Home > Election > There is a predestination of some particular persons to life and some to death

There is a predestination of some particular persons to life and some to death

Chapter II


Thus much being premised with relation to the Scripture terms commonly made use of in this controversy, we shall now proceed to take a nearer view of this high and mysterious article, and-

I.-We, with the Scriptures, assert that there is a predestination of some particular persons to life for the praise of the glory of Divine grace, and a predestination of other particular persons to death, which death of punishment they shall inevitably undergo, and that justly, on account of their sins –

(1) There is a predestination of some particular persons to life, so “Many are called, but few chosen” (Mat 20:15), 1:e., the Gospel revelation comes, indiscriminately, to great multitudes, but few, comparatively speaking, are spiritually and eternally the better for it, and these few, to whom it is the savour of life unto life, are therefore savingly benefited by it, because they are the chosen or elect of God. To the same effect are the following passages, among many others “For the elect’s sake, those days shall be shortened ” (Matt. xxiv. 22). “As many as were ordained to eternal life, believed” (Acts 13:48). “Whom He did predestinate, them He also called” (Rom 8:30), and ver. 33, “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?” “According as He hath chosen us in Him, before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy . . . Having predestinated us to the adoption of children, by Jesus Christ, unto Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will” (Eph 1:4,5). “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given us, in Christ, before the world began” (2Ti 1:9).

(2) This election of certain individuals unto eternal life was for the praise of the glory of Divine grace. This is expressly asserted, in so many words, by the apostle (Eph 1:5,6). Grace, or mere favour, was the impulsive cause of all: it was the main spring, which set all the inferior wheels in motion. It was an act of grace in God to choose any, when He might have passed by all. It was an act of sovereign grace to choose this man rather than that, when both were equally undone in themselves, and alike obnoxious to His displeasure. In a word, since election is not of works, and does not proceed on the least regard had to any worthiness in its objects, it must be of free, unbiassed grace, but election is not of works (Rom 11:5,6), therefore it is solely of grace.

(3) There is, on the other hand, a predestination of some particular persons to death. ” If our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost” (2Co 4:3). “Who stumble at the word being disobedient; whereunto also they were appointed” (1Pe 2:8). “These as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed” (2Pe 2:12). “There are certain men, crept in unawares, who were before, of old, ordained to this condemnation” (Jude 1:4). “Whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world (Rev 17:8). But of this we shall treat professedly, and more at large, in the fifth chapter.

(4) This future death they shall inevitably undergo, for, as God will certainly save all whom He wills should be saved, so He will as surely condemn all whom He wills shall be condemned; for He is the Judge of the whole earth, whose decree shall stand, and from whose sentence there is no appeal. “Hath He said, and shall He not make it good? hath He spoken, and shall it not come to pass?” And His decree is this: that these (i.e., the non-elect, who are left under the guilt of final impenitence, unbelief and sin)” shall go away into everlasting punishment, and the righteous (i.e., those who, in consequence of their election in Christ and union to Him, are justly reputed and really constituted such) shall enter into life eternal” (Mat 25:46).

(5) The reprobate shall undergo this punishment justly and on account of their sins. Sin is the meritorious and immediate cause of any man’s damnation. God condemns and punishes the non-elect, not merely as men, but as sinners, and had it pleased the great Governor of the universe to have entirely prevented sin from having any entrance into the world, it would seem as if He could not, consistently with His known attributes, have condemned any man at all. But, as all sin is properly meritorious of eternal death, and all men are sinners, they who are condemned are condemned most justly, and those who are saved are saved in a way of sovereign mercy through the vicarious obedience and death of Christ for them.

Now this twofold predestination, of some to life and of others to death (if it may be called twofold, both being constituent parts of the same decree), cannot be denied without likewise denying (1) most express and frequent declarations of Scripture, and (2) the very existence of God, for, since God is a Being perfectly simple, free from all accident and composition, and yet a will to save some and punish others is very often predicated of Him in Scripture, and an immovable decree to do this, in consequence of His will, is likewise ascribed to Him, and a perfect foreknowledge of the sure and certain accomplishment of what He has thus willed and decreed is also attributed to Him, it follows that whoever denies this will, decree and foreknowledge of God, does implicitly and virtually deny God Himself, since His will, decree and foreknowledge are no other than God Himself willing and decreeing and foreknowing.

Jerome Zanchius-The Doctrine of Absolute Predestination Stated and Asserted-Translated by Augustus Montague Toplady

  1. November 29, 2013 at 3:47 am

    The teaching of double predestination makes Jesus look really foolish. He wept over Jerusalem, He wished that none should perish while He prior predestined them to be punished ??? Hello there, we can’t just repeat everything without any ‘spiritual discernment’. Even the great men of God are just men. They made many mistakes & they do not know God & His mind perfectly. I have uttermost respect for many of them, but what they say isn’t always a gospel truth. We need to be wiser than this.

  2. November 30, 2013 at 7:59 am

    First I would like to thank you for visiting my blog and commenting on a post. So welcome to reformedontheweb

    Secondly, I would like to respond to your comment above.

    You state that the teaching of double predestination makes Jesus look foolish.

    First, I would like to ask you if you even understand this doctrine?

    Secondly, I would like to state that Calvinism or the Reformed view of predestination is not based on Equal Ultimacy. Equal Ultimacy is based on a concept of symmetry. It seeks a complete balance between election and reprobation. The key idea is this: Just as God intervenes in the lives of the elect to create faith in their hearts, so God equally intervenes in the lives of the reprobate to create or work unbelief in their hearts. The idea of God’s actively working unbelief in the hearts of the reprobate is drawn from biblical statements about God hardening people’s hearts. This view sees God’s decrees as being in a positive-positive relationship in respect to election and reprobation. This view is known as hyper-Calvinism and is rejected by those holding Calvinistic or Reformed views of scripture.

    My view of double predestination is asymmetrical, is based on unequal ultimacy, and is positive-negative in respect to election and reprobation. God intervenes in the lives of the elect to insure their salvation. He regenerates them, giving them the gift of faith, whereby they then reach out and accept Christ. He does nothing to the reprobate to cause them to reject him. Man is born a sinner and thus he has unbelief in his heart from the moment of conception. All God does to the reprobate is passes them over, leaving them in their sins. Therefore they willingly reject him and will go on to face condemnation at the white throne judgment.

    If I can show one place in scripture, whereby God passes over some and leaves them to face judgment, while at the same time preserving others in his mercy, then I have destroyed your argument that states: this doctrine makes Jesus look foolish.

    In the Old Testament we see Israel in Egypt. We see them being held captive and being treated as slaves. God sends Moses to deliver his people from the Egyptians. In so doing, God sends multiple plagues on Egypt which culminate in the killing of the first born of the Egyptians. God commands Moses to have every Israelite household kill a lamb and place the blood on the doorpost of their houses. Upon doing so, the Angel of the Lord passes over the Israelites and brings his judgment on the Egyptians. Here we get a view of those who are washed in Christ’s blood as being protected, while the unbelievers face God’s wrath. God done nothing to make the Egyptians disbelieve or reject him. They already rejected him because of the sinful nature which they possess.

    Thirdly, In stating that double predestination makes Jesus look foolish, you are setting the Trinity at variance against one another. There is no harmony within the God-head in your view. God is pleased to choose some to salvation, while rejecting others. The Spirit regenerates some, while not regenerating others. Yet you have Christ wanting to save everyone. This would show discord in the Trinity.

    My view actually shows the harmony within the Trinity. God elects some. Christ dies for those of whom God elects and the Holy Spirit applies the work of Christ to the elect. See the harmony within the Trinity.

    Fourthly, you state: ” He wept over Jerusalem, He wished that none should perish while He prior predestined them to be punished ???”

    You are committing the error of eisegesis here. When we approach scripture we are to exegete it. The term ‘exegesis’ means to draw out of the text what the text says. The opposite of this is eisegesis. This term means to read into scripture what is not there. You are reading into scripture when you state that Christ wept over Jerusalem and wished none to perish. The text actual says:

    O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate Mt 23:37,38

    Nowhere here can we find Christ wishing that none of Jerusalem would perish. He actually says that he often wanted to gather them under his wings, as a mother hen would, but they wouldn’t allow it. Therefore their house is left in desolation.

    If I can find one place in scripture whereby Jesus states that he is not trying to convert everyone and/or show that his purpose was not to convert Jerusalem, then your argument fails.

    There are many places in scripture that state that God and Jesus were not trying to save everyone. Jesus was asked by his disciples, why he taught in parables? Did Jesus answer by saying that he taught in parables so everyone could get saved? No. He actually said:

    Mat 13:10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
    Mat 13:11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
    Mat 13:12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
    Mat 13:13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
    Mat 13:14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
    Mat 13:15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

    Jesus answered his disciples, by saying, that only the disciples or elect were given the knowledge to understand. He quoted Isaiah the prophet and showed his disciples that he spoke in parables so that Israel could not see, could not hear, and could not be converted.

    Can we find anymore scripture in the Bible that agrees with this? Certainly we can. Paul wrote:

    Rom 11:4 But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.
    Rom 11:5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
    Rom 11:6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.
    Rom 11:7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded

    Paul makes it plain that only the elect receive the grace of God and the rest of Israel was blinded by God.

    Fifthly, you state: “Hello there, we can’t just repeat everything without any ‘spiritual discernment’. Even the great men of God are just men. They made many mistakes & they do not know God & His mind perfectly. I have uttermost respect for many of them, but what they say isn’t always a gospel truth. We need to be wiser than this.”

    I say: In repeating other men we need to only quote or repeat from those who got it right. Did men through the history of the church get the scriptures right? From what I showed above it seems pretty clear that some of them did. Even though men are just men, nevertheless God has gifted the church with Pastors/Teachers. It seems that you are rejecting God’s gift to the Church.

    Finally, are there any scriptures that state that some are ordained or appointed to condemnation? If so, then you have got to put these scriptures into your theological views somewhere. I will leave you with two:

    Jud 1:4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ORDAINED TO THIS CONDEMNATION, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

    1Pe 2:7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
    1Pe 2:8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also THEY WERE APPOINTED.

  3. November 30, 2013 at 8:46 am

    Reblogged this on The Shepherd/Guardian.

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