A major problem that I’ve been hearing lately is the idea of predestination. So many people I know, including Christians, believe that people are chosen before they are born to go to heaven or hell. This keeps people from having a relationship with God because they feel that no matter what, they can’t help where they end up after death. They believe that salvation is given only to chosen people and that the elect will come to have faith and believe until the end.
“In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan
of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order
that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.”
A lot of people take this verse as confirmation that there is undoubtedly predestination. However, what God means is that He chose them to have certain spiritual gifts. He chose the disciples and He chose the apostles. He has a plan for each and every one of us to do His works; we just need to accept the duty and responsibility. Also, the next verse contradicts the idea of predestination.
“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word
of the truth, the gospel of your salvation.”
This verse declares that those who hear the Word and believe in it will receive salvation and a place in heaven. Deuteronomy 7:6-8 talks about the people of Israel being the chosen people. This doesn’t mean that they are the only ones permitted in heaven. What this means is that they have a special ranking in Heaven (see Revelation 7).
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever
believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life. For God
did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does
not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed
in the name of God’s one and only Son.”
No one is excluded from having everlasting life in heaven. All who believe will see the kingdom and reside in it! God loves each and every person that has ever walked this earth. He does not choose to send anyone to hell; He did everything to save us. He sent His only Son to perish for us. He became like us to be a sacrifice for us. He remained compassionate while Israel was arrogant and judgmental. The Bible tells us that whoever confesses with their mouth that Jesus is Christ and commits their life to God will receive life in heaven. We are told that we have our own will. Therefore, we are not predestined.
Don’t be convinced that you can’t help set the way for where you will end up after death. One thing is, you are on a predetermined course. But you don’t have a predetermined destination. The course that you take, can have detours based on your decisions and if you stray from God's will, and so does your destination. Satan is not omnipotent or omnipresent. He can only attack you every now and then, putting thoughts in your head for short moments, hoping that those thoughts will turn you from God. So don’t let him convince you that you’re either set to go to heaven or hell. YOU make your own decisions and if you love God and live by His word than you are going to heaven. If you disobey God, then you are on a wide path to the lake of fire. You are not Satan’s to have-you are God’s. So live your life for Him and know that your destination is not predestined.