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Simple and easy. I am looking for Biblical support (not opinion) for and against the view of predestination. Predestination is the view that all events are willed by God. I'm looking for both sides of the view, not just one side. What Biblical evidence exists for/against predestination?

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many people would view predestination along the lines of: it doesn't matter what you do, God has already decided where you will end up. I view that all events are willed by God would be more along the lines of the deterministic universe described in philosophy. –  ryan May 3 '12 at 19:28

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In Support

Proverbs 16:33 The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.

Even the dice fall according to God's plan.

Ephesians 1:11 In [Christ] 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

God works everything according to his will.

Psalm 139:16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them.

God has written down (in other words, planned to the letter!) every day of our life before they even come to pass.

Matthew 10:30-31a But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; therefore

God knows how many hairs you have. He's counted them.

And now allow me to quote at length Louis Berkof, Systematic Theology, pg. 168, quoted in the Reformation Study Bible

The Bible clearly teaches God's providential control

  1. over the universe at large, Ps. 103:19; Dan. 4:35; Eph. 1:11;
  2. over the physical world, Job 37; Ps. 104:14; 135:6; Matt. 5:45;
  3. over the brute creation, Ps. 104:21, 28; Mt. 6:26; 10:29;
  4. over the affairs of nations, Job 12:23; Ps. 22:28; 66:7; Acts 17:26
  5. over man's birth and lot in life, 1 Sam. 16:1; Ps. 139:16; Isa. 45:5; Gal. 1:15-16
  6. over the outward successes and failures of men's lives, Ps. 75:6-7, Lk. 1:52
  7. over things seemingly accidental or insignificant, Prov. 16:33; Matt. 10:30
  8. in protection of the righteous, Ps. 4:8; 5:12; 63:8; 121:3; Rom. 8:28
  9. in supplying the wants of God's people, Gn. 22:8, 14; Deut. 8:3; Phil. 4:19
  10. in giving answers to prayer, 1 Sam. 1:19; Isa. 20:5-6; 2 Chron. 33:13; Ps. 65:2 Mt. 7:7; Lk. 18:7-8
  11. in the exposure and punishment of the wicket, Ps. 7:12-13; 11:6


I'm not very familiar with verses against Predestination, but as I understand it, a lot of the argument against it is an interpretive argument; and those who are opposed to the doctrine would say the verses above are more general in nature and are simply talking about his omnipotence, not his nitty-gritty control over the details. I'll leave it to someone more versed in this position to answer for the against side.

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"Predestination is the view that all events are willed by God." Sorry, but biblical opposition to this definition is found in the very use of the word.

Romans 8:29

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.

The context is that God has predestined, or predetermined, that all who walk in faith in Jesus will be conformed to His Son; they will undergo the process of conformity to His Son. God has predestined a process, not individuals.

Unfortunately, people isolate the verse and don’t read it according to the context in Romans. Throughout Romans we find that we have choices and they can alter our destiny so that we undego this process or not. What started us on this process? God choosing us beforehand? No, through our faith in Jesus upon hearing the gospel:

Rom. 3:26

To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

We have daily choices to live holy or not, to live for God or the flesh, and those choices will determine our future:

Rom. 6:16

Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

If we live according to the flesh, then we will die, but if we surrender to the Spirit to die to the flesh, we shall live:

Rom. 8:13

For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

Which direction leads us to conformity to Christ? Which goes against it?

In none of these chapters in Romans 1-8 do we find Paul telling us that God chose us before we were born or that our destiny is preordained because He chose us. That thought is entirely absent from Romans 1-8. Romans 1-8 sets the foundation for understanding the word predestinated in Romans 8. Everything we need to learn about predestination has already been written in Romans 1-8. That’s right: we don’t need Calvin or Arminius :) .

What about Romans 8:28?

Romans 8:28

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

That is the sense the believer receives who has surrendered all to God out of love, and has allowed Him to work in his life. He is not trusting in his flesh, and found that God is working out His will in all the events of his life. God can freely move in that life in all things because the believer has surrendered to God that way, giving Him full permission to move as He wishes. The verse does not mean that God moves against our wills. Read Romans 1-8 to see this in context. This is the person who has undergone the predestined process of conformity to Christ and is enjoying its fruits.

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If we choose to live after the flesh, then we are predestined to NOT be conformed to the image of Christ! Those who meet the qualifications of faith ARE predestined to do so, simply because that's the way we stay in the process ("Abide in Me"). God saw in His foreknowledge that people will respond to Christ's death, burial and resurrection by a faith that works in love, and has predestined that process to fulfill all His purposes. –  Steve Mar 20 at 13:02

If your definition of predestination is - "Predestination is the view that all events are willed by God", then I would say that the Bible doesn't support this at all.

If all events were willed by God, it would be absolutely redundant for Jesus to ask us to pray this way -

Our Father, who art in heaven.... Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done... (Matthew 6:10)

If God's will is always done, we don't need to pray that his will be done. God's will is always done in only one sense - God's will is that man have free will and choose God or reject God.

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Theologians often make a distinction between God's prescriptive will (what he commands) and his decretive will (what he directs to actually happen). We'd say that "will" in Matt. 6:10 is prescriptive will, which goes along with "thy kingdom come". –  Thomas Shields May 7 '12 at 2:25

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