The Instigator
Pro (for)
9 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
2 Points

Does God predestine exactly who will be saved from hell?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/23/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,502 times Debate No: 32852
Debate Rounds (3)
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First of all I am convinced that God is very much real, alive and active. I believe He inspired men to write His word through His own guidance and because of this we can take Scripture as being authoritative on all of its subject matter. That being said.
There is much debate on this issue within the Church. I believe that God, in His sovereignty, elects or chooses all who will come to Him. I believe that apart from Him drawing us we are incapable of choosing Him or drawing closer to him. I take this position for several reasons, I'll give three.

1. I believe this position is expressly supported throughout the New Testament, by both the Apostle Paul and Jesus Himself.
A. Romans 9 specifically deals with this item. Paul explicitly tells us that God chose one of two twins. These two people could not have been more alike and God chose one and subsequently not the other. "Jacob have I loved and Esau have I hated". I see no other way to take these verses.
B. Ephesians 1:3-14, Paul speaks of predestination directly, stating that God chose us before the foundation of the world for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ according to the purpose of His will.
C. Jeremiah 1:5 States that Before Jeremiah was born God set him apart to be a prophet. God predestined Jeremiah.

2. God is sovereign.
A. People often take issue with this point of Christian Theology because they say it is unfair. I disagree whole-heatedly. I think this standpoint stems from mostly ignorance. When Adam and Eve sinned against God in the Garden of Eden humanity was fully corrupted. Men (and women) are born condemned because of "the fall". Scripture supports this idea fully. (Rom. 3:23, 5:12, 5:19, Luke 18:9). If we then, are born sinners, enemies of God, then God would be acting justly to condemn us all to eternal hell. God standard is complete righteousness and we can't accomplish that because of the fall. God says specifically that He will have mercy upon who He wants. God chooses. I understand that this is not exactly easy to stomach. There is something inside of us that wants to resist this idea because of our flawed view of justice. When we understand that no human deserves His forgiveness and there is nothing that we can do to earn it, we are completely at His mercy. God chose us, He drew or drug us to Himself and accepted us into Himself through Christ.

I believe that God predestines, elects, or chooses us. I believe this position is adequately supported in Scripture. I believe this idea lines up with God's sovereignty. We all deserve punishment, it wouldn't be unjust for God to punish all of humankind. God, through the counsel of His will, chooses whom He will save.
---------------------First post if I did it all wrong I do apologize.-------------------------


The bible clearly states that the Human species has free will over their actions. This would mean that we can change our actions, thoughts and behaviors and it will affect whether or not we go to hell. your reasoning that God chose us is flawed as God and heaven is for all people on the earth, jews and gentiles.

1 Corinthians 9:17 "For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation is committed unto me."

This is clearly proof that God gives us free will.

The most famous verse in the bible says.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life."-John 3:16

If God really predestined which ones of us would go to heaven or hell he would not say that "EVERYONE" who belives in him will have eternal life.

"I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live."-Deuteronomy 30:19

It says that he has sat before us life and death, and then urges us to choose life. If he had pre-destined all of our choices he would not need to urge us one, instead we would make those choices witout thought.

There are hundreds of warnings throught scripture telling us not to lie, or steal , or whathave you, agian what is the point of all of these warnings if the person who inspired the book has already determined our path?
Debate Round No. 1


I don't think we have "free will". Free will by definition would be freedom to choose to do anything we want. We do not have this. We have a limited number of options to choose from. The Bible supports choice but not free choice.

In regards to the Apostle Paul specifically, I think you found the one verse you could make sound this way from him. Paul is not saying here that He chose to serve God freely, because he didn't (please recall Paul's conversion. Do you think he sat down, weighed his options, figured Jesus was probably the Messiah, and then chose him? Or, was Paul on his way to exterminate Christians when God caught him totally off guard and commanded him to "get up go to the city and he will be told what he MUST do."? Acts 9:5+6).

In 1 Corinthians 9 Paul is saying that He is free from the law, free from Jewish customs, free in Christ. He goes on to say that he becomes all things to all people to win one. Though he is free from the law, he will submit himself to it, to win one who is under the law etc. He is not saying that He has free will. He would be contradicting himself.

Paul refers to himself as the complete opposite of a free man throughout all of his epistles. Ex:
1.He refers to himself as a bond-servant, or slave, in his introduction to the letter to the Romans, Philippians , and to Titus.
2. He refers to himself as a "prisoner of Christ" in his intro to Philemon.
3. He calls himself an "Apostle by the will of God" in his intro to 1+2 Corinthians, Ephesians, Colossians, and 2 Timothy.
I think it is safe to safe Paul did not consider himself a "free" man, and he also clearly saw that God chose him and not vice-versa.

John 6:44 is probably to clinching verse for the election/predestination argument. "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me, draws him. and I will raise him up on the last day." The word "draws" comes from a Greek word more closely associated with the word drag. It is the same word used in Acts 16:19 "they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them in the market place before the authorities". No man comes to Jesus unless the Father drags him. This is true in the conversion of St. Augustine and C.S. Lewis. They both refer to themselves as being drug into the kingdom of heaven.

The problem with having a view opposing predestination is that the word is plainly in Scripture. Paul uses it frequently. There is no way around it.
You have not dealt with the key passages I listed before. If you believe God does not chose, predestine, elect us you need to explain these references away. Especially Romans 9 and Ephesians 1.

I want to hit on one more thing, It almost seems like in your first paragraph that you are saying that God and heaven is for everyone. That is, that no people will be in hell at all. If this is not your view ignore the next paragraph.

This view is called universalism, which states (roughly) that God will save everyone in the end and everyone will end up in heaven. This view is not supported throughout Scripture, in fact, the opposite is very much the case. Matthew 25:31-46 Here Jesus speaks of a final judgment in which God will separate "sheep" from "goats". Sheep being his adopted children and goats being people who He has not "known". The sheep will inherit eternal life (heaven) and the goats eternal fire, hell. This is one of many passages dealing with this issue. I will not go into more because I am not sure this is your position.


Definition of free will:

: voluntary choice or decision free will>

By this definition the fact that Paul made the conscious decision to Obey God's command . There was no force of will, no "Do as I say or Die", but Paul made the brave and heroic choice to follow God on his own, just as we all must do.

My opponent would suggest that any action would be predestined by god. If this is so, and God has already chosen those who will go to heave, why would we go out and evangelize?

If God had predestined everything, what would the point be for praying for the health of a loved one, if that loved one were predestined to die at that time?

The idea of predestination removes completely any individuals responsibility for his or her own actions, imagine a criminal brought to trial who used the defence "I had no choice, it was predestined by God"

1 John 2:2, states that "He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for
ours only, but also for those of the whole world."

Now, for his to be true, and for God to predestine everything, that would have to mean that everyone is predestined to go to heaven.

On a last note, I believe that god predestined many events, however he does not sit on high and decree every moment of our days.
Debate Round No. 2


Its strange to me how you are not engaging any point I make but are simply making new assertions that bite there own tail off. I will respond to yours, but you need to take your last opportunity to respond to my original points. I think the reason you don't is because you cannot. Your view of predestination and election cannot stand in the light of Romans 9 and Ephesians 1. I will respond to each point you make.

You still have not adequately shown where Paul stated that he had "free will" and I have sited 8 places where he said the opposite completely. Paul did not make a brave decision to follow. God chose to use him, came to him, changed him, and commanded him what to do next. God acted not Paul.

Charles Spurgeon was asked the same question about evangelism, I think his response is fitting.
"If God would have painted a yellow stripe on the backs of the elect I would go around lifting shirts. But since He didn't I must preach "whosoever will" and when "whatsoever" believes I know that he is one of the elect"

In regard to praying for the health of others, I'm sorry to say this so bluntly but paying for health is not in Scripture. God does appoint exactly when we will die as well as when we were born. Paul prays for his brothers often throughout his letters. He does not pray for there health because he understands God's control over our lives. He prays for them to become more like Christ, not for their health. Your point here is not Biblical.

I will respond to your criminal analogy last.

Most scholars and theologians believe that 1 John was a circulatory letter written from Ephesus to the churches in Asia mentioned in Rev. 2+3. In light of the context we can continue. 1 John 2:2 is talking specifically to the churches it would be sent around to. He was saying that Christ is the satisfaction of God's wrath toward our sin (speaking to the believers he was writing to) and the "whole world". meaning children of God scattered throughout the world. Refer to John 11:51+52 before you say that is a stretch. This is the same author, guided by the same Spirit.

Everyone will not be in Heaven, is clearly seen in Scripture.
Matthew 7:21-23.
Here Jesus is clearly saying that "not everyone" will make it into heaven. But those who do the will of God who is in heaven.
Matthew 25:41
"Then he will say to those on his left, "Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels."
2 Thess. 1:9
"They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,"
Revelation 20:15
"And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire."
These passages seem to be clear. People will go to hell.

Romans 9:14-18
"Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."
14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means! 15 For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." 18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills."

So according to this passage do you think Pharaoh decided on his own to oppose God's people or do you think God hardened his heart?

---Please read Romans 9:19-23
"Vessels prepared for destruction" How do you reconcile this?

Exodus 33:19
19 "And he said, "I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name "The Lord." And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy."

In summary, we all deserve Hell (people will be there). God, by the counsel of His will and for His good pleasure, chose, before the foundation of the world, who it is that will be saved from hell. This is not unjust because all of humankind are born deserving hell. God chooses to show mercy on who He wishes with no condition, and not according to foreknowledge.

God is sovereign. He determines everything that happens, everything. If something is outside of God's immediate control, including us, He is not sovereign. To say God is sovereign is to say that He is in complete authority over everything and everyone. If God does not predestine everything that happens He is not sovereign (in complete control).
God's sovereignty and predestination go hand in hand you cannot have one without accepting the other.

Again I would urge you to read Romans 9. I think that this would clear up most of the issue you see with God's divine predestination.

I would also urge you to check out R.C. Sproul's teaching on Predestination and Chosen by God. This resource has helped me tremendously.

1 Thess. 1:4
4 "For we know, brothers loved by God, that He has chosen you."



Jewish beliefs state:
The doctrine that volition is self-originating and unpredictable. That man is free to choose between certain courses
of conduct was regarded by rabbinical Judaism as a fundamental principle of the Jewish religion. Although generally following the ethical system of the Stoics, Philo, influenced by Judaism, professed the doctrine of free will ("Quod Deus Sit Immutabilis," ed. Mangey, p. 279), and Josephus states that the Pharisees maintained it against both the Sadducees, who attributed everything to chance, and the Essenes, who ascribed all to predestination and divine providence ("Ant." xiii. 5, " 9; xviii. 1, " 5). "All is in the hands of God except the fear of God" is an undisputed maxim of the Talmud (Ber. 33b; Niddah 16b).
Source: will

If a person's salvation is already determined there is no real point in being proactive in the faith or urgency in preaching the Gospel. If your neighbor is unsaved, Reformed Theology tells you that they will come to know Jesus or spend eternity in hell whether you tell them about God"s plan for salvation or not.

Now, the bible makes it clear throught it's pages that we are saved by our choice to have faith rather than predestination.

Jesus said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace." --Luke 7:50 NIV

I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus. --Acts 20:21

This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
--Romans 3:22-25 NIV

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us"He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.
--Galatians 3:13-14 NIV

Now this makes it clear that anyone who has faith will be saved.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. Romans 1:18-20 NASB

Now, in this verse it says "Without excuse" if God had predestined them from the beginning to not believe, then they would indeed have an excuse.

17 Have you not brought this on yourself,
In that you have forsaken the Lord your God
When He led you in the way? Jeremiah 2:17[NKJV]

It clearly states "Have you not brought this on yourself". If predestination were true, then we would not have brought anything on ourselves.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Jhessa 4 years ago
I'd like to see some scripture for that. Because what I see is His choice of us, for His own good pleasure, not because He knows we would chose him but because He has chosen us by the counsel of His will.
Scripture please, not opinion.
Posted by MarlonWrightW 4 years ago
No, God didn't predestined all either to be hell or heaven. The sovereignty of God i.e. the foreknowledge of God and predestination are two different things. God knows from eternity that who would go to hell, but that doesn't mean that He predestined them.

For example, we know, our children will one day do some mischief, or at least they will die. But that doesn't mean that, we want them to behave mischievously nor do we take pleasure in their departure.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by danielawesome12 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:32 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro dominated the debate and gave a very reliable source (The Bible
Vote Placed by philochristos 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro gave arguments for predestination, and Con gave arguments against predestination, but neither of them engaged with the other's arguments. For example, Pro appealed to Romans 9 to prove predestination, and Con never addressed Romans 9. Con appealed to John 3:16 to refute predestination, and Pro never addressed John 3:16. This whole debate was simply an exercise is negation with each side negating the other, but not engaging each other's arguments. I am voting for Pro because I found his case for predestination more persuasive than Con's case against predestination. I guess that is no surprise since I, too, believe in predestination.
Vote Placed by Daktoria 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con's response is a red herring. The debate at hand was about predestination, not free will. That is it asks whether people will be saved in the afterlife by their own choices, not whether or not choices can be made. Perhaps free will exists, perhaps it doesn't. That's not the point. People can have free will and still be predestined. God could just be prejudiced for or against particular people regardless of what they do. He doesn't have to actually guide them towards doing or not the good works required to qualify for salvation.