Predestination: "the doctrine that God in consequence of his foreknowledge of all events infallibly guides those who are destined for salvation."
Fate: "an inevitable and often adverse outcome, condition."
The Bible says:
Deuteronomy 30:19 ,"I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before thee life and death, the blessing and the curse: therefore choose life, that thou mayest live, thou and thy seed" (ASV)
Ecclesiastes 9:11, "I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all. " (ASV)
From the scriptures, we see that fate or predestination doesn't govern man. The inspired word is that random chance and personal decisions affect our lives.
Predestination and the World:
The Bible shows that there is a march of world empires, that our present history is tightly controlled by God. This will all culminate in Armageddon which will be followed by an earth ruled by God's Heavenly Kingdom bringing Paradisaical conditions to earth. So, yes, our history is predestined. If you read the How Prophecies Work page it is apparent how God makes things happen. For this reason, though there are historical focal points that must occur as prophesied, one wonders if what happens in e.g. Solomon Islands, Peru, or other places not related to prophecy, is also controlled tightly or is permitted causality and random occurrence?
We should realize that there is strong reason scripturally to believe that the historical events that must happen usually are not dependent upon any particular individual -- that is, except where their name is fixed by scripture. Thus the people who cause it to happen are not fated to do so as individuals as the discussion below will attempt to show.
What about Jesus Christ and Judas Iscariot, were they not fated to do what they did?
Well, Jesus was clearly fated to descend from heaven and be born a human. Though this subject is very interesting and could be greatly expanded, let the scriptures briefly shed light on it: Though born again as God's son by Holy Spirit, Jesus as a perfect man wasn't an automaton without choice
in what was to happen. There were tens of prophecies that he needed to fulfill so as to make sure that not even one word went unfulfilled.
Luke assures us, (Luke 16:17) "Indeed, it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one particle of a letter of the Law to go unfulfilled."
How did Jesus accomplish that?
The two following scriptures demonstrate that.
John 18:8-9, "If, therefore, it is I YOU are looking for, let these go"; 9 in order that the word might be fulfilled which he said: "Of those whom you have given me I have not lost a single one."
The conclusion must be that Jesus was consciously aware of what needed to be done, and he exerted himself to the utmost so as to do that.
John 19:30, "When, now, he had received the sour wine, Jesus said: "It has been accomplished!" and, bowing his head, he delivered up [his] spirit."
This together with Jehovah's backing permitted him do what he should. The fact that God knew his son intimately permitted God to predict exactly how Jesus would react to all challenges.
Less is said in the Bible; so, scriptural proof will be lacking. Remember, it was prophesied that someone would do what Judas did, not who would do it! Since Jesus received the Holy Spirit from heaven he had special powers. He could have turned stones into bread though it would have been a sin at that time. He knew where and what and whom Nathanael was without seeing him. (John 1:43-51)
This shows us that he knew each apostle's heart and attitude. Since the previous discussion showed how minutely Jesus labored to fulfill every letter of every prophecy regarding his life, we must conclude that he knew Judas' attitudes, tendencies, and personality when selecting the apostles. God and Christ then without having to force anyone to do wrong could know that Judas' thieving hearth' would make him betray Jesus.
Is this possible? Isn't this why we have prisons ! We know that with a habitual thief, it is not a question of probability but of rather of certainty that he will steal again; thus to protect society, he is incarcerated.
Any thoughts and questions, any insights on this will be appreciated. If any criticism of this is offered, please give sound reasons and if possible quote scriptural references to back it up.