The Greek word for predestinate is “proorizo”. “Pro” means before and “orizo” means to mark or to design. Combined these words mean “to determine or to design beforehand.” As with the doctrine of election, the question we must ask is, “What is it that is predetermined or predesigned by God?” We know from many scriptures that God does not decide ahead of time who will believe in Christ and who will reject Him. This decision is always left to the free will of the individual. So what is predetermined?
God predesigned a perfect plan for every believer in eternity past. God decided that anyone who believed in Christ would receive certain blessings on earth and even greater blessings in eternity. This plan was predetermined or predesigned by God for the believer’s maximum happiness. The spiritual assets that we have been studying are a part of these blessings, but there is much more awaiting the believer who executes the Christian Way of Life. (Romans 8:29; Ephesians 1:3-12)
A person enters the plan of God at salvation by freely choosing to believe in Christ. After salvation, the believer may or may not continue in God’s plan. In either case, God does not predetermine who will or will not believe, or who will or will not execute His plan. That decision is always left up to the individual’s volition. (John 3:16-18)
Since God knows ahead of time exactly what you will or will not choose to do, He is able ahead of time to design a perfect plan for your life. Within the framework of God’s plan for the believer is His directive will, His permissive will and His overruling will. All three impact the life of the believer at different times and in different ways. In all cases, however, God is working all things together for good for those who are advancing in the Christian Way of Life. (Romans 8:28)
Discovering the will of God for your life should be a matter of highest priority. There are those who believe that God’s will is discovered accidentally as they stumble through life. However, God has revealed His plan, purpose and will in His Word. The Bible is God’s blueprint for living the Christian Way of Life. ONLY by studying and understanding the doctrines of the Bible accurately can a believer truly know and understand the will of God. (Romans 12:1-2; II Timothy 2:15, 3:16-17; II Peter 3:10-18)
God’s directive will is outlined in detail throughout His Word. Our responsibility as believers is to discover that will. There are certain things in the Bible that God directs for all believers. The filling (control) of the Holy Spirit is His operational will for all believers. Thinking divine viewpoint is His viewpoint will for all believers. Being in a certain place at a certain time is His geographic will for all believers. The old saying is true, “Where God guides, God provides.”
God also has a permissive will, which permits believers to operate under the control of the sin nature, to think human viewpoint and to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
God has an overruling will, as well, which is used to keep Satan and his demons from destroying the believer. It is also used at times to override demon influence in the believer’s life.
God’s plan for the believer comes in three stages. Stage one is faith in Christ at salvation. Stage two is the execution of the Christian Way of Life. Stage three is eternity. All three stages are possible only through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Stage one is clearly stated over 150 times in the New Testament alone. It is the moment when an unbeliever believes in Christ for salvation. Salvation is the term used to explain what occurs when a person believes in Christ as Savior. Words such as saved, redeemed, regenerated, justified, accepting Christ as Savior, going to heaven and having eternal life are often used as synonyms to describe what takes place when a person believes in Christ. Believing in Christ means that a person has reached God-consciousness, has heard the Gospel and has made a mental decision to believe the truth of the Gospel. Belief is tantamount to trust, faith or acceptance of the truth. Stage one is when the eternal relationship between God and man begins.
Stage two is also clearly stated in the Bible. It is that period of time in which a believer lives on earth. It is this stage that must be executed by the utilization of the power of the Holy Spirit. All believers will go to heaven, but not all believers will successfully complete stage two. Stage two calls for the believer to be faithful in learning and executing God’s will. Failure to learn and apply these doctrinal truths will result in a life of reversionism, which leads to misery and shame. God’s plan in stage two was designed in eternity past specifically for you. It is a perfect plan designed by perfect God. By fulfilling God’s plan, the believer brings honor and glory to God.
However, you cannot execute what you don’t know. This is the reason we are told time and time again throughout the Scriptures to learn and apply.
Stage three of God’s plan for the believer is eternity. Every believer receives eternal life at salvation. All believers will be eternally happy regardless of spiritual advance. However, greater blessings and rewards await those who faithfully execute this plan. The believer will also be given a glorified body that is going to be like the resurrection body of Christ. We will recognize one another and have the ability to move through time and space in a similar manner as Christ. This all occurs for the Church Age believer at the Rapture of the Church (the time in which all believers of this age meet Jesus Christ in the air).
Mankind was created to resolve a spiritual warfare that we call “The Angelic Conflict.” It began in eternity past with a rebellion against God by Lucifer (now called Satan and the Devil) and one-third of the angels (now called demons and fallen angels). The result was that Satan and his followers were sentenced to the Lake of Fire (commonly called Hell) at a trial held in Heaven. Satan apparently appealed his sentence, since it was delayed until a time in the future. In the interim, mankind was created as a witness for the prosecution (God) to prove to Satan and the fallen angels that God was fair and just in His sentence. It is this conflict that sets the stage for all of human history, from Creation to the end of the Millennium.
God’s purpose for the believer is consistent with the three stages of His plan. Within each stage, God is demonstrating His justice to the angelic host (both fallen and elect angels). We are told in Scripture that angels are observing mankind. There obviously must be a reason and we are given a brief glimpse of this reason in the Word of God. (Hebrews 2:1-7, 12:1-2; I Peter 1:10-12).
Apparently Satan and the fallen angels were given the opportunity to believe in Christ as Savior, but chose rebellion instead, which resulted in the sentence from God. By first believing in Christ and executing God’s plan the believer becomes “the proof” that given free will and the opportunity he would choose God’s salvation solution (faith in Christ). It is therefore important to understand, that as a believer in Christ, God’s purpose for our lives has eternal impact, not only for us, but for angels as well. (Ephesians 3:10)