Related: Election, Foreknowledge, Corporate Election
Predestination. Predestination is the truth that believers in Christ were predetermined to a future position; to be in Christ’s place before God, and ultimately to be conformed to His image. Often people speak of begin predestinated to heaven, but in scripture predestination is always “to be conformed to the image of his Son” (Rom. 8:29; Eph. 1:5). Predestination has to do with God’s eternal purpose; “being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will” (Eph. 1:11). Scripture never speaks of unbelievers as being predestinated to judgment, a doctrine called double-predestination. Instead, the scripture says that those who ultimately refuse the gospel are “vessels of wrath fitted for destruction” (Rom. 9:22). It never says God fitted the vessels for destruction. On the contrary, when men chose to reject God and harden their hearts against His word, they fit themselves for destruction.
Election, Predestination, and Foreknowledge. Election, predestination, and foreknowledge are not the same. Election has to do with the person, predestination has to do with the place, and foreknowledge has to do with the relationship intended. A jeweler chooses a rough diamond (election), before all the cutting and polishing has occurred, but all the while he has the final product in mind (predestination). God has a purpose in election. Therefore, election is not arbitrary. God is not capricious. We were chosen purposefully, not as a replacement for something that did not work out. His purpose, from a past eternity, was to conform us to the image of His Son! Foreknowledge is the advanced knowledge of those whom God has specially chosen for blessing, and it implies a unique relationship intended. Peter could say, "elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father" (1 Pet. 1:2). God chose us according to the Divine foreknowledge by which He anticipated a relationship with us.