Does Foreknowledge Explain Election?

Rev. Roger Smalling, D.Min

All Christians hold to a doctrine of election. The term election occurs frequently in the New Testament, referring to God’s choice of some for salvation. Election is a biblical word. The notion of God choosing some for salvation and not others is seen throughout the Bible. No serious student of Scripture denies it. Debate occurs, however, over what may be the basis of God’s choice.

 

Two views

The first view holds that election has no basis whatsoever in man. It is a mystery, hidden in God’s sovereign will. Though God is not arbitrary in his decrees, nevertheless the decree of election is a righteous one, since no one deserves salvation anyway.

 

This view is frequently referred to as reformed, because it was prominent during the Reformation period. It is held today by churches who identity their theology as Reformed.

 

The second view sees divine foreknowledge as the basis for election. God peers into the future and sees who will accept Christ, then elects those.

 

This view is usually referred to as Arminian, after the 16th century Dutch pastor, Arminius who formed the doctrine toward the end of the Reformation period.

 

Foreknowledge determined the coming of Christ, not merely foresaw it

The meaning of foreknowledge, when used of divine decisions, refers to appointed. It is similar to foreordained in connection with election. It is the person who is foreknown, or appointed to salvation, not some quality in that person.

 

Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, … [1]

 

Here, determined purpose and foreknowledge are linked by a Greek grammatical form called the Granville-Sharp Rule. This makes the two nouns synonymous. It is used for emphasis, like saying right and good or evil and bad. The word determined here is formed of the same verb from which predestination is derived.

 

Peter declares the coming of Christ was both arranged and appointed by God.

 

He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world…

 

The word foreordained here is PROGINOSKO – foreknow. In the case of Christ, God’s foreknowledge was more than merely predictive. It would be absurd to say the Father merely foreknew the coming of Christ. Jesus was appointed to the office of Christ. All circumstances relating to His coming were arranged in advance. History was made for Christ, not Christ for history.

 

For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done.

 

The same pattern applies to the election of each believer. Those who oppose this principle tend to use .

 

Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father…

 

Foreknowledge in and foreordained in are the same Greek word, and mean the same. In , it refers to Jesus himself in his appointment as Redeemer. In , it refers again to an appointment, in this case of believers appointed to obedience.

 

Notice Peter says for obedience, not because of obedience. He wishes all to understand that God appointed the elect for obedience just as he appointed Jesus as Redeemer. The intent is to emphasize our security in Christ. Any other interpretation fails to explain the use of the same word in the context, and would create an absurdity with regard to Christ.

 

Foreknowledge means foreordained with regard to Israel, because God chose to overlook Israel’s persistent rebellion

 

God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew.

 

What was it that God foreknew about the Jews? That they would respond favorably to Him through their free will? Hardly! Notice the context:

 

But to Israel he says: All day long I have stretched out My Hands to a disobedient and contrary people.

 

If the foreknowledge view were correct, then God should have rejected the Jews as candidates for election. Foreseen obedience had no play in God’s election of Israel.

 

Lexicon evidence

Foreknowledge: The Greek terms are PROGINOSKO (verb, to know or ordain before hand) and PROGINOSIS (noun, foreknowledge or foreordination). It is common in any language for words to have two or more meanings, usually a primary meaning and then a secondary one.

 

Such is the case with PROGINOSIS. The primary meaning is foreknowledge, the secondary, foreordination. How do we distinguish the difference? It is foreordained when divine appointments and activity are in view, as in the above verses. This holds true also with regard to God’s decree of election.

 

Gingrich’s Shorter Lexicon: PROGINOSKO: Know beforehand or choose beforehand.

 

Newman’s Greek-English Dictionary: PROGINOSKO: Know already; choose from the beginning, choose beforehand.

 

Louw & Nida: PROGINOSKO: Know beforehand or chose beforehand.

 

There exists no good quality in man to foresee. ?The foreknowledge view normally asserts that God foresees one of several qualities in man that attracts His grace.

 

Was it faith He foresaw? No. Faith itself is a work of grace, based on election.

 

And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.

 

those who had believed through grace;

 

Jesus Christ himself is the source of our faith.

 

And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.

 

Was it perhaps our sanctification that God foresaw? It depends on who does the sanctifying. According to , God the Father does it.

 

To those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ.

 

Circular reasoning would come into play if sanctification brought about our election. What about a willing heart? Paul explicitly denies this possibility.

 

So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. .

 

Could some goodness or righteousness in man be the quality God foresaw? Paul goes to great lengths in to extinguish such a notion.

 

There is none who does good, no, not one. There is none righteous, no, not one; V.10 There is none who does good, no, not one. V.12

 

Was it because God foresaw some would seek him and others not?

 

There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. Ro.3:11

 

Ironically, the doctrine that makes us think God is acting unfairly, is the correct one. Paul underlines this in .

 

But who are you, Oh man, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, Why did you make me like this?

 

If Paul felt foreknowledge were a factor, why didn’t he say so instead of concluding it is none of man’s business to ask the question?

 

Foreknowledge as described by the Arminian does not have this element of seeming injustice that Paul predicted would be a struggle in our thinking.

 

The Arminian view of foreknowledge distorts the biblical meaning of election

 

Election means chosen of God, not chosen of self

And unless the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh would be saved; but for the elects sake, whom He chose, He shortened the days.

 

…knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God.

 

Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved,

 

…according to the faith of God’s elect…

 

The foreknowledge view ignores scriptural texts on election that Apostles gave to prove God’s sovereign choice.

 

Examples:

 

The 7000 who did not bow the knee to Baal

But what does the divine response say to him? I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal. Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. : 4-5

 

Notice God did not merely find 7000. He reserved them. It was He who was in charge of their decision, not they themselves. Paul uses this incident to describe election by grace.

 

Jacob and Esau

…for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls.

 

Foreknowledge assumes people have an innate ability to accept Christ and submit to God’s law. The Bible denies this.

Man’s will is bound in sin and cannot submit to God without His grace intervening.

 

There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God.

 

Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.

 

Coming to Christ is a gift of the Father

All that the Father gives Me will come to Me,…

 

No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him;

 

I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours.

 

Faith is a gift from God, not something generated by the believers own will

 

…as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.

 

For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,

 

…looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…

 

Repentance is a gift, not something man is able to initiate without grace

Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life.

 

…if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth,…

 

Foreknowledge renders the term “predestination” meaningless

It makes it passive rather than the active verb that it is. Predestination is the Greek word PROORIZO. PRO means before and ORIZO means to establish boundaries. Thus it means to establish boundaries beforehand.

 

God set up the circumstances surrounding our lives to ensure the fulfillment of our foreordination as the Elect. If God merely foresaw who would accept Him, why would He set up boundaries beforehand?

 

This proves the choice was His, not ours. Foreordain refers to our appointment as His elect, whereas predestinate refers to the outworking of God’s electing decree. Note the passive tense in these verses.

 

…having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,

 

For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.

 

merits special comment. The term foreknew here carries the meaning foreordain because of the context.

 

In Paul has just explained all things work together for good to those who love God, and who have been called according to his purpose.

 

What are the grounds for believing this? God has already done His appointing and preparing before the world began, to ensure the accomplishment of our salvation. That’s why we can believe everything works together for our good.

 

The Lexicon Louw & Nida translates this verse as: Those whom he had chosen beforehand, he had already decided should become like his Son.

.

 

Foreknowledge assumes God is unwilling or unable to encroach on the limits of man’s will

To the contrary:

 

Nebuchadnezzar,

As a result of this Babylonian king’s pride, God removed his sanity for seven years; his reason, free will and all. Did God ask permission to do this? Nebuchadnezzar learned, …He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand or say to Him, What have You done?

 

The Antichrist and the Ten Nations

For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled. Rev.17:17

 

The Egyptians

And I indeed will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them. So I will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army, his chariots, and his horsemen.

 

The kings of the Earth

The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.

 

Foreknowledge puts the ultimate choice on man rather than God, which the scriptures categorically deny

So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.

 

You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you…

 

Foreknowledge implies God’s control is merely passive rather than active

My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,

…according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.

 

…upholding all things by the word of His power.

 

Foreknowledge assumes faith precedes election

This is an error. We believe because we are His sheep. It is not our faith that makes us sheep.

 

But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep…

 

Appointing those for eternal life comes before faith, not vice verse

And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.

 

The promise of salvation is available only to those the Lord calls

For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.

 

Jesus reveals the Father to whom He wills

…and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.

 

See .

 

Conclusion

The term foreknowledge supports the doctrine of sovereign election, rather than explains it away. When used regarding divine activity, especially in connection with election, it refers to the appointment of a person rather than the result of a divine attraction to a positive quality in the person. The Bible teaches election by the sovereign grace of God, without regard to any foreseen condition in man.

 

see article here

23 this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. (ESV)

20 He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you (ESV)

27 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. (ESV)

according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood:

May grace and peace be multiplied to you. (ESV)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, (ESV)

20 He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you (ESV)

20 He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you (ESV)

according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood:

May grace and peace be multiplied to you. (ESV)

God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he appeals to God against Israel? (ESV)

21 But of Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people.” (ESV)

47 For so the Lord has commanded us, saying,

“‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles,
that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’” (ESV)

27 And when he wished to cross to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him. When he arrived, he greatly helped those who through grace had believed, (ESV)

14 and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. (ESV)

1:1 Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James,

To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ:

May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.

Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day— just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones. But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.” 10 But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively. 11 Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam’s error and perished in Korah’s rebellion. 12 These are hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; 13 wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever.

14 It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, 15 to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” 16 These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage.

17 But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. 18 They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” 19 It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. 20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. 22 And have mercy on those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.

24 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (ESV)

16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. (ESV)

3:1 Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? Much in every way. To begin with, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God. What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? By no means! Let God be true though every one were a liar, as it is written,

“That you may be justified in your words,
and prevail when you are judged.”

But if our unrighteousness serves to show the righteousness of God, what shall we say? That God is unrighteous to inflict wrath on us? (I speak in a human way.) By no means! For then how could God judge the world? But if through my lie God’s truth abounds to his glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner? And why not do evil that good may come?—as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just.

What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, 10 as it is written:

“None is righteous, no, not one;
11 no one understands;
no one seeks for God.
12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good,
not even one.”
13 “Their throat is an open grave;
they use their tongues to deceive.”
“The venom of asps is under their lips.”
14 “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.”
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 in their paths are ruin and misery,
17 and the way of peace they have not known.”
18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

19 Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.

21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

27 Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30 since God is one—who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 31 Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law. (ESV)

19 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” 20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” (ESV)

20 And if the Lord had not cut short the days, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he shortened the days. (ESV)

For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, (ESV)

12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, (ESV)

1:1 Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, (ESV)

11:1 I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he appeals to God against Israel? “Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life.” But what is God’s reply to him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.

What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened, as it is written,

“God gave them a spirit of stupor,
eyes that would not see
and ears that would not hear,
down to this very day.”

And David says,

“Let their table become a snare and a trap,
a stumbling block and a retribution for them;
10 let their eyes be darkened so that they cannot see,
and bend their backs forever.”

11 So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. 12 Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean!

13 Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry 14 in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them. 15 For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? 16 If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches.

17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, 18 do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. 19 Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” 20 That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. 22 Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. 23 And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree.

25 Lest you be wise in your own sight, I want you to understand this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written,

“The Deliverer will come from Zion,
he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”;
27 “and this will be my covenant with them
when I take away their sins.”

28 As regards the gospel, they are enemies of God for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. 29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 30 For just as you were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience, 31 so they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may now receive mercy. 32 For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.

33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!

34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been his counselor?”
35 “Or who has given a gift to him
that he might be repaid?”

36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. (ESV)

11 though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— (ESV)

11 no one understands;
no one seeks for God. (ESV)

16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. (ESV)

For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. (ESV)

37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. (ESV)

44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. (ESV)

I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. (ESV)

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. (ESV)

29 For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, (ESV)

looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (ESV)

18 When they heard these things they fell silent. And they glorified God, saying, “Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life.” (ESV)

25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, (ESV)

he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, (ESV)

29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. (ESV)

29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. (ESV)

28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (ESV)

29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. (ESV)

28 All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar. 29 At the end of twelve months he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, 30 and the king answered and said, “Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?” 31 While the words were still in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, “O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: The kingdom has departed from you, 32 and you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. And you shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will.” 33 Immediately the word was fulfilled against Nebuchadnezzar. He was driven from among men and ate grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair grew as long as eagles’ feathers, and his nails were like birds’ claws.

34 At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever,

for his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
and his kingdom endures from generation to generation;
35 all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,
and he does according to his will among the host of heaven
and among the inhabitants of the earth;
and none can stay his hand
or say to him, “What have you done?” (ESV)

17 And I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they shall go in after them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, his chariots, and his horsemen. (ESV)

21:1 The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord;
he turns it wherever he will. (ESV)

16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. (ESV)

16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. (ESV)

10 declaring the end from the beginning
and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
and I will accomplish all my purpose,’ (ESV)

21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. (ESV)

He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, (ESV)

26 but you do not believe because you are not part of my flock. (ESV)

48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed. (ESV)

39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” (ESV)

27 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. (ESV)

21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will.

John 6:37

37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.

John 6:44

44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.

John 6:45

45 It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me—

John 6:65

65 And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”

John 17:6

“I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word.

John 17:9

I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours.

John 17:11

11 And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.

John 17:20

20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, (ESV)

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