. . . In love  he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, (ESV)
As a pastor, I have had many conversations with people. What people say helps me to understand just how deeply they understand the truths of Scripture. At times people have made this statement to me: "I don't believe in predestination." I kind of smile and reply, "Oh, then you're a heretic." Of course, that is an invitation to a deeper discussion.
One of the things we need to understand is that all of Scripture is true, even the parts we do not understand or even parts we do not like. In this wonderful passage in Ephesians 1, Paul let's us know that "in love, God predestined us for adoption." To say that we do not believe in predestination is to say that we do not believe in the Word of God. If you belong to God, you have been predestined. The great late theologian R. C. Sproul defined predestination this way:
"What predestination means, in its most elementary form, is that our final destination, heaven or hell, is decided by God not only before we get there, but before we are even born. It teaches that our ultimate destiny is in the hands of God."
- R. C. Sproul, ligonier.org
I have heard people complain that predestination is unloving on God's part. The fact is, that God is not obligated to love or redeem any of fallen humanity. He is completely just to save none of us! As Paul says at the end of verse 4, "IN LOVE. . ." Predestination is God's most loving act of bringing us unworthy, ungrateful sinners to himself.
Predestination is a tough concept for our finite minds to grasp. Take a moment and thank God that he predestined you for eternity with him. This wonderful doctrine should create a profound sense of gratitude in you that helps you get through the most difficult days. Are you having a difficult time in your life right now? If you belong to God, through Jesus Christ, thank him that you are predestined!