Resetting the table of Predestination


Many people (Calvinist AKA Reform Theology) use Romans 8:29-30 as an anchor to the doctrine of Limited Atonement (Christ only died for those who will be saved) and the doctrine of Election (Only those who are selected by God will be saved). They contend that God foreknew who would be His because He in His sovereignty chose who was to be His elect and who were not. Put another way, those who are going to heaven and those who are going to hell and this based completely on God’s sovereign will and not on man’s free will.

So the doctrine goes like this. Those whom God foreknew in His sovereign election, He predestines to be conformed in the image of His Son. Not only this, those He predestined, God calls them to be saved. Naturally those He calls He will justify with the blood of Christ. Those He has chosen and justified He will glorify when He comes.

Rom 8:29-31 KJV 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. (30) 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. (31) What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

Many try to grapple with this verse when they find the doctrine of limited atonement and the doctrine of Election not only offensive, but in contradiction to the rest of what they read in scripture. But yet these verses seem to say what the Calvinist say it says. Is there any other way to look at these verses under the light of other scripture so it does not contradict what so many people believe scripture teaches about free will and Christ dying for all mankind? I would like to propose a fresh look at these verses and reset the table Calvinist have laid before us.

According to scripture, our gospel does not say Christ died somewhere around 33 AD. Everyone believes this. This is the worlds understanding of Christ and His death but not the church. Our hope is in a Lamb that was slain from the foundation of the earth. Our hope is in a lamb that was slain before God even made man.

Rev 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Scripture also teaches that Jesus death was a death tasted for every man..

Heb 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

So according to the hope held out in the gospel, we have scripture declaring that the Lamb tasted death for every man before time began. This is why scripture testifies that God reconciled the world to Himself.

2Co 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

So the testimony we have from scripture is God reconciling all mankind to Himself before time began through His Lamb. So it can be said of every individual of this world who lived, is alive or will be at some future point, Christ died for them before time began and what God needed to do to reconcile the world to Himself was done before He ever made man.

In light of this we can say God foreknew all of His creation concerning mankind. Those whom He foreknew He predestined us to be like His Son because the Lamb tasted death for everyone so our trespasses would not be imputed to us. Making the way for everyone to be like His Son. Since God has predestined everyone He also calls everyone.

Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

God is calling all or mankind for whom His Son paid the price for sin before time began to be made righteous in Christ. Knowing that God has reconciled the world to Himself, the world is no longer separated from God because of sin. The world has been reconciled, that is if we believe scripture. But if God has justified the whole world by reconciling the whole world to Himself, can it be said He also glorified all of mankind as well?

I think scripture does teach exactly what I am contending for. We are all the children of the most High. But not all the children will live like the children of the most High. They will not live according to the hope held out in the gospel. Instead they will die in their sins. There is a confusing couple of verses mention in the Psalms and even Jesus trips up the Pharisees over it.

Psa 82:6-7 KJV I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. (7) But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.

Before the creation of the world God foreknew every person past, present and future. Foreknowing, He predestined us to be like His Son through the death of His Son before the foundation of the world. Because He has made the way for everyone, He calls everyone. He has justified everyone and He calls everyone and reconciled everyone to God before the world began. Yes, even those who do not hope in Christ. And yes, God through Christ has glorified all mankind before the world began through Christ. The fact that all mankind are children of the most High will not keep many of the children of the most High from dying like mere men.

This is the tragedy of the hope held out in the gospel. The tragedy is not that the lost refuse to have their sins forgiven, therefor not having the work of Christ apply to them. They refuse to walk in the faith and obedience that is the fruit of the sons of the most high, even though the work of Christ does apply to them. Even though they are already reconciled to God through Christ.

Calvinist would argue that Christ would not die for someone who will not accept Him, it would make His sacrifice in vain. And certainly God would not waist the blood and sacrifice of His Son, therefore Christ only died for the elect in their view. Nowhere in scripture is this taught, but this is their doctrine.

Somehow they have missed a very important part of the gospel message. We see this played out in the people of Israel and we are seeing it played out in the world today. People’s unbelief does not make what God has done for mankind without effect.

Rom 3:3-4 KJV For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? (4) God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.

Just because many will not embrace the salvation, the imputed righteousness provided for them from the beginning of time doesn’t mean that the work of God is without effect. Just because they will not heed God’s calling, doesn’t mean the justification made for them is without effect. They are justified and glorified but they will not walk in the faith or obedience that can bring them to see what is for now unseen unto the day it is seen. Sadly they will die like mere men and not the children of God through Christ that God has made them.

14 thoughts on “Resetting the table of Predestination

  1. You are correct that Christ died for all. Each time I consider Christ’s atoning death, my heart falls to its face in remorse for His horrific suffering. Apart from illumination from the Divine one cannot know the depths of such suffering. I sit overwhelmed as I speak considering that the only icon we use to represent such horror is two wooden cross beams. But the Cross can only tell of His physical end. It does not and cannot reveal the journey of His soul into Death, Second Death, Eternal Death…the place where there is no hope, no light, no love, no goodness….only desolate evil…fully separated from God who is Life. I care not when men disagree with me on this. I have been called heretic and much worse for daring to agree that Christ’s soul was the offering for sin (Isaiah 53:10). And its place of death was and is unseen to the eyes of man. The place is the place of Death, travail, and wickedness.

    Isa 53:9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. 11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities Isa 53:12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

    Ps 16:10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

    Wooden cross beams can only speak to the event of crucifixion but can never speak to the conditions of Death suffered by Christ’s soul in our stead. I know in my heart that He desires the testimony of His death be Resurrection…desires that we walk in newness of Life…that we be lively stones with Christ as the Chief Corner…that we be the Church/Bride/Body of Christ/Temple of God…..His dwelling place within the heart of each who receive the Pearl of Great Price. And you are correct…the horrific death of Christ soul was excruciatingly sufficient to cover all sin for all men for all time. Excruciatingly sufficient! Thus it is said that those who reject so great a salvation, who trample under foot His horrific death, and who choose self (mammon/flesh) over God in light of the death of His soul in man’s place….is worthy of Death.

    (‘Crucifixion is the Least of It’ is my post on the subject at

    • The Death of Christ is certainly sufficient for all, but it does also appear in both Scripture and experience to be efficient only in the life of the “elect”, and those in the “election of grace”. Indeed the “efficaciousness” is the real power in the Death of Christ, that changes the believers life. Biblical doctrine and theology really does matter!

      • The point of my post is all mankind is elect, all are called gods the children of the most High, His blood reconciled and justified the whole world. So all are elect. Those who wil not trust and obey Christ are just as elect, just as foreknown, just as predistened, just as justified and just as glorified. But only the “responsive to the gospel elect” are those being saved. This is why I called it resetting the table of predestination. I wanted to lay out what I see as a more biblical view other than that of only the elect are saved and the rest of mankind being unelect never had a chance.

      • Dave: The point of the non-Elect, is not that they don’t have a chance, but that they could care less! Whether, the so-called religious (non- Christians), or those who are not religious. They just don’t respond to either the Person or Work of Christ, the gospel means really nothing to them! “For many are called, but few a chosen.” (Matt. 22:14) And we can note in the context of this parable, that the Jews and the Jewish people were first in mind, here, (Matt. 22: 15, etc.) But the Text certainly has a basic or fuller application.

    • Unless I missed something, I don’t think you are alone in your thoughts about what happened during His death. Many believe that He was seperated from God. But praise God He made a show of death while He was down there and took the sting of death away.

      You seem to have much passion about this subject. Have you given much thought as to why Christ went to the grave and preached to those who were alive in the time of Noah? I would be very interested to hear you thoughts about that.

      1Pe 3:18-20 KJV For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: (19) By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; (20) Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

      1Pe 4:5-6 KJV Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. (6) For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

      • Christ did not “suffer” after death, but went and proclaimed His victory to those in Abraham’s “Bosom”, (1 Peter 3:19-20). The fact here is that Christ’s Death reaches salvation for the elect irrespective of the age they live in, then and now! Jesus is Victor!

        • I must have missed something. Where does it say those who died in the flood had any part of Abrahams bosom. They didn’t have any way to resond to the promise given to Abraham to even belong in his bosom until Christ preached to them while He was in the grave. Is there some other text or is it just an understanding of the church?

  2. Btw Dave, here is a piece (perhaps you have already seen it on my blog posts?), it is a so-called acrostic or verse like arrangement of Grace!

    G RACE is..
    O bligatory (that is, indispensable)
    S overeign (in choice)
    P articular (in redemption)
    E ffectual (in operation)
    L asting (that is, secure)

    This was by that great theologian Roger Niclole, died in 2010 at 95 years old. RIP!

    • Doesn’t this follow the teaching of the “overt so-called Calvinist”? Is this right in line with TULIP? To me it sure seems to be, but I have been know to misunderstand you before. It is a gift I have. Yours is patience.

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