The key to predestination is “love for God” (Ro.8: 26-39). All the words regarding predestination are in this text. Why were these Christians told that if they kept on loving God, they were secure in Christ and nothing could go wrong? What were these Christians facing?
The text hints at a horrible persecution. It was about the time when Nero demanded that Christians denounce Jesus and swear allegiance to him. Those that remained faithful to Christ paid with their lives. It was under such conditions that the Apostle, who would face a similar fate (II Tim.4: 6), assured these believers that nothing in this physical world could separate them from Christ. God guaranteed their safety. He knew them, had chosen them, justified them, predestined them and would glorify or reward them for their loyalty to His Son. There was no power in the universe that could remove a believer that loved God from His hand (Jn.10: 28-29).
What then is this love that God had obligated Himself to protect? In Jesus terms, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends,”(Jn.15: 13). It is similar to Abraham who was willing to give up his son (Gen.22: 1-2). It is only in this life that man can praise God and do what is right (Ps.115: 17). These Christians then and today that were and still are deprived of that privilege are special to God. This is not a simple confession or taking a verbal stand for the Christian faith. Neither is it coercion by God to die for Him. Rather it is the willingness of the followers of Jesus rather to die than deny Him. Should we face such a situation and master the courage to die for our Lord then we too are predestined or protected by God Himself. At least that is how I understand the context and meaning of predestination.