Question: What is your explanation of Ephesians 1:11,12 concerning the word “predestinated?”
Answer: Let us quote the text in its entirety.
"In whom we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: (11) That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ." (Ephesians 1:11,12)
Notice the use, in Verse 11, of the word "we," a plural pronoun. Paul is including himself with all Christians. They all have obtained an inheritance. This identifies those who are predestinated for a certain result, as being already saved. We can see in Verse 12 what the Christian is predestinated to receive.
Verse 11 also tells us that what is predestinated is according to the Lord’s purpose. He will also bring it to pass "...after the counsel of his own will:" "His own will" lets us know that God does not leave what He has predestinated to be brought to pass by the volition, or faithfulness, of man. Therefore, we can rest assured; what God predestinated will come to pass!
In summary: The saved are the recipients of what is being predestinated. It was God's purpose to do so, and He will bring it to pass Himself. We are told in verse 12 what is predestinated:
"That we (Christians) should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
At first glance one may think this means it is God's will that every Christian should lead a separated life, which would be “to the praise of his glory.” This is certainly God's will for every believer. (Romans 12:1,2). However, this cannot be the meaning of this verse, if taken in context, as the fulfillment of what was predestinated. If this were true, then it has not come to pass in every Christian's life. Remember, what God predestinates will, without exception, come to pass. The reason being, every Christian is the recipient of what is predestinated; but, not every Christian leads a separated life. In fact, some Christians never lead a separated life from the time they are saved until they leave this earth!
To what is this referring? It has reference to the event of the Rapture when, without exception, every Christian will be "to the praise of his glory." Here are two results of the Rapture:
"Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself." (Philippians 3:21)
"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." (1 John 3:2)
The Bridegroom (Christ) is looking in expectation for His Bride (the Church). The Church (every believer) is looking for the Bridegroom to return; and so shall we ever be with the Lord. This meeting is the fulfillment of what Christ predestinated for every believer; that, we will be "to the praise of his glory." Remember—what is predestinated must come to pass.
If "to the praise of his glory" meant leading a separated life, it may not come to pass; for all Christians are not yielding their lives to God's will. Christ never leaves what He predestinates to be fulfilled by the volition of man. By the determined will and power of God, the Rapture will fulfill every qualifying aspect of His predestination, "that we should be to the praise of His glory."