By Curtis Pugh
The Bible teaches that God knows everything. He always has known everything. Acts 15:18 says, “Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.” His knowledge includes all things down to the most minute detail. The Bible also speaks of God's foreknowledge. But God's foreknowledge is another thing entirely.
Foreknowledge is not God's knowing things ahead of time. Nor is it that He looks down through time and foresees what is going to happen. The verse above proves that it is not necessary for God to 'look ahead' and learn what is going to happen. God does not need to learn! For example, He does not need to look ahead to learn who will believe and who will not.
God's foreknowledge is always spoken of in the Bible as having to do with people. For example, Paul wrote that God had not cast away the people of Israel: his words are, “God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew,” (Romans 11:2). Immediately following a favorite Bible verses is one which is much misunderstood, much ignored and much hated by some. This verse proves that God foreknew certain individuals – the ones He loves. Here are those two verses: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren,” (Romans 8:28-29). Everyone loves the first verse because it gives them comfort when trouble and distress come. The question is, do we love the second also?
Notice that second verse says, “For whom he did foreknow...” The word “whom” requires us to believe that foreknowledge has to do with individuals because the context speaks of “them that love God,” also described as “them who are the called.” The Bible also teaches that there are individuals whom God has “called.” But that is another subject and space forbids going into that here.
So we understand from the Bible that while God knows everything He only “foreknew” certain individuals: those whom He “called” - called to salvation. These “he also did predestinate” to be like Jesus. These are great and humbling truths. That is one reason that sinners do not like them. They do not like being humbled. They do not like being forced to fall upon their faces before a God who not only knows all things, but who is also in control of all things including their everlasting destiny.
But those who have been regenerated - “born again” or as the King James margin says, “born from above” - Ah! They have a different view of God's foreknowledge. They, knowing their great sinfulness, are humbly thankful that God foreknew them and predestinated them to be like the Lord Jesus. Why? They have no hope in themselves. This, too, is a work of God in those whom He foreknew.
Grace Bible Baptist Church
26080 Wax Road
Denham Springs, LA 70726