Freewill and Predestination

Freewill and Predestination: what happens if you emphasise one to the detriment of the other?

This question is one of two which arise from a question about Judas (qv).  I have answered it separately because it is immensely theologically important in its own right

It’s instructive to speculate about Freewill and Predestination: What would happen if one were true and the other were not?

So, first, let’s forget about Predestination and imagine that our Freewill is the only principle which decides whether we attain Salvation.


Here are the Logical Consequences:


I had decided not to be a Christian – I was not saved.


I realised my sin and repented, asked Jesus to be my Saviour, invited in the Holy Spirit.
I became a Christian.
I became God’s adopted child.
I will be rewarded with my inheritance in Heaven.
I am saved.


I am free to accept God or reject Him.

If I reject Him: Jesus is not my Saviour. The Holy Spirit has no right to stay. I am not God’s child.

I am not a Christian. I have no inheritance in Heaven.


If I then accept Him again, I regain all the benefits.
I can fall in and out of salvation, as I like.


God has to follow what I decide each time.
I am really in charge, God does whatever I say.

Now let’s look at the Logical consequences of Predestination being the only deciding factor in our Salvation.



God chose me to become a Christian.
God chose me before I repented & asked Him to save me.
God chose me before I was born.


My sin can’t alter what God decided before the world began.
Even if I sin, I will remain a Christian.
Even if I reject God altogether, I will still remain saved.
“Once saved always saved.”

On the Other Hand:

If I have not been chosen to become a Christian, I won’t.
It isn’t my responsibility to do anything about becoming a Christian.
The future of my friends is already decided.
It isn’t my responsibility to tell my friends about Jesus.
Anyone who isn’t chosen will carry on in their sin. God has decided.


He is responsible for them not becoming Christians.
He is responsible for their sinful state being there, and continuing.

Now we can start to see that neither Freewill nor Predestination are correct principles on their own.

They are like the wings on an aeroplane – you need both, and they must be in perfect balance – or you crash!

Peter even put both principles into the same sentence in 2 Pet 1 10 “Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure.”

Can you see the paradox?

If we are “elected” (=predestined), how can we “make it MORE sure”? If God has said we are elected, surely that is already sure?

On the other hand, if we ARE responsible for increasing the “sureness” of our position, surely it’s US who decide how we stand with God, not Him?

Yet Peter DID know what he was talking about! And he put both principles in perfect balance in one sentence!

And so should we!

On another note, it was our Bible College Principal, Henry Brash-Bonsall, who said that Predestination and Freewill were like two sides of an archway between the Non-Christian life and the Christian Life.

From the non-Christian side, you could see, written over the arch, the words, “Whosoever will may come”. (Rev 22 17) Once through the arch, you turn around and see the words “I have called you and chosen you.” (Rev 17 14)

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