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DOCTRINE QUESTION 1
Does predestination and election mean that some people cannot be saved?
Sad to say, that it is often taught that God elects some and not others to be saved. This is not what the two words election and predestination means, and this is not what the bible teaches. They are both good Bible words. The word election or chosen appears many times; but the word predestination, only occurs in two places in the Bible, one in Ephesians 1:5, "Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will," and one in 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 word "election" always has to do with the purposes of God. That is, God selects certain people to execute His purposes. It is good that He does this, because they would never be accomplished. The purposes of God never have to do with the destiny of people. God's will is clear. "Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth?" 1 Timothy 2:4. To see how He accomplished this electing, read Romans 9:11.
He chose Jacob and not Esau. This means that Jacob was to be the father of twelve boys who would form the nation of Israel and would eventually bring the Christ into the world. Esau could have never been this man; but it does not mean that he could not be saved. Christ was the chosen (elected; same word) of God. (1 Peter 2:4). It surely has nothing to do with His salvation. Judas was chosen (elected) yet he was not saved and because he was a devil, (John 6:64 and John 6:70). The Bible teaching on the word election simply means that God selects certain people for certain jobs. Predestination means a predetermined end. It is never used of unsaved people, but only believers. They are predetermined by God to be conformed to the image of Christ. (Romans 8:29).
All comments and questions to: Harold Smith
Updated July 2009, by Shelly Allen