The words translated “predestined” in the Scriptures referenced above are from the Greek word proorizo, which carries the meaning of “determine beforehand,” “ordain,” “to decide upon ahead of time.” So, predestination is God determining certain things to occur ahead of time. What did God determine ahead of time? According to Romans 8:29-30, God predetermined that certain individuals would be conformed to the likeness of His Son, be called, justified, and glorified. Essentially, God predetermines that certain individuals will be saved. Numerous scriptures refer to believers in Christ being chosen (Matthew 24:22, 31; Mark 13:20, 27; Romans 8:33, 9:11, 11:5-7, 28; Ephesians 1:11; Colossians 3:12; 1 Thessalonians 1:4; 1 Timothy 5:21; 2 Timothy 2:10; Titus 1:1; 1 Peter 1:1-2, 2:9; 2 Peter 1:10). Predestination is the biblical doctrine that God in His sovereignty chooses certain individuals to be saved.
This is from our friends over at gotQuestions?org.
Predestination is primarily referenced as a Calvinist concept where God has decided before creation that only a few people would be saved. I have a hard time with this concept, not because it is not fair, but there is no certainty in salvation. If I think I am saved, but I was not one of those predestined to be saved, then the life I lead is a lie. It seems pointless to me and in my mind is the Christian equivalent of being Muslim or atheist.
Predestination is mentioned in the Bible, so if I consider the Bible true, then it has to be true as well. I am not sure what it is though. Are people predestined to be saved? If that is true, why does the Bible also warn people to not fall away? The too don’t line up. So, what is predestination referring to?
Rom 8:29-30 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. (30) And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
Since Paul was writing this to the church at Rome, it is looked upon as the “those” being referenced are Christians. Actually they would be a mixture of Jews and Gentiles that believe Jesus is the Messiah. This is the problem I find with predestination. It focuses on the who instead of the what it is.
Going back to Adam, why was he created in three parts just to fall and have the spirit die. Did God create an Adam and he turned out to be imperfect or did he create an imperfect Adam who would be made perfect? Look at predestined along these lines.
If we all are born fallen and are missing our spiritual component, then the those would be mankind. We are supposed to have been knit together in our mother’s wombs by God, so there is knowledge by God for each and every one of us. Since we are all born fallen, we all have the ability to be conformed to the image of Jesus; flesh and the spirit of God combined.
So those conformed He called. Is salvation a gift for all or for a few? That is the question isn’t it. Do we limit who salvation is offered to because that is what God did or is it just a method to explain why people don’t accept it? Justification is being declared innocent. If Jesus died on the cross for all sin, then all have been justified. Justification isn’t salvation though, so I am not saying all have been saved.
Before the giving of the Law and before Abraham, God was there. He was known by both Cain and Able. Knowledge of God has always been in the world and He even says that nature glorifies Him. The knowledge of God is not limited to a few, but not all have chosen to follow Him though. Salvation would come to the world via Israel. Gentiles could have converted to Judaism before Jesus in order to follow the one true God, but God still showed compassion to the Gentiles. Jonah was supposed to tell Nineveh to repent or God would destroy them. That was a Gentile town who God was wanting to save. God wasn’t limiting who could heed Him then, so why would salvation now be any different?
If predestined is not about who is saved but rather about what God has done for people to be saved, then the concept is easier to understand and seems to align up more in scripture.