There’s much confusion about “predestination” – the biblical term meaning “to determine before, to foreknow, to elect.” Let me try and explain this very difficult concept.
From time to time, we all get calls from people trying to sell us something over the phone. The telemarketing companies decide beforehand what numbers to call. Those who are called can either hang up or listen. What the telemarketing companies don’t foreknow is who will listen. God, who knows all our numbers, has predetermined before the foundation of the world, not only who to call, but He foreknows who will listen. Here’s what the Bible says about what He has determined beforehand:
1. God determined beforehand to offer us His Son. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
2. God determined beforehand how we would be adopted. “He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will” (Ephesians 1:5).
3. God determined beforehand who would be called to receive salvation. “And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified” (Romans 8:30).
The proper balance in understanding predestination is this: while it involves God’s divine choice, predestination never eliminates human will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.” John 1:12 says, “… As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even those who believe in His name.”