My personal journey with God regarding the doctrine of predestination has been incredibly insightful to my understanding of God as Father and has deepened my worship of Him in response to His predestining me. So, in an effort to show how the doctrine of predestination is inextricably connected to the Fatherhood of God, I want to share with you how I see and savor the doctrine of predestination.
I am the happy father of five beautiful children who have been entrusted to the care of my wife, Grace (a.k.a. “Beauty”), and me. We would have six children, but we suffered a miscarriage. I take great comfort in knowing that, while my child was never born to hear and respond to the gospel, God knew and loved my child and could have simply saved that child by electing grace, thereby enabling me to perhaps meet him or her one day in God’s kingdom. In the doctrine of predestination, I find a lot of hope for our child who was a living person at conception, but never had an opportunity to hear the gospel and respond in faith.
Concerning our other five children, we have been blessed with three boys and two girls. Our oldest child is Ashley Marisa. I adore her with all my heart and love seeing her blossom into a beautiful, smart, creative, and godly young woman. I shudder to remember the day she nearly died when she was roughly two years old.
At that time, we lived off a busy street next to the football stadium at the University of Washington. Beyond our front porch there were perhaps twenty feet of property followed by a sidewalk and then four lanes of nearly constant heavy traffic. One day, when we opened the front door to walk to our parked car, Ashley started running toward the street, so we chased her, grabbed her, and carefully explained to her that she was never to run away from us again toward the traffic. She did not fully understand what we were saying; she just thought it was fun that we would chase her. To her, the whole thing was basically a playtime game. For some weeks she stayed near us as we went to put her in the car…until one nearly fateful day.
As we were loading her newborn brother, Zachariah Blaise, into the car, she turned from my side and ran as fast as she could toward the busy street. She was exercising her free will and made her own decision for her life. In panic, I cried out to her, essentially preaching repentance to her, pleading with her to turn around and return to her daddy. She foolishly did not respond, and I will never forget the smile on her face and the look in her eye as she ran toward the street, thinking we were playing a game and not seeing the death that awaited her.
Ashley ran in front of a vehicle parked on the side of the road. As I sprinted toward her, I looked to my left at the oncoming traffic and saw a large delivery truck rumbling down the road, right in the lane where Ashley was about to step. To make matters even worse, she was so short that the truck driver would never see her if she came out from behind the parked car, and I was certain that my daughter was going to die in front of my eyes. I closed in on her just as she stepped into the lane of the oncoming delivery truck. She was a few steps into the street when I grabbed her by the back of her vest and literally pulled her out of the way of the truck. Everything happened so fast that the truck driver did not have time to hit the horn or the brakes. My daughter’s life was spared by just inches.
With one arm, I reached out and overrode the free will decision of my daughter and saved her. I did this because my love for her is more important than her free will.
Tragically, I have heard well-known Christians explain my view of predestination as God being a rapist rather than a lover because God overrides the free will of some people. My heart breaks every time I hear that kind of statement, because rapists are not the only people who impose their will on others; sometimes so do loving daddies who want their kids to live. They reach out their hand to ensure they are saved from death.
Being a daddy myself, the predestining hand of God the Father reaching down to me through Jesus makes me worship Him for being such an amazing Dad. And today I am very happy to report that He has reached down and saved each of our five kids, including Ashley who is now married and the Executive Director of Real Faith, helping her dad get Bible teaching out so people learn how wonderful it is that the Father in Heaven is still reaching down to earth to predetermine the destiny of children He adopts in love!
God is your Father. If you are His child, it is because He reached out and grabbed you in love and chose to do so before you were born because He loved you before time began.
Spend some time with the Father thanking Him for saving you from eternity apart from Him.
This is an excerpt from Pastor Mark’s Romans 8-9 commentary Duck Duck Doom. You can get a free e-book copy on our store here.
To find the new, free Romans 6-11 digital study guide for individuals and small groups, hear Pastor Mark’s entire sermon series on Romans, or find a free mountain of Bible teaching visit realfaith.com or download the Real Faith app.