It is often thought by many, that God (who is all-knowing) looked forward from before creation, and because he foresaw that certain non-believers (in the future) would choose to turn away from sin and choose Christ and have faith in him, that God then (as a result) chose and "elected" (before all creation) those men --because of their future choice to belong to him and to become born again children of God (Christians).
However, this sort of viewpoint of God's "prescience" is very problematic, because of what Scripture tells us what God would actually foresee concerning non-believers, as God looked forward in time.
What God Would Have Foreseen In The Non-Believer
Basically, what would God have foreseen is the sin-condition of unsaved mankind? In looking forward in time, would God foresee that some non-believers will cooperate in God's work of regeneration and are able to choose Christ and respond in faith so that they are then born again as a result? --What does Scripture say?
1. Read Romans 3:9 - God would foresee that all mankind is "under sin," meaning man is captive and controlled by sin. In addition, Paul says in Eph. 2:3, that humans are "by nature" children of wrath, meaning that we even begin life with a nature that is fundamentally evil and deserving of wrath, which is why it is called the "sinful nature" in this verse. So, contrary to the popular view that man is basically good, the Bible teaches that man is basically sinful, and in no degree deserves salvation. -- God would foresee this.
2. God would foresee that humans may do relatively moral and good things, but compared to God's moral perfection, "all our righteous acts are like filthy rags" (Isa.64:6). ... so, "there is no one who does good, not even one" (Ro.3:12). To God, "No one is good --except God alone" (Lk.18:19).
3. God would foresee that it isn't that man merely does sinful deeds, but that human motives, heart and desires are evil before any deed is done. In Noah's day, God considered man, and he saw that "every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time" (Gen.6:5). So God would foresee that unsaved man's mind and will are fundamentally directed and controlled by sin. - [Though this doesn't mean humans are as evil as is possible.]
4. Read Romans 3:11,18 - God would foresee that the unsaved man never "seeks God." No unsaved person desires to know or respect God for who he really is. - God would foresee no unsaved person as seeking God.
5. Read John 8:43,47 - The unsaved man (unregenerate) is not able to hear or accept the spiritual truths Christ/God has revealed in the Bible. God would foresee this man as not able to hear the gospel.
6. Read 1Cor.2:14 - The unsaved man is not able to understand or grasp the truths and things of God --(no matter how much or clearly we explain it.) - God would foresee the only man who would be able to understand the gospel, as being only the man whom God is already regenerating.
7. Read 2Cor.4:4 - The unsaved man is not able to see the light of the gospel --(no matter how "brightly" we might proclaim it). - God would foresee the unsaved man as blind to gospel light and truth.
8. Read Rom. 8:7 - The unsaved man is a hostile enemy (Ro.5:10) to God. God would foresee that unsaved man is not able to submit to God ...and every non-believer wants it this way.
9. Read John 15:23 - The unsaved man hates (and rejects) the true God and Jesus the God-man (Jn.7:7) ...and freely chooses this condition, because he loves spiritual darkness (Jn. 3:19). - God would foresee that before a man is born again, he is only able to hate and reject God, and to love darkness.
10. Read Ephesians 2:1 - The non-believer is dead in sin, spiritually (toward God). -- So, can a truly dead man "cooperate" or respond favorably in any way to God in saving him? No. -- God would foresee that unregenerate man cannot choose God or respond favorably; God must first change his heart and regenerate him.
11. God would foresee that only when a person is regenerated (born again) by God, only then do they start responding with saving faith and are able to choose Christ and God. Jn.3:3; Jn.10:26
12. God would foresee that repentance and faith are gifts of God which he must first grant at the time a man is born again (regenerated) in order for salvation to occur. Ac.5:31; 11:18; Eph.2:8; 2Tim.2:25
13. God would foresee that no unsaved man is able to come to Christ unless God first enables, calls (inwardly) and draws (pulls) him to Christ. Jn.6:65, 44; 8:34, 44, 47; 12:39, 40; 2Cor.4:4; 1Cor. 2:4
14. God would foresee that only every person whom God calls inwardly, will be born again, have true faith and be justified, and end up eternally saved and glorified. Rom.8:29,30; Jn.6:37,40
15. God would foresee, that being born again (regenerated) does not come from any unsaved man's will or choice (Jn.1:13), but it is only God's action (1Pet.1:3), which God performs through his Word (James 1:18) before man is willing. No man can choose to be born again. --Only after regeneration does man then have saving faith and choose God.
So, if we fully grasp and accepts the above truths, how serious is man's condition? We must say that unregenerate man who is left unchanged in his sin-condition is not able to desire, hear, understand, seek, believe or respond positively to God or the gospel. ...So, when God changes the human heart and saves men out of their willingly sin-enslaved condition, how great is that salvation? Heb.2:3 says it's very "GREAT"! -- This is what God foresees.
Thus, by grasping the hopeless depth out of which Christ saves people, we most greatly magnify what are called the "Doctrines of Grace" as we deeply thank the Lord for our salvation. --We diminish the magnitude of God's grace if we don't grasp or admit all unsaved man's enmity and rebellion toward God, and let unsaved man take some credit for believing and responding at least - But no. Salvation is by grace alone: Read Eph. 2:8,9; Titus 3:5.
--And if you forget the main point of this page while proceeding to read other pages in this Sovereign Grace/Predestination site, you will not grasp them. -- Please make note of it. Thanks.
If God is working and moving your heart toward salvation, please read: How You Can Be Saved