Another old Facebook post…
Note: I am adding this update on 8/13/2011. Since I have written the below, my understanding of Biblical hermeneutics has grown. I have come to realize more fully that just the number of verses supporting a theological doctrine does not necessarily support that doctrine. While comparing number of verses with another can shed some light on interpretation, it is the plain text of the verse that holds more weight. Simply what the verse says is more important than how many verses there are. I already knew that when I wrote this essay/list, but my realization of that doctrine has increased. But I firmly believe that reading the plain text of the verse in context to the overall passage and comparing it with the rest of the Bible, will even more strongly support the conclusion I personally reached at the end of the following list. Here ends this update.
One of the most persistent and often divisive issues within Christianity is the debate between the doctrine of unconditional election (often called the doctrine of predestination) and the doctrine of conditional election (often represented as the doctrine of free will). There are other, multiple points to these beliefs, but I will stick to only the free will and election aspects. The two positions are these:
Doctrine of free will: Those who are saved were chosen by God because He sees into the future and knows who will choose Him. Jesus died on the cross in the place of all sinners, regardless of whether or not they choose Him. When enlightened by the Holy Spirit through God’s Word, man is totally free to accept or reject the free gift of salvation. Once saved, it is possible for someone to fall away from the faith.
Doctrine of predestination: Those who are saved were chosen by God in eternity past, before the world began, to be His special people. Jesus died on the cross in the place of sinners, and while His sacrifice was sufficient for all, it was only given to those the Father has chosen. Fallen mankind is completely unable to understand God’s Word and His free gift of salvation, so they freely and willingly reject it. Those who God has chosen are born again by the Holy Spirit, through God’s Word. They freely and willingly choose salvation because the Gospel is now irresistible to them. Once a child of God, they will always be a child of God.
Both of the above views have various scriptures to support their view. So, which one is correct in their understanding of the Bible?
I would think the most logical answer would be that the majority of passages explain the minority of passages.
Over the past few days, I have done research into collecting scriptures that support each view. I have only used the New Testament, as the New Testament explains what the Old Testament means. So below I have listed the scriptures that I have collected:
Note: I would like to thank the Internet for its vast resources, and also Power Bible CD.
If you can find anymore NT scriptures that support either view, put them in the comment box and I will add them.
Passages that support the view of Free Will:
Mt 11:28; Mt 23:37; Lu 2:10; Lu 11:9-10; Lu 13:34; Lu 20:38
Joh 1:12; Joh 1:29; Joh 3:16-18; Joh 5:39-43; Joh 7:17; Joh 7:37-38; Joh 12:47
Ac 2:17; Ac 2:38; Ac 3:19; Ac 7:51; Ac 17:30-31
Ro 5:18; Ro 10:9, 12, 13; Ro 11:32
2 Cor 5:14-20; Ga 3:28; Ga 5:13; Eph 4:6; Php 2:10, 11
Co 1:20, 28; 1 The 5:9-10; 1 Ti 2:3-6; 1 Ti 4:10; 2 Ti 2:20-21
Titus 2:11; Heb 2:9; 2 Pe 1:10; 2 Pe 2:1; 2 Pe 2:20; 2 Pe 3:9;
1 Jo 2:2; 1 Jo 4:14; 1 Jo 5:1; Re 22:17-19, 21
Total passages: 41
Passages that support the view of Predestination:
Mt 1:21; Mt 2:6; Mt 9:36-38; Mt 11:25, 27; Mt 13:24-30, 37-40; Mt 15:13; Mt 19:25-26; Mt 20:16; Mt 20:23, 28; Mt 22:14; Mt 24:22-24, 31; Mt 25:34;
Mr 4:11-12, 20; Mr 13:20-22, 27;
Lu 1:77; Lu 3:17; Lu 4:25-27; Luke 8:10, 15; Lu 10:20, 22; Lu 18:7;
Joh 1:12-13; Joh 3:3, 5-6; Joh 5:21; Joh 6:37-39, 44; Joh 6:65; Joh 8:36; Joh10:2-5, 11, 14-16; Joh10:26-30; Joh 12:37-40; Joh 13:18; Joh 15:16, 19; Joh 17:2; Joh 17:9-12; Joh 19:11;
Ro 6:18; Ro 8:28-34, 38-39; Ro 9:6-25; Ro 11:4-5; Ro 16:13;
1 Co 1:26-29; 1Co 2:12-15; 2 Co 10:7; Ga 1:15 ;
Eph 1:3-14; Eph 1:4-6; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 5:25
Col 3:12; 1 The 1:4; II The 2:12-15;
2 Ti 1:9, 12; 2 Ti 2:10; 2 Ti 2:19-20; Titus 1:1-2; Heb 10:14
1 Pe 1:1-2; 1Pe 2:4-9; 2 Pe 1:10; 1Jo 2:19; Jude 1:3-4; Re 7:3-15; Re 13:8; Re 17:14
Total passages: 64
I will leave the reader to come to their own conclusions, but personally I believe in the doctrine of predestination.