What do these scripture verses literally say? God foreknew us (his adopted children); he predistined us; he called us; he justified us; he glorified us.
Lutherans, Calvinists, and Arminians (Free-will Baptists and many evangelicals) would all agree on this literal interpretation of these Bible verses. However, our Calvinist and Arminian Christian brothers and sisters derive additional doctrine from these verses beyond the literal text.
To Calvinists, it only makes sense, that if God predestines his elect, that would logically mean that he also predestines the damned. To them, God damns people to hell. These "damned" persons never had a chance. From the day they were born to the day they die, they will never have the opportunity to be saved.
To Arminians, who believe that man has the ability and obligation to make a choice for or against God, they also believe it is necessary to read into these passages more than what the literal text states.Our election, to them, is based on God foreknowing that we would make a free-will decision for him at some point in our lives. So since God sees into the future and sees that we make a choice for him, he then, in exchange for our decision, predestines us to be his elect.
To all this Lutherans say, "That isn't what the literal reading of those verses says!" To the Lutheran, what these verses state is that God predestines the elect (the saved). We don't add anything to that.
In regards to unbelievers, these verses do not state that God has predestined them to hell, so we don't jump to this very rational, but very unscriptural, conclusion as do our Calvinist brothers.
Lutherans also believe these verses literally: "God our Savior...who will have all men to be saved." I Timothy 2:4. "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." II Peter 3:9. "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:23. God desires all men to be saved, but the unbeliever has the choice to send himself to hell!
God predestines (chooses) the elect, the saved. The sinner makes a choice to damn himself to hell.God predistines or chooses those who will be saved by his divine will, not by our decision making. The Lutheran view of Predestination may not be logical or make sense, but it is the literal reading of the Bible!
Below is a statement on the Doctrine of Predestination from the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod:
35. By the election of grace we mean this truth, that all those who by the grace of God alone, for Christ's sake, through the means of grace, are brought to faith, are justified, sanctified, and preserved in faith here in time, that all these have already from eternity been endowed by God with faith, justification, sanctification, and preservation in faith, and this for the same reason, namely, by grace alone, for Christ's sake, and by way of the means of grace. That this is the doctrine of the Holy Scripture is evident from Eph. 1:3-7; 2 Thess. 2:13, 14; Acts 13:48; Rom. 8:28-30; 2 Tim. 1:9; Matt. 24:22-24 (cp. Form. of Conc. Triglot, p. 1065, Paragraphs 5, 8, 23; M., p. 705).
36. Accordingly we reject as an anti-Scriptural error the doctrine that not alone the grace of God and the merit of Christ are the cause of the election of grace, but that God has, in addition, found or regarded something good in us which prompted or caused Him to elect us, this being variously designated as "good works," "right conduct," "proper self-determination," "refraining from willful resistance," etc. Nor does Holy Scripture know of an election "by foreseen faith," "in view of faith," as though the faith of the elect were to be placed before their election; but according to Scripture the faith which the elect have in time belongs to the spiritual blessings with which God has endowed them by His eternal election. For Scripture teaches Acts 13:48: "And as many as were ordained unto eternal life believed." Our Lutheran Confession also testifies (Triglot, p. 1065, Paragraph 8; M. p. 705): "The eternal election of God however, not only foresees and foreknows the salvation of the elect, but is also, from the gracious will and pleasure of God in Christ Jesus, a cause which procures, works, helps, and promotes our salvation and what pertains thereto; and upon this our salvation is so founded that the gates of hell cannot prevail against it, Matt. 16:18, as is written John 10:28: `Neither shall any man pluck My sheep out of My hand'; and again, Acts 13:48: `And as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.."'
40. Christians can and should be assured of their eternal election. This is evident from the fact that Scripture addresses them as the chosen ones and comforts them with their election, Eph. 1:4; 2 Thess. 2:13. This assurance of one's personal election, however, springs only from faith in the Gospel, from the assurance that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; on the contrary, through the life, suffering, and death of His Son He fully reconciled the whole world of sinners unto Himself. Faith in this truth leaves no room for the fear that God might still harbor thoughts of wrath and damnation concerning us. Scripture inculcates that in Rom. 8:32, 33: "He that spared not His own Son, but gave Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth." Luther's pastoral advice is therefore in accord with Scripture: "Gaze upon the wounds of Christ and the blood shed for you; there predestination will shine forth." (St. Louis ed., II, 181; on Gen. 26:9) That the Christian obtains the personal assurance of his eternal election in this way is taught also by our Lutheran Confessions (Formula of Concord, Triglot, p. 1071, Paragraph 26, M. 709): "Of this we should not judge according to our reason nor according to the Law or from any external appearance. Neither should we attempt to investigate the secret, concealed abyss of divine predestination, but should give heed to the revealed will of God. For He has made known unto us the mystery of His will and made it manifest through Christ that it might be preached, Eph. 1:9ff.; 2 Tim. 1:9f."
— To sum up, just as God in time draws the Christian unto Himself through the Gospel, so He has already in His eternal election endowed them with "sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth," 2 Thess. 2:13. Therefore: If, by the grace of God, you believe in the Gospel of the forgiveness of your sins for Christ's sake, you are to be certain that you also belong to the number of God's elect, even as Scripture, 2 Thess. 2:13, addresses the believing Thessalonians as the chosen of God and gives thanks to God for their election.