In the New Testament, word Predestination is properly used only with reference to God’s plan or purpose of salvation. The Greek word rendered “predestinate” is found only in six passages, in New Testament (Acts;4:28; Romans;8:29-30;1Corinthians;2:7; Ephasians;1:5,11) and in all of them it has the same meaning: “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory”(1Corinthians;2:7). They teach that the eternal, sovereign, immutable, and unconditional decree or “determinate purpose” of God governs all events. In Christianity, Predestination is the doctrine that; God has long ago determined who will be saved and who will be damned. This doctrine of predestination or election is beset with many difficulties, considered to belong to the “secret things” of God. But the Christians, are urged to accept this doctrine with all its mysteriousness, and settle all the questionings in the humble, devout acknowledgment, “Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight”.(Mathew:11:26). The ‘Decrees of God’ are his eternal, unchangeable, holy, wise, and sovereign purpose, comprehending at once all things that ever were or will be in their causes, conditions, successions, and relations, and determining their certain futurition: “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.”(Jeremiah:1:5). The decree being the act of an infinite, absolute, eternal, unchangeable, and sovereign Being, comprehending a plan including all his works of all kinds, great and small, from the beginning of creation to an unending eternity; ends as well as means, causes as well as effects, conditions and instrumentalities as well as the events which depend upon them, must be incomprehensible by the finite intellect of man. It is mentioned in New Testament:” All that the Father gives me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out”(John;6:37);“And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;” (Acts;17:26);“Therefore hath He mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardened.”(Romans;9:18). The decrees are eternal: “Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world”(Acts;15:18); unchangeable (Psalms;33:11; Isiaah;46:9), and comprehend all things that come to pass (Ephasians;1:11, 2:10; Matthew;10:29-30; Acts;2:23; 4:27-28; Psalms;17:13-14).
Three types of predestination doctrine have developed in Christianity. One doctrine holds that God singled out the saved because he foresaw their future merits. A second doctrine [often identified with John Calvin (1509-64), French Protestant theologian and reformer] states that from eternity God has determined the saved and the damned, regardless of their merit or lack thereof. A third doctrine, set forth by Thomas Aquinas (1225-74 C.E, known as ‘the Angelic Doctor’ Italian philosopher, theologian, and Dominican friar) and Martin Luther (1483-1546, the German priest who sparked the Reformation) ascribes salvation to the unmerited grace of God but links the lack of grace to sin. In Christian theology, Grace is the unmerited gift of divine favor, which brings about the salvation of a sinner. The concept of grace has given rise to theological debate over the nature of human depravity and the extent to which individuals may contribute to their own salvation through ‘Free Will’. Though in principle the ideas of merit and grace are mutually exclusive, the question of whether grace may be given as a reward for good works or for faith alone was important in the Protestant Reformation. There has also been controversy over the means of ‘Grace’: Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and some Protestants believe that ‘Grace’ is conferred through the sacraments (religious actions, ceremony, rites or symbol in which spiritual power is believed to be transmitted through material elements or the performance of rituals), while some other Protestants (e.g., Baptists) hold that participation in grace results from personal faith alone: “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.”(Acts;10:43); “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor un-circumcision; but faith which worketh by love.”(Galatians;5:6); “And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.”(Acts;15:9). The Christians also claim to be chosen people of God entitle for His Grace through belief in Jesus: “But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:”(2Thessalonians;2:13); “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:”(Ephesians;1:11).
The Old Testament speaks of the election of individuals to office or to honor and privilege, e.g., Abraham, Jacob, Saul, David, Solomon (peace be upon them all), were all chosen by God for the positions they held; so also were the apostles. There is also an election of nations to special privileges, e.g., the Hebrews: “For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.”(Deuteronomy;7:6). According to popular Jewish belief, even the sinners from among the children of Israel will suffer only very limited punishment in the life to come, and will be’ quickly reprieved by virtue of their belonging to “the chosen people”: a belief which the Qur’an rejects(Qur’an;2:79-80). Allah declares the Jews and the Christians are human beings like others which He has created, and punishes them for their sins, the Sovereignty belongs to Him, He forgives whom He pleases and He punishes whom He pleases (Qur’an;5:18). [Bible on Predestination: http://wp.me/PCgrB-8u ]
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Freedom of Will : Freedom of Will: First I would like to discuss this subject with regard to the realities of existence, as we see and feel it, and then I shall refer to relevant texts. In reality, man has freedom. He is able to assess material matters, and differentiate between good and bad through the power of his … Continue reading »
Destiny, Predestination, Reward: Difference between Destiny& Predestination: I shall try to explain the difference between ‘Destiny’ and ‘Predestination’ by an example though only ‘Allah can give the best example’ (Qur’an;16:60). In this age, when a building is constructed, a sign post is put up indicating the names of the engineers and contractors who designed and undertook the construction. … Continue reading »
Faith in Predestination : Destiny, Predestination and Divine Will The most secure and the best way to establish the authenticity of any Islamic doctrine, is to consult the true source, the Qur’an, the pious elders, that is the Companions of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and their followers. Same course is adopted with regards to the doctrine of … Continue reading »