Saturday, September 14, 2013

An Answer to a Pentecostal Minister Regarding Predestination

I was recently watching a roundtable discussion on TV among several Pentecostal ministers. An emailer wrote in and asked the opinion of the panel regarding the doctrine of predestination. Among the responses was one by a panel member, in which he snorted, "'Whosoever will' is all you need to know." I believed that such a vacuous answer could not go unchallenged, so I emailed him the brief argument below. Due to his particular biases, I used the King James Version, rather than my usual ESV.  I will give his response at the bottom.

First, no one "wills" to come to God naturally, because we are all "dead in trespasses and sins" (Ephesians 2:1). As such, Paul says that "no one seeks God" (Romans 3:11). So you used that phrase to mean something that Scripture says is impossible. Rather, God must take the initiative to give us a new heart (Ezekiel 11:19-20 and 36:26-27).

In John 6:44, Jesus says, "No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him." And Paul makes the same point in Philippians 2:13, "it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure." It is God that creates the will in us to respond to the Gospel. It isn't something that we have in us. Yes, it is "whosoever will," but only because God gives us that will to begin with. What He requires, He provides (John 1:13). Paul says that God even gives us the very repentance which is a part of our response to the Gospel: "In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth..." (II Timothy 2:25).

This is why I believe in predestination, because I have experienced the truth that it is only by God's ordination that I believed (Acts 13:48), and because my Jesus chose me, I did not choose Him (John 15:16). That is my assurance, that He is faithful and unfailing, regardless of how frail and faltering I am (John 6:39, 10:28-29).

Edited to remove identifying remarks, he responded, "Sir I am sorry to say but you follow false doctrine and obviously lack an understanding of God 's Holy Word. May I suggest you get the Expositors Study Bible from then you will understand scripture. I will not debate this with you because I am very busy and if I need to be corrected on scriptures and doctrine then My pastors... will do that . Thanks"


Anonymous said... explained that really well...i commend you...i would like to have you as christian friend....your calm in your explanation and you use scriptures which i love...the reply of the young man is rather unbecoming as 1. the scripture state that we must be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks us a question...but he's too busy to reply...hmmm...2.he seems a bit proud as he will only receive correction from his pastors but not from a local brother? you gave a good argument your not bashing him and how is your argument a false doctrine...3rd i dont know if he's a teacher in his church but if he is he has displayed a poor attitude as instead of directing you to scriptures and explaining them he directs you to a website....whats the purpose of teachers and pastors is it not to interpret the tongue of God which is his word? anyway i would like to talk sometime so if your on facebook my name is danavan pryce, my email is and my whats app number is 18764374797 and am from jamaica

John Hillsbery said...

Excellent explanation. Typical response from someone who clearly follows a god that submits to his ideology.

Nelson said...

As an Arminian/Pentecostal, I cannot agree with your objection, however, as a Christian, please accept my apology for this pastor's rude reply.