Your Destiny And God’s Foreknowledge
Our destiny results from God, in His sovereignty, giving us the power to choose.
“Human Destiny” was the title of a highly-regarded book written many years ago, in 1947. It portrays man as a being who evolved through mutations and natural selection to be the predominate species on earth. The author, Lecomte duNouy, suggests by analogy that Jesus is a spiritual mutation who by a kind of spiritual natural selection will eventually produce spiritually superior human beings. This may be an enthralling scenario, but it is totally unscriptural and untrue!
In the beginning man, created in the image of God, was “very good” and was to “rule … over all the creatures that moved along the ground” (Gen. 1:26-31 NIV). But human beings did not rise spiritually, but fell. They were led into rebellion against God by “that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan” (Rev. 12:9). Mankind was thus lowered into the present low spiritual state we see today. This fall, however, did not take God by surprise – being omniscient, He foreknew all this!
God created human beings with the power to “reject the wrong and choose the right” (Isa. 7:16) and He also created angels with the power to choose. Surely, He knew when He did so that men would choose the wrong and fall, that angels “did not keep their positions of authority” (Jude 6), and that evil would result from their choices. He knew that there would thus be a “broad … road that leads to destruction” and that many would choose it. He also knew that there would be a narrow … road that leads to life and that “only a few” would find it (Mt. 7:13).
Some, in ridicule, might ask, “Why would a God who is good, allow there to be a road that leads many people to destruction?” One possible answer is that in His divine wisdom, God decided that having some people choose life and others choose destruction is better than having people created as robots who could only mindlessly do His bidding. Who are we to challenge God!
Satan is a prime example of an angel who chose to fall. He, apparently the highest of all created beings, chose to become the enemy of God (Satan means adversary or enemy). Using the king of Tyre as a figure of Satan, God says through the prophet Ezekiel: “You were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God … You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you … and you sinned” (Ezek. 28:12-16). The nature of his sin is described by the prophet Isaiah, who says of him: “You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God … I will make myself like the Most High’” (Isa. 14:13-14). Satan used the same way of thinking when he enticed mankind into sin. He said, “You will be like God” (Gen. 3:5). Nevertheless, knowing all this, God still decided to create men and angels. Why? Because He had an “eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Eph. 3:11).
God’s Eternal Purpose
God had this purpose for us from the very beginning! “He chose us in Him before the creation of the world” (Eph. 1:4). “We were … chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will” (Eph. 1:11). According to His plan, people would have the opportunity to be “redeemed … with the precious blood of Christ … chosen before the creation of the world” (1 Pet. 1:18-19). Thus redeemed, our destiny would be to “be holy and blameless in His sight” (Eph. 1:4). He knew that although many would accept the proffered redemption, many would also reject it!
Those whom He knew would accept are called the “chosen” (“elect” KJV) and this was “according to the foreknowledge of God the Father” (1 Pet. 1:2). Furthermore, “Those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son” (Rom. 8:29). We who have accepted the redemption offered through Christ our Savior are those “who have been called according to His purpose” and are predestined to be “justified” and “glorified” (Rom. 8:28,30).
God knew that those who would choose the offer of salvation were predestined to eternal life while those who would reject it fell into damnation. This whole truth was written in John 3:36: “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.” Those who reject the Son are thus unwittingly choosing to side with Satan, thus choosing “the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Mt. 25:41). Note: Hellfire was not prepared for human beings! But God knew that many would choose the path that leads to destruction and end up there. Our destiny results from God, in His sovereignty, giving us the power to choose, not from some arbitrary decision He made before we were born!
God foreknew the outcome of giving man the power to choose, and we can only think with clarity on the subject of the sovereignty of God if we start with His foreknowledge. Let us never assume that in giving man the power to choose God has given up any of His sovereign power.
The people of Nazareth were free to try to “throw (Jesus) down the cliff” but God would not allow that to happen (Lk. 4:28-30). God’s power also enabled Him to cause “the wrath of man” to bring Him praise and “with the remainder of wrath” to arm Himself (Ps. 76:10 NKJV). Men are free to do evil but God, in His power, brings good out of it. What could have been more evil than the crucifixion of Jesus? But look at the good God has brought out of it (Jn. 3:16). Look at the evil that was done by Joseph’s brothers when they sold him into slavery, and by Potiphar’s wife when she made a false accusation against Joseph. Then look at how these evils were used by God to “save … lives by a great deliverance” (Gen. 45:5-7).
Also, let us never attribute arbitrariness to God in what becomes the eternal destiny of any one. Instead, let us attribute to God sovereign power in giving each person the power to choose. Peter tells us that God is never “wanting anyone to perish but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9). And Paul tells us that God wants “all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4).
From the very beginning, God made those whom He knew would believe in the Son “the objects of His mercy … prepared in advance for glory” (Rom. 9:23). And those who would reject the Son became “the objects of His wrath – prepared for destruction” (Rom. 9:22). What an affront it would be for anyone to challenge God about this (Rom. 9:20) or for a rejecter to charge God with wrongdoing by saying to Him, “I would have accepted Your offer if You had only given me better opportunities!”
The power to choose is from God and the faith that results from your choice is “the gift of God” (Eph. 2:9). You can choose to be like Christ, an opportunity He offers you if you accept Him as your Savior and Lord, or you can reject His offer and inadvertently choose hell-fire as the consequence. It is up to you!
By Alan H. Crosby
With permission to publish by: Sam Hadley, Grace & Truth, 210 Chestnut St., Danville, IL., USA. Website: www.gtpress.org