Chess Master and either way you go about it get the same result in the end game (well, me paraphrasing -- sorry if it's off). My question is with a situation with Peter right here is it showing that predestination can be altered in some way or form or is there predestination for the individual at all? Or just for countries and groups of people? I have my opinion but I find myself fighting back and forth of exactly how it all fits together. I hope that makes it a little bit more clear I guess. Thanks again for taking them time. Peace and all the good jazz

Think of predestination as that God has set certain milestones that will be accomplished. Some of these are stated in prophecy which God uses to prove His power. "Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure,' calling a bird of prey from the east, the man who executes My counsel, from a far country. Indeed I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it" (Isaiah 46:9-11). Notice that God isn't saying He has foreseen the future and is telling it in advance. He is stating in advance what He plans to accomplish and He then makes it happen.

Let's take the case of Peter. Jesus stated that he would preserve his apostles. "While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled" (John 17:12). In John 18:9, John said that Jesus' request that the apostles be let go was a part of Jesus' statement. Thus Jesus took an active part in making sure that his apostles survived him (barring Judas).

Peter did attack the High Priest's servant with a sword. But there is more here than first meets the eye. For example, the reason Peter happened to have a sword handy was due to Jesus' request. "And He said to them, "When I sent you without money bag, knapsack, and sandals, did you lack anything?" So they said, "Nothing." Then He said to them, "But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one. For I say to you that this which is written must still be accomplished in Me: 'And He was numbered with the transgressors.' For the things concerning Me have an end." So they said, "Lord, look, here are two swords." And He said to them, "It is enough."" (Luke 22:35-38). Jesus made sure a sword was available at his arrest, yet we learn that Jesus scolds Peter for using one of the swords that were brought. I suspect that this was a test for Peter, much like Moses being told to bring Aaron's staff and speak to the rock in Numbers. Moses spoke, but he also used the staff to strike the rock, which God did not tell him to do and thus lost his right to enter the land of Canaan. Peter was a rash man and it appears that Jesus needed to teach Peter yet another lesson about obedience before he left this world. The availability of the sword gave Jesus the opportunity. It also gave Jesus an opportunity to prove that he was not only harmless but also kind to his enemies.

Jesus did get his way with the mob. He alone was arrested. The apostles were let go. Thus Jesus saw to it that his apostles survived his death as he stated would happen. Peter's attack didn't alter what Jesus wanted as an outcome. Though he acted with free will, it appears that he was manipulated into acting as he did for a greater purpose -- a chance to teach.

We could play "what if" games with the possibilities, but given that we are such limited creatures, I doubt we would be able to get all the combinations right. That is perhaps the hardest thing to grasp: God can take the free choices of people and manipulate the situation such that His will is still accomplished regardless of each person's choice. That is Paul's point in Romans 8:28, "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." As you read further you find that Paul doesn't have good things in mind. He is talking about hardship and persecutions that come upon Christians. God can take anything, good or bad, and still end up accomplishing His will.