SGBC Modesto

Is Predestination Only A Family Truth?

March 6, 2024 by

William Heinrich

For years I believed that Election and predestination was something to be taught only after you are in the family of God.  I reasoned the unsaved need the gospel and the doctrine of election might turn them away saying that election is simply not fair.  I remember a popular illustration that was often used by those who subscribe to this presumption.  It went like this: coming to Christ is like a door you enter.  As you approach the door it says whosever will may come. After one enters he looks back at the door seeing the other side he notices it says; “you have not chosen me, but I have chosen you”.

Much truth may be observed in this first paragraph but is all of it true, truth.  By that I ask where in the scriptures does it say to not teach the unsaved about predestination and election?  The truth is it does not ever say that.  I have heard it taught that never in scripture did Jesus teach election to the unsaved.  This too is an error because Judas was unsaved and present for almost all His teachings.  In acts twenty Paul instructs all the Pastors who are gathered to pray and bid him farewell saying that “he kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house….. For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.”

True many unsaved will react negatively to the doctrines of predestination and election but this is also true of many who are called Christians. Should we not teach it because Christians reject it and some even scoff at this teaching? Should we be cautious or fearful and bury predestination in order to not disturb weak souls?  If one answers yes to these questions, then where would we stop?  No doubt the precious teachings of the trinity or the incarnation have and do produce the same negative rejection and scoffing.  Do we not develop a “family only” teaching for these as well?

Some of the false ideas on this subject come from a low view of the Holy Spirit’s work and a high view of the fallen man’s will.  When one believes the will of the unsaved is able to trust Christ without divine intervention then great effort is made to sell Christ to him.  All teaching that might appear negative must be removed such as predestination and election and even Hell.  However if the Biblical view of Holy Spirit and the human will is understood all this becomes a non issue.  God’s Holy Spirit sovereignly regenerates those whom the Father sovereignly chose and predestinated.  Man’s will is in bondage to His fallen sinful nature and unable to choose God without the divine intervention of regeneration (born again).  Then and only then can and will he freely choose Christ. One who understands the true doctrine of salvation teaches the whole counsel of God to whoever is present.  He knows that the natural man will never believe and receive unless a work of regeneration is done first, and that by the Holy Spirit.  He will be careful to weave the saving gospel into his whole counsel messages knowing God has ordained it as the power of God unto salvation.