Paul serves up a big plate of predestination in Ephesians 1, or so it seems to many Christians. Paul says “God
chose us. Even before he created the world, he decided that we should be his children” (1:4). Who do you think
Paul was talking about? People destined by God to become Christians? Or all people everywhere, whom God invited
into his family?
There’s a debate regarding how much free will human beings actually have when it’s compared to God’s
sovereign power over people. Many Christians follow in the theological tradition of Anglican preacher John
Wesley (1703-1791, United Kingdom), insisting that God chooses everyone for salvation but that not everyone
accepts the invitation. Churches that emphasize this kind of free will include the United Methodist Church,
Salvation Army, Church of the Nazarene, and the Wesleyan Church. Other Christians follow in the theological
tradition of French theologian and pastor John Calvin (1509-1564). He argued that God himself decides who
will be saved and who will not be saved. Churches that teach this understanding include many Baptists, Presbyterians,
and many nondenominational congregations.