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Question

Is predestination the same as foreordained? If God hasn't written your name in the Book of Life is there no hope of salvation?

Answer

Thank you for this interesting question about God's knowledge and plans.

You are clearly thinking about things in a much deeper way than many other people. I am pleased that you want to know what the Bible says about being saved and predestination. The terms predestination and foreordained are synonyms of each other. Often, predestination refers to people's salvation, and foreordained refers to events that occur, such as Jesus' work on the cross.

Both the terms predestination and foreordained refer to the fact that God, in His wisdom and power, has chosen certain people to be saved and events to happen. However, God is separate from sin and therefore is not responsible for people's actions. 

The Bible mentions predestination in places like Ephesians 1, where we read: In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:4-6). If you are a believer in Christ, then out of God's grace and love we have been predestined into God's family. 

We believe that God created all things good, but man choose to rebel against God and go his own way. This is called sin and it has affected all humans since Adam and Eve. We are born into Adam and into sin; we are born separated from God (Romans 5:12). This is why Jesus came to earth: He came to take the punishment for our sin and to reconcile us to God. It is why Jesus said you must be born again.

"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3)

We are then encouraged to share this good news with all people and to make disciples in all of the world. We are to tell people about Jesus so they can turn from their sin and follow him.

You are also correct to mention that the book of life contains people's names since before the foundation of the world (Revelation 3:5, 13:8, 17:8). Rather than a person's name being added and erased from the Book of Life, it's contents were written before the foundation of the world. This can actually give us great comfort, that our salvation is secure. 

It is true that God knows all things and who are his people and who are not. It is hard for us to understand how this can be but we do see in the Bible that God wants all to be saved:

The Lord is not slow to fulfil his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance (2 Peter 3:9)

However we must acknowledge that this will not be the case as many people do not turn from their sin to follow Jesus.

The real question is not why God chooses some and not others but why God chooses any at all. No one is deserving of the love of God!

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgement: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God" (John 3:16-21)

God is good. God is love. He is not evil or bad. Man chooses to be apart from God on earth and then carry on their choice into the next life.

The right and just punishment for sin that God gives those who have rejected him shows he is a holy God. Without this we would not be able to worship and enjoy his grace.

We can ask why, and we will probably never fully understand this side of eternity, but we need to accept this is the case and trust that God is good and in control. Trust him, turn from your sin, and tell others to do the same!

I hope this answer helps you to find peace with God through Jesus Christ. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: Watch the video

I encourage you to attend a local Bible believing church and speak to the leader about your question. If you want to find a local church, our Church Finder may help you: Find a Church

Please feel free to submit a question to us or to read our answer database: Ask a Question

*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise

*If anything in this answer affects you directly, then please feel free to call our confidential prayer line in the UK on 0845 4567729, where trained Christian volunteers will take your call and pray both for you and with you. If you are outside of the UK then you may submit your request for prayer on line at www.ucb.co.uk/prayerline


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