Monday, April 30, 2012

All aboard who's coming aboard! --Predestination
Whenever a ship was being outfitted for a long voyage, the task of selecting the crew normally went to the Captain or master of the ship. The owner, who was usually a different person, trusted the seaworthy captain to choose the best sailors for the job.  If the captain had been at sea his entire career, he often knew sailors in every port. He knew which ones possessed certain skills, which ones were hard workers. And which ones were trouble makers! Manning the ship with the right men could mean the difference between success or failure of the voyage.

I've read through the Bible several times now and I simply cannot get away from the doctrine of predestination. It screams from nearly every book of the New Testament. Trouble is, I didn't want to believe it. I didn't want to think that certain people were chosen by God and others rejected. To me, it sounded harsh, unfair and gave me little hope for those friends and family who didn't know God.

In Jesus's own words

All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” Luke 10:22

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. John 6:44

But then I got to thinking about the captain of a ship. Certainly he had the right to choose who he wanted to take with him. Being the captain, he had an in-depth knowledge of the voyage: what they were carrying in hold, what course they would take, what trials they would endure, what storms would hit them and where their final destination was. Much like a captain, Father God has knowledge of all those things as well. He knows the beginning from the end. He knows the past, present, and future. He knows how and where he wants the voyage to sail through the ages, He knows what He wants to accomplish, and He knows how and when the trip will end. And where! So, why shouldn't He choose who comes along and who doesn't?

But God knows much more than a normal seafaring captain. He knows each person who is standing on the docks in that large port town where he is outfitting his ship. He knows them intimately. He knows everything they will ever do in their life and everything they will do if they come on the voyage. And most important of all, He knows if they will stay on the ship, if their hearts are true to their captain, or if they will rile the crew into a mutiny.

So, let me ask you this. If a human captain could have foreknowledge like that, who do you think he would choose? If he was a wise, good captain who wanted a successful voyage, he would choose those he knew would follow him.

In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will. Ephesians 5:11
Do I believe God chooses people before they were born to be His children? Yes. The Bible is plain on that matter. Do I believe God doesn't give everyone the same chance to know Him and make it to Heaven? No. I don't. What I believe is that God's mind and thoughts and wisdom and ideas are so FAR above ours, that we will never be able to fully understand. All my small mind can grasp is this: God knows who will choose Him and therefore, He chooses them first.

Why does this matter?  I no longer fear predestination. It brings such freedom and peace! If that dear loved one or friend you've been praying for is God's, he or she will be on board! And the fact that you've been called to so desperately pray for them is proof that they belong to God. Why else would God put a person on your heart to pray so heartily for their salvation if they weren't chosen? So, do you stop praying? No. Absolutely not. Do you stop sharing the good news of the gospel? Never.  But rest assured, all will be aboard who are coming aboard!

When the Gentiles heard this, they were very glad and thanked the Lord for his message; and all who were chosen for eternal life became believers  Acts 13:48




  1. Mon Apr 30th ...
    "Morning, MaryLu."
    What a beautiful blog today ... An encouragement and hope for those who are predestined ... and "everyone", who still has a choice in the matter.
    Absolutely yes, that is 'why' we need to continually lift those up in prayer who have not yet decided or commited to the Lord. That the Lord was SO extremely patient waiting for me to return home again, 'like the prodical daughter' ... how can I do any less, but try to be patient, and continue praying for lost family and friends who need to find their way "home". Because, they need salvation desperately ... and may just not realize they 'need' it.
    I absolutely love that last picture, MaryLu ... of Jesus stretching His arms out to the "World" !!! (He truly has the whole World in His Hands !)
    *** Lifting up -- lost family members, more than ever now.
    Thank-you for sharing.
    Take care, and, God Bless,
    In Him, Brenda Hurley

  2. I applaud you, MaryLu, for taking on such a controversial subject! I have been studying the Protestant Reformation lately, and predestination was a hot topic back then, with a lot of different beliefs on what is actually means. Funny how things don’t change much for century to century! It is still a much debated topic now!

  3. Great post, MaryLu! I agree with you on predestination. Since God is outside of time, He knows a person's life from start to finish. He knows if they will accept Him or not during their lifetime, and He does call us who already serve Him to pray for those who have yet to come to Him. Even prayers for those who will be ultimately lost are not in vain.

  4. Yes, He knows our future. Sometimes it is difficult to grasp, especially when we are going through hard times. But, my faith will never waver, even when I feel life squeezing in on me. God has a plan and He will stick to it. God bless your week, MaryLu!

  5. Yes, a very controversial topic! I think because it hits home with many people who are worried about their loved one's salvation. I'm just reporting what the Bible says.. I have a ton of Scripture to back this up.. about being chosen, but the rest of my theory about how God can choose yet want everyone to be saved is just my own opinion. Who can know the mind of God?
    But like you all have said, it's the prayers we lift for others that truly matter. God hears those and loves those people even more than we do. What an amazing God!

  6. I've never thought about this topic exactly, but one of my favorite books is Blink by Ted Dekker. It is all about how we make our own choices, and yet God knows what choices we will make, and even puts people, obstacles, signs, etc in our path to get us to where we are going. Like you were saying, we all have a choice, but at the same time He is choosing for us. It's confusing for us lowly humans! But it's comforting to know God knows what He's doing and knows what's best for us :)

  7. My husband loves that book too, Sarah. Have you ever seen the movie Signs with Mel Gibson? It's sort of a weird alien movie, but it's all about how God directs our paths.. very good internal theme.

  8. Oh, cool! I didn't know how well known that book was.
    No, I've never seen that movie. I don't usually like weird alien movies lol. But now I'm trying to imagine how a weird alien movie would have a good God theme.

  9. I've read most of Ted Dekker's books, including Blink, but I believe it was titled Blink of and Eye when read it. Very good read.

  10. Blink was the original title, and he changed it a little bit and republished it as Blink of an Eye. My brother read both and said that Blink of an Eye has more descriptions and details and less actual talking and action. So I never bothered to read that version. I've read the first one multiple times though :)