John and Predestination
The apostle John openly negates the Doctrine of Predestination. For he wrote, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12). Here, he clearly declares that all people are invited to accept the gift of eternal life and no one is excluded from it. And he stresses the importance of making a personal decision to get saved. For he states that the conclusive factor lies with people themselves—“as many” as receive and believe are given access to son-ship (Isaiah 55:1; Ephesians 1:5).
In addition, John uses the phrase “Sons of God” frequently (John 11:52; 1 John 3:1, 2, 10; 5:2). In order to become a son, or child, of God, a person needs to enter into the covenant relationship with the Lord (Hosea 1:10) by the new birth experience (John 3:3). Clearly, these actions demand the agency of the free will.
God does not support the doctrine of predestination. He doesn’t arbitrarily make men His sons. He enables them to become such only if they so choose. For this reason, the apostle John does not exclude the free choice of man with respect to conversion (John 1:12), nor does he deny the need for human cooperation with divine agencies. He simply confirms that God gives the initiative and the strength.
Further, the apostle John says in Revelation, “And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:17). Here, John confirms that the offer of salvation is universal. Thus, Christ is the propitiation for the sins of the entire world (1 John 2:2).
Again, John emphasizes that whosoever wishes to inherit immortality is invited to take of it. For the living water is offered to all: “And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts” (Revelation 21:6).
The apostle John doesn’t teach predestination. We can see that any person can purchase the gift of immortality “without money and without price” (Isaiah 55:1). But, people have to make the choice to respond to God’s invitation. God will save people as individuals, not as churches or congregations. Certainly, salvation is strictly personal. And, only those who hear and accept the message are qualified to repeat the call. Thus, the false doctrine of predestination that certain ones are chosen to be lost is denied by John’s statement (Romans 8:29).
In His service,