The Instigator
Con (against)
0 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
7 Points

Does God predestine who goes to heaven.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/30/2015 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 422 times Debate No: 77162
Debate Rounds (3)
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I argue that God allows us to choose whether or not to follow Him and be saved. He calls ALL through the Holy Spirit and we can choose whether or not if we want to follow Him. God is love. If being saved is predestined, I argue that this is not love. God says we are created in His image, so I assert that we know what love is since God says He is love and that we are created in his image. I know that I would not birth children to only predestine them to hell. No loving person would do this. How can people be better than God? We aren't! We are made in His image and know what love is. Predestining people to hell is not love.

God calls ALL and we can choose whether to follow. He already knows what we will do, but this does not mean that he makes it happen. People are not programmed in advance to choose one way or the other. God wants us to choose Him since that is a true portrayal of what love is. God is all powerful, but he doesn't abuse this power and make people into robots. He loves us all and wants us to follow Him on our own.


I'm going to go out on a limb and assume I'm debating with a Christian who takes their doctrine from the Bible. With that assumption in mind, I'll make my arguments.

All of Con's arguments can be answered with one passage, namely Romans 8:28-30. It reads:

"And we know that God causes all things to work toegether for the good of those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he forknew, he also predestined to become conformed to the image of his son, so that he would be the firstborn among many brethren. And these whom he predestined, he also called; and these whom he called, he also justified, and these whom he justified, he also glorified."

If you read this passage carefully, you can see an unbreakable chain from those who are called to those who are glorified. The chain goes likes this:


So anybody who is predestined is glorified. Anybody who is called is glorified. If it were true that God called all people, it would follow that all people are justified and all people are glorified. But there are some people who are not justified, which we know because there are some people who will not be saved. It follows that not all are glorified, not all are justified, not all are called, not all are predestined, and not all are forknown.

This one passage establishes that God does predestine who goes to heaven. It says so right there in Romans 8:28-30. It even uses the word "predestined."

The doctrine of predestinatin is also taught in Ephesians 1:3-14.

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as he chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before him. In love, he predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to himself, according to the king intention of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, which he freely bestowed on us in the beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace which he lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight, he made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his kind intention which he purposed in him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullnes of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in heavens and things on earth. In him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to his purpose who works all things after the counsel of his will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of his glory. In him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation--having also believed, you were sealed in him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of his glory."

This doctrine if taught in various other parts of the Bible, but I don't want to overwhelm anybody.
Debate Round No. 1


Your verse on predestination is a good one, but I argue the verse is talking about people who are called in a different manner such as becoming a pastor or missionary. I am not sure. The problem is that there are also verses that contradict that verse such as:
31 Timothy 2:3-6 this is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires ALL people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for ALL, which is the testimony given fat the proper time.
Hebrews 2:9 But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for EVERYONE.
Matthew 18:14 so it is NOT the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.
1 John 2:2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of THE WHOLE WORLD.
These verses prove that God wants everyone to be saved and this is His will. He died for the whole world, why in the world would he send Christ to die for the whole world if everything is predetermined. He would then just die for the predestined.


The case for predestination

Romans doesn't say the calling and predestination is to a ministry position. Remember the end result of those who are predestined and called. The end result is that they are justified and glorified. To be justified is to be forgiven of your sins. Justification is part of salvation. So Romans 8 is talking about predestination to salvation.

You ignored Ephesians 1. In that passage, it also tells us what we are predestined for. It says we are predestined to adoption as sons. In John 1:12-13, it says, "But as many as received him, to them he gave the right to become children of God, evne to those who believe in his name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God." So, it is by the will of God, not the will of man, that we become sons of God. To become a child of God in this context is to be among the saved. So Ephesians 1 is clearly talking about predestination to salvation. The whole passage I quoted above bears this out.

We also have John 6:37-38, where it says, "All that the Father gives me will come to me, and the one who comes to me I will certainly not cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. This is the will of him who sent me, that of all he has given me, I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day." Notice in this passage that our coming to Jesus for salvation is determined by the Father giving us to Jesus. He gives us to Jesus, and as a result, we come to Jesus. And Jesus loses none of those the Father gives him, but raises them up on the last day. So our salvation is predestined by God. The Father determines who he will give to Jesus, and whoever he gives to Jesus will come to Jesus for salvation, and Jesus will raise them up on the last day.

The same thing is taught in John 10. Jesus said, "But you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand." This passage makes it clear that God predestines us to eternal life. The reason some don't believe in Jesus is because they are not his sheep. That means one has to be Jesus sheep BEFORE they can believe. And how do we become Jesus' sheep? By the Father giving us to Jesus.

So John 10 and John 6 both teach the same thing. The Father gives people to Jesus. Then those people are Jesus' sheep. Then those people will definitely come to Jesus. Then those people will be raised to eternal life. It's all determined by the Father. Notice that Jesus explains the disbelief of some in his audience by saying they do not belong to Jesus. They were not given to Jesus by the Father. That is why they do not believe. So whether somebody is saved or not is determined by the Father. These scriptures aren't the least bit ambiguous.

The case against predestination

It is true that there are passages saying God wants everybody to come to a knowledge of the truth and be saved. But just as we desire things in different ways, so also does God desire things in different ways. For example, I might desire to make a sandwich, and as a result of my desire, I go in the kitchen and make that happen. That is what's called my sovereign desire--a desire that moves me to action. The scriptures say clearly that God does whatever he pleases (Psalm 115:3, Psalm 135:6). In Daniel 4:35, it says that God "does according to his will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; and no one can ward off his hand or say to him, 'What have you done?'" What God decides to act, nobody can stop him. He accomplishes his will.

Now, if God's will as expressed in 1 Timonthy and Matthew 18:14 was that same kind of will as he expressed in the Psalms and Daniel, it would follow that everybody would be saved. We would have universal salvation. But we know there is no universal salvation since some people will suffer the wrath of God. It follows that God is not expressing a sovereign will in 1 Timothy or Matthew. Rather, he is expressing a moral will. It's a passive will. It's like when we desire that somebody else make us a sandwich. We don't MAKE them get up and go to the kitchen. We just wish they would. In the same way, God wishes that people would turn from their evil and live, but he doesn't MAKE them do it.

So 1 Timothy and Matthew do not negate predestination. There is a sense in which God desires all to be saved, but there are only some among them that he actively causes to be saved. As I showed earlier, he predestines some to salvation.

Hebrews 2:9 and 1 John 2:2 say that Jesus died for "everyone" and "the whole world." But neither of these passages mean that Jesus died for every individual. The "everyone" in Hebrews refers to the audience of Hebrews--the people this letter was written to. Well, this letter was written to Christians, so when it says Jesus died for "everyone," it means "all Christians."

"The whole world," in 1 John doesn't mean "every individual who would ever live." Rather, it means people from all over the world. The gospel had not spread to the whole world yet. That's why John makes a distinction between "us" and "the whole world." The "us" refers to John's audience, and "the whole world" refers to all the predestined who had not heard the gospel yet.

Otherwise we'd be left with a contradiction since, as I showed already, God does have a chosen people who he predestined to salvation.

Debate Round No. 2


alllnc forfeited this round.


My opponent appears to have thrown in the town, abandoned his post, fled the battlefield, gone the way of France, etc.

In conclusion, the very word, "predestined" hows up both in Romans 8 and in Ephesians 1. It is used in the context of salvation. Therefore, God does predestine who goes to haven. Moreover, I have shown from John 6 and John 10 that whether a person is saved or not depends entirely on God's choice. God gives people to Jesus, and as a result of that giving, people to to Christ for salvation, and Christ successfully raises to eternal life all of those who are so given. Therefore, God predestines who goes to heaven.

Thank you for coming to tonight's debate. Please take a copy of "The Institutes of the Christian Religion" on your way out.
Debate Round No. 3
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Vote Placed by Martley 1 year ago
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Reasons for voting decision: I award to all points to Pro. Con Forfeited.