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What is the concept of predestination? Are there different denominations that believe in predestination but have differences in what they believe about it? If so, what are the differences?

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Good question, the mention of predestined saints is pretty clearly in the Bible and in the works of St. Augustine. But we've all got totally different takes on it. –  Peter Turner Aug 24 '11 at 18:59
For reference christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/66/… –  wax eagle Aug 24 '11 at 19:10
Are you looking for the concept in terms of predestination of the elect or of all things that will happen? –  wax eagle Aug 24 '11 at 19:11
Would it being both make the question too broad? –  compman Aug 24 '11 at 19:13
Pondering: Will we ever understand predestination? Is it something that we'll never grasp fully because we're not God? –  Tom Duckering Aug 25 '11 at 1:18

3 Answers 3

Single Predestination or Double Predestination?

Now before you start thinking "Aw, man! There are two of them?!?" Let me explain the difference:

Single Predestination:

God chooses us, solely by his grace, to go to Heaven. God does not choose people for Hell. If we go to Hell it is because of our own sinfullness.

Double Predestination:

God has chosen some people to go to Heaven, and some people to go to Hell.

Now that we know what they are, what does the Bible teach?

John 5:21 (ESV)

21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will.

John 10:28 (ESV)

28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.

Romans 8:29-30 (ESV)

29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

Ok, that seems to indicate that we are Predestined to Heaven, now what about Hell?

Ezekial 33:11 (ESV)

11 Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?

Matthew 18:14 (ESV)

14 So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.

1 Timothy 2:3-4 (ESV)

3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

The Verdict:

Based off these verses, it seems clear to me that the Bible teaches Single Predestination and not Double Predestination.

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Deleted chatty comments -- conversation belongs in Christianity Chat. –  HedgeMage Aug 31 '11 at 0:24
How does this reconcile with Rev 3:20‌​? –  RCIX Sep 1 '11 at 2:32
@RCIX What's not to be reconciled? He's saying that he will accept anyone, and that's what my answer says he said. –  John Sep 1 '11 at 2:39
The way I understand your wording of "God chooses us, solely by his grace, to go to Heaven" under Single Predestination, it implies that we have no control over the matter. Taken that way, my referenced verse would conflict. –  RCIX Sep 1 '11 at 2:44
@laovultai Well, Ephesians 2:8-9 says "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." (emphasis mine) These verses are most commonly applied to works-righteousness, but I think they're relevant in discussion of whether or not one must accept God, as well. –  John Jun 11 '14 at 21:14

The concept of Predestination in so much as it speaks to the concept of Election is rooted in a couple of different passages in scripture. Romans 8:29-30 being the foremost. It basically says that he knew from the beginning who he was going to choose and he "Predestined" or choose them. There are many other passages that support this concept, outlined in this answer.

The question of whether he has predestined every event that will happen in the world is a slightly more contentious one. However, I believe quite strongly that he has indeed predestined every event that will happen. This does not mean that our actions are meaningless or that we should simply drift through life. Romans 8:28 (NIV) gets to the heart of this

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

As for denominations that believe in predestination to one degree or another. I know that Reformed traditions (Presbyterian, URC, CRC, Reformed Baptists and countless other "reformed churches") ascribe to some tenet of this belief.

I cannot speak to other traditions right off hand, but those who know of them are welcome to add them.

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God has predestined everything. Here's a simple explanation:

A man was put before two doors, and given the free will to choose a door. He chose one and opened it. Behind the door, it said, "Chosen from the beginning of time".

See, God knows what we will do and yet we are given the free choice. It's hard for our finite minds to understand this concept, as we are limited to what we perceive here and now.

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Can you improve this with a reference or two? –  wax eagle Aug 25 '11 at 0:10
Yes, I will.... –  daviesgeek Aug 25 '11 at 1:59
@wax I don't have the time now, but when I do, I will. –  daviesgeek Aug 25 '11 at 2:00
It is very hard for our finite understanding to accommodate the idea of a God for whom all eternity is "now"... "I am" is more than just a moniker. –  Lawrence Dol Aug 25 '11 at 8:02
@Software Monkey: uh, it's not that hard for me to understand... :S –  RCIX Sep 1 '11 at 2:27

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