What does the term the elect of God mean?

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God has not predestined or chosen an elect people to be lost and others to be saved. The Bible says, “He [the Father] predestined us [fallen human beings] to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will”; “He [God] is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (Ephesians 1:5, 2 Peter 3:9, insertions mine.)

Ephesians 1:5 says that God has predestined fallen man to be adopted as His elect through Jesus. In other words, God predestined the adoption process. It is called justification! “Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness” (Romans 4:4,5).

To think that God predestines our eternal reward and chooses an elect group makes a mockery of the Plan of Salvation. If God predestined the eternal reward of a man without recognizing man’s actions or power of choice, the Plan of Salvation would be a deceptive trick. If God predestined people to be saved and others to be lost, the Plan of Salvation would not be necessary. Then, what is the point of choosing to follow the Holy Spirit if you are predestined to be lost?

There is a critical difference between God’s foreknowledge and God’s power to predetermine an event. Predestination pre-decrees the outcome, whereas foreknowledge knows the outcome of all things in advance.

The presence of Lucifer and sin proves, among other things, that intelligent creatures are not predestined and that they have the power of choice. The rebellion of one-third of God’s angels, the fall of Lucifer and the sad consequences of Adam and Eve’s sin prove that God will not interfere with the inalienable right of all intelligent beings to exercise their power of choice. This is why the future, as far as God is concerned, is unchangeable. He allows it to unfold according to the choices of His subjects and He responds accordingly.

Here is an illustration to demonstrate the critical difference between foreknowledge and predestination. Suppose an airplane pilot can look down and see the path of a long river. In one look, he can see the end and the beginning. However, the people who are traveling down the river in a boat – can’t see that. While, the pilot can see where the boat is heading, he has nothing to do with the travelers choices in reaching their destination.

Knowing the end from the beginning without interference is foreknowledge. On the other hand, predestination is pre-decreeing that an event will occur. God does not predestine the eternal destiny of people. God gives people the freedom to decide their own path (Joshua 24:15).

In His service,

BibleAsk Team

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