It has been determined that God’s plan for His chosen was devised before the foundation of the world, or long before He breathed life into Adam. In fact those creation activities beginning with Genesis 1:2 were the beginning of the implementation of His eternal plan for man.
Many shun the concept of predestination. They feel that everyone has complete freedom to choose their future. Both positions are true, i.e. predestination and free choice are entirely compatible.
The Bible reveals that not only was God’s plan for man devised from the foundation of the world, so were the participants of His plan. Note the past tense of the verb, i.e. were.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who…chose us in Him before the foundation of the world…” Ephesians 1:3-4a
This verse introduces the participants in His plan. Following are more details about the plan itself.
“…that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will…” Ephesians 1:4b-5
God’s plan for His chosen was to adopt them as sons by the sacrifice of Christ, and the reason was solely because He desired to do so.
Paul goes on to confirm God’s purpose for His elect.
“In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who worked all things according to the counsel of His will.” Ephesians 1:11
The Greek base for ‘predestine’ is to determine or decree beforehand. Then when writing to the Christians in Rome Paul tells of both the eternal plan as well as the eternal participants.
“For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son…Moreover whom He predestined, these He also…justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.” Romans 8:29-30
Note again the past tense of the verbs foreknew, predestined, justified, and glorified. According to God’s master plan, we are between justified and glorified, and since ‘glorified’ is in the past tense; there is no way to prevent that event from becoming reality.
God’s overall purpose is for His chosen ones to be conformed to the image of His Son.
The term ‘foreknew’ in the above context means ‘foreordained’. In other words it defines those events that God deliberately ordained in eternity past for His purpose which will last through eternity future.
In eternity past prior to the creation activities beginning in Genesis 1:2 God recorded the names of His chosen in a registry.
The registry of God’s chosen participants is called the Book of Life.
The Bible states specifically that the Book of Life was prepared before time began.
When the anti-Christ makes his appearance during the tribulation period great power will be given to him to perform God’s will. All people from all nations whose names were not recorded in the Book of Life will bow down and worship him.
“All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Revelation 13:8
This powerful verse confirms that not only was the Book of Life filled at the foundation of the world, but the slaying of the Lamb of God was also foreordained from the foundation of the world.
The reality is, however, that not everyone is named in the Book of Life. Recall Jesus’ teaching relative to the saved.
“…wide is the gate…that leads to destruction…narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Matthew 7:13-14
Those whose names are not in the Book will stand before God at the great white throne.
“And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened…And the dead were judged according to their works…” Revelation 20:12
Those not recorded in the Book of Life had rejected God’s remedy for sin. That remedy was the vicarious death of Jesus.
“And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:15