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Jeremiah: a prophet to the nation

COMMON THOUGHTS ON THE WORD

When God said that He ordained Jeremiah as a prophet to the nations, what was He saying? What did He mean? In the original language, the word ordained meant: to make, or constitute anyone to be anything, ref. Gesenius Lexicon. If God made him (Jeremiah) in the womb, and ordained him as a prophet, then he was predestined to fulfill the plan and purpose of God by glorifying his Creator through the fulfillment of that obligation.

Here we are faced with a doctrine (teaching) that many people have a strong dislike for. This doctrine upsets the apple cart of man’s goodness, free will, and self-righteousness. Because in the end, God gets all the glory, credit and honor for what is done. Ultimately, it is about God, not us. The very purpose and reason for God creating, was so that the creation would increase the honor and glory of an omnipotent God. For He alone is worthy of our praise and adoration.

The Webster’s Dictionary of 1828 says predestinate means: To be predestinated; foreordained, to appoint or ordain beforehand by an unchangeable purpose. The Bible actually refers to this teaching in a lot of different ways throughout the Scriptures. When we read the words chose, chosen, elect, foreknew, ordained, and others as well, these words are often referring to predestination, or closely connected to it. Ephesians 1:3-4 is just one of many examples; “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.”

In Genesis 3:15 it says, “He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” How often do we read this verse about the Christ who was to come, and never stop to consider everything that had to take place, for that prophecy to fit into time and history? When God made that statement over 4,000 years ago, He was putting His honor and glory on the line.

He was making a bold statement that the crucifixion was predetermined. He also had the sovereign power and authority to bring it to fruition or completeness. No power on earth, in heaven, or in hell, could stop Him from accomplishing His plan and purpose. Jesus had a prearranged appointment with death, and He was going to keep that appointment.

This doctrine (predestination) is clearly taught in Romans 8:28-30; where it talks about the “called” and whom He “foreknew.” It goes on to say that they were “predestined,” and the ones that were predestined were eventually called, justified and glorified. Why is God going to do this? Because this was part of His eternal plan to bring a greater recognition of His worth and supremacy as His creatures see the awesome splendor and majesty of who and what He is.

The last point I want to make is that this doctrine isn’t something that we need to fear. We really have nothing to do with it, except that we are vessels to be used by Him to accomplish His goal and purpose. We are powerless in and of ourselves; Saul realized this when he was struck down on the road to Damascus. Job acknowledged his true place before God when he said, “I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you. Therefore I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes.”

The doctrine of predestination must be married to the doctrine of man’s accountability and responsibility; they must go hand in hand. If we take either side of this discussion, and make it stand alone, we end up with an inaccurate view of God and His character. This inaccurate view of God can be called hyper-Calvinism on the one side; and Arminianism on the other side. Both are extreme views that have a tendency to lead us away from God toward the gratification of the flesh. Are you ready to accept the whole, complete counsel of God’s word? Then you must believe in predestination. Comments or questions, contact me at: thoughtsonword@gmail.com

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Lyndon Stimeling, of Richfield, has been writing about faith and family for many years. He has self-published three books, “Common Thoughts on The Word” in 2016 and “Eye of a Needle” in 2017 and “Common Thoughts on The Word II” in 2019. He has also had articles published in The Coming Home Journal and local newspapers and has written a children’s book.

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