To have foreknowledge or prior knowledge of something is crucial when one is designing and planning. If you are designing a building, you must know ahead of time how to finance, where to place it, basic layout, structure, materials, workers, etc. God, the Great Creator of all, plans as well. Abraham knew God had a plan, because he was looking for a “city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” Hebrews 11:10. God knew when He designed the earth that man would sin and He had already planned to help mankind “…redeemed with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless…foreknown before the foundation of the world…” I Peter 1:18-20.
Foreknowledge does not indicate manipulation of free will, which all men have, from Adam down to our day. It implies an intelligence so great that God can plan without violating any of His four attributes: Justice, Wisdom, Love, and Power, and without violating man’s freedom to choose. God’s foreknowledge knows that once mankind reflects on choices which led to sin and destruction, and once they see God’s new Law Covenant which will bring joy and happiness, they will choose righteousness, become perfect, and live forever. (Psalm 76:10)
The scriptures demonstrate that there have been, are, and will be “elected” groups, such as the nation of Israel (Amos 3:2; Isaiah 45:4); the Church, God’s elect (Romans 8:33; Mark 13:27, etc.); God’s elect in the future (Isaiah 65:22). These are ones who have been chosen at different times for different purposes, and not chosen or called to the isolation or elimination of others, as one day “all the families of the earth” will be blessed, and will eventually be of God’s elect, God’s “ransomed” people. Isaiah 35:10
Predestination, as referred to in Romans 8:29, shows that God foreknew that he would call out a Bride, the Lamb’s Wife, for His Son, as in Ephesians 1:4, 5 – chosen “before the foundation of the world.” This predestination is of a class, not individuals. In Romans 8:29, the Apostle Paul coined a brand new Greek word, proorizo, which was translated into English as “predestined”. However, the word actually means “to set a boundary ahead of time.” This “boundary” was that the church would be composed of 144,000 (Revelation 7:1-4) who would develop a Christlike character.
In the end, because of God’s grand foreknowledge, there will be Christ and His Church, who as part of Abraham’s seed (the stars), will bless all the families of the earth (sand of seashore). Genesis 22:17, 18; Galatians 3:16, 17, 27, 29. What grand plans God laid out before the foundations of the world!