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What is predestination?

            Predestination is commonly referred to as God’s divine choice of who will be Christians in a relationship with God for eternity and who will not. Many theologians believe predestination is like a heavenly version of choosing up sides on the playground.
            “God chooses you. . .you. . .not you. . .you. . .not you. . .not you.”
             So does God predestine some to be Christians and others not? In other words, does God pre-select those who are going to heaven and those that are going to hell for eternity?
            God’s omniscience (the state of being all powerful) complicates the question. If God knows the future, then he already knows the choices that we will make. He knows our destiny. But does God create a path for us that we absolutely have to follow and we have no choice in the matter?
            Again, our path is based on our freewill, according to what we have chosen because God gave us the ability to choose. So God knows our freewill path which is our destiny. That doesn’t mean He forces us down that path. He just pre-knows it.
            The other question then is, “Does God influence that path to help us to know?”  It would seem from the Bible that God does whatever he can so people can believe. 

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

            God desires for all His children to spend eternity with Him, so yes, it appears he does all he can but still knows who will believe and who won’t no matter what he does.
            The word "predestine" does appear in the Bible – in two passages:

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. Romans 8:28-30

            Some questions to ask about the use of the word “predestined” here:
             Who did God foreknow? All of us.
             What was His predestined plan for all of us? To conform to the likeness of Jesus. He calls us all to that plan.
             So God knew us all and predestined a plan for all to conform into the likeness of Jesus.  Does everyone want to do that?  No.  Does God know who isn’t going to do that?  Yes.

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. . .In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. Ephesians 1:4-6, 11-12

            What did God predestine? For us (apparently all of us) to be adopted as His sons.  Some may have been chosen specifically so they could influence a wider mass.
            So, according to these verses, God predestined a plan for us to be holy and blameless in His sight, according to the hope in Jesus Christ. Our freewill, our sin, causes us to rebel against that plan and choose our own plan.
            The only plan God predestined in the world was Jesus Christ so we could meet Him, love Him, follow Him and ultimately, hopefully, choose him.  God knew those who would choose his plan and worked them into his plan.
 God’s desire + people’s freewill = God’s plan.
             However, people still have the choice to follow Jesus or not.
             And God wishes they would…even though he knows they won’t.