God Decides 2008!- Does Election Exist?

(As sometimes happens, I seem to have gotten away from doing a series which I promised a long time ago. But after much delay I am now beginning the actual working out of the series God Decides 2008!, a look at the doctrine of election as we see it presented in the Bible and why the Calvinist view of election should be a humbling, not a self-aggrandizing, conviction. For an introduction to this series look here.)

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.” -Romans 8.28-30

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will.” -Ephesians 1.3-5

The definition of election used most generally in religious circles is that God has chosen a certain group of individuals for his purposes. Thus, the first question we come across in dealing with the topic of election is whether or not we even have a picture in Scripture of God selecting out any number of peoples for any particular reason. If the Bible is silent here then we have no further reason to talk about this matter.

But the Bible is not silent here. In fact, this is one of the topics in Scripture on which I believe the verdict is absolutely clear:

Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.” -Romans 8.33

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.” -Colossians 3.12

Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness.” -Titus 1.1

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” -1 Peter 2.9

They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.” -Revelation 17.14

What is above is an extensive, though not exhaustive, listing of verses in which various biblical authors, Paul, Peter, and John, all refer to saved people of God as ‘eklektos’ or ‘picked out, chosen.’ Now, we aren’t going to get into just yet who this is or if it is all saved people (or if all ‘eklektos’ people are saved), but the point is that there appears to be great evidence to the cause that God certainly has an elect group of people for one reason or another. Of course, I have quoted Paul, Peter, and John, but the big question we must always ask is, Did Jesus ever say anything about this? The answer to this can be found in Matthew 24:

For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.

Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (vv.21-31)

Thus, even Christ himself speaks of a group of people known as “the elect,” a group who will be “gather[ed]” when he returns.

Therefore, as to the question of “Does election exist?” there seems to be little arguing the fact that the answer is “Yes”!

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