FOREORDINATION (PREDESTINATION)

 

Foreordination and predestination are terms that are sometimes used interchangeably. Foreordination denotes Godís sovereign plan whereby in eternity He has already decreed all that is to happen in the entire universe, which He created. Predestination is modern terminology depicting the functions of foreordination; it defines the specifics of Godís eternal plan, i.e., Godís foreknowledge in election, the manifestation of His call (summons) and justification in time and the glorification of His elect in eternity (Romans 8:30). In Ephesians 1:5, the Greek verb "pro oēree sas", rendered "foreordained", is formed from a combination of the Greek preposition "pro" meaning "before" prefixed to the word "o ree zo", meaning boundary or limits or restrictions. Hence, its etymological meaning conveys the idea of to limit, restrict and mark out beforehand to "in prior time design and determine" or to "ordain before hand", thus to specifically predestinate or predetermine.

As we follow the Greek word order in the usage of this word "proēoēreeēsas", it is always in the aorist tense. In interpreting this grammatical principle, its application always points to a given point or period, prior to the creating of the world when God both elected or chose and foreordained designated individuals to be holy (set apart) and blameless (justified) before Him and as such, to occupy position as sons. This cuts against the grain of most modern day doctrinal ministering that do not follow the literal intended thought conveyance of the scriptures nor obey the Holy Spirit in guiding their thinking. In light of all of the facts of eternity, we should keep in mind that God is omniscient (all knowing), thus nothing in this world happens by chance. God is ultimately in control of everything. He decides and causes all things to happen. He is not sitting on the sideline wondering and perhaps contemplating in trepidation, "what is going to happen"? He has foreordained everything "After the counsel of His will" (Ephesians 1:11), everything is preplanned and pre-purposed, even the negative and sinful acts against Him.

In all things, God who is all wisdom always works out what He has deemed best and good, which is what pleases Him. His counsel is always the highest possible intelligent decision. Thus the information contained in these eternal facts, entails Godís perfect judgments, which enabled Him according to His sovereignty and purpose for the ages to foreordain us, His elect, to the praise of His grace and glory (Ephesians 1:6,12). In the proceedings before us, it is our intentions to go into greater detail of foreordination (predestination} in our expository presentation of this subject matter. May God give illumination to those whom He has chosen to receive this blessed enlightenment as it will certainly serve as the spiritual basis for viewing time and the events thereof from the eternal vantage point. The validity of this doctrinal truth lies in the fact that God is the First Cause (uncaused), the Sovereign Creator, the Source and Sustainer of ALL things, thus He can in no way be dependent on anything distinct from Himself.

We are convinced that all the scriptures throughout the bible (crossing all dispensational lines) support the factuality of all of the above. The questions that are most confrontational are: has God from all eternity foreordained all things which come to pass? If so, what evidence do we have to that effect? Also how are these facts consistent with the concept of the free agency of rational creatures? And lastly, when we view the chaos and endless disorder existing in creation, how can this be reconciled with the perfection in God? There is evidence both visible and invisible in creation itself but mankind can not comprehend the working of God unless He (God) chooses to reveal them unto him (1Corinthians chapters one and two). Incredible as it may sound to some, the simple creature internalizes the complexity of his maker only if and in proportion to the Creatorís design.

Here it must be emphatically stated that the evidence of the foreordination of all acts and events in eternity is incorporated in one word, "faith". It should become apparent to the informed that the ability to grasp or understand and relate to that which was accomplished in eternity, must of necessity be deposited in the spirits of those who are merely components of creation. Controversy arises out of flawed doctrinal thinking that "all men are born with faith" and that "it is up to each individual to activate it". Unfortunately this leads to varying degrees of the assignment of depravity instead of the totality of it thereof. Dissention to this doctrine occurs because of the fact that foreordination destroys all semblances of the "free agency" of so-called rational creatures. An understanding of the Total Depravity of both man and his concomitant environment immediately explains the sin problem as well as all other aversive conditions of creation. The fact that every thing flows to the dictates of Godís design does not contradict the essence of His perfection.

What many fail to comprehend is that time itself and everything associated with it are also components of creation. Thus God design of time engenders every occurrence of all the forces and events associated with it including the scheduling of the enactments that transpire. Hence all limits, bounds and means of every part of creation are pre-structured accordingly, to accommodate His will and purpose, which resides exclusively in the essence of His being. This of necessity is factual; otherwise anything to the contrary would infer that the Creator does not control creation. Foreordination denotes that all things are planned and worked out in eternity with nothing left to decide, thus nothing left to chance encounters or co-incidents as men view the affairs of time. This brings in to focus some of the attributes that are inherent in God, namely his omniscience, foreknowledge and immutability. Foreordination is the most plausible means for God to insure that He is always in conformity to His nature.