Your Bible question (regarding free-will or predestination) was:
> which is it do you have verses to back up eithier one? please help me!!!!<
The Bible teaches both the free will of man and God’s election or predestination. The creeds and doctrines of men have misdefined these Biblical concepts, leaving an impression there is a conflict between the two. The “whole counsel of God” reveals the harmony of truth between God’s election and man’s free will (Acts 20:27; Gal. 1:6-10).
Many teach people either have no free will (fatalism) or limited amounts of it. The Bible teaches every person with moral capacity has the freedom of will to choose whether or not to obey God (Rom. 7:7-12).
God has elected (predestined or set in place) to save “whoever fears Him and works righteousness” (Acts 10:34-35). Before the world was created, God predestined that sinners would be saved “in Christ” (Eph. 1:3-4, 7-12). God set in place the plan of human redemption (Eph. 3:10-11).
God also determined human beings would have freewill; the ability to choose whether or not to obey God (Gen. 3:1-6; Josh. 24:15; Matt. 11:28). With free will comes responsibility for our choices (2 Cor. 5:10).
God did not predestine the man (which individual will be saved and which individual will be lost). God predestined the plan (how men would be saved). “Whoever” fears God and works righteousness will be accepted by God (Acts 10:34-35; see also, Eph. 1:3-12; Rom. 8:28-30; 10:9-17).
Still, some refuse to accept the truth about predestination and free will. They believe if a person has not been personally selected for eternal life (by God’s election), then he is eternally damned. They tell us there is nothing he can do about it. That is not what the Scriptures teach. God has chosen to save a particular group or class of people: those who are “in Christ’. It is now up to each person to choose to be a part of God’s elect by believing and obeying Christ (Acts 10:35; 13:48; Gal. 3:26-27; Titus 1:1).
We may illustrate it this way: On the first day of school a teacher tells his students that some will pass and some will fail his class. He then describes the things necessary in order to be among those who pass. At the end of the school year, just as the teacher said, some pass and some fail. The teacher predetermined the outcome before the class began by giving the criteria for success. But, that did not mean the teacher selected which individual students would pass or fail (independent of anything they did in the class). It was up to each student to decide whether or not to be in the passing group or the failing group. If a student fulfilled his responsibility, he passed the class. Similarly, God elected (chose) before He created the world to save all who are “in Christ”. Now, it is up to each person to choose to be in Christ. A sinner chooses to be “in Christ” by exercising free will (believing and confessing faith, repenting and being baptized, Mk. 16:16; Acts 2:37-41; Gal. 3:26-27). He is then numbered among the elect (the saved, Acts 2:47; 1 Pet. 1:1-2).
So, God’s part in our salvation is His gracious plan of redemption that is accomplished in the death of Christ (Eph. 1:4-6). Man’s part is faith in Christ (Jas. 2:14-26; Matt. 7:21-23). These two combine to complete the equation of human salvation: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God…” (Eph. 2:8)
Joe R Price
Mt. Baker church of Christ