Does the Bible say we are prejudged before we are born? Has God already decided if humans are guilty or innocent even before they act?
By Eric Anderson
What exactly is “predestination?” Only two passages in all the Bible—Romans 8 and Ephesians 1—mention the word predestinate. The root word comes from the Greek proorizo, translated “ordain” or “predetermine.” Each time, it denotes a unique group of people—called ahead of the rest of humanity—for a royal purpose!
Predestination plays a vital role in God’s majestic plan for mankind. Romans 11 shows that only a few are called now to repentance, faith in Christ, and spiritual salvation with eternal life. Those who are predestined are precalled—not prejudged or precondemned. Some erroneously assume God has decided our fate already. They do not understand that man is created with free will—not simply to be a string puppet in the theater of life!
So who are the predestined? The answer is revealed in the book of Ephesians. “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 1:1). Notice to whom the Apostle Paul is speaking. He is addressing the truly converted saints who are faithful in Jesus Christ. He is not speaking of the general population. More on this later.
Who, then, are these chosen saints? Essentially, they are the spiritually begotten, Spirit-led sons of Almighty God (Romans 8:14). They are the specially chosen firstfruits who will soon reign with Jesus Christ on His throne during the Millennium (Revelation 3:21; 2:26-27). They are the affianced Bride of Christ—preparing to marry into the God Family. What an honorable assembly! It is no wonder why Satan, for thousands of years, has so diligently striven to mask the truth concerning this issue!
Now when were these saints chosen? Paul explains: “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world …” (Ephesians 1:4). Here is the key. Even before the foundation of this world, God had prearranged to call a select group of people and open their minds to spiritual truth. That such a group would exist was decided before the world was founded—before anyone in that group was born! So in that sense, God “foreknew” those whom He would call, though it is not indicated that specific knowledge of specific persons was involved.