Q. I know this is not an easy concept to understand but I’m hoping very much you can shed some light on predestination. I read in the Word of God about the ‘called’ of God, example Romans 1:8. Does this mean that before the earth was created God decided who He wanted to save as this is the way it seems to read to me. Yet, I am to believe that all men are responsible for their own salvation. I have read God knew from before the earth was created who would accept His call. But still the way many Scriptures read it does seem to say God chose certain people to be His. What is it that you believe about this? Thanks again for your help.
A. The definitive passage on this issue is Romans 8:29-30. There we can see the five steps that God follows in dealing with man. Especially when reading Paul’s writings, whenever we see one of these steps mentioned we can assume that Paul is simply abbreviating the process to avoid obscuring his point. Otherwise he’d be contradicting himself over and over. The five steps in their correct sequence are these.
1) God foreknew. This means that He knew before the first man was created which ones would choose to accept His remedy for their sins. Because He knows the end from the beginning, He could see the entire life of each member of the human race before Adam took his first breath and witness our plea for His forgiveness.
2) God predestined. Having seen it happen, God appointed it to happen. This means that He agreed to forgive us and accept us as His own and made sure that our salvation event would take place just as He had seen it.
3) God called. At the time in our lives that God had foreseen, He intervened in our life to bring our salvation about.
4) God justified. As we asked for His forgiveness, He applied the blood of His Son to the list of sins against us, past, present and future, and declared us innocent of all charges.
5) God glorified. He determined to see us henceforth only as we will be on the day when we stand before Him in His Kingdom.
If you keep this list in mind, it’ll make reading the New Testament a lot less confusing because in various places different steps are mentioned as if they’re the only one, and that can’t be.