In these passages Paul speaks to the church in Ephesus, which is in current day Turkey. Paul said that God had pre-destined true believers to believe in Jesus. They were chosen before the foundation of the world to become God’s adopted children through Jesus Christ.
This is a difficult truth to understand with our human brains. All humans have free will to choose between good and bad, and right and wrong. So, it is difficult to reconcile free will and predestination. The real question is this: Can we know if we have been pre-destined and elected by God to be one of His adopted children?
Many Churches teach that we can know that we have been pre-destined. They teach that we can be assured entry into heaven after we die. There are several Bible passages that would lead one to believe this. However, there are many other Bible passages that contradict this ‘assurance of salvation’ doctrine.
The Apostle Paul believed that he was one of God’s elect, but even Paul didn’t think it was a ‘done deal.’ He indicated that he must persevere in walking rightly before God, even though he had led many to believe in Jesus. Paul’s message was one of hope and perseverance rather than assurance.
King David said in Psalm 119, “The sum of Thy Word is Truth, O Lord,” indicating that we must consider the entire Bible before we can have a correct interpretation of any scripture passage. The Bible also says that we ‘must endure to the end to be saved.’