There is no question that there is predestination. The term is much-maligned, and unjustly so. If the Bible says it, it’s true.
Even Arminius, after all, believed in predestination, and it is no faithfulness to Scripture that decides to downplay the word and stress “foreknowledge” as if Paul of Tarsus himself always referred to foreknowledge and never to predestination. Whatever theological position you take, Ephesians says this:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him; who in love predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. (Eph. 1.3–6)
There is no way to get around the fact that Scripture declares the Father’s choosing and predestining us for adoption before the foundation of the world and according to the purpose of His will. By this token, to mock predestination in ignorance or in oversimplified knowledge by saying sarcastically that something was “predestined” is distinctly unhelpful and contributes only to disunity, not to truth – and we know, of course, that alienation has no place in the body of Christ (Eph. 2–4).
We need to recognize that the distinction in meaning, if not in action, between foreknowledge and predestination is precisely why the word predestination, so used in Scripture, must not be neglected. We need to challenge ourselves with difficult and unfamiliar interpretations of Scripture and be truly open to Scripture itself rather than our own theological experience. We need to reject the flippant tone of ridicule that different “camps” in God’s house – should such things exist if there is no heresy? – take toward each other’s positions.
In sum, we must be honest with ourselves. If you believe the Bible is absolutely true, you must believe in predestination: the question between Arminianism and the Calvinistic Canons of Dort is whether that predestination is unconditional or conditional, after the gift of prevenient grace, on the sinner’s completion of the faith needed for salvation. Mockery has no place among the saints.