[Word Count: 597]
I do not believe that it is appropriate at this time to engage in a time-consuming theological exposition on the concept of Eternity; so, i will make a statement (or two) and crack on.
Eternity, like Omnipotence and Omnipresence, is an attribute of the Divine and refers to Their Position as The First to exist and the Last to exist. By "Last to exist" i'm not saying that the GODHEAD will withdraw Eternal Life from Their angelic and human children and be left to Themselves as they were in the beginning. The emphasis, rather, is on the truth that Deity has always been and WILL ALWAYS BE.
At the start of this series, we'll focus on those decisions They made in Eternity in regard to our Redemption from Wrath which, according to the Bible, are the following:
We were Foreknown.
We were Chosen.
We were Predestined.
We were Sanctified.
We were Elected.
While it would be tempting to group these terms together as synonymous, subtle yet critical differences between them are worth the trouble to identify.
To be saved from the coming Wrath GOD must KNOW you.
In this context "known" means a great deal more than intellectual memorization (i.e., the number of fingers i have or the names of all the state capitals).
To be KNOWN by GOD implies an unusual level of attention and intimacy that renders you useless to the Devil, the world and even yourself yet makes you of immense value to GOD and His Eternal Purpose.
“And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.” -- Genesis 4:1 KJV
“You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.” -- Amos 3:2 KJV
“And then will I profess unto them, 'I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.'" -- Matthew 7:23 KJV
“And this is Life Eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, Whom Thou hast sent.” -- John 17:3 KJV
I'm sorry: i know this is astonishing and quite mind-blowing if you're hearing it for the first time; unfortunately the truth of Divine Sovereignty is not going to get any easier on your ego or your pride...neither of which will serve you at all in the Presence of Beings Who measure the starry heavens with Their Fingers and to Whom the difference between a thousand years and a single day is meaningless.
If you do belong to Jesus Christ, you may not be at that level of intimacy now, yet it is as inevitable as the Last Day.
"Foreknowledge" communicates to us that a Saving Knowledge of GOD does not come by studying the Bible and praying the "Sinner's Prayer," but by THE GODHEAD DECIDING TO KNOW YOU BEFORE YOU EXISTED...which opened the opportunity for you to come to a real and intimate knowledge of Them.
“No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him: and I will raise him up at the Last Day. "And He said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto Me, except it were given unto him of My Father.” -- John 6:44,65 KJV
The word "draw" in verse Forty-Four does not mean "persuade"...rather it means "summon" or "subpoena."
If true (which, according to the Holy Scriptures, it most certainly is), does the doctrine of Foreknowledge appear irrelevant to the Gospel in your eyes???