Question: Does Romans 8:30 mean that Christ predestinated some to salvation, and not others? This would contradict John 3:16 that says; “God so loved the WORLD.” Please explain.
Answer: We shall begin by quoting the verse in question:
“Moreover whom He (Christ) did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” (Romans 8:30.)
Let us briefly examine each aspect of this verse as we observe the simplicity of God's Word.
”Moreover whom He did predestinate.”
As we have found, those who are predestinated are only the Christians, never the lost to be saved.
”…them he called…”
How are Christians called? In Romans 10:17 we are told that:
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
And we are told in John 6:44:
"No man can come to me, except the father which hath sent me draw him:...”
This verse is comparable to that of Romans 8:30. The phrases "them he also called" and "draw him" lead us to ask, "How, then, does God draw or call the lost?" In John 12:32 we have the Answer:
”And I, if I (Christ) be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.”
"All men" here does not mean "all men without exception"; but, "all men without distinction of race, creed, social standing, etc."
We are called, or "drawn," by the Word of God which testifies of the Resurrection and Ascension of our Lord. So then, if "faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Romans 10:17), Christ will draw men by the hearing of the Word. This is the preaching of the gospel:
"Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you,…how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he arose again the third day according the scriptures." (1 Corinthians 15:1,3b,4).
Christ never calls us outside of His Word. (Romans 10:17.) The called are those who have believed His Word, by accepting Christ as their personal Savior.
"… them he also justified..."(8:30b)
All are declared righteous upon receiving Christ by faith. As it says in Romans 5:1,
"Therefore being justified (declared righteous) by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:"
"...them he also glorified." (8:30c)
Notice the use of past tense here. This is a positional truth. God looks upon Christians as though they were already in Heaven. (Notice the past tense of Ephesians 2:6.)
In summary: Romans 8:30 simply teaches that the ones who were the object of God's predestination were already saved; for "whom he did predestinate," these are the "called, justified, and glorified."
No one is ever predestinated to be saved. You must, personally, realize you have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). God sent Christ to pay for our sin (2 Corinthians 5:21); so we do not have to pay that debt ourselves in Hell. If one will only believe in (trust) Jesus Christ as his Savior, God will give him eternal life.
”These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” (1 John 5:13).
It should be recognized that all of the Old Testament prophecies could be stated as being predestinated. Other words synonymous with "predestinate" would be "foretelling, prophesy, predicting and etc." For God to predict the future of people, places and nations, he would have to foreknow the future.
We are grateful to God for His precious Word. There are thousands of prophecies where synonymous words are used instead of "predestinate." I have limited our study only to the four places where the actual word appears in the Bible—due to its misuse! Expanding any further into prophecy would constitute a book, or books, on that great subject!