"For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done." ~ Acts 4:28

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Biblical Predestination

1. Introduction
2. Predestination
3. Does all means all?
4. Who are the elect?
5. Why would Paul write this?
6. Romans 9: Jacob, Esau, and the Pharaoh
7. Original sin: where do babies go when they die?
8. Conclusion


Predestination is a topic that is often hotly debated, as one wonders if God, who is omniscient (knows everything), and can see the past, present, and the future, not confined by time nor space, would he not also know the salvation status of people? Would he then not make it so that certain people are created to be good and some to be bad because he knows who would go to heaven and hell already? However if he does indeed ordain evil then would that not make God the author of evil? To what extent do people have a choice in their standing with God?

Predestination in the Bible

There are a few times the word 'predestination' does appear in the Bible. The word used for predestination is proorizo (προορίζω), which comes from the words pro (before in this context) and orizo (to determine, choose). So to translate that into English, it would logically be written as 'predestination'. However, it's not always translated as such, but it does still bear similar meaning for where it is used.

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
Romans 8:29-30


For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.
Acts 4:28


But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
1 Corinthians 2:7


Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
Ephesians 1:5


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 word predestination appears four times, while other times it is just translated as 'ordained before' or 'determined before', but it essentially is synonymous. However, in order to understand what one is predestined to, it would be best to look at context for each passages.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
Ephesians 1:3-6

Here we see the mention of predestination. However, like repentance, this word should not be seen with a bias on what it means, as words should be defined with by what the Bible says and not by the teachings of man. The general idea people usually have about predestination, particularly Calvinists, is that God has predetermined who would get saved and who would not. In other words, God created certain people to be saved no matter what they do, as their destiny is eventually salvation, while there are others who were created just so he can be damned, and neither party has a choice on where they will end up ultimately. However, let us look at what one is predestined for. Ephesians 1:4 states that the saved people were chosen in him (Christ) before the foundation of the world, that they should be holy and without blame before him in love. It does not say a person is chosen to be saved before the foundation of the world, but to be fashioned to be more like Christ more and more, to become children by Jesus Christ. This destiny are benefits of being a believer, not that God chose one to be saved or not. In fact, this becomes evident if we go further down into the chapter the cause is written clearly on how to get all these benefits!

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: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
Ephesians 1:11-14

Predestinated appears here once again, stating that one's inheritance, or to be adopted as a child of God, is written there. Verse 12 says it all, that these benefits are predestined towards those who first trusted in Christ. As if that was not enough, verse 13 repeats this point saying 'in whom ye also trusted, after ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, in whom also after that ye believed...', heavily implying one made that choice to believe on Christ. The predestined benefits to be God's children and have all spiritual blessings is in those who believe on Christ. Even though one may not live a perfect life on earth, if he believes, he shall be justified on the day of redemption, as the Holy Spirit of promise seals the believer unto the day of redemption, thus predestining the believer into eternal security. It says nothing about one being saved or unsaved as a result of being predestined by God. Greater details appear in Romans 8, which often is a bigger chapter used for predestination.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
Romans 8:28-30

These verses also speak explicitly of predestination, and once again, one should read the context in full to understand this. Verse 29 explicitly states that those whom he did predestinate were those whom he did foreknow, meaning God's omniscience plays a role here. God foreknew who would believe and who would not believe on him. We see this even when Jesus chose his disciples, that he selected a devil amongst the twelve, which was Judas, for he had to fulfil the prophecies (John 6:70-71). We notice that those who trusted on their works and not on Christ were people whom he never knew (Matthew 7:21-23). But what exactly did God predestine those whom he foreknew? He predestined them to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. This does not say that man was predestined to be either saved or unsaved, but that those whom he knew before the foundation of the world (harmonising this with Ephesians 1) that they would be the same who would eventually become more and more like Christ himself, to be called, justified, and glorified. There is nothing here implying that God would preordain man to salvation or damnation. However, some may be stuck on where he says 'he called'. How then do we interpret this?

Does All Mean All?

First of all, one would not want to question the will of God, right? There are quite a lot of verses where God's clear salvation message for all is mentioned. For example, Peter writes in his second epistle that God wills all to be saved.

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
2 Peter 3:9

God's will is for all should come to repentance, not willing that any should perish. God is longsuffering and gives everybody the chance to repent of their unbelief and believe on Christ, no matter who they are.

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
1 Timothy 2:1-4

Paul even mentions twice that he is exhorting prayers and thanksgiving to be made for all men, and because God would have all men to be saved.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
Jeremiah 29:11


For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.
Hosea 6:6


But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8

God does not will to have thoughts of evil and would rather have mercy over sacrifice, to have thoughts of peace, and not of evil. God sent his only begotten Son to die for us because he so loved the world.

And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
1 John 2:2


For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3:16

The world means the people of this world, which would mean everyone, regardless of time or location or whoever they may be. Who then did he call then, the saved people or the entire world?

I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
John 6:51

If all does not mean all, then does any not mean any? Jesus is explicitly telling anybody that if he eats of the living bread from heaven, he shall live forever. To believe on the Lord Jesus Christ gives salvation regardless of who, and it isn't because someone's special or has some privileged 'I was chosen to be saved and you're not' licence. Jesus preached to anybody and everyone and made the offer to anybody regardless of who.

Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;
Proverbs 1:24

Keep in mind, just because one gets called does not mean all will accept. Even in Proverbs 1 there is an instance of wisdom crying out for people to repent, but no man regarded. Being called does not guarantee acceptance from the one who was called.

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
Mark 16:15


And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Matthew 28:18-20

It would not make sense then for Jesus then to tell people to go into the world and to preach the gospel to every (all) creature, to teach all nations, if all did not mean all. It would lead to a Christianity that would have never grown or never went past the time Jesus was in this world. The gospel was clearly meant for everyone and that everyone is being called, but it is up to the person individually to accept the calling.

And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
Revelation 22:17

The Bible at its ending says that 'whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely'. Whosoever will, implying whoever makes the choice, can take the water of life freely. There is no implication that one is predestined to salvation by the choice of God alone. God did not choose who goes to heaven or hell, as his will is for all men to be saved. God's choice was already done when he sent his only begotten Son to die on the cross for our sins by giving an easy way to salvation. The choice to believe is up to the individual. Jesus is the saviour of all men, but just because he is the saviour of all does not mean everyone is going to heaven. One would need to accept the free gift of eternal life to be saved.

Who are the elect?

Now this begs the question: who are then the chosen? Who are the elect? Being elect implies that one is chosen. The elect are actually the saved people, and this is very apparent throughout the Scriptures.

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
1 Peter 1:1-2

Peter writes clearly that those who are elect are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, which corresponds to Ephesians 1 and Romans 8. Ephesians 1 clearly says that this gift is reserved for those who believe. Romans 8 states that God foreknew the ones who would trust on him. The rest of the Bible states that we make the choice on our faith and not that God controls this. God does NOT say that one was chosen to go to heaven and one was chosen to go to hell. He acts upon predestining someone based off what he knows the person would do. The many mentions of elect always implies the person chose to believe.

Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;
Titus 1:1

The opening of Titus, for example, states that God's elect has faith, and that the acknowledging of the truth is essential to this.

And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Matthew 24:33

When Jesus returns, he gathers his elect, or the believers. Those who believe are eternally secure.

Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
Romans 8:33

Even continuing Romans 8 the word elect appears, which, of course, is talking about the believers. 

Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.
John 6:70-71


Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
John 15:16

There are times, however, where it does not refer to believers. This verse is not about salvation, so do not get confused with 'ye have not chosen me'. This one is about Jesus speaking to his disciples, telling them after Judas leaves their group (John 13:30), that there was much work to do, to win more souls (bringing forth fruit). Jesus even says that he has chosen them to do works for him, as he chose labourers for the harvest. Elect is just a word for chosen or selected, but not always pertaining to salvation. Judas was elect, but he was not saved. He was a devil all along. Always look contextually to see where the word comes in.

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Romans 10:9

We know very well Scripturally that one's faith, to believe in one's heart on the Lord Jesus Christ. Salvation is the result of faith. There is no magical group of people God has chosen to be saved and chosen to be damned before the foundation of the world. Ephesians 1:4 has people chosen in him (in Jesus) before the foundation of the world, and not that this was his choice to particularly select some group of people but one makes the choice himself to receive everlasting life. The elect are the saved.

Confusion: Why did Paul write this?

It seems particular that Paul would write this emphasising that the groups of people he is writing to (the Romans and the Ephesians in this case) are elect, predestined, and chosen. Why was he so adamant about this? The reason is because there were groups of people telling these Gentiles, who were new to the faith, that they were not chosen people of God and thus were treated as second class citizens. This becomes abundantly clear when one reads through the adjacent chapters of the particular predestination chapters, Romans 9 and Ephesians 2. Paul is, for the most part, reassuring his Gentile readers that they are indeed chosen people of God, and that one does not have to be a Jew to be chosen in the New Testament. Galatians 3 and 4 will also powerfully rebuke the Judaisers who deceived the Galatians into believing that one needed to be Jewish and keep Jewish customs. Believers of Christ are chosen, as it is evident throughout the New Testament, but the Gentiles were not always God's chosen people.

Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
Jeremiah 31:31-34

The prophet Jeremiah predicted in the Old Testament that there will be a day when there will be a new covenant with the house of Israel, and this one would be a better one that is no longer like the old one established with Moses.

By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.
Hebrews 7:22


But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second
Hebrews 8:6-7

The book of Hebrews also states that there is a new testament, a better one. Hebrews 8's entire chapter would speak of the same thing, and that this more excellent ministry of a better covenant, where it was no longer the physical nation of Israel, but based upon the spiritual nation of Israel, is how people would become the chosen people.

In the Old Testament, it was clear that the people of God were the physical nation of Israel. If any foreigner were to believe, he can also become part of the chosen people by joining the physical nation of Israel. However, there were people who did also believe but did not join the nation of Israel but would rather just because saved heathens. Some examples of this would be the queen of Sheba (1 Kings 10:6-9) and Naaman the Syrian (2 Kings 5:15), both people who did not stay in Israel but departed to their own countries.

Of course, we must also remember that one does not get saved by belonging to the physical nation of Israel. Salvation was always the same: anyone who trusted on the coming Messiah were saved, believing on the Lord was enough to be counted for righteousness, but it was a separate distinction from being the 'people of God'. Recall in Luke 16 with the account of the rich man and Lazarus that Abraham calls the rich man 'son', indicating that he was indeed part of the people of God, but did not trust on Christ, so went to hell regardless. On contrast, Lazarus was justified through his faith and went to heaven to be with Abraham and the other saints.

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
1 Peter 2:9-10

Peter gives a wonderful description of the chosen (the elect) generation, as he wrote the epistle to believers. In the New Testament, the elect (believers) are a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people, which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God. Peter says the same thing Paul was telling the Gentile churches that they are indeed the chosen and that it is no longer about the physical nation of Israel but the spiritual one (Romans 2:28-29), and that there is no difference in the inheritance of eternal life between Jews or Greeks (Galatians 3:28).

The Gentiles are now grafted into the covenant (Romans 11). This was always the will of God and not some backup plan to include the Gentiles should the Jews fail. Recall Old Testament prophecies where God declares judgement on multiple nations because he created them, and that other prophecies after Jerusalem's destruction foretold of the days Jerusalem would reach out her hands and gain multiple nations (Isaiah 54). Abraham was also promised to be the father of many nations (Genesis 17:4), long before the New Testament even came in. Nevertheless the Jews did fail as they were fallible men and fell to idolatry and could not keep the laws of God. The inclusion of the Gentiles as God's people however was a mystery in the Old Testament and was not revealed nor manifest until the New Testament.

And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
Matthew 3:9

One of the first things John the Baptist tells the people in his Jordan River baptising is that they should not esteem themselves better because they have Abraham as their father, as the one who was to bring the new covenant was coming (Jesus).

Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.
Romans 9:6-8


As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.
Romans 9:25-26

Romans 9 further supports this as Paul writes that not all of Israel are of Israel, as it is a physical and spiritual distinction. Just because one belonged in the physical nation of Israel did not mean he was counted amongst the children of God in the New Testament. It's the children of the promise, not the children of the flesh, that is counted for the seed. He also quotes Hosea, the same thing Peter also did. These people (the Gentiles) are going to be God's people, and will become the children of the living God, and this has happened in the New Testament.

Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
Ephesians 2:11-13

After writing the famous 'for by grace are ye saved through faith' verse, Paul also reminds the Ephesians that they, being Gentiles, were in the past called Uncircumcision, but are now Circumcision as they are now in Christ, and made near by the blood of Christ. They are no longer strangers of the covenant of the promise, but they too are fellow citizens with the saints and of the household of God (verse 20).

It's clear then why Paul would write so much about predestination, and it isn't because he wanted to tell people that some people were born saved and some were born unsaved and there was nothing one could do about it. That would be a lie. He did this to encourage the Gentiles, who were being told off by the Jews who could not see the new covenant has come in, that the Gentiles will also be grafted in alongside believing Jews to the covenant, and that both will be the people of God, and both, with God foreknowing who would heed his call and who wouldn't, would predestine both of them to have everlasting life and to be conformed to be more like Christ, as both are now the elect, the chosen. These predestination chapters are a chapter of reassurance for the Gentile churches. If one has a preconceived notion of what predestination means or does not understand the distinction between physical and spiritual Israel, this would be hard to understand.

Romans 9: Jacob and Esau and the Pharaoh

Some people may read Romans 9 and also may come to believe that God has predestined some people into certain roles in life, some to be vessels of honour, and some to be vessels of dishonour. We have established so far that God has foreknowledge of who does come to the knowledge of salvation, that God calls everyone or wills all to be saved, that salvation is by faith alone, and people choose to believe and not God. How does this play with Romans 9?

And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.
Romans 9:10-14

Some may read this and wonder how it is that God does not predestine people to salvation if God has written that he loved Jacob but hated Esau. It seems like God chose one brother over the other. However, when the Bible says 'it is written', one should look at the Bible to see where this is quoted.

And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.
Genesis 25:23

In the Bible, Rebekah bears two twins, Jacob and Esau, in her womb. The two are struggling together inside her womb, and God tells her that there are two nations in her womb, and one shall be stronger than the other, and the elder shall serve the younger. This is obviously not talking about the individuals Esau and Jacob, as there was no point in their life which Esau ever served Jacob. In fact, when Jacob was trying to make amends with his brother, he continually called himself his servant and always humbled himself before the brother whom he had wronged in the past. However, this makes sense when both are thought of as nations. There is a point when king David of Israel does defeat the Edomites and make them the vassal state of Israel. When the kingdom divides, Edom remains a vassal state or a dependency of Judah. This does not last forever, however, and by the time Jesus comes to the world, an Edomite (Idumean) dynasty, the Herodians, rule over the Roman province of Judaea.

The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi. I have loved you, saith the Lord. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob, And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness. Whereas Edom saith, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places; thus saith the LORD of hosts, They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the LORD hath indignation for ever. And your eyes shall see, and ye shall say, The LORD will be magnified from the border of Israel.
Malachi 1:1-5

Where God says 'I loved Jacob and I hated Esau', he is clearly talking about their respective nations, as the opening of Malachi makes it very obvious. There is no indication that God loved Jacob and hated Esau as people just because he chose that to be the case. It does not even seem that Esau himself was a bad man, and was even willing to forgive his own brother for his wrongdoings against him, but whether he was saved or not we cannot tell. There is no evidence that Esau did not get the same fair call from God like Jacob did because God 'chose him to be hated'. They all knew of God and his will, no doubt. What is being mentioned here are the nations, and God loved Jacob for the promise of the faith that he had kept, while Esau's nation Edom ended up being an idolatrous nation who has done a lot of wrongdoings against his own brother.

For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.
Romans 9:15-18

Even more puzzling perhaps is this talk about the Pharaoh, whom God said for this same purpose of showing mercy to whom he shows mercy to and the same with compassion. It seems God chose this particular person to do evil and to harden his heart, or is it? Why is this very example of the Pharaoh of Egypt mentioned in this particular passage? We should look at some instances of the Pharaoh's life himself. The Pharaoh in the Exodus story is a harsh taskmaster who has enslaved the Hebrews to do his bidding. God also says that he will harden the Pharaoh's heart and that the Pharaoh will not hearken unto Moses (Exodus 7:3-4).

This is not because God did not will him to be saved from the beginning. This is out of his foreknowledge, stating full well that he knows what will happen and when he will start hardening the Pharaoh's heart, which doesn't happen long after (Exodus 7:13). However, one should notice that the Pharaoh himself also hardens his own heart (Exodus 8:15, 8:32), and have already done so from the beginning at Exodus 5:2, stating 'who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice and let Israel go?' This means that the Pharaoh himself already was a reprobate: he did not have the capability to believe because his conscience was already seared, and it was this hard hearted proud man who believed himself to be the son of the gods that would prove a great example for God to use to humble the strong man and show his own mighty glory using weaker vessels like Moses who complained that he could not speak!

God is merciful and wills all men to be saved, but this man already rejected God prior to this. God showing mercy or hardening one's heart is in result to what a man does. We see an example of this in the New Testament where king Herod, who was first given a chance from John the Baptist to hear the word of God, instead has him executed by the coercing of his queen, and when Jesus is presented before him before his crucifixion, he was glad to meet him, but Jesus would not talk to him (Luke 23:8-11) because by that point Herod was already with a seared conscience and could not believe. Jesus would extend that mercy to Pilate, however, trying to tell him about the gospel, but Pilate rejects him, quipping 'what is truth?' (John 18:38).

All of this fits into the Romans 9 chapter in stating that we cannot reply against God on this matter, because whatever God chooses to do is just, and he can make anyone into vessels of honour or dishonour, which means the person can be saved or unsaved in response to their choices. If God chooses to have mercy on some and have some hardened, we cannot complain. The Pharaoh as a child, like anyone else, was eligible to receiving the truth too. He just became proud and unsalvageable at some point enough for the Lord to have had enough and use him as a vessel of dishonour. God is pleased to save those who believe, not to cause people to believe if they were saved, as that would not make any sense.

Babies: Where do they go when they die? (Original Sin)

One of the most unbiblical concepts that do come around is the idea that people inherited sin from Adam, and that we are responsible for the sins of Adam and so are born in iniquity. Nothing could be farther from the truth. While man did inherit that sinful nature in the flesh for Adam's transgression, every man is responsible for his own sins and are not to be punished for the sins of their fathers.

The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.
Ezekiel 18:20

However, this begs the question: where do babies, who do not know right from wrong, go when they die? The answer is simple: they go to heaven as they cannot be responsible for the evils they do not know. This is provable all throughout the Scriptures.

Moreover your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, and your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it.
Deuteronomy 1:39


What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
Romans 7:7-12

Paul writes famously in Romans 7 that when he started to know what the law was, that is when sin entered and he died. Without knowing the law, which general right and wrong notions are written in everyone's hearts, he could not have known those sins. Without the law, sin was dead. This means one in the innocent state of being a baby with no concept of right or wrong goes to heaven if they were to die. We will look at some few examples in the Scriptures that will further support this.

Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.
Matthew 2:16-18

When Herod massacred those children who were two years old and under, it caused a lot of damage and misery, especially upon many of the mothers who raised them. This was not something ordained by God but something that happened due to the evil of Herod, who could not accept the rule of another king. Jeremiah the prophet actually prophesied this tragic event earlier on. His prophecy is only quoted for the tragic aspect, as Rachel weeping for her children refers to Rama being in the territory of Benjamin, whose mother was Rachel, but we should examine the whole prophecy.

Thus saith the LORD; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rahel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not. Thus saith the LORD; Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears: for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the LORD; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy. And there is hope in thine end, saith the LORD, that thy children shall come again to their own border.
Jeremiah 31:15-17

Jeremiah prophesies about the lamentation and bitter weeping in Ramah, as many poor innocent babies were slain that day. However, God tells these people to refrain from weeping. Is God that insensitive to not know suffering? How can one refrain from crying when she lost her own baby? God says this is because there will be hope in their end, and that their children shall come again to their own border. This is a promise that these babies will one day come back to live as happy citizens of Jesus' millennial kingdom during the bodily resurrection, as they are in heaven now and will come again to their borders. While the suffering is temporary due to the devil and his wicked minions such as Herod, there will be hope and peace in the end. There wouldn't be resurrection if the babies did not enter heaven. They did not die in their sins because how can a baby who knows not sin nor the law enter hell to pay for something he has no knowledge of whatsoever?

And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether God will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.
2 Samuel 12:22-23

This tragic story of king David losing his first son with Bathsheba due to his wicked sin shows that David, knowing fully well he was justified by God, also believed that he will go to his baby when he dies. He cannot bring back the baby to him, and he fasted and wept so that God would be merciful. However, God took the baby with him, and the baby was not responsible for the sins of his father, as he knew no sin nor understood it. The baby is in heaven with God, and now with David, who went to him.

Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Psalm 51:5

The famous Psalm 51 lamentation psalm which David writes concerning the affair he had with Bathsheba states that in sin and in iniquity did his mother conceive him. Is he talking about himself? How could he have known sin in his womb or inherit it? However, there's something else within this passage, as it seems perhaps this is talking about David's mother. David has a dark secret that some may not have caught on when reading the Scriptures, and it is revealed in his story.

David's affair with Bathsheba probably did not come out of nowhere, as he picked up this behaviour from someplace. It is also a mystery too as to why David was excluded from his brothers when Samuel came to choose a king. We will examine David's own family tree to get some answers as to who David's mother is.

And Jesse begat his firstborn Eliab, and Abinadab the second, and Shimma the third, Nethaneel the fourth, Raddai the fifth, Ozem the sixth, David the seventh: Whose sisters were Zeruiah, and Abigail. And the sons of Zeruiah; Abishai, and Joab, and Asahel, three. And Abigail bare Amasa: and the father of Amasa was Jether the Ishmeelite.
1 Chronicles 2:13-17

An interesting part of David's own family is that he had two sisters: Zeruiah and Abigail. Zeruiah would bear David's nephew Joab, who would become his general. The link does not stop there, however.

And Absalom made Amasa captain of the host instead of Joab: which Amasa was a man's son, whose name was Ithra an Israelite, that went in to Abigail the daughter of Nahash, sister to Zeruiah Joab's mother.
2 Samuel 17:25

At some point, when David's own son Absalom raises his hand against his father and rebels, Amasa was made captain instead of Joab, who was the son of Ithra an Israelite (named Jether the Ishmeelite in Chronicles), and also Joab's mother Zeruiah's sister, meaning this is David's sister. However, what is alarming is that Abigail is named the daughter of Nahash. Who was Nahash?

Then Nahash the Ammonite came up, and encamped against Jabesh-gilead: and all the men of Jabesh said unto Nahash, Make a covenant with us, and we will serve thee. And Nahash the Ammonite answered them, On this condition will I make a covenant with you, that I may thrust out all your right eyes, and lay it for a reproach upon all Israel.
1 Samuel 11:1-2

Nahash was some Ammonite king who besieged Jabesh-gilead until Saul defeated him. If Abigail is Nahash's daughter, it means that she is David's half-sister. It seems perhaps during this time David was conceived by his mother through Jesse while she was still married to Nahash. It seems there may have been some extramarital affair that occurred, which explains the iniquity part. It does not mean David himself was wicked at his birth, but that the circumstances then were during some wicked times and a dark family history they wanted to bury. David himself was estranged by his own family and even in Psalm 69:8 David writes that he has become a stranger to his brethren and an alien unto his mother's children.

If one were to believe in predestination in the way Calvinists define it, he would have to believe that God preordains a person to heaven or hell, and thus if a non-elect baby in their terms dies, he'd end up in hell. However, the Scriptures do not support anything of that sort, but instead states that babies do, in fact, see heaven, not knowing their right hand from their left, and because God is merciful, he would accept them into heaven and will bodily resurrect them on the last day.


I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
Isaiah 45:7

Keep this verse in mind: God does not create moral evil. That is impossible. The evil he refers to are calamities, which he does dish out to those who are wicked or are in need of punishment.

Biblical predestination does not mean God has ordained some to salvation and some to damnation. That would mean God also ordains sin, which would make him evil and responsible for evil, which is impossible as God is all good and just and righteous. Predestination simply means the benefits the elect, who are the believers, would enjoy for trusting on the Lord Jesus Christ. In short, Biblical predestination is for existing saints who have already made the choice to believe to be predestined into adoption and glorification, not for the unsaved to convert. People were also not born in sin, as babies will go to heaven if they were to die. God wills all men to be saved, and Jesus is the saviour for all. This is not universalism as people will not go to heaven unless they believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, which is the everlasting gospel.

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