“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 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. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.“ – Romans 8:28-30
There is a group of people ‘foreknown’ by God the Father, chosen before the foundation of the world (Eph 2), who will be brought by God’s grace and power justification (salvation) and on to glorification. Jesus, God the Son knows these as the ones ‘given’ by the Father to the Son who will come to the Son whom will never be lost.
“All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.” – John 6:37
Jesus also knows them as His sheep, those ones who know His voice, will follow Him and are given eternal life, never to perish.
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.” – John 10:27-28
There is also a group of people who appear at the judgment claiming to have done much in Jesus’ name to whom He says:
“On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” – Matt 7:22-23
The debate concerning predestination and election many times comes down to the ‘foreknowledge’ of God. Election and predestination cannot intelligently be denied. Some say that it means that God knew the decisions men would make concerning Christ and those whom He ‘foreknew’ would choose Christ became the elect remnant. I believed that for years. Is it true? Let’s take a look at the ‘foreknowledge’ or God.
The word ‘know’ in the Greek is:
1) to learn to know, come to know, get a knowledge of perceive, feel
1a) to become known
2) to know, understand, perceive, have knowledge of
2a) to understand
2b) to know
3) Jewish idiom for sexual intercourse between a man and a woman
4) to become acquainted with, to know
Note the strength and intimate nature of the ‘knowing’. Also note that it concerns knowing to the extent of having an intimate relationship with the one ‘known’. To ‘foreknow’ is the same sort of ‘knowing’, only beforehand.
1) to have knowledge before hand
2) to foreknow
2a) of those whom God elected to salvation
3) to predestinate
This foreknowledge of people whom God will bring to salvation, justification, sanctification and glorification is the same foreknowledge we find pertaining to Christ and the crucifixion.
“Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know–this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.” – Acts 2:22-23
Although men crucified Christ, it was an event in history predetermined (predestined) by to occur. Why? the entire human race had been plunged into sin by the Sin of the first Adam and someone had to die; blood had to be shed to redeem those whom God ‘foreknew, called, predestined, justified and glorified’ (Rom 8:28-30).
Certainly God, in His omniscience, knows the future decisions of men; however His predetermination to have a remnant people, before the foundation of the world, was based solely on His choosing, ‘according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace’. – (Eph 1:5-6)
Food for thought. . .