Here's an article I wrote/Bible study I did on the topic of predestination in 2009...
What is predestination? According to Webster’s 1828 dictionary, PREDESTINATION, (is) the act of decreeing or foreordaining events; the decree of God by which he hath, from eternity, unchangeably appointed or determined whatever comes to pass. It is used particularly in theology to denote the preordination of man to everlasting happiness or misery. Predestination is a part of the unchangeable plan of the divine government; or in other words, the unchangeable purpose of an unchangeable God.
Romans 8:28-30 are the verses most used to support predestination, according to The World Book Encyclopedia (1964); PREDESTINATION, in Christian theology, is a doctrine which sets forth the belief that the eternal destiny of man is determined by God. The word comes from the Latin, and means determined beforehand. Belief in predestination is based on Paul’s words (Rom. 8:28-30). Saint Augustine (A.D. 354-430) and Saint Thomas Aquinas led in developing the doctrine. John Calvin later emphasized it.
John Calvin was one of the foremost leaders of the Protestant Reformation in Europe in the 1500’s. According to The World Book Encyclopedia, CALVANISM, the Christian creed developed from Calvin’s teaching is generally summarized as follows:
(1) God is absolute sovereign in His creation.
(2) God as sovereign both foreordains and foreknows all things, including man’s destiny.
(3) Originally man was pure and made in the image of God, but has fallen from this state through his own voluntary act.
(4) Man can be saved only through the unmerited grace of God, as mediated to him through Christ. Man can do nothing to promote his own salvation, and no amount of good works can further it.
(5) Those predestined to salvation will be saved.
Foreordination is a word that also pops up quite frequently. FOREORDINATION, is the belief that every event is foreordained, or decreed beforehand, by God. Supporters of this doctrine argue that if God does not ordain every event, He cannot be said to be all-powerful. Foreordination in its extreme form teaches that, by God’s mysterious choice, some people are destined for hell and others for heaven. (The World Book Encyclopedia)
So, now that we have a better understanding of what predestination is, let’s go to the Bible and look at Romans 8:28-30.
“28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” Romans 8:28-30
Verse 28 – And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
What is God’s purpose? “Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,” 2 Timothy 1:9
God’s purpose is Christ Jesus.
Verse 29 – For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Who did God foreknow?
Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Eph 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
God knew us before we were born, and he knew who would come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. He predestined those he foreknew, to be holy, or conformed to the image of Christ. In other words, every man, woman, and child who takes the step of faith and believes that Jesus died for our sins and was raised on the third day, is predestined to be conformed to His image.
John 10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
2Ti 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
Verse 30 - Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom
he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
Who did God call?
Heb 9:15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
God calls each of us, whether we accept or not is our choice. When we make the choice to believe, we respond to His call, and will then be conformed to the image of Christ, although we will certainly not be perfect until we reach heaven, and receive the promise of eternal life.
Act 16:30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
Act 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…
God knew before the world began who would put their faith in Christ and be saved. He foreordained those who would believe to eternal life and to be conformed to the image of His son, Jesus. If each of us was predestined to either eternity with God, or eternity in hell, then why did He send His son to die for us? He would have just sent us either to heaven or hell, and Jesus’ death wouldn’t have been necessary. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) God is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9) There would be no need to repent if our eternal destiny was already decided. He calls each one of us. It is up to us to answer him. He proves his great love for us by allowing us to make our own decision.
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9