How are predestination and election connected with foreknowledge?


Clarify Share Report Asked July 01 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.

Closeup Jennifer Rothnie Supporter Housewife, Artist, Perpetually Curious
Foreknowledge is one of God’s traits, namely that God’s plans are irrespective of the time-continuum. God knows the end from the beginning (Is 46:9-11). While from man’s perspective time may seem to move in progression, God is not bound by time at all. This is why to man Jesus appeared in the fullness of time (Gal 4:3-5), but to God Jesus was slain from the foundation of the world (Rev 13:8, Acts 2:23). 

“For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you” I Peter 1:20

Foreknowledge shows God’s omniscience even over the dimension of time. He knows all before it occurs to man - because to God He sees all of time at the same time. God does not base His actions on what He sees ‘in the future’, for to Him He is not bound to travel through time. For Him, there is no mystery or surprise. While to us there is linear progression (we hear, we believe, we abide in Christ to the end, we receive eternal life) - to God there is no such progression. As we humans from our perspective 'move through' time, God works to His purpose in calling us, sanctifying us, etc (Rom 8:28-30).

Predestination deals with God’s omnipotence. The word itself means to “to mark out beforehand’; to pre-establish limits and boundaries. Specifically, this word references how God set limits/boundaries/laws upon everything before creation. He set the laws of physics, placed the boundaries of the sea, determined the eternal plan by which mankind would be saved, etc (Prov 8:22-31, Eph 1:3-10, Eph 3:10-11, Job 38:33, Rom 8:29, etc).

In the plan of salvation, God also predestined it to include the gentiles, not just the Jews (Eph 3:2-6, Rom 3:21-31, Rom 9:1-26, Rom 15:5-13, John 1:11-13, Isa 45:9-10, Rom 9:11-16, etc). 

Predestination does not mean God decided the specific movement of every person and molecule, but rather that He in His power and wisdom set the rules and limits by which space, time, and people are bound. In regards to man, God set laws regarding sin and righteousness, and the consequence of death for sin. In regards to salvation, God predestined that only Christ was the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He predestined that Christ would need to die to cover man’s sin. He predestined that all in Christ, those who believe, would be adopted as sons and made holy (Eph 1,) etc.

Further details and scriptures regarding predestination and God’s sovereign rule can be found here:

Elect means chosen/select, such as how God chose Israel among all the nations of the world to be His people. In like manner, God also chose all who believed in the promise of the savior; both Jew and Gentile; to be His daughters and sons. Predestination is a related concept, as God predestined the way of salvation by which we become His chosen children.

Fundamental to the concept of election is that it is by God’s good pleasure that a people is chosen, not by works or the wisdom of man. Israel had nothing to recommend her, nor was Israel even a nation, when God chose her (Ezek 16:1-14, Deut 7:6) to be His treasured possession. God not only favored Israel as His people, but predestined the savior to come through Israel (Is 9:6-7, Jer 33:20-21). He chose Israel to redeem a people for Himself and to magnify His name (II Sam 7:23).

Likewise, it pleased God to choose/elect His people not by anything works we have done or any favor with men, but rather to redeem us as a people through the blood of Christ alone (Eph 1:3-14). This way, it is by God’s mercy and not by man’s might or wisdom (I Cor 1:20-21, I Cor 2:5, Titus 3:4-6). By coming to God by the way He predestined for us - faith in Christ alone, we are redeemed by God as His people for the praise of His name (I Pet 1:1-10, Eph 1:3-14, Luke 12:27-33).

October 24 2014 18 responses Vote Up Share Report

Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
Certainly, since God knows everything, it would have been possible for God to base His predestination and election of individuals upon His foreknowledge of the future. In fact, that is the exact po...

July 01 2013 5 responses Vote Up Share Report

Scan14 Michael Tinsley Retired Army veteran. Love my Bible (Jesus) and fishing.
'How are predestination and election connected with foreknowledge?'

The answer is very simple. All three are connected because they are all of God and from God.

God predestined and elected because He chose to with foreknowledge of who we were in Him before the Creation. While we did not physically exist, God knew us from eternity.

Was the question asked from the standpoint of someone thinking they had foreknowledge? That is impossible because only God has foreknowledge and that should be plain to everyone who acknowledges Him. We only know part of the future because Jesus told us through Revelation about the end times. Daniel chapter 7 speaks of the end times also so, John's writing and Jesus' statements in Revelation confirm Daniel's vision over 500 years earlier.

Humans don't know the next millisecond since God could snap His fingers and Creation would disappear. We can plan for future things but we have no assurance what we plan will actually happen.

We have no part in any of it. Ephesians 2:8-9 says we are saved by grace through faith and not by anything we do so that we can't boast. We are blessed by being predestined and elected in the foreknowledge of God and should give thanks daily (continuously) that we were chosen and saved. That is the answer to the question as I understand it.

If the question was asked from a philosophical viewpoint the answer is also in the Bible since it is the objective truth and Truth, given by God to humans to enable us to understand Him, and to understand why we need Jesus as Savior. From Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21 the Bible is the story of Jesus, how salvation by grace is from Him only, why we need Him in our lives daily and how to model ourselves after Him by asking Him to live His life through us, sharing His Gospel by example.

God's grace, mercy, and love are the most wonderful gifts humanity has ever received. It is only through those that we and blessed with eternal life with Him.

Praise Him always!

November 24 2015 3 responses Vote Up Share Report

Data Tom Huntford
Nobody knows this. Nobody. There is a passage in the Bible, at the end of a section of scripture where these things are told us by God, which shows us so clearly that these things are beyond the mind of mortal man:

"33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! 34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been his counsellor? 35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? 36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen." (Rom 11:33-36 KJV)

The GOOD NEWS is that we can believe what God has said about his election and foreknowledge, and believe what He has said about what we are supposed to do. And He has made it plain that we are not to expect to understand everything. 

I mean--He exists outside of time! He knows "the end from the beginning". His way are higher than our ways, His thoughts are higher than our thoughts--as the heavens are high above the earth! And in 2 Peter 3:16, the Holy Spirit informs us there are "things hard to be understood" in the Scriptures.

Unfortunately, there are brethren who just cannot leave well enough alone. Some of them can write big books and make long speeches. So they have split the church, by insisting on one explanation or other of how it all fits together.

When you--or anyone--can fully explain the mysteries of God--please--give me call! 2 AM in the morning, whatever! But I am sure that call will never come.

Rest content in what God has done in your life. Be confident in Him, in the blood of Christ, in the Holy Spirit God gave you when you believed. Questions like this--everybody has them, because God's ways are so vastly beyond our comprehension.

"Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost." (Rom 15:13 KJV)

PS Don't do this: "Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind," (Col 2:18 KJV) We have to discipline our minds to recognize where they just are not designed to go, and stop, before we "intrude into those things which we have not seen..."

January 13 2021 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Internet image Ben Jones Retired Professional Photographer
A definition of free will according to Wikipedia: “The biblical ground for free will lies in the fall into sin by Adam and Eve that occurred in their ‘willfully chosen’ disobedience to God.” So Adam and Eve’s free will has caused every person born since year 00001 to be a wretched sinner worthy of Hell and damnation, responsible for every sin ever committed by mankind. It took the crucifixion of God’s only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, on a cross at Calvary to rectify it. 

The next time we see free will rear its ugly head is in the book of Jonah. God commanded Jonah to go to Nineveh and preach that in 40 days, God would destroy that great city. So what did Jonah do? He exercised his free will and boarded a ship that was going the opposite direction! But God intervened and made sure that His perfect will would override Jonah’s free will. 

In the New Testament, we see a man named Saul who used his free will to persecute Christians, and was complicit in the death of Stephen and the imprisonment of a number of Christians. 

So where do we see this wonderful free will thing that we keep hearing about that is in the bible? We found i,t but it wasn’t wonderful, and we discovered that it is not our friend; it is actually our enemy. We are not free, we are evil (Mark 7:21-23), we love darkness (John 3:19), we are unable to understand spiritual things (1 Cor 2:14), we are a slave to sin (Rom 6:14-20), we have a heart that is desperately sick (Jer 17:9), and we are completely dead in trespasses and sins (Eph 2:1). So we cannot choose God. God, by His grace and mercy, chose us (John 15:16). 

“Free will carried many a soul to hell, but never a soul to heaven.” Spurgeon

“We believe, that the work of regeneration, conversion, sanctification and faith, is not an act of man’s free will and power, but of the mighty, efficacious and irresistible grace of God.” Charles Spurgeon

April 03 2022 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Img 20170331 221903493 Pam Wiebe
Election isn’t about God picking certain people to go to heaven and creating others to go to hell. It’s about our calling on earth. God chose the Israelites to show his power and presence to the rest of the world. Now he calls us all.

Acts 3:25-26 “Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, and in thy SEED shall ALL the kindreds of the earth be blessed.”

Israel was God’s elected bride and from her constant rejection of him, it was prophesied that he would choose (elect) a remnant to be the seed to start the New Covenant. Jesus did not come just to bring salvation, but to redeem a spotless bride. God chose certain Jews to be the seed of that bride (the church) and the rest would perish. He called those chosen Hebrews the “remnant”. 

Romans 9:27,29. Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a REMNANT shall be saved: And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a SEED, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha. 

Romans 11:1,5,7,15 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the SEED of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. Even so then at this present time also there is a REMNANT-according to the ELECTION of grace. What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the ELECTION hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded. For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? 

John 12:37-40 But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? And to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.

Matthew 13:10-17,36-38 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them (Pharisee) leaders) in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you (Apostles) to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them (Pharisee leaders) it is not given... And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Jesus came unto his own (the Jews) to call out the ones His Father had elected. (John 6:37) Malachi gives us a glimpse of the qualifications God used to determine his elect. The rest of the Jews would not be brought over into the New Covenant but be destroyed. Just like Jesus said, in that generation it happened. In 70AD Jerusalem was destroyed. Matt. 24:34

Matt 10:5-6These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: BUT GO RATHER TO THE LOST SHEEP OF THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL 
Matt 15:24 he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Malachi 3:16-17 Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.

Paul & Peter both understood that they were part of the elect remnant of Jews. Titus 1:1 2, 1 Peter 1:1-2, 2 Tim 2

August 07 2019 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Add your Answer

All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.

What makes a good answer? ▼

A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.

  1. Adhere to the eBible Statement of Faith.
  2. Your answer should be complete and stand-alone.
  3. Include supporting arguments, and scripture references if possible. Seek to answer the "why".
  4. Adhere to a proper tone and spirit of love and understanding.
  5. For more info see The Complete Guide to eBible
  1. 4000 characters remaining