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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    Current site standards require a question to ask the Biblical basis for only one position, and for the opposing position in a separate question. Commented Apr 3, 2016 at 16:30

5 Answers 5


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.


"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.

  • 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
    Commented Mar 20, 2014 at 13:02

The Against, Apologeticism Against Predestination

In one response Ephesians 3:7-18 I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. 8 Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, 9 and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. 10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11 according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.


2 Peter 3:9

9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

I encourage everyone to keep reading but if not, that should suffice to say, God gives all man free will, without reproach, so that we in turn may love him dearly. If you continue to read, grab your Bibles, or look up every verse, for the words of man is but a glimmer and whisper in the voice of the God that spoke the creation of the Universe and all things righteous. And predestination can rebuked by one question of wisdom, “How are you supposed to submit to his will and love him, if he divinely controls everything? How can you obey someone if you cannot disobey? This violates every book of the Bible, and the faith and doctrine, and salvation of Christ Jesus. In Genesis Eve took from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, then would that not make God the creator of disobedience of his will and law? So too if God predestined everything, then too all choice, salvation, sin, everything, he created, and if so, then you cannot love him, nor believe in him, only obey him, simple as that, and therefore nothing is good, nothing is righteous, and there is no salvation, and Christ Jesus died for no reason. This is rebuked with 1 Corinthians 13.

At this point without absolute free choice, then faith is pointless, and so is the law of God, for if God exists and reveals himself only to those predetermined, than he does not reveal to all. This is rebuked by Romans 4.

If the idea that predestination exists and is true, then it too must also completely take God of the throne of righteousness, and would be full of sin because he created and permits sin. This is rebuked by Galatians 2:17-21 But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we too were found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not! 18For if I rebuild what I tore down, I prove myself to be a transgressor. 19For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. 20I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.

How can does predetermination mean God is in fact Satan? Because that means all sin was created by God, and all men that practice sin, is through God's will, that God created Satan, and Satan is on the same level of righteousness, because Satan did not reject God's authority, but rather submits to it, I hate even having to write those words in the same sentence. Predestination completely changes the fundamental relationship with God, his plan, his purpose, our purpose, everything, and promotes God to the same level as us, and Satan. Its clear this is a truly, deeply, corrosive, corrupt, way false doctrine, extremely blasphemous, and downright ludicrous. Jesus cannot fulfill the law if he created sin, and Jesus is God. So to if the Holy Spirit dwells within Christians then so to must the Spirit of God be full of sin, if God is not separate from us. Literally no matter what way you think about it, its fallacy, blasphemy, and heresy.

In leaving I must say this of myself, I love God with all my heart, my mind, my body, and my soul, and I seek to do nothing that does not glorify him, but more importantly, I love him so much, I would do anything he asks of me, and if my faith became nothing but a plan, and obedience, with no reason to love, nor desire to be righteous and blemish free before him, my spirit would ache and yearn for something more, and therefore the spot that God is supposed to fill, its now empty. Please read all the renaming verses and I promise you'll know the truth to be revealed to you, God wants everyone to come to him, everyone, not just some favorites.

2 Timothy 3:16-17
16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

EDIT 2016 Since the time I posted this, I had just started to really commit to reading and understanding God's word, I have since changed the way I view many things I wrote. The question itself must first ask, does God ordain things that cannot be changed? And is the future already set by God without man's will? Predestination must include both sides of this argument. By reading a lot more of scripture, its extremely clear, man's will is not free in the sense he can chose or will into salvation, yet man does have in will in response to grace. Multiple times in the Gospels and in Revelation Jesus accuses/condemns those who resist the Holy Spirit, so irresistible grace doesn't seem to apply. It also must be examined what is faith, and this goes back to Genesis 15. To believe/trust what God says beyond all doubts. It's this faith if placed in the words of Christ Jesus, to believe he will save you, and resurrect you no matter what, that constitutes faith, however it is God who declares a person righteous, not so mechanized system. God promises he will save you if you believe, and if you have faith then you believe the promises of God, not in what you believe. Believing what you believe strongly won't save you, only God himself can save a person. So because of this reason, and He himself has will, then salvation and events are determined by God's will, yet on the same hand, man's will plays a factor of acceptance, acknowledgment, recognition, belief or faith, but only in "response to". Therefore it must be God's will that always first initiates grace, but God has ordained that only those who believe and trust in the Son will be saved. This is why the word of God itself must be preached without distillment, since only faith in the promises of God, or trusting in him alone, will save a person, and only by grace are they saved, and that grace is imparted through those chosen to be given as a blessing to all the nations, that blessing being the Lord himself and his promises. Therefore reading and preaching the word of God is a necessity of salvation, since they must believe what the Lord promises, not man's.

So to return to the original points, but with the new points, no one, not even combined all of man and demons or angels can resist the will of God, he is the Lord. Satan himself thought possible, and he's lost every time, his arrogance, pride and desire to be worshiped rather than humility, submission and desire to glorify God alone, and the same sin is the root in man. When Adam sinned, both Eve and Adam deserved hell, but God out of his great love and mercy, had predestined Jesus as the propitiation of the world's sin. So is everything preordained by God? (Sovereignty) Yes. Is man's will included in how he fits into that ordination? Yes. Can man's will change the ordinations of God? No. Is this extremely paradoxical? Yes 1000x over, and yet its the truth because I believe what God says, over and above anything or anyone else. And because I trust his judgment infinitely more than my own, I bow to Him and His will in humility, being ever so greatly thankful for him showing me grace, when I never once deserved it, and should be considered the foremost of all sinners. Knowing that Jesus paid that price for me instead, I've never had someone love even remotely that much on earth, let alone God almighty, and I get to spend eternity with him, and in his righteousness, is unspeakable beyond word. To Him be glory and praise forever and ever, Amen.

I didn't have time to write out all the places scripture makes these points, but read Genesis, 1&2 Samuel, 1&2 Chronicles, The Gospels and Revelation and its pretty clear.

  • A little excessive on the formatting, but a decent answer. Welcome to the site.
    – user3961
    Commented Oct 12, 2014 at 3:35

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". Commented May 7, 2012 at 2:25

Support for

Predestination is not a doctrine that can be proven or denied by quoting a few verses. It is a doctrine that is prevalent throughout the entire bible. Disbelief of predestination results from people who do not understand or acknowledge God's total sovereignty over everything. They believe that man's will is stronger than God's will.

They think that God operates like a man and they reason to themselves: 1. God never enforces His will against man's will,i.e man has to give God permission to act. 2. Predestination is not fair. 3. Every person is worthy of salvation.

Some verses you may not be aware of: God is sovereign: Ps 115:3 But our God is in the heavens:He hath done whatsoever He hath pleased.
Ps 135:6 Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did He in heaven, and in the earth, in the seas, and all deep places. Dan 4:35 And all of the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing:and He doeth according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth:and none can stay His hand, or say unto Him, What. doeth thou? Rom 9:17-21.

They believe that salvation because of man using his will to "accept Christ" (that phrase is not found in Scripture) Jn 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor the will of man, but of God. Rm 9:15-16 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him who willeth, nor him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. Jm 1:18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth.

Look at Ezra 7:27, Ps 105:25, Pr 21:1, Rev 17:17.

Instead of simply reading what others say, why don't you let the bible speak? If you really desire to learn about what Scripture actually teaches about predestination and are willing to spend some time in the bible, get yourself a Nave's Topical Bible. This book lists all of the topics in the bible and shows the verses related to a topic. You can see for yourself all of the verses that teach about God's sovereignty, predestination, depravity of man, etc.

One last point. When we read the English words in Scripture, we automatically put our connotations into the meaning. The bible was originally written in Hebrew and Greek, from a Jewish mentality. You need to look at the connotations of the original Hebrew and Greek words to comprehend the actual meanings You should look at how the Greek words translated into "all" and "world" had different connotations and the context in which they are used. You can find out this info thru a web search


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