A “respecter of persons” is one who, acting as judge, does not treat those who come before him according to their character, but who withholds from some what is justly theirs and gives to others what is not justly theirs – one who is governed by prejudice and sinister motives, rather than by justice and law. The Scriptures deny that God is the respecter of persons in this sense; and if the doctrine of Predestination represented God as doing these things, we admit that it would charge Him with injustice.

In the Scriptures God is said to be no respecter of persons, for He does not choose one and reject another because of outward circumstances such as race, nationality, wealth, power, nobility, etc. When the Scriptures say that God is no respecter of persons THEY DO NOT MEAN that He treats ALL PEOPLE ALIKE, but that the reason for His saving one and rejecting another is not that one is a Jew and the other a Gentile, or that the one is rich and the other poor, etc.

(Video) The Doctrine of Unconditional Election Makes God a Respecter of Persons


It is a fact that in His providential government of the world God does not confer the same or equal favors upon all people. The inequality is too glaring to be denied. The Scriptures tell us, and the experiences of everyday life show us, that there is a greatest variety in the distribution of these,—and justly so, for all of these are of GRACE, and not of debt. The Calvinist here falls back upon the experienced reality of facts. It is true, and no argument can disprove it, that men in this world find themselves unequally favoured both in inward disposition and outward circumstances. One child is born to health, honor, wealth, of eminently good and wise parents who train him up from infancy in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and who afford him every opportunity of being taught the truth as it is in the Scriptures. Another is born to disease, shame, poverty, of dissipated and depraved parents who reject and ridicule and despise Christianity, and who take care to prevent their child from coming under the influence of the Gospel. Some are born with susceptible hearts and consciences, which makes lives of innocence and purity natural for them; others are born with violent passions, or even with distinct tendencies to evil, which seemingly are inherited and unconquerable. Some are happy, others are miserable. Some are born in Christian and in civilized lands where they are carefully educated and watched over; others are born in complete heathen darkness.

As a general rule the child that is surrounded with the proper Christian influences becomes a devout Christian and lives a life of great service, while the other whose character is formed under the influence of corrupt teaching and example lives in wickedness and dies impenitent. The one is saved and the other is lost. And will anyone deny that the influences favorable to salvation which are brought to bear upon some individuals are far more favorable than those brought to bear upon others? Will it not be admitted by every candid individual that if the persons had changed places, they probably would have changed characters also? – That if the son of the godly parents had been the son of the infidels, and had lived under the same corrupting influences, he would, in all probability, have died in his sins?

(Video) God is No Respecter of Persons

In His mysterious providence God has placed persons under widely different influences, and the results are widely different. He of course foresaw these different results before the persons were born. These are facts, which no one can DENY and EXPLAIN AWAY. And if we are to believe that the world is governed by a personal and intelligent Being, we must also believe that these inequalities have not risen by CHANCE or ACCIDENT, but through purpose and design, and that the lot of every individual has been determined by the Sovereign good pleasure of God. “Even Arminians,” says N. L. Rice, “are obliged to acknowledge that God does make great differences in the treatment of the human family, not only in the distribution of the temporal blessings, but of spiritual gifts also,—a difference which compels them, if they would be consistent, to hold the doctrine of election . . . . If the sending of the Gospel to a people, with the divine influence accompanying it, does not amount to a PERSONAL ELECTION, most assuredly the withholding of it from the people amounts generally to reprobation”.

In Matt 11:25 we read of a prayer in which Jesus said, “I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in Thy sight.” In those words He thanked the Father for doing that very thing which Arminians exclaim against as unjust and censure as partial. When the Arminian admits that Christ died not for fallen angels or demons, but only for fallen men, he admits limited atonement and in principle makes the same kind of a distinction as does the Calvinist who says that Christ died for the elect only.


(Video) Predestination and Eternality: The Attributes of God 2 | Allen Nolan

It cannot be said that God acts unjustly toward those who are not included in this plan of salvation. People who make this objection neglect to take into consideration the fact that God is dealing not merely with creatures but with SINFUL creatures who have forfeited every claim upon His mercy. Augustine well said: “Damnation is rendered to the wicked as a matter of debt, justice and desert, whereas grace given to those who are delivered is free and unmerited, so that the condemned sinner cannot allege that he is unworthy of his punishment, nor the saint vaunt or boast as if he were worthy of his reward. Thus in the whole course of this procedure, there is no respect of persons.

They who are condemned and they who are set at liberty constituted originally one and the same lump, equally infected with sin and liable to vengeance. Hence the justified may learn from the condemnation of the rest that that would have been their own punishment had not God’s grace stepped into their rescue.” And to the same effect Calvin says, “The Lord, therefore, may give grace to whom He will, because He is merciful, and yet not give it to all because He is a just Judge; may manifest His free grace by giving to some what they never deserve, while by not giving to all He declares the demerit of all.”

“Partiality,” in the sense that objectors commonly use the word, is IMPOSSIBLE in the SPHERE OF GRACE. It can EXIST only in the SPHERE OF JUSTICE, where the persons concerned have certain CLAIMS and RIGHTS. We may give to one beggar and not to another for we do not OWE anything to either. The parable of the talents was spoken by our Lord to illustrate the doctrine of Divine sovereignty in the bestowment of UNMERITED gifts; and the regeneration of the soul is one of the greatest of these gifts.

(Video) Unconditional Election: What is Reformed Theology? with R.C. Sproul

The central teaching in the parable of the labourers in the vineyard is that God is sovereign in the dispensation of His gifts. To the saved and the unsaved alike He can say, “Friend, I do thee NO WRONG . . . . Is it not lawful for Me to do what I WILL with mine own? Or is thine eye evil, because I am good?” Matt. 20:13-15. It was said to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion”; and Paul adds, “So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but OF GOD that sheweth mercy . . . .So then He hath mercy on WHOM HE WILL and whom He will He hardeneth,” Rom. 9:15-18. He will extend mercy to some, and inflict justice on others, and will be glorified by all.

Just as a man may give alms to some and not to others, so God may give His grace, which is heavenly alms, to whom He pleases. Grace, from its own nature, must be FREE and the very INEQUALITY OF ITS DISTRIBUTION demonstrates that it is TRULY GRATUITOUS. If any one could justly demand it, it would cease to be grace and would become of debt. If God is robbed of His sovereignty in this respect, salvation then becomes a matter of debt to every person.

Hence, then, to the objection that the doctrine of Predestination represents God as “partial,” we answer it certainly does. But we insist that it does not represent Him as UNJUSTLY partial.

(Video) Predestination, Election, and Foreknowledge

[Paraphrased and quoted from – Lorraine Boettner – ‘The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination’]


What does the doctrine of predestination mean? ›

predestination, in Christianity, the doctrine that God has eternally chosen those whom he intends to save.

What does Calvin's doctrine of predestination mean for the idea of free will? ›

It claims that free will does not exist, and God has absolute control over a person's actions. Hard theological determinism is similar in implication to hard determinism, although it does not invalidate compatibilist free will.

What is the doctrine of predestination quizlet? ›

Predestination. The doctrine that God has decided all things beforehand, including which people will be eternally saved.

How does the Bible explain predestination? ›

The word “predestined” has both a broad and narrow meaning. In the narrow sense it refers to the election of all who will be saved (Romans 8:29-30; Ephesians 1:5, 11). In the broader sense predestine refers to all things, including God's plan (1 Corinthians 2:7) and the crucifixion of Christ (Acts 2:23; 4:28).

Why is belief in predestination important? ›

Al-Qadr is the belief in predestination. This means that Allah already knows everything that will happen, and nothing happens unless it is according to Allah's will. However, this does not mean that the choices people make are not free choices. Instead, it means that Allah knows what people will chose to do.

Do Calvinists believe God loves everyone? ›

While some Calvinists forthrightly deny that God loves everyone, more commonly Calvinists attempt to affirm the love of God for all persons in terms that are compatible with their doctrines that Christ died only for the elect--those persons God has unconditionally chosen to save.

Do Baptists believe in predestination? ›

"Like (Methodist founder) John Wesley, they placed more emphasis on free will, less emphasis on predestination," George said. The Particular Baptist tradition, he said, involves a belief in "partial redemption," or the belief that God has destined some people for salvation and others for damnation.

Why do Calvinists believe in predestination? ›

Are you familiar with Calvinist doctrine? At its heart is the concept of predestination. Calvinists believe that, at the beginning of time, God selected a limited number of souls to grant salvation and there's nothing any individual person can do during their mortal life to alter their eternal fate.

What does the doctrine of predestination teach? ›

Predestination, in theology, is the doctrine that all events have been willed by God, usually with reference to the eventual fate of the individual soul. Explanations of predestination often seek to address the paradox of free will, whereby God's omniscience seems incompatible with human free will.

What is predestination called? ›

(theology) being determined in advance; especially the doctrine (usually associated with Calvin) that God has foreordained every event throughout eternity (including the final salvation of mankind) synonyms: foreordination, predetermination, preordination.

WHO stressed the doctrine of predestination? ›

John Calvin is known for his influential Institutes of the Christian Religion (1536), which was the first systematic theological treatise of the reform movement. He stressed the doctrine of predestination, and his interpretations of Christian teachings, known as Calvinism, are characteristic of Reformed churches.

What is the root of predestination? ›

The word predestined means "decided or determined in advance." It comes directly from the Latin word praedestinare, which means “determine beforehand." It's a word that's popular in religious doctrine, where there's a lot of attention paid to what the future holds and to what people should do and why.

What percentage of Christians believe in predestination? ›

A quarter of U.S. adults believe salvation was determined long ago, as 26% agree God chose the people He would save before He created the world, a doctrine known as predestination.

Can someone explain the end of predestination? ›

John prepares to become a Temporal Agent

Seven years later, in 1992, John jumps back to 1970 wearing a coat and a hat to defuse a bomb set by the Fizzle bomber. John gets into a gunfight with the Fizzle bomber and ends up getting distracted. The bomb goes off burning John's face. There you have it.

Who believes that everything is predestined? ›

Predestination asserts that a supremely powerful being has, in advance, fixed all events and outcomes in the universe; it is a famous doctrine of the Calvinists in Christian theology.

What are the three notions of predestination? ›

Moreover, it will be necessary to consider several notions that are tightly linked with predestination, such as “grace,” “foreknowledge,” “merit,” “free will,” “election,” and “vocation.”

What does Calvin say about God and predestination? ›

Predestination we call the eternal decree of God, by which He has determined in Himself what would have to become of every individual of mankind. For they are not all created with a similar destiny; but eternal life is fore-ordained for some, and eternal damnation for others.

Are Baptists Calvinist? ›

The Particular Baptists adhered to the doctrine of a particular atonement—that Christ died only for an elect—and were strongly Calvinist (following the Reformation teachings of John Calvin) in orientation; the General Baptists held to the doctrine of a general atonement—that Christ died for all people and not only for ...

Are Southern Baptists Calvinists? ›

While the Southern Baptist Convention remains split on Calvinism, there are a number of explicitly Reformed Baptist groups in the United States, including the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America, the Continental Baptist Churches, the Sovereign Grace Baptist Association of Churches, and other Sovereign ...

Does the Presbyterian Church believe in predestination? ›

Most of the Reformed confessions of the Presbyterian tradition reflect a doctrine of predestination as a part of justification by grace; some are more explicit than others.

Do Methodists believe in predestination? ›

Wesleyan Methodists identify with the Arminian conception of free will, as opposed to the theological determinism of absolute predestination.

Do Catholics believe in predestination? ›

Predestination unfolds through the creation of the world, sacred history, the life of Jesus Christ, his sacrifice on the Cross, the work of the Holy Spirit, and through the Catholic Church and its Sacraments. Because God is love, he predestines out of love and predestination is a grace.

What do Calvinists believe about salvation? ›

"Calvin is clear that the gospel is about God." Salvation plays out in three stages: the knowledge of sinfulness, acknowledgement of Christ as the only source of freedom, and a Christian maturity of resting in Christ. "Salvation matters, so sin also matters," said Thompson.

Where in the Bible does it talk about predestination in Calvinism? ›

The Calvinist position is that Romans 9 teaches unconditional election and double predestination. This is because: Vs. 16 "it [God's choice] does not depend on the man who wills"

Does Calvinism believe in free will? ›

Calvinism. John Calvin ascribed "free will" to all people in the sense that they act "voluntarily, and not by compulsion." He elaborated his position by allowing "that man has choice and that it is self-determined" and that his actions stem from "his own voluntary choosing."

What are examples of predestination? ›

Sometimes the term is used to refer not only to salvation, but to express the idea that God is in control of the universe in general, even over mundane things. For example, someone might say 'God predestined that this should happen to me today.

What is the opposite of predestination? ›

Arminianism, a theological movement in Protestant Christianity that arose as a liberal reaction to the Calvinist doctrine of predestination. The movement began early in the 17th century and asserted that God's sovereignty and human free will are compatible.

What religious group believed in predestination? ›

You might tell them about the Puritan belief in predestination, which provides the wider context for understanding conversion. This doctrine was first elaborated by John Calvin and then adopted by Congregationalists, Presbyterians, and a variety of other religious groups.

Is predestination the same as destiny? ›

Destiny, as earlier discussed, is fate, a powerful control over all events that cannot be resisted, and compelled on human beings. Predestination is what had been destined on human which cannot be altered nor averted. Christianity firmly holds to the belief in fate and predestination.

Is predestination a time loop? ›

The term predestination paradox is used in the Star Trek franchise to mean "a time loop in which a time traveler who has gone into the past causes an event that ultimately causes the original future version of the person to go back into the past." This use of the phrase was created for a sequence in a 1996 episode of ...

Who is the unmarried mother in predestination? ›

Predestination (2014) - Sarah Snook as The Unmarried Mother - IMDb.

Is predestination based on a book? ›

Predestination is a 2014 Australian science fiction action-thriller film written and directed by Michael and Peter Spierig. The film stars Ethan Hawke, Sarah Snook, and Noah Taylor, and is based on the 1959 short story " '—All You Zombies—' " by Robert A. Heinlein.

What do Calvinists believe in predestination? ›

At its heart is the concept of predestination. Calvinists believe that, at the beginning of time, God selected a limited number of souls to grant salvation and there's nothing any individual person can do during their mortal life to alter their eternal fate.

What religion stressed the idea of predestination? ›

Calvinism emphasized human powerlessness before an omniscient God and stressed the idea of predestination, the belief that God selected a few chosen people for salvation while everyone else was predestined to damnation.

What is the origin of predestination doctrine? ›

Origins. Predestination of the elect and non-elect was taught by the Jewish Essene sect, Gnosticism, and Manichaeism. In Christianity, the doctrine that God unilaterally predestines some persons to heaven and some to hell originated with Augustine of Hippo during the Pelagian controversy in 412 AD.

Who was the religious leader who believed in predestination? ›

John Calvin is known for his influential Institutes of the Christian Religion (1536), which was the first systematic theological treatise of the reform movement. He stressed the doctrine of predestination, and his interpretations of Christian teachings, known as Calvinism, are characteristic of Reformed churches.


1. Adrian Rogers: Predestined for Hell? Absolutely Not! (2065)
(Love Worth Finding Ministries)
2. Understanding Unconditional Election: Calvinistic Predestination vs Biblical Predestination
(Shattering False Foundations)
3. What is 'Predestination'?
(Ask Dr. Betters)
4. Predestination - Theology Simplified 5 - Student of the Word 933
(Bob Yandian)
5. Pastor Chuck Smith on Predestination
(Eternity, It's Your Choice)
6. Grace & Truth Ministries Jim Brown #1250 Predestination: Respect Of Persons- Outward Appearance
(Grace & Truth Ministries)
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