From: Jamie Smith
From the Concordant Literal Version (CLV), Acts 13:48: “Now on hearing this, the nations rejoiced and glorified the word of the Lord, and they believe, whoever were set for life eonian.”
From the King James Version (KJV): “... and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.”
From the International Standard Version (ISV): “... all who had been destined to eternal life believed.”
From the New International Version (NIV): “... all who were appointed for eternal life believed.”
You can see from the more accurate CLV that Scripture is addressing life in the next eon and not “eternal” or endless life. In Greek it is “tetagmenoi eis zoen aionion,” which is “having been set into life eonian.” All people will have endless life but most people do not have life in the next eon. It is not due to their stubbornness. They are stubborn because they haven’t been “set,” the meaning of which is from the Greek “tasso,” to place in a particular position.
Just as He determined beforehand that you and I will be placed in 2019, God determines beforehand whom He will “set” or place into life in the next age. The ones who believe have been “set” by God’s spirit.
Apart from man’s theology and bad translations, this is a straightforward passage. The passage is structured like the following sentence: “And they entered into the event, whoever were given tickets.” The tickets were first given, and then all those that were previously given tickets entered into the event.
Since so many do not believe, claims are made about the grand failure of the gospel. It is only apparently so to those ignorant of Scripture. Christianity proclaims their gospel; yet, billions and billions die without believing it and so are condemned to Hell. That is indeed a massive failure.
Instead, the gospel (evangel) is heard and believed by 100 percent of the people who are set. They are raised into life in the next age/eon. They are no better than anyone else. They have been the beneficiaries of God’s own counsel and of His good pleasure to choose them beforehand (Eph. 1:11). It is God’s decision.