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Put another way, the question can be rephrased thus: Has God already decided on the final list of those he has predestined for eternal life? I appreciate that the predestination advanced by Calvinism carries a difficult theology but my view is premised on a position that lies between these two extremes that I believe Scripture upholds. I believe that God perfectly knows all things and causes His divine will to be executed among men but I also recognize that John 3:16 and a host of other Bible passages assign the sinner the responsibility to make a choice to accept or reject God's grace. There are several illustrations in Scripture that affirm this position including but not limited to the several parables of Jesus and more specifically the parable of Wedding Banquet (Matthew 22). While it is granted that God sees the future from the beginning and does know the full list of all those who will be saved in the end (and perhaps holds one in his hand, so to speak!), this is largely informed by His perfect omniscience rather than His causative predestination of some sinners to either eternal life or in Christ or eternal damnation in hell. God knew all things even the fact that Adam and Eve would fall to Satan's temptation but no text or passage of Scripture teaches or implies that God influenced Satan to achieve the outcome of the fall. My view is that those who hold to this deterministic theology effectively misrepresent the revelation and authority of Scripture on God's character and His redemption works in Christ. Yes, God is sovereign, but in His sovereignty, He has permitted His creatures the exercise of free will. It is therefore inconsistent with the text of Scripture to teach that God chose a group of sinners ahead of and outside the works of Calvary and to the exclusion of others. The elect of God, if that term is adopted, consists of all believers present past and future who will consciously and willingly accept the gospel of Jesus Christ. All sinners who hear the gospel have an equal opportunity before God. No class of sinners is more privileged than another.
In my opinion: Does God Forechoose those who are to be saved or does He make Salvation available to all? Kind of a Calvinism verses Armenianism question. I think both are correct. I believe there are those who God has forechose and as the Calvin camp teaches, they have/will receive an irresistible call because they have been chosen to accomplish something specific in God's plan. However the Bible says that God wants all to come to the saving knowledge of Jesus. (1Timothy 2) And wants all to be saved. (2Peter 3) Everyone has the opportunity to accept Jesus. It is true that God knows whether we will make that decision as he can see the end and the beginning. But it is still our decision. So Calvinist and Armenianist are BOTH correct, they just apply to two different groups of people. So who are the elect? Maybe the term applies to just those who God forechose. That kind of makes sense to me when the Bible says "even the Elect will be deceived if that were possible". (Matthew 24:24) It seems to differentiate between "the elect" and other Christians. Or maybe it applies to all Christians. Or maybe it applies to only the most devoted Christians. Regardless the verse in Matt. 24 is a warning to us to be on the watch for false prophets and false signs and wonders in the end days, which we could be living in today.
I Timothy 2:3-4 NKJV For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. II Peter 3:9 NKJV The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. These two bits of Scripture are very critical to the answering of this question. Reason being is that it has follow up questions or statements a person might ask? If God chooses then why bother living a Holy life, He's chosen anyway. Or on that day those "not chosen" could simply say You didn't choose me & so forth. So I will answer this question by posing another question: how does God choose the elect? The answer I find here... 1 Peter 1:1-2 ESV Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are ELECT exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, FOR OBEDIENCE TO JESUS CHRIST and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you. God has already chosen us but not by flipping a coin but by His FOREKNOWLEDGE; knowledge about what? OUR "obedience to Jesus Christ". So in effect or in a sense we choose ourselves whether we are chosen by God. God sent Jesus to die, not for some, but for the all. John 1:11-12 GNT He came to his own, but his own people did not receive him. Some, however, did receive him and believed in him; so he gave them the right to become God's children.
The elect are the people of God joined together under the headship of Christ (1 Peter 2:4-9). We as individual believers do not actually know who all the elect are until Christ returns and we inherit what has been promised us; a glorified body, that we might have eternal life with Christ. (Rom 8:19-30, Matt 13:24-29, Heb 6:1-12, 1 Pet 1:3-9). Throughout the Bible, election has always been a testimony of God's sovereignty and eternal perspective. It is meant to be a comfort, to be a testimony of the fulfillment of prophecy, to show God's power and knowledge, and to show how none of God's good purpose is frustrated by the actions of man. For example, when God called ('elected') Israel from among all the nations (1 Chron 17:21), it was so that Israel might be blessed among nations and all nations be blessed through Israel. It also was the nation God chose to work His eternal plan through. It's true and final purpose was for the physical nation of Israel to stand as a type for the eventual 'spiritual' people of God, and for God's redemption of Israel to stand in as a type for the redemption of Christ for all men. However, the Jews became arrogant in their position as 'the chosen people of God'. They expected a Messiah who would set up the Jews as the actual rulers of all nations, and were infuriated by the early church gospel expansion to the gentiles. They could not understand how the gentiles could be "elect." And yet, God had chosen the gentiles to be brought into the fold of God long before Christ came to man. (1 Pet 2:10, Rom 9:6-26) Rom 9:26 hearkens back to a very important time in Israel's history (Hosea 1:9, Hosea 11:1-4), where God's wrath against Israel's unfaithfulness caused him to declare "You are not my people". God's choice of Israel did not guarantee their obedience. In the same way we always have a choice between endurance in faith, or faithless abandonment (II Tim 2:8-13, Col 1:21-23, Rev 3:1-6, Heb 3:6). Hosea 11:2 is especially convicting: "But the more they were called, the more they went away from me". Many are called, but few are chosen. (Matt 22:1-14) The Jews placed their hope in being the chosen people of God while simultaneously ignoring the commands of God. Conversely, Jesus states "If you love me, keep my commands", (John 14:15) and " Whoever belongs to God hears what God says." (John 8:47), and "...the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” (John 3:14-17) We should continually examine ourselves to see if we are growing in relationship with Christ (II Pet 1:3-11); thus confirming our calling and election. No man or principality of the heir can take our hope away. If we are subject to Christ, then we are part of the people of God. God is purifying for himself a people all His own (Titus 2:11-14). This refinement process is hard, with many trials - but so long as we keep faith God's power will guard us, and we will overcome. (1 Pet 1:3-9, 1 John 5:1-5). Our abiding faith in Christ will lead us to grow (John 15). The important take away is that our hope is not based in an abstract concept of hoping we have been chosen in God, or faith in being among the elect vs. Being in Christ. Rather, our hope is a concrete assurance of the Ressurection. We know, *concretely*, that we are the elect of God due to our abiding faith. We rest in Christ alone as Savior and Lord! (1 Tim 1:1, 1 Tim 4:10, Eph 1:12, Titus 2:11-14). God predestined the process, Christ, by which He would choose and redeem a people for Himself, a plan for salvation that God chose in His foreknowledge and wisdom. As such, we become part of the people of God by faith - not because God looked to the future, or because God chose that we as individuals would have faith while others would not - but because through Christ God chose to give us the right to be His children (I John 2:24-29, I John 3:1-10, Rom 8:1-16, Rom 9; Rev 21:13, II Sam 7:22-24, etc.)
"The elect of God" are those who are elected by God to salvation. "God's elect" occurs only twice literally in the ESV New Testament and 0 times in the ESV Old Testament: 1. Romans 8:33 ESV "Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies." We are God’s elect—chosen in Christ and accepted in Christ. God will certainly not accuse us since it is He who has justified us. For Him to accuse us would mean that His salvation was a failure and we are still in our sins. 2. Titus 1:1 ESV "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," “God’s elect” are those who have trusted Jesus Christ as their Savior (Eph. 1:4; 1 Peter 1:1-5). S. Michael Houdmann already referred to Eph. 1:4. And two others above have referred already to my 1 Peter 1:1-5 passage, Bongani Cele and Jennifer Rothnie Supporter Housewife, Artist, Perpetually Curious.
The elect of God are those who have believed on Him as the only way of salvation plus nothing. Roman 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that BELIEVETH, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. God made the way of salvation before the foundation of the world. He also gave man a free will. So salvation is by man's choice to believe what God has said. John 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me HATH EVERLASTING LIFE. John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus, that WHOSOEVER, BELIEVETH in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life. So election is by man's choice, not Gods. He made the way of salvation by grace, but we have to believe it to be saved. John 3:18. First John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that BELIEVE on the name of the Son of God, that ye may KNOW YE HAVE ETERNAL LIFE.
To me, there is specifically one scripture that very definitively answers this question: To me, it is JOHN 3:16! To me, GOD could not be more loving, caring or more direct! "JESUS paid it all. GOD, The Father; GOD, The Son; and GOD, the Holy Spirit are ONE and IS TOTALLY OUTSIDE THE HUMAN UNDERSTANDING OF *TIME*! We humans can't comprehend that what we understand as 'predestinate (predestination)', is a mental conceptual challenge at it's very, very least! And, is beyond our humanness; in the flesh capability of TRUE MENTAL understanding! GOD told us all in HIs Holy Word that He created everything; and, that includes time! *** God Knew, Knows and always will know who and whom will "freely" choose by 'hearing His calling; realizing their sinful self is in dire need of being saved and by their free will choice will heed God's calling to accept His free GIFT OF ETERNAL SALVATION! MAJOR POINT OF EMPHASIS IS THIS BIBLICAL TRUTH! GOD KNOWS ALL; SEES ALL; HAS ALWAYS EXISTED and WILL FOREVER EXIST! And, HE is totally outside our 'human capacity to fully understand'! For simplicity and....sanity!.....my approach is this: We can't truly comprehend the true magnitude of God until we meet our LORD in Heaven Above! "Praise God that He provided a Savior! And, His name is Jesus Christ!--ANDY--
The ‘elect of God’ are believers, but not by the process of election. The word ‘elect’ is a word supposedly transliterated from the Greek, ‘eklektos.’ It is an unfortunate transliteration because a closer English word is ‘eclectic’ which means something selected for its value or worth. The believers are God’s special people because of their value. So the better translation than ‘elect of God’ is the ‘choice ones of God’ or the ‘favored ones of God.’ With this understanding, there is no concept of God randomly or deliberately choosing one to be saved. Instead God considers believers His elite people. In the same token, I Peter 2:4 says Christ is the living stone “chosen by God...” ‘Chosen’ is the same word ‘eklektos’ but this does not mean that God chose Him, but that He was the choice One of God or perhaps better, the choicest One of God. Other usages of ‘elect’ confirm it is not a process of electing or choosing, but the consideration of those people or angels to be favored or special. Elect angels are those who did not rebel along with Satan. Elect people are those who have already believed on the Lord Jesus Christ. The whole discussion about election and predestination is a dilemma because everyone has their idea of how God chooses, when it is not even a matter the Scriptures bring up. Sure, anyone can round up verses, many out of context, to build up their position on the matter. These discussions are age-long debates over man-made philosophies about salvation. But one significant problem is that these arguments and debates should never have been raised in the first place. I illustrate it this way: Suppose a number of graduates gather for an alumni reunion. At one point, one of them asks, “Who chose us to be graduates? Was it the Board of Education or was it us?” Those that hear him are either amused or confused because the question is not relevant at all. Everyone knows that they fulfilled the requirements for graduation and because of that the institution conferred the degree with all its rights, responsibilities, and privileges. In like fashion, theologians wonder who chose them to salvation. Was it God or was it they themselves, or was it perhaps both? Again the response has to be one of confusion because it is not relevant at all. Believers are sinners who fulfilled the one and only simple requirement to believe on the Lord as presented by the Lord Himself in John 6:47, “Most assuredly I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.” Then God bestowed on them, who now qualify, all the rights, responsibilities, privileges and blessings that He had planned and predestined even from the beginning of time. By the way, all the references to predestination are about what God has determined for His people, not for them to be elected to be His people. With this new perspective no one has to worry which is correct, Calvinism or Arminianism. They do not have to doubt if they are one of the elect. Furthermore, the understanding of salvation is made simple.
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