Jack Hibbs tackles predestination, free will: 'Those in Hell are responsible for being there'

Jack Hibbs
Jack Hibbs | YouTube/Screengrab

Pastor Jack Hibbs weighed in on some of history’s most controversial theological topics — God’s sovereignty, predestination and whether or not an individual can choose their salvation — in a recent sermon. 

In a March sermon, Hibbs, pastor of Calvary Chapel Chino Hills in Chino, California, delved into themes presented in Romans 9-11 and drew from various theological viewpoints, including Arminianism, Calvinism and Augustinian thought, to emphasize the undeniable human capacity for choice, a gift he ascribed to God. 

“These chapters challenge our human capabilities to understand or to fathom the very nature of who God is and what God thinks and what God does,” he said. “God doesn't answer to us, church. God is sovereign. … God is not wringing His hands right now to figure out what the United Nations is going to do next.”

Get Our Latest News for FREE

Subscribe to get daily/weekly email with the top stories (plus special offers!) from The Christian Post. Be the first to know.

Hibbs cautioned against following human committees or doctrines instead of the Scriptures themselves. "You want to follow the teachings of the Scripture," he stressed, pointing out the Bible's directive against private interpretation of its message.

Central to Hibbs' sermon was the concept of God's sovereignty and foreknowledge, particularly in the context of salvation and human choice. He highlighted God's omniscience and the predestined path set for believers, all underscored by the necessity of faith in Jesus Christ.

“Does man have a choice? Is God involved? Is God sovereign? Is there some sort of sovereignty-given demand? Is there really the ability to choose, or did God make a bunch of robots? Did God make predetermined, pre-loaded in advance … teleonomic beings?” he asked.

Hibbs also touched on controversial topics like the eternal fate of non-believers, emphasizing individual responsibility in choosing or rejecting God. He referred to biblical examples, such as Jeremiah, to illustrate the absolute nature of God’s power and knowledge, likening God to a potter and humanity to clay. 

“People who slide into Hell wake up to the burning sensation of flames,” he said. “And they have nobody to condemn but themselves for having rejected the opportunity that God had given them. In other words, those who are in Hell are responsible themselves for being there. God's not to blame. He didn't want them to go there. You're going to learn this a lot. But those who are in Heaven cannot take any credit for being there because God provided the way.”

The pastor also touched on the significance of Israel in God's plan, affirming its ongoing role as God’s chosen nation. He reiterated biblical promises made to Abraham and their fulfillment through faith in Christ, extending beyond ethnic boundaries.

Despite this truth, Hibbs reflected on Paul's sorrow for those who are lost, particularly his Jewish brethren who did not recognize Jesus as the Messiah. This grief, Hibbs noted, is shared by many believers who long for their loved ones to find salvation. 

“The scope of God's sovereignty includes sorrow and grief for the lost,” he said. “That's kind of sobering.”

He also preached against the notion of a capricious God, underscoring God's unchanging nature and fairness.

“The Bible says that He's the same yesterday, today and forever. He's not whimsical. He never changes His mind. He's not like a reed blowing in the wind. No, He's steadfast, the Bible tells us. And we need to remember this very thing that Paul's announcing to us that there is no injustice with God. That God is fair, that He's holy, that He's pure, that He's love, that He's good.”

An important aspect of the sermon was the discussion of choice and responsibility; Hibbs emphasized that while God is sovereign, individuals are still responsible for their choices. He challenged interpretations of predestination that remove human responsibility, arguing that such views misrepresent the nature of God.

Hibbs brought attention to the role of faith in salvation, referencing the biblical story of the thief on the cross as an example of salvation through faith alone. He underscored that good works, while important, are not the basis of salvation.

The pastor reiterated the importance of individual faith in God's plan, stressing that salvation is a personal decision and cannot be inherited or assumed.

Hibbs concluded his sermon by urging believers to recognize their role in God's plan while acknowledging His ultimate control over all things.

"We are all one in Christ Jesus," he declared.

Following his sermon, Hibbs made an announcement on X encouraging people to participate in an event he called the "John 3:16 March.”  This initiative, he said, is focused on spreading the message of John 3:16 across social media and other platforms. 

Hibbs emphasized the importance of the verse: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believe in him will not perish but have everlasting life."

 He urged his audience to actively share this message on social media, emphasizing the collective effort in evangelism. "Tell someone, post it on your social media, get it out there and announce to everybody it's coming,” he said. “Together, we'll do it and we'll be evangelists all around the world at the exact same time.”

Was this article helpful?

Help keep The Christian Post free for everyone.

By making a recurring donation or a one-time donation of any amount, you're helping to keep CP's articles free and accessible for everyone.

We’re sorry to hear that.

Hope you’ll give us another try and check out some other articles. Return to homepage.

Most Popular

More Articles