Time And Chance

Monday, September 21, 2020

           In Solomon’s writing, we read, “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 favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all” (Ecc. 9:11). In a world where many believe in “fate,” astrology, and predestination, we must remember that there are some things that are completely random and out of our control.  “Time and chance” happens to people on this earth. Your decisions are not “written in the stars.” Your future is not fixed. You have choices to make and will suffer the consequences of your and others’ choices in this life.

            On this earth, we see that there is such a thing as being at the “right place at the right time.” Folks are fortunate at times, having access to something or someone that others do not. “Timing” is essential in this life. Being one second early or one second late can make all the difference, sometimes! This is what Solomon was saying in that passage.

            This is why in addition to being at the “right place at the right time,” one could also be at the “wrong place at the wrong time”! Someone may be at a place they ought not be or associated with people they ought not be (Ps. 1:1-3), and the results can be disastrous. Still, others can be at the “right place at the wrong time.”

Or they can be at the “wrong place at the right time”! Oh, the irony of life on earth! Yes, “time and chance” happens to all of us.

            You can’t control your DNA, who your parents are, where you were born, or the circumstances of your childhood. Why were you born in this country, in this state, in this county, in this town, etc.? “Time and chance happeneth” to all of us!

We can look at circumstances and complain about what is fair and not fair, or we can get the proper perspective that Solomon has given us. “Time and chance” happens to us, but there are still some things we control. There are still some decisions we make that are truly ours.

            What kind of decisions can we make that are not dependant upon “time and chance”? We can decide for ourselves whether or not we will be saved (Mk. 16:16; Acts 2:38-41; etc.). We can decide if we will resist or yield to temptation (Jas, 1:14-15, 4:7). We can control our attitude toward self and others. These are things we can control in a world filled with things that are unknown.

We make decisions daily in the hope that we will make the best decisions based upon our wisdom and experience. Yet, we can never account for the unknown. “Time and chance” continues to loom large in our lives. This is why we say, “if the Lord will, we shall live and do this or that” (Jas. 4:15).

- Jarrod M. Jacobs


Thursday, December 01, 2016


Jarrod Jacobs

                   Predestination is a popular doctrine. This doctrine basically states that God has predetermined who will be saved or lost eternally before the world was created. Therefore, one has no control or choice in his eternal destiny. “What saith the Scripture?” Yes, the Bible teaches predestination (Eph. 1:3-10), but it is not what men are teaching today. God has not predetermined those who will be saved or lost eternally without their knowledge or choice (Matt. 11:28-30; Rev. 22:17). Man is a free moral agent. Rather, God predestined the way by which man can be saved.

                   The word “predestinate” means to set boundaries or limits beforehand. God’s predestination is seen in that He had already established the way by which people can be saved from eternity (Eph. 3:11). Paul said the predestinated people are the called people (Rom. 8:30). How are men called? They are called through the gospel (II Thess. 2:14)! Hearing the gospel produces faith (Rom. 10:17). Faith leads to repentance and then baptism for the remission of sins (Acts 2:36-38).

                   The Bible teaches that Christ died for all people, not a select, predestined few. Jesus came, “to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28). In Hebrews, we read that Christ would, “taste death for everyone” (Heb. 2:9). Peter told Cornelius, “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him, and does what is right is acceptable to him” (Acts 10:34-35). God predestinated the plan by which man can be saved. Salvation is not forced upon anyone without their knowledge or consent!