“It might be a good idea to examine what the Bible actually says about this singular, eternal, sovereign, all-encompassing decree.
Certainly the Scripture has much to say about this decree of God? Think again. The term is used of men more than it is used of God.
In the Old Testament, Cyrus made a decree (Ezra 5:13), Darius made a decree (Ezra 6:1), Artaxerxes made a decree (Ezra 7:21), Nebuchadnezzar made a decree (Dan. 3:10), and Esther made a decree (Est. 9:32). In the New Testament we find that the Caesars (Luke 2:1; Acts 17:7) and the apostles (Acts 16:4) made decrees.
To ascertain the decrees of God involves a simple reading of the Bible, not a systematic theology by Berkhof, Dabney, or Hodge.
The word decree occurs forty-nine times in forty-eight verses, the word decreed occurs five times in five verses, while the plural decrees is used twice in as many verses.
Yet, out of the fifty-six occasions when a form of the word decree is used, only eight times is it connected with God.
The decrees of God are recorded in the Scripture as follows:
Concerning the rain (Job 28:26)
Concerning the sea (Job 38:10; Pro. 8:29)
Concerning Jesus Christ (Psa. 2:7)
Concerning the heavens (Psa. 148:6)
Concerning a consumption (Isa. 10:22)
Concerning the sand (Jer. 5:22)
Concerning Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. 4:24)
The first thing to be noticed about God’s decree is that it is not just one decree – there are seven of them.
Secondly, none of these decrees are said to be eternal.
And thirdly, none of these decrees involve election or predestination.
Yet Christopher Ness (1621-1705) proclaims: ‘Predestination is also called a Divine decree.’ Scripture? He couldn’t possibly give one.
There is no such thing as God’s eternal decree of predestination – except in the philosophical speculations and theological implications of Calvinism.”
Laurence M. Vance, The Other Side of Calvinism, p. 255-256