The following is an article that was published several years ago in another paper, now out of circulation. The Brother that wrote the piece thought it might be suitable for the readers of "The Remnant", and we agree.
"Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations." (Jeremiah 1:3-4)
These are precious words. All the words from God are precious, good, and perfect. These are words that God spoke to Jeremiah. These are not words that have been interpreted by man, but they are the very words that God spoke. And because God is true, we can be assured these words are true.
Many have said that God does not predestinate things or men in time. They say He only predestinates man's eternal destiny. Some will go so far as to say God predestinates nothing in time or eternity. Whether those who believe or teach "limited predestination" or no predestination at all are children of God who have been confused, I don't know. However, I do believe God has given me some illumination on the subject of predestination. If we can find a passage of Scripture that teaches predestination, those who believe in no predestination will be found to be liars or confused. If there is a passage that teaches the predestination of some thing or person in time, those who do not believe God has predestinated any thing or person in time will be found to be liars or confused. Whether one is confused or a liar, I am confident each individual knows his situation. It is one thing to not believe or be confused about a truth; it is totally different, however, to deny a truth.
This small passage says a lot. God told Jeremiah, "Before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee." Have you given that passage much thought? I have. God knew Jeremiah before he ever existed or was born. To know someone doesn't mean just to know mere facts about them; it also means to have an intimate relationship with or feeling for. Consequently, God was telling Jeremiah that before he was born, before God formed him in his mother's womb, God had an intimate relationship and fellowship with him. One might ask: "How can God have an intimate relationship with someone who is not even born yet?" The answer is: In Christ Jesus. In Christ Jesus, God has had and will have forever an intimate and vital union with His elect, just as He had with Jeremiah. Just as God's almighty wisdom, presence, and power encompass all eternity, backward and forward, so does His love, mercy and kindness encompass His elect. Just as the body of Christ has no beginning or end, so is the love of God toward His elect. Just as God is in eternal union with Christ, so He is with the Body of Christ, which is His elect.
Not only did God have an intimate relationship with Jeremiah before He formed him in the belly, but God also sanctified him. Why did God set Jeremiah apart? To be a prophet unto the nations of Israel. Before Jeremiah "camest forth out of the womb" God had predestinated exactly what Jeremiah was going to do. Before Jeremiah was born, before he existed, God had already planned and had a purpose for Jeremiah. Beloved, that is predestination. How can it be hidden? How can it be denied? Was Jeremiah predestinated or not? God had a plan. God had a predetermined plan and purpose for Jeremiah. Jeremiah did not have to go to a seminary. Jeremiah did not have to learn the languages. Jeremiah did not need a Study Bible. Jeremiah did not need missionary funds. All Jeremiah needed was a God with a plan, yea a predestinated plan. What a glorious truth! What demonstrates the glorious power of God better than predestination? Because God is all powerful, He could predestinate Jeremiah's calling. Because God is all wise, He could predestinate a perfect calling. Because God loved His elect, He predestinated a Savior, yes, Jesus. Not only did God set apart Jeremiah for His use, but God "ordained" him a prophet unto the nations.
What did God mean when He said, "I ordained thee a prophet"? Did God mean He foresaw Jeremiah as a prophet? That would not be ordaining. Did God mean that if Jeremiah obeyed His calling, God might use him? Or did Jeremiah obey His calling because it was God that called; it was God that predestinated Jeremiah's events in time? Can a man reply against strong evidence? Can a man call God a liar and say: "You did not predestinate Jeremiah's calling"? Many have, beloved. I trust you will think again before you deny such an apparent and glorious truth.
Well, we have done it. We found a place where God predestinated a thing and a person in time. The thing God predestinated was the message unto the nations. The person predestinated was Jeremiah. Can any deny it? I beg of you, write and set me straight. Perhaps I am so dim-witted and ignorant of God that I have blundered. One might say I have only found one thing and one person that was predestinated. Isn't that sufficient evidence to show that those who hold to no predestination or "limited predestination" are either liars, confused, or both? Well, if you insist, I will see if there are more things and persons predestinated by God.
In Malachi 3:1, God said, "Behold, I will send my messenger, and He shall prepare the way before me..." Here we find that God had predestinated the ministry of John the Baptist. God had predestinated the message he would proclaim. In Jeremiah 31:31, God said, "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah...." Here God is speaking of a predestinated covenant with the house of Israel and Judah, a covenant in time, a covenant that would bring the elect Gentiles into the household of God, the family of God. In all the prophecies of the Old Testament, God was speaking of what He had predetermined to do. In Genesis chapter 15, God gave Abraham a vision. In that vision, God revealed to him what He had predetermined to do with his descendants. God told Abraham, "In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed." God was speaking to Abraham about a Savior that was predestinated to bring blessing. And that predestination was in time and eternity. Christ was predestinated to die for the sins of His people in time. And that salvation was for eternity, which embraces time. As the Scripture says, "Ye are saved by grace." Yes, we are saved, present tense, in time, by grace. God had a predestinated son for Abraham. His name was Isaac. All of Abraham's efforts did not foil the predestinated son of "promise". In the book of Acts, the Scripture says, "And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved." When do you think God decided to add them to the church? Yesterday, the day before He added? Or does His decision go back as far as His wisdom, power, and knowledge? Thus God predestinated who He would add, just as He predestinated eternal destruction for those who are not found in the Lamb's Book of Life, the rejected, the reprobate.
Can any who read this paper now say God does not predestinate things or people in time? Can any now deny predestination? I trust you will consider these things, and the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you in power, love, and mercy.
Volume 4, No. 2
March - April, 1990