What exactly is “predestination?” Only two passages in all the Bible—Romans 8 and Ephesians 1—mention the word “predestinate.” The root word comes from the Greek proorizo, translated “ordain” or “predetermine.” Each time, it denotes a unique group of people—called ahead of the rest of humanity—for a royal purpose!
Predestination plays a vital role in God’s majestic plan for mankind. Romans 11 shows that only a few are called now to repentance, faith in Christ, and spiritual salvation with eternal life. Those who are predestined are pre-called—not prejudged or pre-condemned. Some erroneously assume God has decided our fate already. They do not understand that man is created with free will—not simply to be a string puppet in the theater of life.
So who are the predestined? The answer is revealed in the book of Ephesians. “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 1:1). Notice to whom the Apostle Paul is speaking. Here, he is addressing the truly converted saints who are faithful in Jesus Christ. He is not speaking of the general population. More on this later.
Who, then, are these chosen saints? Essentially, they are the spiritually begotten, Spirit-led sons of Almighty God (Romans 8:14). They are the specially chosen firstfruits who will soon reign with Jesus Christ on His throne during the Millennium (Revelation 3:21; 2:26-27). They are the affianced Bride of Christ—preparing to marry into the God Family. What an honorable assembly! It is no wonder why Satan, for thousands of years, has so diligently striven to mask the truth concerning this issue!
Now when were these saints chosen? Paul explains: “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world …” (Ephesians 1:4). Here is the key. Even before the foundation of this world, God had prearranged to call a select group of people and open their minds to spiritual truth. That such a group would exist was decided before the world was founded—before anyone in that group was born! So in that sense, God “foreknew” those whom He would call, though it is not indicated that specific knowledge of specific persons was involved.
Why were these saints chosen? Here is the primary reason: “That we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption [sonship] of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will” (verses 4-5). Clearly, the “saints” were selected to become actual sons of the Most High!
Let’s continue reading verses 11 through 12: “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.”
It was predestined that those who “first trusted in Christ” would receive an inheritance. The “firstfruits,” as Herbert Armstrong often reminded us, are now only heirs—not yet inheritors (Romans 8:17). Although God’s overall plan is fixed, the position of each person has not yet been determined. They still are required to do something.
Mr. Armstrong wrote, “Those called now are called for the purpose of getting a job done. They are given the Holy Spirit for that purpose” (Plain Truth, November 1976). He went on to mention that the job of every one of us is to help support God’s work!
So, is predestination unfair? Is it unfair that only a handful of people are called out of spiritual darkness now—ahead of the rest of humanity? No. God will eventually offer the opportunity for salvation to every human being, as He brings to fruition His 7,000-year master plan. Until then, those who are called now must finish the work—for the whole universe longingly awaits the revealing of the sons of God! (See Romans 8:19.) That is the meaning of predestination.
By Eric Anderson
As, therefore, that one man was predestinated to be our Head, so we being many are predestinated to be His members. Here let human merits which have perished through Adam keep silence, and let that grace of God reign which reigns through Jesus Christ our Lord, the only Son of God, the one Lord. Let whoever can find in our Head the merits which preceded that peculiar generation, seek in us His members for those merits which preceded our manifold regeneration. For that generation was not recompensed to Christ, but given; that He should be born, namely, of the Spirit and the Virgin, separate from all entanglement of sin. Thus also our being born again of water and the Spirit is not recompensed to us for any merit, but freely given; and if faith has brought us to the laver of regeneration, we ought not therefore to suppose that we have first given anything, so that the regeneration of salvation should be recompensed to us again; because He made us to believe in Christ, who made for us a Christ on whom we believe. He makes in men the beginning and the completion of the faith in Jesus who made the man Jesus the beginner and finisher of faith; for thus, as you know, He is called in the epistle which is addressed to the Hebrews. (The Predestination of the Saints 31)
2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;
5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;
6 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;
7 And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:
8 (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)
9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:
10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.
11 Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.
12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;
13 And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;
14 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:
15 Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;
16 But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet.
17 These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.
18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.
19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.
20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
3 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:
2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:
3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.
18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
predestined are the ones who hold truth till the end and hold up against anti-christ and son of perdition
and are slain from The foundations of the world. We all can choose a path that's the part we play!