PREDESTINATIONíS INFLUENCE ON TIME
By Pastor George D. Cutler
Grace Gospel Ministries
As we survey the very important subject of Foreordination (predestination), our focus is on the impact it has and does impose on all the sequencing of the events and workings as they are manifested in the very important phenomena designated as time. The Greek word"keh∑ ros" translated "time" defines a space or an increment or allotment set aside to accomplish a certain goal or purpose. The word "keh∑ ros" or time literally depicts finite or earthly durations as distinguished from eternity. Time identifies a point in progress, a period of history or current events or prophecy that is defined as future events. Time denotes a period or duration reserved or available for certain actions to be taken or certain events to occur. Time also engenders a point or appointment assigned for the performance of a prescribed course of operation or a season designated for certain conditions.
The word time(kehros) in the Greek is a noun. It is always in the masculine gender and the singular number, and in some instances, time is grammatically expressed in the genitive case. In the Greek grammar, the genitive case shows possession or source, which speaks to the end that time is owned and it belongs to someone or something. We understand from Godís word that He (God) is the maker and creator of all things including time. Therefore we conclude that time belongs to or is owned by God. It is in many instances expressed as the object of a preposition, either stated or understood, thus time is always a target of some intended purpose. Time is expressed as some dimension of space or an increment or duration basically in terms of regulated intervals designed for the manifestation of opportunity, i.e., events, and occasions.
These regulated intervals are always delineated in some measurement or apportionment, always fixed and definite. These intervals are always regulated in the process of the establishment of control. Notice whosoever controls time also has the power to control events, occurrences or occasions. The regulation of intervals of time is defined in increments of measurements. Measurements of time are expressed in the division of ages as delineated in years and the year is subdivided into 12 months, seasons (fall, winter spring and summer) and days, and the day is divided into sections of the day (morning, noon, night, hours, minutes and seconds). The ages of time are expressed in terms of periods of Godís work or Godís purpose or plan in His design of dealing with man.
Each age has its own defined purpose thus it is true that "God from all eternity did by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass" (quotation taken from the Westminster Confession). Yet men question the validity of predestinationĎs influence on time with dubious statements, i.e., "neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures, nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established" (quoted from the same document). This language of accommodation to the workings of autonomous forces is nothing short of a giant retreat from the fully persuaded position that all the events and deeds manifested in time are foreordained decrees. The facts (according to both Old and New Testament scriptures) are that God has determined, thus He in essence is the cause of whatsoever may come or can come to pass upon all supposed conditions. Contrary to the distorted perception of foreordination (predestination), God has not decreed any thing because He foresaw it as future or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions; otherwise He would simply be relegated to simply endorsing that which was slated to happen outside of His doings.
The correct perception of the doctrine of predestination represents the purpose of God as absolute and unconditionally independent of the entire finite creation and as originating solely in the eternal counsel of His will (Ephesians 1:11; Isaiah 44:26). This embraces the entire scope of the created existence of time, which was designed to manifest all things in their causes, conditions, successions and relations. Everything outside of God Himself is included in that all embracing decree thus all created beings and happenings owe their existence, initiation and continuance in existence to His creative and sustaining power. This can be termed "providential control" under which everything progresses to the end of Godís determining. From all eternity, God has decreed all that is to be done. Accordingly, all that has its origin in Him does in fact totally depend on Him for their continued existence in all parts and at all times. Everything is subject to His control so that nothing can come to pass contrary to what He expressly decrees, which is concomitant with what He is perceived to permit.
Thus the eternal purpose of God is represented as an act of sovereign predestination or foreordination that is unconditioned by any subsequent fact or change in time. Hence foreordination is represented as being the basis of the divine foreknowledge of all events subsequent to it, which confirms that it is not conditioned by that foreknowledge or by anything that is supposedly originated by the events themselves. Order is the prime principle of Godís attributes. From the divine viewpoint of eternity, there is prefect order and progression from the beginning of creation in time to the end of the ages and the consummation of all things to His glory in Him (Ephesians 1:10). Nowhere during this course is the divine purpose and plan altered, interrupted or defeated.
From the human vantage point of time, the world is perceived to operate in tandem with chance occurrences, as its affairs seem to be grouped together in blind confusion and rude disorder. Yet God is the initiator of all its causes and effects as they are governed to the end that he makes a perfect harmony out of all of those seemingly jarring events and discord. It is absolutely necessary for Godís people to rest in the facts of the Doctrine of Foreordination (Predestination) and trust without doubt that whatever comes to pass, be it good or evil, it is masterfully working accordingly at the hand and disposal of its perfect designer (Romans 8:28).