Rather than predetermining a person’s FATE, predestination predetermines a believer’s FOCUS—that is, God’s eternal purposes, goals and privileges for him. Every instance of the word “predestinate” in the New Testament refers to some purpose, goal or privilege that God has predetermined for BELIEVERS.
Let me see if I can illustrate this for you:
Suppose your parents owned a family business, and their goal was for you to join the business and own it when they retired or passed away. You, of course, have the choice to opt in or out. But if you decide to take over the family business, your parents wisely planned out how you would get to that point. They determined when you would be ready to start working in the family business, what on-the-job training you should have, what outside education you should receive, and when the business should be fully placed in your care and management. Years later, because of their wise preparation, you take each of the steps they had laid out for you to be prepared to be the full owner and manager.
That’s what predestination is! Before the foundation of the earth, God pre-planned that all who opt in by believing in Christ and thus being joined to Him would have certain goals, purposes and privileges to accomplish God’s predetermined plans. Then in His infinite wisdom and love, He prepared believers so that they could fulfill God’s calling and purposes in their lives.