Mark Mizer -
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PREDESTINATION AND PREDETERMINATION
'Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.' (Jeremiah 1: 5)
I am treading on treacherous ground here, so, please suffer my thoughts with patient tolerance. My intent is not to offend nor to pretend I am a theologian, nor am I asking anyone to accept my treatise, but to make an observation of what I consider a misunderstanding of predestination.
As Presbyterians we are often criticized as those 'predestination believers' meaning we believe our whole future has been laid out for us and we have no control over who we are or who we are to become. Everything in our lives is pre-set, pre-programmed, both good and bad; that God has predetermined whether or not we are to go to hell or heaven.
But, in my mind there is a difference between predestination and predetermination. I believe predestination means we were chosen to receive God's grace, through the Christ, Jesus, who, in the Gospel of John was present at creation with God. We receive this gift even before we have consciousness of our own existence. We cannot earn this grace. It is given freely to us by and through the sacrifice of Jesus, who gave his life to wipe away the sins of all people, both those born and those of us who were yet to be born, and his resurrection overcoming death giving us eternal life and joy with Him.
But, we still possess the freedom to either accept or reject this grace. This is our call to make. Our part has not been predetermined. I believe we are predestined to receive God's gift, but, we are not predestined to accept it.
Prayer: O God, our God, you have given us the gift of grace through your son, Christ, Jesus. Thank you. Amen