My dear brother in Christ,
Thank you for asking me to look at your post and make comments. You touch some of the most controversial issues in Christianity today. The terms used concerning predestination or eternal security, well it seems everybody has an opinion.
I was raised in a Christian environment where these explanations were unsatisfying but simple. Then one day when I was about 20 years of age (I am now 62) God poured out on me the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation in the knowledge of him. After that all of my taught and entrenched beliefs were radically changed. Now about 2 years prior to this event I had already received the baptism of the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues. But this was a different experience. One that I had never heard of or was never taught, and yet was now my focus. I became aware that before one is baptized in the Holy Ghost they can certainly Fall Away and lose faith. But later we read that “after that you believed you were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise.” So I believe that there are believers who are sealed and there are believers who are not sealed.
But now to your point about predestination, a seemingly eternal controversy plaguing the church for several centuries. I find it interesting that when discussing predestination we are automatically drawn to Romans 8. This chapter has been so abused and misused by most Christians that it is almost not worth it to study. In modern-day Christianity it seems that the only verses that are important are the ones about “no condemnation” and “all things working together for good.” Essentially this chapter has been co-opted into a dogma that enables Christians to feel good about themselves regardless of their behaviors or actions.
But a real examination of the text reveals that the focus of the chapter is about being “conformed to the image of Christ” and the great future event known as the “Manifestation of the Sons of of God.” Indeed, by this event apparently all of creation will be set free. Consequently by this hope and event we now stand without condemnation. This is the GOOD that all things work toward. So then we are not so much waiting for the Second coming of Christ or a rapture, but we are waiting for our Perfection on Earth, a perfection in which we will be manifested, a Perfection by which all of creation will be set free.
Watered-down versions will insist that this Perfection simply means a desire to want what God wants or some kind of Holy Sanctification, both of which are clearly valid. However, the same Greek word in Hebrews 6 (“Let us go on to perfection”) is used when Jesus said, “Be ye perfect as my Father in Heaven is perfect.” Hence, he cannot be talking about some sort of watered-down perfection that implies Christian maturity.
I believe the Perfection he is talking about is a Perfection that was manifested on the Mount of Transfiguration. Recall his clothes shown brighter than the sun and a voice from Heaven came stating “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” This is what we are waiting for as joint heirs of Christ. We are called to bruise Satan under our feet. We, the body of Christ, will be completely joined to He who is our head and act in perfect synchronicity such that there is no difference between body and head.
When we understand Romans 8 in this context we are forced to look at predestination in a different light. It’s not as though it’s “our choice” versus “predestination.” It is all about God fulfilling his original mandate: “Let us make man in our own image.” To this extent His WILL has been predestined. HE began this work and HE will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.
Allow me to illustrate with another example. That is, believers are often confused about things they believe are opposites. For example they believe that hate is the opposite of love. But we know scripture teaches us that God has not given us the spirit of FEAR but of LOVE and power and a sound mind. So likewise, choice is not the opposite of predestination. Predestination is God’s will, and the opposite has been expressed by his enemy who seeks to prevent his will. We are not in the equation as much as we think we are. That’s why Jesus said, “You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you and ordained you.”
I realize that to you this may be an altogether different theology. Pray about it. Ask God. In America those of us who want to know about this theology, which is also called “Sonship” was first and formerly understood to a large extent in the context of the Latter Rain Movement of the early 1900s. I don’t know if any of this has been useful to you. Again thank you again for asking me to comment. God bless you always Brother.