In Romans 8:29-30, we read

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

We need to be careful to distinguish between God knowing something beforehand and predetermining that it will occur, overwhelming the attitude and behavior of the person. Jesus knew beforehand that Judas would betray him (John 6:64), but the bad choice of deciding to betray Jesus was made by Judas and he is to be blamed for it. It is true that God has planned for a future time of glory in the earth, but that does not mean that he has determined every decision that you will make yourself.

A useful analogy is when we watch a movie for the second time. We know what is going to take place because we have seen it before. But we are not causing it to happen. It is like that with God: he knows what is going to happen because he can foresee the future, but that doesn’t mean he is causing it to happen.

The word “predestine” here means that God knows in advance what we will be like, and so is able to know who will be part of his kingdom and “conformed to the image of his Son”. But it does not mean that he will force that outcome.

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