We often hear men speak of their belief in "predestination" when they comment on someone who has had a close brush with death, saying "well I guess it just wasn't his time to go." Or they may remark about some disappointment which they have endured by saying "it just wasn't meant to be". Practically all men have some concept and belief in some sort of fate which they ultimately can't escape. It is this sense of "inevitability" which often gives the ungodly peace in the time of their approaching death. I think it is a fair assessment to say that most people don't have a great distaste for the concept of "predestination" as long as they think of it in a sort of distant impersonal way much like they speak of luck and Mother Nature or the Man upstairs, etc.
We have quite often been accused by some of being too preoccupied with the subject of "predestination" since we quite often mention it in our comments on the scripture. The reality is that while we are not reluctant to mention the issue of "predestination" we are only interested in it insofar as the mention of it brings glory to the ONE who is the "PREDESTINATOR" of all things. I have discovered that most people are not opposed to predestination itself, they are just in rebellion against the ONE who does the predestinating. For instance many preachers teach that once a man "accepts CHRIST", lets the LORD in his heart, or "makes a decision" then that mans destiny in "heaven" is forever assured based on something he has done. In other words they believe that man has it within his own power to "predestinate" himself to eternal glory. They are quite comfortable with this arrangement and go about trying to give men assurance that if they will do the same thing they too can determine their destiny.
Yet these same blind guides will rise up in anger against any who would quote the scriptures which say that GOD Almighty determines the destiny of all men. (see Rom.9:11-21; Eph.1:4,5: II Tim.1:9) They find more comfort in believing that man is his own "predestinator" than they do in the fact that the GOD of all grace is that ONE who determines the end from the beginning and has ordained some to eternal life. Paul knew what was in the heart of men when he said "Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God?" (Rom.9:20) All of man's problems stem from his natural inclination to disobey and disrespect the LORD of Glory. Yet those who have been brought down to a place of repentance and are acquainted with their own helplessness to deliver themselves from the bondage of sin and the curse attached to it, must and shall rejoice that their destiny is determined by HIM who is the SAVIOR of sinners. Unless a man thinks that it is within his own power to save himself how can he not rejoice that the GOD of mercy has determined to save a certain and absolute number of sinners? Has HE left any of this to chance? Is it possible that some of those for whom CHRIST shed HIS precious blood shall perish? Can the will and purpose of GOD be thwarted? Was David wrong when HE said, "But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased." (Psa 115:3)? Can we in any wise comfort those who have fled for refuge to this GREAT ROCK in a weary land if there is any doubt that HE is the "determiner" of all things? If HE is not the PREDESTINATOR of those who are in CHRIST then who can say that some of those which were given to HIM from the foundation of the earth might not perish? Away with such cavils, let all of those whose care is cast upon HIM who is the BALM of GILEAD and the GREAT PHYSICIAN know of a surety that HE who has called you is "able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy," (Jude 1:24) That promise which HE has made, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." (John 10:27-28) shall indeed stand forever, because HE alone is the PREDESTINATOR.
Keep silence all created things, And wait your Maker’s nod;
My soul stands trembling while she sings The honours of her God.
Life, death, and hell, and worlds unknown, Hang on his firm decree;
He sits on no precarious throne, Nor borrows leave TO BE.
Chained to his throne a volume lies, With all the fates of men,
With every angel’s form and size, Drawn by the eternal pen.
His providence unfolds the book, And makes his counsels shine;
Each opening leaf, and every stroke, Fulfils some deep design.
Here he exalts neglected worms To sceptres and a crown;
And there the following page he turns, And treads the monarch down.
Not Gabriel asks the reason why, Nor God the reason gives;
Nor dares the favourite angel pry Between the folded leaves.
My God, I would not long to see My fate with curious eyes;
What gloomy lines are writ for me, Or what bright scenes may rise.
In thy fair book of life and grace, O may I find my name
Recorded in some humble place, Beneath my Lord the Lamb.
Taken from Gadsby’s Hymnal, #4 Isaac Watts (1674-1748)
When a man has discovered (by HIS grace alone) his own utter inability to effect his own deliverance from sin and its resultant destruction, then he can begin to appreciate the sovereign purpose of GOD in redemption. Some who have come to embrace HIS election and predestination of HIS children to eternal glory still find themselves caught up in the concept of GOD's conditional blessings to them in this time world. This mindset keeps GOD's people in a state of legal bondage and "robs" GOD of the glory due to HIS name, because HE is not only our REDEEMER in eternity but HE has also "predestinated" every blessing which HE intends to bestow upon HIS own. We love HIM because HE first loved us. Our enjoyment of HIS mercy and any obedience which we demonstrate is the result of HIS blessing and not the cause of it. We do not pray in order to receive a blessing but the fact that HE has moved us to pray is the result of HIS blessing. The fact that we love HIS word and the brethren is a result of HIS mercy bestowed on us and is never the cause of HIS blessing to us. HE is the PREDESTINATOR of all that HE has predestined and we will glory in HIM. " Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." (Phil 2:12-13)mam