The Bible teaches that God’s elect are those who respond to His call. Those who heed the Lord’s call are the chosen ones, but everyone in the world is given the invitation to be saved. God’s message is to go “to every nation tribe, tongue and people” (Revelation 14:6), but not everyone will accept this invitation, some will even turn at first to God but then will turn away from Him (1 Timothy 4:1).
The phrase God’s elect is used in the doctrine of predestination, as taught by Calvin. This is dangerous doctrine because it gives people a false sense of security, Paul warned, “I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you receive and in which you stand, by which also you are save, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you- unless you believe in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:1,2). The word “if” suggests that ongoing faith is a condition for our salvation, and if we don’t hold fast, we are believing in vain.
Therefore, it is unbiblical to teach that we continue to be among God’s elect when we ago off and do our own thing. The apostle John says, “by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked” (1 John 2:3-6).
We can have the assurance of salvation, if we keep our eyes on Christ and hold fast to His Word and continue to walk in His path by faith (John 15:4). But if we believe that once we accept Jesus we can turn away from Him and still be saved, then we are deceiving our selves (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).
When we have an abiding connection to Jesus, we can know that we are the children of God – His elect – and that He will finish what He began in our lives. “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).
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In His service,
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