Q. I believe that have found several references in the new testament that indicate we as Christians are chosen by God to be born again Christians-not the other way around. Do you agree with this or am I way off base? Also, if I am correct I have read nothing in articles about this subject matter. Care to speculate why?
A. The belief you refer to is called pre-destination, and is held by a significant number of Christians. The definitive passage in this matter is Romans 8:29-30 “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.”
In this passage Paul explained that pre-destination is the second step in God’s process of bringing believers into His presence. He called the first step foreknowing. Obviously it means to know something before it happens. So God who knows the end from the beginning knew that you were going to ask him to save you long before you were even born. Predestined means to appoint something to happen. Knowing that you would ask Him, He made sure it would happen sometime during your lifetime. Called means to announce or call forth. At the appointed time He prompted you to do what He always knew you would do, and that is to ask Him. Justified means to consider us as innocent, and Glorified means to render glorious. When you asked Him to save you He agreed and since that time He looks at you as if you had never sinned, but are perfect.
As you can see, those who teach predestination are leaving out the first step. That’s because until this century humans didn’t understand that time is a physical property and spiritual beings are not affected. That means we’ve just recently learned that God is not just someone with a lot of time, He’s outside of time altogether and could see every event of your life before you took your first breath. Once we learned about the nature of time, the argument over whether you chose to be saved or whether God chose you should have ended. Sadly, it hasn’t.
The simple truth is that verses like John 3:16, John 6:40, Romans 10:9, Romans 10:13, 1 Tim 2:3-4, and 2 Peter 3:9 make it clear that you chose to be saved. But God already knew you would, He foreknew, and had made plans for it to happen. It’s a lot like a dinner reservation in a fancy restaurant. You want to have dinner on a certain night so you call ahead for a reservation. You’re now predestined to have dinner at that restaurant on that day even though that day hasn’t come yet. When you show up you find that they knew you were coming, but it was your choice to go there. Knowing that you’d ask to be saved, God made a reservation for you in His kingdom. When you show up you’ll find that God knew you were coming even though it was your choice to go.