"4-Just as He [God] chose us in Him [Christ Jesus] before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless Him. 5-In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the ind intention of His will, 6-to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved."
This passage of Scripture seems to answer this question with a solid 'God choose certain people to be saved before the foundation of the world'.
The following are some more passages that confirm this:
John 6.44 tells us:
"No one can come to Me [Christ Jesus] unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day."
Romans 3.10-12 tells us:
"10-There is none righteous, not even one; 11-there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; 12-all have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who do good, there is not even one."
Romans 8.29-30 tells us:
"29-For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30-and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified."
1 Peter 1.1-2 tells us:
"1-Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen 2-according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure."
Revelation 13.7-8 tells us:
"7-It was also given to him [the evil one] to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him. 8-All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain."
Jesus tells us in the passage from John that no one can come to Him unless the Father draws said person. The two passages from Romans denote that not a single solitary individual is good in the least. The entirety of mankind is absolutely corrupt. It is solely God who foreknew His elect...His elect who are predestined to conform to the image of Christ Jesus. It is God who predestined those who would seek after Christ Jesus, who calls/draws said persons to Christ Jesus, and who justifies and glorifies said people whom He and He alone knew before the foundation of the world. The passage from 1 Peter tells us that God choose certain people according to His foreknowledge and that the Holy Spirit sanctifies said people in order that the foreknown obey Christ Jesus and be sprinkled with His blood.
The passage from Revelation shows us another aspect of Gods predestination. God has predestined others to be condemned for all eternity. Those individuals who are not found in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain, those individuals are also predestined...not for honorable use...but for the use of God's perfect and just wrath.
Romans 9.18-22 tells us:
"18-So then He [God] has mercy on whom He desires, and hardens whom He desires. 19-You will say to me then, 'Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?' 20-On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, 'Why did you make me like this,' will it? 21-Or does not the otter have a right over the clay, to make the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? 22-What is God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?'
We could spend a very long time in that brief passage from Romans. Basically, though, God does as He pleases and mankind, who is created, has absolutely no right whatsoever to refute or question God's purposes or authority. God is the potter and mankind is but fallen an corrupt earthenware.
Mankind is fallen. Due to the events in Genesis 3, every single human is conceived in corruption and born spiritually dead. There are no two ways about this. We are born dead. Here is how God sees man: "Then the Lord saw that the wickedness o man was great on earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually" [Genesis 6.5]. Yes this passage was pre-flood...but it does not change the fact that this is the way that God sees the entirety of mankind.
Mankind likes to think that we have a choice in the matter concerning if we are saved or not. The truth is that mankind has no choice in the matter whatsoever. Just as you and I had no choice in being conceived in our mother's womb, we have no choice whatsoever in spiritual birth either.
John 3.6-8 tells us:
"6-That which is born of flesh is flesh, and that which is born of Spirit is spirit. 7-Do not be amazed that I said to you, 'you must be born again.' 8-The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit."
The issue here is not the "free-will" of man...which is an utter joke...the issue here is: 'What is man's response to Christ Jesus?'
There are two responses...only two responses...no more and no less. What do we do with Christ Jesus [which is our next question]?
If we are drawn by the Father, we will respond to Him by repenting and believing [Matthew 3.1-2; Matthew4.17; Mark 1.14-15]. We will want to obey Christ Jesus and be conformed to His image. We will want to share His gospel with other people, urging them to repent and believe. We will want to seek Him and Him alone solely through the confines of what the Bible tells us concerning Christ Jesus. We will not want to sin and grieve the Holy Spirit. Our '"will" will be captive to Godly things through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. [There in an order of regeneration which is another question we will look at later in this series...the Lord willing].
The second response is one of indifference...and indifference turns into open hostility towards Christ Jesus. If God does not draw us to Him...then we will not be drawn to Him. End of story. One can feign "spirituality". The Pharisees, Sadducees and Herodians did just that and Jesus warned about these types of religious practices. Jesus warns in Mark 8.15: "And He [Jesus] was giving orders to them [the disciples], saying, 'Watch out! Beware of the leaven of the pharisees and the leaven of Herod'." And also in Matthew 16.6: "And Jesus said to them, 'Watch out and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees'." Legalism [Pharisees], liberalism [Sadducees] and secularism [Herodians] are false versions of true faith/belief in God through Christ Jesus. Fallen and corrupt man thinks that we have authority over God and that we can invoke Him to do our bidding by telling Him what to do...hence "free-will" being an utter joke. If God does not draw man...man cannot truly repent and believe.
If we are being drawn by the Father...we will want to repent and believe and be reconciled to God through Christ Jesus. If we are not being drawn by the Father...this message will mean nothing to us.
A good passage to end on here is Jonah 3.7-9:
"7-He [the king of Nineveh] issued a proclamation and it said, 'In Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let man, beast, herd, or flock taste a thing. Do not let them eat or drink water. 8-But both man and beast must be covered with sackcloth; and let men call on God earnestly that each may turn from his wicked way and from the violence which is in his hands. 9-Who knows, God may turn and relent and withdraw His burning anger so that we may not perish'."