We can create a theological quagmire trying to understand what man means by predestination.
If we look at predestination in God’s word, God makes it real simple. Remember those games at recess when you chose up teams to play some sport? The captains chose the best players first and progressed down to the nerdy ones.
Before any of us were, God, in His grace and love, said, “Steve, I choose you.” Or “_________ (insert your name), I choose you.” Then He went about creating the world and everything in it. Then we came along to live and glorify God with the gifts and talents and free will He gave us.
Did He plan out our lives and orchestrate every move we’d make, like some cosmic puppets? Absolutely not, otherwise our free will would be wasted. Did He know what choices we’d make? Did He know what we would do and where we would go? Absolutely. He’s God. He’s omniscient.
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. Ephesians 1:4-6
Debating what man means by predestination is a futile exercise in my book. I’m grateful that God said He chose me before the creation of the world for sonship and be adopted into His family for eternity. That’s good enough for me.