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Ask the Pastor 151

What does predestination mean?

Over the years I have come into contact with people who trip over this word and what they think that it means. Some even scorn the whole concept and reject it. To reject this doctrine is problematic because to reject doctrine that is taught in the Bible is to reject the Bible and its author.

The English word predestination is to destine or to put into place beforehand. Such as a destination is a place where you intend to go. Put the preface pre in front of the word, and we have an emphasis placed on the determining of something way before it actually takes place. In Ephesians 1:4 we read that we have been chosen in Christ before the foundations of the world. The Greek word that is translated predestination or predestined is the word is proorizo and it appears 4 times in the New Testament, Romans 8:29-30 and Ephesians 1:5,11. The word is literally to set boundaries around beforehand. Those who have been chosen before the foundations of the earth have boundaries set around them so that the will of the Lord God will be performed in their lives. For those who have believed, there are times when we might think upon the circumstances that led to our believing and might even wonder, how did that happen? It was not by accident but by a plan, that we would hear the gospel, understand what we heard and then believe it. The Lord has chosen to carry out His great plan of salvation through the preaching of the gospel, with there being those who are sent out with the message so that it is heard and then is believed (see Romans 10:8-18). The primary objection to this doctrine is that it is fatalism and it does not allow for the free will of man. This raises the question as to which should have the precedence, the will of God or the will of man? The answer of the Scriptures is, “who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:13). Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will know that you have been predestined.

Have questions about the Bible? Send them to Dr. Greg Koehn at and read the answer here in this article.

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