Not so, 4WD. As in Acts 13:48, “...and as many as were *ORDAINED* UNTO ETERNAL LIFE believed.” Don’t get the cart before the horse.
Calvinists, and the like, love that verse. It seems to support their beliefs.
But in fact it is, I believe, wrongly translated/interpreted. The word translated "ordained" is from the Greek word τάσσω [tassō], meaning, according to Strong's, "to arrange in an orderly manner, that is, assign or dispose (to a certain position or lot): - addict, appoint, determine, ordain, set."
The form of the verb in Acts 13:48 is τεταγμενοι [tetagmenoi] The key lies in the form of the main Greek verb, tassō. As it appears in this text, the verb form is the participle tetagmenoi. It is obvious that most simply assume that this is the PASSIVE form of the verb, thus: “to be appointed, to be ordained, to be destined.” What is often forgotten is that in the Greek language, often the passive and the middle form of verbs are spelled exactly the same way. That is the case here. The word tetagmenoi can also be the MIDDLE form of the verb. Here is the main point: that is how it should be understood in Acts 13:48, i.e., as middle voice.
What does this verse mean, then? The middle voice of a verb in Greek is sometimes used in a reflexive sense. The idea is that the action of the verb is something performed by the subject (not by someone else upon the subject), but in such a way that the action is directed back toward the subject or the self. Understanding that the verb means “to place, to set, to arrange in a certain order or position,” we can see that the statement in 13:48 can quite validly be taken thus: “As many as arranged themselves unto (eis) eternal life believed,” or “As many as turned themselves toward eternal life believed,” or “As many as disposed themselves toward eternal life believed.”
Why should we accept this approach to the verb—i.e., as middle voice rather than passive? For two reasons. First, it agrees with the general overall teaching of Scripture, that turning toward God is a matter of free will and personal responsibility, not something unconditionally and irresistibly caused by God. Second, this agrees with the context, where the Jews’ response to the gospel is being contrasted with that of the Gentiles. In Acts 13:13-41 Paul preached a powerful Sabbath sermon in the Jews’ synagogue at Antioch. Many of the Jews were so impressed that they asked for an encore the next Sabbath (vv. 42-43). Then on “the next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord” (v. 44). This crowd obviously included many Gentiles, because “when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began to contradict what was spoken by Paul, reviling him” (v. 45)
. This provoked Paul and Barnabas to speak this judgment upon the Jews: “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken first to you. Since you thrust it aside and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles” (v. 46)
. This verse is important because it shows that the exclusion of the Jews from the ranks of the saved was their own choice, not the result of some predestining activity of God. The Jews specifically judged themselves unworthy of eternal life. This is exactly the opposite of the Gentiles’ reaction, especially when Paul and Barnabas applied Isaiah 49:6 to themselves: “I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth” (v. 47).
Verse 48 then describes the reaction of the Gentiles to this preaching. It was in fact just the opposite of the Jews’ reaction: “And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord.” Then follow the crucial words: “and as many as set themselves toward eternal life believed.”
How did they set themselves toward eternal life? By hearing and heeding the word of God (see Romans 10:17). We cannot ignore the symmetrical contrast between the reaction of the Jews in v. 46 and the reaction of the Gentiles in v. 48. Whereas the Jews rejected the gospel and judged themselves to be unworthy of eternal life (v. 46), the Gentiles received it gladly and embraced the message of eternal life (v. 48). In both cases the decision was a matter of free choice.
We can further add support for this by noting that the word τάσσω [tassō], with the prefix δια [dia], in the very same passive/middle voice spelling of the word διατάσσω [diatassō], is found in Acts 20:13 (KJV) And we went before to ship, and sailed unto Assos, there intending to take in Paul: for so had he appointed, minding himself to go afoot.
I would note here that I, myself, am certainly not enough of a Greek scholar to render this as such. However, my personal acquittance and favorite theologian, Dr. Jack Cottrell, is. I have taken most of the above discussion from Cottrell, Jack. The Bible Versus Calvinism (The Collected Writings of Jack Cottrell Book 4) . The Christian Restoration Association. Kindle Edition.