Another aspect of God’s character: He knows everything that has happened and will happen.
There has been a long debate about the “elect” with some saying that God determines who these are without them having any part in this. However, since we know that God wants all to be saved and that Jesus has died for all and that God works in the life of each person to draw them to Himself, why would he choose to save just a few and send the others to hell without a chance? That does not fit the character of God.
Others say it is entirely man’s doing and choice full independent of God.
But there is a third, biblical view, that God and people are both involved in the process. Here is the biblical evidence.
This revolves around two Greek words
prog’-no-sis forethought: – foreknowledge. To know ahead of time
prog-in-oce’-ko; to know beforehand, that is, foresee: – foreknow (ordain), know (before).
Some say that this word means to ordain, to decree that something will happen. However, the Greek simply means to know ahead of time. For instance, if I serve my son a plate of cooked egg plant, I know for sure he will reject it. And I know that if I offer him ice cream, he will eat it with relish. I do not determine his actions, I simply know what choice he’s going to make because I know him well.
So God knows ahead of time who will choose to accept His offer of salvation and who will reject it. God loves partnership and wants us to join Him in what He is doing, beginning with salvation and then on into every area of life.
Here are some verses that emphasize God’s use of foreknowledge in His work.
2Pe 3:17 You therefore, beloved, KNOWING THIS BEFORE HAND, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability.
1Pe 1:20 “Jesus…was FOREKNOWN before the foundation of the world but R23 was made manifest R24 in the last times for the sake of you
1Pe 1:2 “saints…who have been chosen according to the FOREKNOWLEDGE of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood….”
Rom 8:29 For those God FOREKNEW he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.
So the elect are those whom God knows are going to choose Him as their Savior and Lord. Simple, biblical, balanced. Always good to draw theology from Scripture rather than bringing someone’s idea to Scripture and look for support.
Whom He foreknew…