Does God really choose or destine who should end up in Hell before they are born? What does the Bible actually say about election?
One of the well known situations in this current time and age of getting deeper to the Bible and its teaching’s is the study of context and meaning. There are many that have hold on to a simple enough definition but there are some that just seem not to really make sense at all. As a major rule of study, it is sound to say that the best way to understand what Scripture says is found in what Scripture says – most of which can be understood in searching of first mentions of the term, then proceeding to gather those that have the same usage of the word, and reading them within the structure of how they are used.
What’s the relevance of this?
Today a great majority has been brought about to study the Word of God in a more scholastic approach of following a theology (eg. Calvinism and Arminianism). Which is right? Which system should one really believe in? The true answer: NONE. One must trust what the Bible says. A major attitude and practice one should carry is to be like that of a “Berean”
And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
2 Timothy 2:15-16
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed,rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
1 Timothy 5:17
Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.
This study aims to clarify the following meanings which have been confused by many that by reading into Scripture, one can see the simple sounded sense of its use and meaning:
- God’s Sovereignty
- Man’s Freewill
God’s Sovereignty Is Based On His 3-Fold Almightiness
1. OMNISCIENCE (ALL KNOWING)
Omniscience is derived from the Latin omnis = “all” combined with scientia = “knowledge”, with the combination meaning to know all or to have perfect knowledge. God’s omniscience is His knowledge of all things. This includes actual and possible, past, present, and future (foreknowledge). Not to mention… SECRETS
Hast thou heard the secret of God? and dost thou restrain wisdom to thyself?
The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.
2. OMNIPOTENT (ALL POWERFUL)
Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?
And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
3. OMINIPRESENT (EVERYWHERE AT THE SAME TIME)
The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.
Revelation 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
Man’s Free Will Is Based On The Available Choices
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
2 Peter 3:4-9
And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
Relationship Is The Genuine Balance Between God’s Sovereignty And Man’s Free Will
Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.
2 Corinthians 5:7
(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
Examples of Believers Who Walked with God:
“And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” Genesis 5:24
“These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.” Genesis 6:9
“And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.” Genesis 17:1-2
Invitation Is God’s Call To Salvation
Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
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.
1 Corinthians 1:21
For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Qualification Is God’s Criteria For Standards
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.
If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.
1 Corinthians 3:11-14
For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
Promotion Is God’s Will On His Purposes
For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.
Promotion genuinely takes place and effect when one is within a structure, since there is both a system and a standard of rewards and disciplines/chastisements, after we are saved.
Kings in their Kingdom
“After these things did king Ahasuerus promote Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him, and set his seat above all the princes that were with him.” Esther 3:1
“Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in the province of Babylon.” Daniel 3:30
Election Is God’s Call To Responsibility And Service
Election comes from the Greek word “eklektos”, which means chosen ones.
ANGELS (THE NATURE OF THEIR BEING IS SERVICE)
“I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.” 1 Timothy 5:21
“For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.” Psalm 91:11-12
“And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.” Revelation 22:6
THE LORD JESUS CHRIST (WHOSE FLESH IS ELECT ISRAEL)
“Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.” Isaiah 42:1
“For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45
JACOB WHO IS THE ORIGIN OF HISTORICAL ISRAEL
“But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend. Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away.” Isaiah 41:8-9
THE NATION OF ISRAEL (SEED OF JACOB)
What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.
For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father’s sakes.
For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me. I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.
JEWS ARE THE ELECT IN THE GREAT TRIBULATION
And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together. Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Many fall into this notion that the “elect” that Jesus was referring to in Matthew 24 are to all Christians including Gentile Christians. However, this is not so since He has not yet died on the cross, neither was the gospel spread to the Gentiles. In the whole chapter of Matthew 24, Jesus prophesied about events that will occur before His 2nd coming. When He spoke of these things, He was speaking to the disciples who were the Jews, so the mention of “elect” in this context are the Jews as they understood it from the Old Testament that they are the chosen people of God out of all nations. The mentioning of the gathering of His elect in Matt 24:31 can also be found in Isaiah:
But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life. Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.
We see vs 15 in reference to Daniel 9:24-27 the location of where this great tribulation takes place:
“Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”
(continuing on Matthew 24) The warning to those who are in Judea (in Israel) to flee (vs 16), vs 32 refers to Israel symbolically as a fig tree (read OT and NT for references of the fig tree). In verses 9-21, we see that great tribulation will come upon Israel, NOT the church (Jeremiah 30:7, Matthew 24:15-17, 1 Thess 5:1-9, Rev 6-12) which will be raptured before the great tribulation. Furthermore, we see in Jeremiah 30:4-7 who this great tribulation is targeted at:
“And these are the words that the Lord spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah. For thus saith the Lord; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of JACOB’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.”
And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.
If “elect” here was in reference to the church, then it would go contrary to many Bible verses that clearly supports the taking away of the Church before the tribulation (1 Thess 2:3-7, 4:17, 5:9, Luke 17:34-37, Mark 13:32). Does that mean that we can dismiss Matthew 24? Absolutely not! These writings are also for us to understand the seasons of the end times especially when we see events unfolding towards the nation of Israel, and that we also should beware of false christs, false prophets and false miracles as warned throughout the Bible.
The elected 144,000 – Who are they? JEWISH virgin males from all the tribes of Israel.
And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundreth and fourty and foure thousand, of all the tribes of the children of Israel.
And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.
And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.
This important biblical fact is very essential in responding to the cult of Jehovah Witness which unbiblically assumes that the 144,000 are the ‘elite’ limited number of people chosen to spend eternity with God in Heaven, and those who are not of the 144,000 will spend their eternity on earth with Christ, which creates 2 classes of people. This kind of “class-ism” thinking can also be found in Calvinism which holds that those who are elected are saved, and those who are not elected are bound for hell.
AS IT IS WRITTEN, JACOB HAVE I LOVED, ESAU HAVE I HATED. – Rom 9:13
Romans 9 has been commonly used to argue for salvation of elected individuals and those who are not are elected are chosen for hell. However, is the entire Romans 9 referring to this? Rom 9:13 is actually quoted from Malachi 1:2:
The burden of the word of the Lord to Israel by Malachi.I have loved you, saith the Lord. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? saith the Lord: yet I loved Jacob, and I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness. Whereas Edom saith, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places; thus saith the Lord of hosts, They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the Lord hath indignation for ever. And your eyes shall see, and ye shall say, The Lord will be magnified from the border of Israel.
When Jacob and Esau were alive on earth, it is clear that in Genesis 33 that Esau exceeded Jacob in numbers of his household, and Jacob was very afraid of him. However, Esau had forgiven Jacob and both brothers made peace. In Genesis 36, Esau was the father of the Edomites, and from him descended dukes, princes and mighty men, while Jacob is the father of Israelites, who were enslaved by the Egyptians for over 400 years (Exodus).
JACOB AND ESAU ARE 2 NATIONS – ISRAEL (descendents of Jacob) and EDOM (descendents of Esau)
While both brothers were in their mother’s womb, God prophesied this to their father, Isaac:
And Isaac intreated the Lord for his wife, because she was barren: and the Lord was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to enquire of the Lord. And the Lord said unto her, two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.
God did not lay waste Esau’s mountains and heritage, neither did Esau serve Jacob during while both brothers were alive. What we read is the nation of Edom holding constant hostility and enmity towards the nation of Israel in the whole of the OT, ultimately Edom’s doom and destruction was predicted by the Lord:
Thus saith the Lord God; Because that Edom hath dealt against the house of Judah by taking vengeance, and hath greatly offended, and revenged himself upon them;Therefore thus saith the Lord God; I will also stretch out mine hand upon Edom, and will cut off man and beast from it; and I will make it desolate from Teman; and they of Dedan shall fall by the sword. And I will lay my vengeance upon Edom by the hand of my people Israel: and they shall do in Edom according to mine anger and according to my fury; and they shall know my vengeance, saith the Lord God.
Thus saith the Lord; For three transgressions of Edom, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because he did pursue his brother with the sword, and did cast off all pity, and his anger did tear perpetually, and he kept his wrath for ever:
In Numbers 22-24, the prophet Balaam prophesied this about Israel while under command by the Moabites to curse Israel, but the word of the Lord put words in his mouth to say otherwise:
God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? Behold, I have received commandment to bless: and he hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it. He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel: the Lord his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them. God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn. Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel: according to this time it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel, What hath God wrought!
I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth. And Edom shall be a possession, Seir also shall be a possession for his enemies; and Israel shall do valiantly. Out of Jacob shall come he that shall have dominion, and shall destroy him that remaineth of the city.
The hatred of God was clearly towards the nation of Edom who were constantly seeking the annihilation of Israel.
The entire book of Obadiah reveals God’s divine judgement on Edom for this.
For thy violence against thy brother Jacob shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off for ever.
Why? As children of Abraham, Israel was chosen to be a nation of priests, a nation that will birth the Messiah and to be a blessing to all the nations of the earth:
And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation…
Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, and said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.
Looking at Romans 9 in context:
 I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,  That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.  For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:  Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;  Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.  Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:  Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.  That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.  For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son.  And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac;  (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)  It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.  As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.  What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.  For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.  So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.  For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.  Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.  Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?  Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?  Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?  What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:  And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,  Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?  As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.  And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.  Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved:  For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.  And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodom, and been made like unto Gomorrha.  What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.  But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.  Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;  As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed.
Notice the love that Paul had towards his Jewish brethren that he’d rather exchange his eternity with their eternal damnation (Rom 9:1-4). This would be contrary to the belief that God only selects a number of individuals for damnation in hell. In verse 6: “For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel” – this is in reference to those being of Israel by the flesh, and those being of Israel by trusting in the promise God set to Abraham – the first is that of those who were born Jews, and the 2nd, those who are justified by faith (Romans 5). Clearly, election in this entire chapter is in regards to Israel being chosen by God for His purpose to make them a nation of priests, to birth the Messiah and to be a blessing to all nations. The explanation set forth by Paul from verses 1-23 on how Israel was elected by God out of all nations to bring forth the Messiah, we see in the next verse 24 that the references and comparisons he put forth is in regards explaining that not all who are born of Israel are saved or made “righteous” just because they were born Jews, and God grafting the Gentiles into the body of Christ even though they were not born of the ‘elect’ nation of Israel (this is where the Jews reasoned that it is unfair (vs 19 -23) ). Verses 29-33 show that righteousness comes by faith in God, not by if one was born a Jew who lived under the Mosaic law. In this context, the Jews reasoned that being born Israelites as an elect nation, they were ‘righteous’ before God unlike the Gentiles who did not have the Mosaic law and circumcision. However, Paul was grieved by such reasoning and explains how God’s salvation plan included the Gentiles, especially after the Jews rejected their Messiah (vs 23-33), and that the Gentiles are made righteous by being justified in faith alone in Christ (Gal 5:2-11), not by the Mosaic law. The blessings of the Messiah who comes from the Jewish nation of Israel had come upon the Gentiles as well:
Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: For there is no respect of persons with God. For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God, And knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law; And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness, An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law. Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God? For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written. For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision. Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law? For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
Romans 11:28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father’s sakes.
As we can see in the above contexts, NOT ALL WHO ARE ELECTED ARE SAVED.
Jesus clearly died for the world. He did not die for the Devil and his angels. He elected the world for salvation. Only those who place their faith in Christ alone by His Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) shall be saved.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
1 Corinthians 9:16
For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
2 Peter 2:1
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
Another common argument is using John 6:37, 44 to justify election of certain individuals for salvation with no decision on the individual’s part. However, let’s look at the verses within the context of John 6:
 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.  But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.  All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.  For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.  And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.  And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven.  And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?  Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves.  No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.  It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.  Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father. Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me hath everlasting life.  I am that bread of life.
The whole chapter 6 of John talks about Jesus talking about Himself being sent by the Father as the Bread of Life. They had just witnessed a miracle He did of multiplying the 5 barley loaves and 2 small fishes to feed the crowd of 5000. Upon reading the context of the above verses, we can see Jesus speaking to the Jews who see Him but believed Him not as their Messiah even after seeing the miracle wrought before them. It is clear that a person must come to Him and believe upon Him (see also John 6:26-29). The act of coming to God (free will) and God receiving that person is a 2-way response between God and man. God gives the person to Jesus. Notice in vs 44 it says the Father “draw”, not drag. How does God draw us to Him? By the preaching of the gospel:
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.
Why? Because without faith it is impossible to please Him.
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
How do we get faith? By hearing the Word of God and believing it.
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Christians Who Are In And Are In Fact The Body Of Christ, Reflecting Why They Are Elect By Reason
1 Peter 2:5-10
Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
The Summary Relationship Of Election
God is the one who elects.
- Angels made of God were made to serve.
- The Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of God Whom the Angels by default automatically serve.
- Jacob, who was the covenant heir from Issac back to Abraham, was renamed Israel by God after they wrestled.
- The Nation of Israel who is from the seed of Jacob is considered the Elect of God which was called to serve God which is why God made Israel subject to His laws.
- The Nation of Israel are targeted in the Great Tribulation and called out as the elect during that time period
- The Lord Jesus Christ is in the flesh an Israelite seed line of elect Israel making Him “naturally” elect by birth other than prophetically.
- A Christian brought about by the genuine Gospel conversion is “spiritually” birthed and part of the body of the Lord Jesus Christ who is an Israelite in the flesh, also served by the Angels.
Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?
Predestination is part of a christian’s conversion in salvation, in time to come predestination is very much about the glorification of the body of the believer.
Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
The predestined glorification of the body of the Christian is to be like Christ since we are “in” His body.
For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
1 John 3:1-3
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
2 Corinthians 3:18
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory,even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
2 Corinthians 5:1-5
For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.
We see in the beginning of creation, God created a world of perfection, where man and woman enjoyed personal fellowship with Him without pain, suffering and death before sin came into the world through disobedience of His Word via freewill (Genesis 1-3). This perfect world with no corruption was created by Jesus Christ, perfect fellowship is His predestined plan, and sin was NEVER part of it. Sin came, it resulted in death. Jesus came, He gives life. We will receive our new bodies that will be incorruptible and no longer subject to death:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
1 John 5:7
For there are three that bear witness in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit: and these three are one.
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
1 Timothy 3:16
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
1 Corinthians 15:39-54
All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
What is the best way to know the plain meaning of scripture? it is simply to study it doctrinally. Notice that much of what is written is really more of reading the passage which brought about harmony rather than battling out verse with a verse which is really an absurd practice. As Christians, the standard of one’s faith should not be on a book or author but that of scripture itself. At times, it can aid one to think of things but one should not base the entirety of practice and jump into defence of well-known and highly regarded authors. Learning how to rightly divide and teach scripture is solely based on one’s time with it. May this encourage and enlighten’s one well being of Faith in that which foundation can never be broken which is the Word of God itself.