160. Predestined by God.
Predestination, as a sovereign act of God, has been misunderstood by many as a violation of our free will. But we understand from Scriptures that both these deciding factors are at work in us, simultaneously. God doesn't force anyone to believe the Gospel nor coerce anyone to become a Christian, though men have! But those who will believe the Gospel and confess Christ out of their own free will, were infact foreknown by God and predestined by him for salvation, which by no means is a violation of our free will. The act of predestination therefore upholds the Sovereignty of God and yet at the same time, doesn't violate our free will to choose our own destiny. Moreover, God in his Sovereignty, chooses those whom he wants from among those who will believe, and appoints them to his service, even before they were born. "Before I was born the Lord called me, from my birth he has made mention of my name ... He said to me, "You are my servant Israel, in whom I will display my splendor." (Isaiah 49:1-3) What was said of the nation of Israel is now true about us, who have come to believe the Gospel. We were chosen not by merit but by grace (unmerited favour) and appointed to his service. That is why God said to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion" (Exodus 33 13:19) because 'this is the same Moses whom the Israelites had rejected with the words, "Who made you ruler and judge?" He was sent to be their ruler and deliverer by God himself.' (Acts 7:35) We can't merit God's mercy and compassion nor can we complain when someone else more undeserving than us, is shown mercy and compassion. How else could Paul, who once was a blasphemer and a violent man, become an Apostle? Many will be offended when God chooses us over them 'but God chose the the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things - and the things that are not - to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.'(1 Corinthians 1:27-29) Amen.