Summary: God’s foreknowledge is the foundation upon which He established His eternal purpose of grace.
CHOSEN FROM THE BEGINNING
“But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.” II Thessalonians 2:13 (NASB)
God, knowing the end from the beginning, knew what response man would give to the call of salvation. His foreknowledge is the foundation upon which He established His eternal purpose of grace declared in Romans 8:29-30. ”For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.”
Paul adds: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, have predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.” Ephesians 1:3-6.
Peter confirmed this when he wrote: “To the…elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.” I Peter 1:2
Now some very important truths to keep in mind.
GOD DESIRES THAT ALL SHOULD BE SAVED
“The Lord is…not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” II Peter 2:9
“…God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” I Timothy 2:3b-4
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:16-18.
These passages of Scripture make it absolutely clear that God does not predestine men to eternal damnation. It would be disingenuous to say “whoever believes” if believing was not possible. God cannot lie! This is not to discount the fact that the believer is “elect of God” and “chosen from the beginning.” What it does say is that our election and predestination follows His fore-knowing.
JESUS DIED THAT ALL MEN MIGHT BE SAVED
“…Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29.
"And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:14-15
“And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” I John 2:2.
EVERYONE HAS BEEN GIVEN SUFFICIENT LIGHT TO BE SAVED
“That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.” John 1:9.
1.) Light from the Word of God:
“In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation…” Ephesians 1:13
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” Romans 1:16
2.) Light from His creation:
“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun.” Psalms 19:1-4
The light sufficient to lead a man to salvation may come in a short moment as the Holy Spirit “quickens” that man’s spirit to consider the mercy of God. If accepted, grace enters the picture and faith unto salvation is given by God the Father…”for by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is gift of God…” Ephesians 2:8. If ignored or rejected, that man resumes his status as “dead in trespasses and sins” and he may never experience such a quickening experience again in his life.
THE “GENERAL CALL” LEAVES MAN WITHOUT EXCUSE!
“And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Revelation 22:17.