GOD KNOWS WHAT WILL BE BECAUSE HE HAS ORDAINED WHAT WILL BE
First the decree then the execution!
Foreordination first and THEN foreknowledge!
“Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world.” [Acts 15:18]
God knows a thing because HE has FOREORDAINED or DECREED it!
Let us consider two scriptures which teach this –
“Him (Christ), being delivered by the DETERMINATE COUNSEL AND FOREKNOWLEDGE OF GOD, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain”. [Acts 2:23]
Notice FIRST the decree – DETERMINATE COUNSEL, and then (second) FOREKNOWLEDGE OF GOD!
“When he MADE A DECREE for the rain, and A WAY for the lightning of the thunder: THEN did He see it, and declare it; he prepared it, yea, and searched it out”. [Job 28:26,27]
Though all these things happen simultaneously in the mind of God, yet if we should speak of an ‘order’ then the DECREE is always first! He first decrees the way for the lightning and only THEN SEES it and declares it!
And incidentally no lightning strikes at random but follows the decreed path! “He covereth His hands with the lightning, and giveth it a CHARGE that it STRIKE THE MARK”! [Job 36:32] (NASB)
God foreknows what will be because He has decreed what shall be. It is therefore a reversing of the order of Scripture, a putting of the cart before the horse, to affirm that God elects because He foreknows people will ‘choose’ Him. The truth is, He “foreknows” because He has elected. This removes the ground or cause of election from outside the creature, and places it in God’s own sovereign will.
God purposed in Himself to elect a certain people, not because of anything good in them or from them, either actual or foreseen, but solely out of His own mere pleasure. As to WHY He chose the ones He did, we do not know, and can only say, “Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Thy sight.” [Matt 11:26]
The plain truth of Romans 8:29 is that God, before the foundation of the world, singled out certain sinners and appointed them unto salvation (2 Thess. 2:13). This is clear from the concluding words of the verse: “Predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son,” etc. God did not predestinate those whom He foreknew were “conformed,” but, on the contrary, those whom He “foreknew” (i.e., loved and elected) He predestinated TO BE conformed. Their conformity to Christ is NOT THE CAUSE, but the EFFECT of God’s foreknowledge and predestination”! [A.W. Pink]