The Amazingly Simple Answer
To the Predestination Dilemma
The Predestination Dilemma Is Solved With Astounding Simplicity, by John Lilley
my book Hell Is A Mistranslation
by John Lilley
Christians have been stumped for centuries by the seeming contradictions brought up by the Bible’s verses on predestination. Yet the answer is astoundingly simple. When I reveal the answer you will see that it has been, as I call it, “accidentally hidden” from the church for a reason that will become obvious.
First let me briefly review the seemingly endless circle of debate that surrounds the predestination issue. The endless debate goes round and round because “predestination” Bible verses seem to blatantly contradict other verses in a way that makes it seem like God is schizophrenic at best and a monster at worst.
The famous predestination verses like Ephesians 1:4 plainly state that God chooses some people in this age to be "saved". Thus they seem to say that God is deciding beforehand who He’s going to take to heaven and who He’s going to throw in hell. This thought is horrific and makes no logical sense. Why would He even create billions of people in the first place if He knew beforehand that most of them would end up burning in agony forever – due to His choice?
This line of reasoning seems to make God out to be a monster, the opposite of what anyone would hope and think a loving God would be. This is a philosophical conundrum. Some Christians try to solve this conundrum by saying, "Each individual chooses whether to get saved or not". The problem is, that directly contradicts Ephesians 1:4 which plainly states that God chose us before we even existed, we didn't choose ourselves! Not to mention that most people who have ever lived have never even had a chance to hear the gospel. (Remember, the Bible says that nature testifies of God's existence so men are without excuse for sin, but in order to be "saved" a person must hear the gospel, believe God raised Jesus from the dead, and confess Jesus as Lord; this is impossible without hearing the gospel story - see Rom. 10:9-14 etc.)
So predestination seems to create a huge philosophical conundrum. To put it bluntly without sugar-coating it, it makes God seem like a monster.
Now let's talk about the logical conundrum seemingly caused by predestination verses. The concept of predestination seems to contradict verses that say “God desires all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4), “Jesus Christ is the Savior of all men…” (1 Tim. 4:10), God will eventually be "all in all" and "vivify all" (give all immortal bodies - 1 Cor. 15:22-28) etc. If God wants everybody to be saved, and if He is the Savior of all men, why would He choose beforehand not to save some of them? Why would God provide the means of salvation for all men if He was deciding beforehand that most of them would not end up with that benefit?
It’s easy to see why the debate rages – predestination verses are in the Bible and you can’t cut them out, yet they seem to make no philosophical or logical sense in light the rest of Scripture.
What’s the answer?
The Bible says the Holy Spirit will lead you and guide you into all the truth (John 16:13); this means that (contrary to the common Christian excuse that “God is super-mysterious and cannot be understood”) a wise believer should understand all major issues surrounding the biggest “why” questions of life. Do you really think God would hide from us the reasons why His plan would include sending people to hell, or why He seems to say He is choosing that destiny for some? This is a huge issue and there must be an answer in the Scriptures.
Every time I have faced a seemingly massively confusing issue or contradiction in the Scriptures and have sought God for the answer, the answer God eventually led me to in His Word was exceedingly simple. Could that be the case for predestination?
In my experience, several times the amazingly simple solution to a seemingly impossible Bible question has come through understanding a simple mistranslation from the original Greek or Hebrew into the English Bibles I was reading. As soon as the mistranslation was cleared up, the answer to a seemingly impossible question became crystal clear.
The “predestination” verses are generally accurately translated in your English Bible. However, there are two extremely important words that are not. These two words have much to do with the plan of God for mankind. When these two words are translated accurately, suddenly the philosophical and logical conundrums caused by predestination disappear effortlessly, and not only does the plan of God for mankind make perfect sense, but His thought process behind predestination does too.
Correctly translating these two key words helps us understand what a believer is saved from. When we wonder why God would choose only some to “get saved” in this age, the first question we should ask is “Saved from WHAT?”
We throw around the word “saved” and “salvation” assuming that it means “saved from hell”. However, I ask you to consider the following Scriptures, (and then I promise I’ll give you the punchline and reveal the two key mistranslated words and how they solve the predestination dilemma):
Romans 3:23 says “The wages of sin is death” (not hell…many say they are the same but the Greek word is simply “death”, not “hell” – you cannot hope to understand the Bible if you change the simple definitions of words at will). John 3:16 says “…that whoever believes in Him might not perish…” According to these two Scriptures (and the rest of the testimony of the accurately translated Bible), the penalty we are saved from is death. There is no talk of hell here. But, you say, doesn’t the rest of the Bible talk about hell?
Here is the punchline my friends, and it is truly a bombshell if you’ve never heard it before: The word “hell” is not in the Bible. The word "hell" may appear in your sometimes-badly-translated English Bible, but it is not in the Greek or Hebrew. Nor is their any word that means "eternal" or "forever" in your Bible in the original Greek or Hebrew languages. When you translate these key words accurately and carefully sort out interpretations of a few commonly-butchered Bible passages, the concepts of conscious death and eternal punishment disappear from the Bible (along with the dozens and dozens of apparent Biblical self-contradictions they cause).
The concepts of conscious death and eternal punishment are leftovers from Catholicism (which got them from paganism), and only cling on in modern Christianity because of tradition-based mistranslations of a few key words in many English Bibles (instead of translating accurately according to the plain meaning of the underlying Greek and Hebrew words).
When we stop trying to artificially superimpose these pagan concepts onto the Bible, suddenly dozens of Scriptures that used to seem to contradict each other now explain and complement each other, and God suddenly makes perfect philosophical sense as well. In other words, the leftover pagan ideas of conscious death and eternal punishment cause tremendous logical and philosophical problems with the Bible and God (try reconciling Ecc. 9:5 & 10 and numerous similar Scriptures with the popular idea that death is conscious, for example) that can only be solved by getting rid of the leftover paganism and translating a few key words and passages accurately according to sound Biblical interpretation principles rather than tradition.
To learn the basic background information that will help you discover the amazingly simple answer to the predestination dilemma, just click play on the videos below. (After the videos I'll explain more about how this information instantly and effortlessly solves the predestination dilemma. You can skip past the videos but the videos will help you understand the background information more fully.)
Christianity has many things right, but has endless trouble trying to reconcile a (pagan-inherited) belief in an eternal-punishment-conscious-death God with the loving God they see revealed in the rest of the Bible. Preachers spend endless hours in the pulpit expounding on God’s great love for humanity while never mentioning hell because they cannot explain the reasoning behind God’s (supposed) decision to eternally punish most of His most precious creations.
What I’ve explained to you today solves this dilemma – and the dilemma of predestination as well. Praise be to the God who truly is love – and proves it with His plan for the ages (Greek "eons") to save, teach, and bless all mankind.
In my book
Hell Is A Mistranslation: God's Ultimate Plan For Humanity Revealed In the Accurately Translated Bible
I explain how predestination is simply God choosing some people to be saved from death earlier than everyone else. God chooses to give some of us faith in this age (Eph. 1:4, 2:8-9) instead of later at the white throne judgment after the millennium (when "every knee will bow and every tongue confess"). It is the equivalent of a loving father choosing some of His children to help teach all the children a few lessons. God chose some people to have faith to be saved in this age; He gives some people faith now (Eph. 1:4, 2:8-9) so they can take part in the rapture and be part of His leadership (servanthood/teaching/judging/correcting) team during the millennium (see Rev. 20:4-6).
Those who are saved in this age by faith in what Christ has done for all mankind (Rom. 5:18, 3:23-24), will be saved from death earlier (at the rapture) than the rest of mankind (who will be resurrected into immortal bodies at the consummation of the ages at which point God will be "all in all" and there will be no more death, see 1 Cor. 15:20-28). To be saved in this age means to have God's power at work in us now, and to be saved from death earlier than the rest of mankind. That's why the Bible says that God "is the Savior of all mankind, especially of those who believe" (1 Tim. 4:10). We have a "special" salvation because we get permanent salvation from death earlier than everyone else will get it, and thus we get to partake in "the kingdom of God", the Bible's term (used interchangeably with "eonian life" and "the ages of the ages") for the next two ages of life on earth, the millennium and the New Jerusalem age (Rev. 19:11-20:6, Rev. 21 & 22, 1 Cor. 15:20-28). (Everyone else will not be "vivified" - receive permanent salvation from death and an immortal/incorruptible body - until after the New Jerusalem age, at the consummation of God's plan, as described clearly by the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:20-28).
I believe you will find that what I explain to you in my book on hell is the only way to logically reconcile all the Biblical statements on the subject of God's plan for mankind so that none of them contradict each other. The only way to get all the Scriptural statements on this subject to complement each other instead of (seemingly) contradicting each other is to stop artificially superimposing the pagan concepts of conscious death and eternal punishment on top of the Bible through mistranslation, tradition, and ignorance of sound Biblical interpretation principles, and instead insist on translating and interpreting every single Bible passage on this subject according to the common sense rules of language rather than according to pagan/Catholic inherited tradition.
If this is the only article you have read on this site, you may have many questions coming to your mind, or you may be thinking of Bible verses that seem to contradict what I'm saying. (For example, you might be wondering about the parable of Lazarus and the rich man seemingly teaching conscious death in contradiction of Ecc. 9:5, Enoch and Elijah seemingly going straight to heaven in contradiction of John 3:13, the lake of fire, etc.) I address every single one of these questions in my E-Book, and some of them are addressed in the articles on this site. Believe, me there are simple logical answers to every single one, and they can all be reconciled with perfect logic in a way where they do not contradict each other at all.
The picture I paint for you on this website (and much more thoroughly in the book) from the accurately translated Bible of what happens at death and God's ultimate plan for mankind does not contradict itself in any way and contains no logical or philosophical conundrums - something the "eternal punishment" version of Christianity cannot say.
I'd like to close this article by pointing out one particularly beautiful thing about understanding predestination correctly (as God choosing some of His weakest children to help all the children learn): It removes all spiritual pride. We are finally free to realize that it's not because we have made better choices than others that we are saved, but because God has chosen us - probably due to our weakness and foolishness (see 1 Cor. 1:27-31)! We can glory fully in God without being tempted to think we're great on our own!
This total freedom from pride is unique to a worldview based on the (accurately translated) Bible. No other religion or worldview causes this humility in its proponents - every other religion and worldview causes its believers to be proud ("I'm smarter than you because I know more truth and thus have made smarter choices"). Belief in the accurately translated Bible is the only belief system that will free a person permanently from pride!
If you're interested in learning the details about God's ultimate plan for mankind from (accurately translated) Scripture, verse-by-verse, and in having every question about the subject that you can think of answered thoroughly, I strongly recommend my E-Book Hell Is A Mistranslation. I know of no other resource that covers the subject as thoroughly. (If you buy the book and still have a question that I didn't answer in the book, please email me!)
John's new book Hell Is A Mistranslation includes:
* The 3 Greek words (and 1 primary Hebrew word) that are sometimes translated as “hell” in your English Bible – and how NONE of them mean “hell”!
* Another mega-important word that is often mistranslated in your English Bible, and how translating it accurately will TOTALLY change your perception of God’s plan for the world
* What really happens when you die – not according to religious tradition, but according to plain statements of Scripture and a thorough look at everything the Bible has to say about it
* 10 powerful Scriptures that are completely ignored by mainstream Christianity because they cannot possibly believe them and believe in hell at the same time
* God’s ultimate plan for humanity - and His reasoning behind it - as revealed by the accurately-translated Bible
* How properly understanding God’s plan for mankind instantly solves the predestination dilemma while simultaneously removing all pride from believers
* John’s easy-to-understand outline of the 5 ages of human history planned by God, as revealed in the accurately-translated Bible – and WHY God does what He does in each age
* WHY God created the world in this current age to be subject to some natural disasters and the law of death (something has to die in order for something else to live) – as an eternal lesson for mankind
* The simple reason WHY God allows pain and suffering in this age, WHY He allows Satan to be “god of this age” (2 Cor. 4:4), and how it’s nothing any parent couldn’t understand
* Bonus Section: The Kingdom Time-Gap – A simple term John has coined for a piece of information that instantly solves several more confusing things about the Bible
CLICK HERE to read the book.
The Predestination Dilemma Is Solved With Astounding Simplicity Copyright 2010 John Lilley
Return from The Predestination Dilemma Solved to Is Hell A Real Place (Hell Mistranslation Section)