Double Predestination
by Mitch Cervinka

The term "double predestination" is used by some writers (usually in a disparaging way) to refer to the doctrine that God has appointed the eternal destiny, not only of his elect people, but also of those who are not elect. In other words, the doctrine of "double predestination" says that (1) God has appointed his elect unto eternal life, and (2) He has appointed the rest unto everlasting punishment.

Those who disagree with this doctrine, yet still try to hold to some form of predestination, usually affirm (1) while denying (2). In other words, they want to believe that God is sovereign in his dealings with his elect people, but not with respect to the rest of mankind. For the present discussion, I shall refer to their view as "Single Predestination", even though a more appropriate term might be "Partial Predestination", since it is an assertion that God has foreordained only some events, not all.

The doctrine of double predestination has been often misunderstood or misrepresented. In this article, I would like to set the record straight.

Double Predestination has been the Consistent View of Mainstream Calvinists throughout History.

Double predestination is often represented as a view which was held by only a handful of extremists on the fringe of Reformed Christianity. In fact, however, double predestination has been the consistent view of mainstream Calvinists from Luther on.

We should realize that those who believe in "double predestination" rarely call it that. It is predestination, pure and simple. To call it "double predestination" gives the false impression that it is a novel or modified version of predestination. In fact, however, the term "double predestination" was invented by persons who held a defective view of predestination. It would be more honest to give their novel view a descriptive name (such as "partial predestination") and to retain the term "predestination" to refer to the orthodox view.

The Reformers and the Puritans called their view "predestination", but as you read what they meant by the term, it is clear that they believed that all things, including the destiny of the non-elect, were ordained by God from eternity...

Martin Luther, from his book, 

The Bondage of the Will
You may be worried that it is hard to defend the mercy and equity of God in damning the undeserving, that is, ungodly persons, who, being born in ungodliness, can by no means avoid being ungodly, and staying so, and being damned, but are compelled by natural necessity to sin and perish; as Paul says: "We were all the children of wrath, even as others" [Eph. 2:3], created such by God himself from a seed that had been corrupted by the sin of one man, Adam. But here God must be reverenced and held in awe, as being most merciful to those whom he justifies and saves in their own utter unworthiness; and we must show some measure of deference to his Divine wisdom by believing him just when to us he seems unjust. ... what perversity is it on our part to worry at the justice and the judgment of the only God, and to arrogate so much to our own judgment as to presume to comprehend, judge and evaluate God's judgment!
John Calvin, from his book, 

The Eternal Predestination of God.
Now, if we are not really ashamed of the Gospel, we must of necessity acknowledge what is therein openly declared: that God by his eternal goodwill (for which there was no other cause than his own purpose), appointed those whom he pleased unto salvation, rejecting all the rest; and that those whom he blessed with this free adoption to be his sons he illumines by his Holy Spirit, that they may receive the life which is offered to them in Christ; while others, continuing of their own will in unbelief, are left destitute of the light of faith, in total darkness.
The Canons of Dort,

Chapter 1, Article 6
6. That some receive the gift of faith from God, and others do not receive it, proceeds from God's eternal decree. "For known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world" (Acts 15:18). "who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will" (Eph 1:11). According to which decree he graciously softens the hearts of the elect, however obstinate, and inclines them to believe; while he leaves the non-elect in his just judgment to their own wickedness and obstinacy. And herein is especially displayed the profound, the merciful, and at the same time the righteous discrimination between men equally involved in ruin; or that decree of election and reprobation, revealed in the Word of God, which, though men of perverse, impure, and unstable minds wrest to their own destruction, yet to holy and pious souls affords unspeakable consolation.
The Westminster Confession of Faith, 

Chapter 3, Articles 1 & 7.
1. God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass; yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.
7. The rest of mankind God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of his own will, whereby he extends or withholds mercy, as he pleases, for the glory of his sovereign power over his creatures, to pass by; and to ordain them to dishonor and wrath for their sin, to the praise of his glorious justice.
The 1689 London (Baptist) Confession,

Chapter 3, Articles 1, 3 and 4.
1. God hath decreed in himself, from all eternity, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably, all things, whatsoever comes to pass; ...
3. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of his glory, some men and angels are predestinated, or foreordained to eternal life through Jesus Christ, to the praise of his glorious grace; others being left to act in their sin to their just condemnation, to the praise of his glorious justice.
4. These angels and men thus predestinated and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed, and their number so certain and definite, that it cannot be either increased or diminished.

Please notice that, when the Westminster Confession of Faith says "God from all eternity, did, ... freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass", and when the 1689 Baptist Confession says "God hath decreed in himself, ... all things, whatsoever comes to pass", they do not qualify or hedge this statement by excluding the condemnation of unbelievers. They meant it in the full, unqualified sense that God has truly ordained and decreed every single event that would ever occur—including the condemnation of every single person who winds up in hell.

Predestination is not Identical with Election.

Those who oppose double predestination often confuse predestination with election. These two terms are related, but they are not identical. The term election applies only to those whom God has predestined unto salvation. The term predestination applies both to those who will be saved as well as to those who will be lost forever. The single predestinarian sees election in Scripture and, supposing that this is all that Scripture has to say about predestination, wrongly concludes that the elect are the only ones whom God has predestined.

The word "election" comes from the Greek eklektos, which means "to choose from among a number", or "to choose for oneself". Election implies that certain people are chosen out from a larger group of people. In particular, God chose his elect in eternity past from a world of men whom he foresaw would all be totally corrupted by sin and fully deserving of his eternal wrath. God did not have to "choose out" the others to go to hell—that's where they were headed anyway, due to their sin.

The term predestination, on the other hand, means "to appoint one's destiny beforehand". God determined from all eternity who would be born and who would believe, and so he also knew who it was that would never believe. The destiny of the elect was certain from eternity past, and so was the destiny of the non-elect.

Could God have arranged this differently if he wished? Of course he could! He could have chosen others unto salvation. Or, he could have chosen not to create the world, knowing that certain specific individuals would be unrepentant sinners, condemned to eternal punishment. But, knowing this, he created the world anyway, sealing their doom. Their destiny was assigned to them from eternity past when God decided to create the world, and decided that these people would not be among his elect.

God could justly have let all men go to hell, and, if he had, we would say that he predestined us all to hell. But, because God elected some of Adam's sinful race unto salvation, we say that the elect are predestined unto salvation, whereas the rest are predestined to hell. Predestination does not necessarily imply that God actively intervenes to cause men to go to their respective destinies. In the case of the elect, God does actively intervene, to keep them from receiving the hellish destiny their sins deserve. In the case of the reprobate, God is passive—leaving them to continue on their sinful course to ultimately receive the judgment they so richly deserve.

To say that God has appointed the destiny of the elect but not of the rest is to say that the destiny of the non-elect is unknown or undetermined. But how can anything be unknown or undetermined to an omniscient God? Did God not know what their ultimate destiny would be? If God knew they would wind up in hell, then there is no possibility that they might be saved, is there? If God knew they would end up in hell, and then they did not end up in hell, he would have been mistaken. His foreknowledge would have been erroneous. He wouldn't actually have known their destiny after all... in which case, God would not be omniscient.

Moreover, Scripture is clear that no one can be saved apart from God's sovereign work in choosing, redeeming and regenerating sinful men. Anyone whom God has not chosen unto salvation has no ability to save himself, and will ultimately be damned to eternal punishment. In other words, their destiny is certain. It was certain from all eternity.

Double Predestination does not make God the Author of Sin.

It is often wrongly supposed that the doctrine of double predestination means that God causes men to sin, or to be sinners. Instead, it only means that their sin is anticipated in his overall plan. Adam did not take God by surprise when he sinned. Indeed, God knew what was going through Eve's mind as she was tempted by the serpent, and he knew what Adam was thinking the very instant he took the fruit from Eve and bit into it.

In fact, God knew these things from eternity past. He did not have to wait for Adam to commit the sin to know that Adam would commit the sin. If, when he created Adam, God had not known that Adam would sin, or did not know the time or circumstances surrounding Adam's sin, then God would not have been omniscient. But God knows all things whatsoever... even things which have not yet happened.

God not only knew that Adam would sin, but he also could have taken measures to prevent Adam from sinning. Obviously, if he hadn't forbidden Adam from eating from one of the trees, there would have been no opportunity for Adam to sin. But, even given the opportunity to sin, God could have kept Adam on a "short leash", to remind Adam when he strayed too close to the forbidden tree. Or, God could have endued Adam with such a measure of righteousness and self-control that Adam could have resisted any and all temptations.

But he didn't do any of these things. Does that make God the Author of sin? Not at all! It means he didn't do all he could to prevent sin from entering his creation, but it doesn't mean he caused the sin to enter.

Adam personally and wilfully disobeyed his Creator, even though he had been created innocent. We must never confuse innocence with that kind of powerful righteousness which can resist all temptation. Adam's original innocence was an absence of sin... he had never yet sinned, and he had no love for sin. But neither did he have a strong resolve to resist temptation.

When Adam disobeyed, it was his own disobedience, stemming from his own decision to eat the fruit, contrary to God's command. God knew he would do this, but God's knowledge of it is a passive thing. Even so, God made use of this knowledge when he formed his eternal counsels. he planned to bring glory to himself by redeeming certain members of Adam's sinful race from their sins. How could he have planned this if he did not know Adam would sin? And, it would not have legitimately been Adam's sin if God had somehow coerced Adam to sin, or had created some defect in Adam which caused Adam to succumb to temptation.

But we must not suppose that God's plan revolved around what he foresaw Adam would do. It is not as though God's plans were subject to Adam's decision to eat the forbidden fruit.1 We have already seen that God could have arranged things differently to ensure that Adam would not have sinned. God made it possible for Adam to sin, and foresaw that he would sin, and this is all in accordance with his overall plan to magnify his justice by condemning the reprobate and to exalt his mercy and grace in redeeming his elect. We affirm that God purposed that Adam should sin, but not in the sense that God thereby caused him to sin.

We see this same sort of thing when Joseph's brothers sold him into slavery. Their act was a vicious, sinful crime against their brother. Even so, God had a good purpose for their sin, because, in his providence, their sin was one of the steps in his plan to eventually make Joseph the second most powerful man in Egypt, enabling Joseph to provide food for his treacherous brothers, as well as for his father and countless others...

Genesis 50:20 - As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.
Likewise, while the crucifixion of Christ was a vicious, horrible sin on the part of the Jews and Romans who crucified our Lord, it was also the blessed sacrifice which saves us from our sins. God purposed that wicked men should kill our Lord, but the fact that he purposed what they did does not make them any less guilty of the act, nor does it mean that God in any way forced them to do it.
Acts 2:23 - this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.
Those who love to engage in philosophical discussions about "necessity" and "contingency" will likely stumble at the idea that God could have foreordained Adam's sin without being the author of sin. Nevertheless, Scripture teaches the twin truths that (1) God is not the author of sin, and (2) God foreordained everything which has ever come to pass—including the sin of Adam and the ultimate destiny of the unsaved. If we cannot fully rationalize these two teachings, then let us humbly accept by faith that which God tells us in his Word, recognizing that our finite minds cannot encompass the infinitude of God.
Romans 9:19-20 - You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault? For who resists his will?" On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, "Why did you make me like this," will it?

Romans 11:33-34 - Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! "For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?"

Double Predestination is not "Hypercalvinism".

Double predestination is often confused with "hypercalvinism".

Hypercalvinism is the rationalistic belief that God's predestination of men to salvation or condemnation makes evangelism and missions unnecessary. The hypercalvinist makes the same rationalistic error as the Arminian2 (i.e. the believer in human "free-will"), who rejects predestination, believing that it would make evangelism and missions unnecessary. Their reasoning is this: "If God has already marked out the destiny of all men, then their destiny is certain and unchangeable. What purpose is there, then, of preaching the gospel?"

While it is true that hypercalvinists believe in double predestination, the converse is not true. A person who believes in double predestination does not necessarily believe that evangelism and missions are unnecessary. The opponents of double predestination usually doubt the sincerity of those who say they believe in both evangelism and double predestination. They suppose that a great evangelist, such as Charles Spurgeon or George Whitefield, could not have truly believed in double predestination. Even when faced with evidence to show that these great evangelists did hold this view, our critics somehow assume that these evangelists did not hold these views with strong conviction, or else that they changed their views sometime during their lives.

But what the single predestinarian (along with the hypercalvinist!) fails to understand is that God has foreordained, not only the destinies of men, but also the means whereby they shall reach their respective destinies. No man will be cast into hell without first being a sinner who is personally responsible for his sins. No man will ordinarily3 be saved unless he is exposed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit opens his heart to believe in the Savior preached to him. When God predestines a person to be saved, he also predestines that someone will take the Gospel to him and that he will believe on Jesus Christ.

Predestination should never be thought of as a nonstop express train which detours around the Gospel to get to heaven. Predestination does not teach that God has appointed this man or that man unto salvation, regardless of whether he hears the Gospel and believes in Christ. Rather, predestination decrees that the individual will both hear and believe the Gospel in order that he might be saved.

But doesn't this mean that we don't have to worry about evangelism or missions, because, if we don't take the Gospel to men, then God will make sure someone else will? The faithful child of God would never reason in this way. Don't you want to be faithful to your Lord? Aren't you excited about the Lord's salvation and full of exuberance that your sins are forgiven? How can you keep it inside? Evangelism should be natural for one who truly knows the Lord and has experienced his forgiveness. We should never be afraid to tell others about the Lord, hoping someone else will do our part.

Moreover, God has foreordained, not only the fact that his elect will hear his Gospel, but also the circumstances whereby they will hear it... the time, the place, and the persons he will use to bring the Gospel to them. If God has foreordained that you will take the Gospel to someone, then he will give you the burden, the boldness, the grace, the joy and the wisdom to do just that.

There are no "holes" in God's purposes. He does not ordain merely the destination, but also the route we shall take to get there. His predestination does not merely place us on a boat headed for salvation... it also designs where we shall be and what we shall do on that boat. God has purposed whatsoever comes to pass... even down to the tiniest details of our lives!

When people express concern that predestination kills any motivation to evangelize, it is often because they have erroneous ideas about the part we play in evangelism. We should never assume that people will go to hell due to our own failure to take the gospel to them. Such thinking ultimately implies that our zeal for evangelism should be driven by guilt... the guilt of others going to hell because we missed an opportunity to take them the gospel. It also suggests that we are indespensible to God—as though I were the only person in the world the Lord could use to bring the Gospel to my relatives and neighbors.

But Jesus said that, if his disciples were silent, then God would cause the stones to declare his glory...

Luke 19:39-40 - And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples." He answered, "I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out."
The fact of the matter is this: unless you are motivated by a great love for God, a great concern for his glory, and a great joy in your own salvation, your evangelism is not likely to have much impact. The credibility of the Gospel is greatly compromised when Christians are motivated either by legalistic guilt or else by thinking that they must evangelize in their own strength and wisdom. What tremendous peace and freedom to evangelize we have when we realize that the burden of conversions does not rest on our own shoulders, but is the work of a sovereign God who saves whom he pleases!

Scriptural Proof of Double Predestination.

Double predestination is the correct view for the following reasons...

First, God is sovereign in all things.

He is the sovereign ruler over all his creation. Nothing happens which he, in infinite wisdom and perfect righteousness, has not ordained from eternity.

Ephesians 1:11 - In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,

Acts 4:27-28 - for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.

To say that God predestined the salvation of the elect, but not the condemnation of the non-elect is to say that there are some things which are outside his eternal plan, and that is a direct denial of his sovereignty.

Second, no one can be saved apart from God's work in choosing, redeeming and regenerating men.

Fallen man is a sinner, under the condemnation of God, and unable to redeem himself from his sins. Moreover, he is totally depraved, and possesses no desire whatever to give up his sin or to subject himself to a holy, sovereign God. Fallen man is totally unwilling to come to Christ for salvation. This is the consistent verdict of all of Scripture.

Job 15:15-16 - Behold, he puts no trust in his holy ones, And the heavens are not pure in his sight; How much less one who is detestable and corrupt, Man, who drinks iniquity like water!

Jeremiah 13:23 - Can the Ethiopian change his skin Or the leopard his spots? Then you also can do good Who are accustomed to doing evil.

Ephesians 2:1-3 - And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.

Acts 4:12 - And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.

John 6:65 - And he was saying, "For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father."

Therefore, unless God chooses a person to salvation, purposing to give him or her to Christ to be their Savior, and to create a new heart within them by his Holy Spirit, then there is no possible way that person could ever be saved. Salvation is God's work—if he does not take the initiative to save them, then they certainly will never seek him. The destiny of those whom God has not chosen is just as certain as the destiny of those whom he has.

Third, God's omniscience requires that the ultimate destiny of the non-elect was certain from all eternity.

God is omniscient. This means that he knows all things—past, present and future. God knew that Adam would eat the forbidden fruit, and he knows about each and every person who will die in unbelief. From eternity past, he knew who would end up in eternal hell. God knew this in advance and he could not be mistaken; therefore their ultimate destiny was certain before the foundation of the world.4

Moreover, God could have done something to change this outcome, if it was somehow incompatible with his plans. Because he created the world anyway, and did not decide to intervene by choosing them unto salvation and giving them a new heart, then we know that his eternal purpose is that they should be eternally condemned for their sins.

Fourth, Scripture teaches reprobation.

Even though Scripture may not say directly that "God predestined them to hell", it often says that God hardened the heart of certain people so that they would be even more rebellious and unwilling to believe in him.

The most prominent example of this is Pharoah. Nine times in Exodus, God says that he had hardened (or was going to harden) Pharoah's heart (Exodus 4:21; 7:3; 9:12; 10:1; 10:20; 10:27; 11:10; 14:4; 14:8). Once, he says that he hardened the hearts of the Egyptians (Exodus 14:17).

Exodus 10:27 - But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he would not let them go.
We should never assume this to mean that God actively made Pharoah's heart more sinful than before. Rather, God removed his hand of restraint, allowing Pharoah to harden his own heart in rebellion against God. That is why Scripture also says that Pharoah hardened his own heart (Exodus 8:15; 8:32; 9:34)...
Exodus 8:32 - But Pharaoh hardened his heart this time also, and did not let the people go.
The reason why men, though totally depraved, are still capable of acts of kindness, is that God is mysteriously restraining them from being as bad as they naturally would be if he did not restrain them. God sometimes releases his restraint from them, allowing them to follow their sinful desires, becoming more evil than ever.
Romans 1:24 - Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves,

Romans 1:26 - For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature;

When John writes of the Jews who refused to believe on Jesus, he attributes their unbelief to the fact that God hardened their hearts...
John 12:37-40 - Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him, so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: "Lord, who has believed what he heard from us, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?" Therefore they could not believe. For again Isaiah said, "He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them."
Perhaps the clearest statement that God predestines men to hell is given by Paul when he draws a contrast between God's sovereign mercy toward some and his sovereign hardening of others...
Romans 9:18 - So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

Romans 11:7-8 - What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened, as it is written, "God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that would not see and ears that would not hear, down to this very day."

We see this contrast in Scripture, that, whereas God changes the hearts of his elect, giving them a "heart of flesh" to trust in Christ, he hardens the hearts of the others, allowing their sinful nature to manifest itself even more fully, so that they become even more rebellious, and less inclined to listen to the Gospel or to profess faith in God.

There are some who say that God simply hardens the hearts of certain ones who have chosen to be extremely rebellious and therefore deserved to have their hearts hardened. My reply is this: Each of us, every single one, is a rebellious sinner who deserves to have his heart hardened. The only reason we do not harden our own hearts is that God is graciously restraining us from doing so. Perhaps you are self-righteous enough to think that you don't deserve to have your heart hardened. As for me, I can only thank the Lord that he, in infinite condescending mercy, reached down and saved my miserable, rebellious soul, when I deserved far worse treatment than Pharoah received.


If we do not handle the doctrine carefully, predestination may seem to be a horrible teaching which makes God out to be a tyrant who manipulates men into sinning and then holds them responsible for what he made them do. It is no wonder that people who have not been well-instructed on this subject have often felt compelled to deny it in whole or in part.

However, when understood properly, we find that the doctrine of predestination is consistent with all of God's attributes. Indeed, it is necessary that, for God to be God, he would have to have planned the entire course of human history, including even the sins of men and their final destinies. Yes, we must affirm that men are fully responsible for their own sin... but this fact does not give us the right to deny God his sovereignty. The two truths are fully compatible, even if we cannot sound the depths of this great mystery.

Loraine Boettner expressed it well when he said...

We are not under obligation to "explain" these truths; we are only under obligation to state what God has revealed in his word, and to vindicate these statements as far as possible from misconception and objections. In the nature of the case all that we can know concerning such profound truths is what the Spirit has seen fit to reveal concerning them, being confident that whatever God has revealed is undoubtedly true and is to be believed although we may not be able to sound its depths with the line of our reason. In our ignorance of his inter-related purposes, we are not fitted to be his counselors. "Thy judgments are a great deep," said the psalmist. As well might man attempt to swim the ocean as to fathom the judgments of God. Man knows far too little to justify him in attempting to explain the mysteries of God's rule.

The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination, pp. 54-55.

  1. I have sometimes heard people make the claim that, in eternity past, God had made several different plans (i.e. "contingency plans")... "Plan A" would take effect if Adam had been obedient to God, whereas "Plan B" was reserved for the case where Adam ate the forbidden fruit. If this were true, it would mean that Calvary was "Plan B", and that God's primary plan was to bless Adam's obedience. Of course, if Adam had been obedient to God, then the superabounding grace of God in saving sinners by the sacrifice of his only-begotten Son would have remained forever hidden from us.

    I find such an explanation to be entirely unwarranted, unscriptural, and destructive of the Gospel. It would mean that God is not really sovereign over his creation, since it would make his plans subject to the choices of his creatures. It would mean that God does not know all things, for, if he knew that Adam would eat the forbidden fruit, he would have no need for a contingency plan to deal with Adam's obedience.

    God's great purpose in history is to glorify himself, and a plan of merely blessing Adam's obedience would not glorify him nearly as much as rescuing ruined sinners through the sacrifice of Christ. God purposed that plan which would bring the greatest glory to himself.
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  2. The Arminian and the Hypercalvinist are at opposite ends of the spectrum, yet they arrive at their respective positions in much the same way. They see predestination only in terms of its outcome, and lose sight of the fact that God has also ordained the means by which men arrive at their respective destinies. In a sense, this is yet another variation on "partial predestination", for it says that God has only predestined the ends, and not the middle... the outcome, but not the means to the outcome.

    Where the Arminian and the Hypercalvinist differ is in what Scriptural truth they are willing to throw out... the Arminian throws out the idea that God is truly sovereign over the destinies of men... the Hypercalvinist throws out evangelism and missionary endeavor. What we need to realize is that God has ordained that each of his elect people should come to salvation by means of hearing and believing the Gospel. Predestination does not make evangelism meaningless or unnecessary! On the contrary, it establishes evangelism as a necessary link in the chain of salvation.
    Return to Text.

  3. I say "ordinarily" because there may be certain exceptions to this rule, in the case of those who die in infancy, or those who are born without the mental capacity to understand the Gospel. But these exceptional cases do not argue against evangelism or missions.
    Return to Text.
  4. The argument from God's infallible knowledge is so compelling that men will sometimes go so far as to deny that God knows all things, in their attempt to escape the doctrine of predestination. Sometimes, they appeal to such passages as Romans 8:28 ("whom he foreknew") and Matthew 7:23 ("I never knew you"), claiming that God knew only about his elect, and not about anyone else.

    However, they misunderstand how the Bible uses the term "foreknow". Scripturally, the words "know" and "foreknow", when speaking of knowing people, refer, not merely to "knowing about" the persons, but to a relationship or intimacy with them. Thus, Genesis 4:1 says "And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain", and Paul says, in Romans 11:2 "God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew."

    There is no question that God "knew about" the non-elect, for the Bible is filled with prophecies about the sins of evil men, including Judas' betrayal of Christ, and the sins of the Antichrist, neither of whom could possibly be numbered among the elect of God.

  5. John 6:64 - ... For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray him.
    Return to Text.

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