Recall that in response to His disciples’ request for a sign of the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem Jesus foretold “a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will”. He continues that “unless those days had been cut short, no (physical) life would have been saved”. What word does Jesus use in Mat 24:22 to describe the remnant that is preserved through God’s judgment and for whose sake those days are cut short? Cf. Mat 24:24,31. What is meant by the elect (Greek eklektos)? See the NAS text note, as well as Mat 22:14 for the only other occurrence of this word in Matthew where the word is translated “chosen”, and consider our English word eclectic which is derived from this word and refers to selecting the best according to one’s preference from among a wider variety of different types, such as music, art, or philosophy.
Since many are called but few are chosen or elect (Mat 22:14), what are we to infer about there being some basis upon which the elect are chosen? From the context in which Jesus made this statement, what was that basis? See Mat 22:1-13; cf. Rev 19:7-8. What might the present context of a righteous remnant being preserved through tribulation while the wicked are swept away in judgment also indicate about the basis upon which the elect are chosen? In what way was this true of Noah? See Gen 6:6-9 and notice that the NAS favor in Gen 6:8 means grace as it is translated by the KJV; i.e., Noah was clearly saved by God’s grace, but he was not chosen or elect unto that salvation as many today suppose themselves to be apart from an obedient faith. Rather, he “was a righteous man”, “blameless in his time”, who “walked with God”. Thus when warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence he prepared an ark for the salvation of his household and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith (Heb 11:7; cf. Jam 2:22-24). Notice also that the word for chosen or elect is used throughout the LXX—the Bible of the New Testament Christians—where it is translated most frequently as choice, as in excellent or of the highest quality, select; see Gen 23:6, 41:2,4, 5,7 where the LXX translates the Hebrew fat or plump as choice, Exo 14:7 (NAS select), Deut 12:11, Jdg 20:15,34, 1Sa 24:2, 26:2, 1Ch 7:40, Ezr 5:8 (NAS huge), Neh 5:18, Pro 8:19, Song 6:9-10 (NAS pure), Isa 49:2, 54:12 (NAS precious), Jer 3:19 (NAS pleasant), Eze 27:24, 31:16; see also Rom 16:13 NAS.
With this understanding, is it possible that God’s chosen ones are those who are choice in His eyes, in the sense that they love and obey Him as His servants, i.e., that God’s elect are His select? See 1Ch 16:13, Psa 89:3,19-20, 105:6,42-43, 106:3-5, Wis 3:9, 4:15, Sir 47:22, Isa 45:4, 65:9,15, Luk 18:7, Col 3:12, 1Ti 5:21, Tit 1:1, 1Pe 1:1-2 in Young’s Literal Translation, 1Pe 2:9, 2Jo 1:1,13, Rev 17:14. Considering that Christ is co-eternal with God and so not elect in the sense many understand election, and His only begotten Son and so not chosen from among others, how does this help us to understand the sense in which Christ was the Chosen One of God? See Isa 42:1, Luk 9:35, 23:35, 1Pe 2:4,6; see also Psa 105:26, 106:23, and cf. Deut 18:15, Heb 11:24-26.
How does God’s choice differ from that of the world? I.e., how are those whom He prefers and chooses different from those whom the world chooses? See 1Sa 16:7, 1Co 1:26-31, Jam 2:5; cf. Zep 3:11-12; Mat 20:25-28. Does being chosen as one of the Lord’s choice or elect vessels necessarily mean that vessel must ultimately be saved and it is impossible for that one to be destroyed? See Joh 6:70, 2Ti 2:10, 2Pe 1:10; cf. Psa 78:31, Jer 22:6-7, 25:34, Zec 7:14 (NAS pleasant), Zec 11:16 (NAS fat). Likewise, if one is not a choice or chosen vessel does that mean it is impossible for him to be saved? See 2Ti 2:20-21; cf. Eze 18:20-24.
How does this understanding of God’s elect help us to better understand the strength of the deception and power of the delusion that will mislead if possible even His choicest vessels (Mat 24:24) if those days had not been cut short? What does that portend for those who are not choice vessels? See 1Pe 4:17-18. What sort of people then ought we to be? See 2Pe 3:11. What hope does this give God’s people in our own present evil age? I.e., will God allow lawlessness to continue to grow unchecked and fueled ever more by the catalyst of false Christs and false prophets so that even His choicest vessels are deceived and swept away by the destruction of sin? I.e., will the evil of sin enflamed by the world, the flesh and the devil finally triumph so that all are ultimately destroyed? Cf. Job 38:8-11, Pro 8:29, Isa 57:20.
1. In the LXX the word was translated as charis which is the word used throughout the New Testament for grace; this is also the first occurrence of grace in the Bible, which is often significant for understanding its meaning throughout the rest of Scripture.↩
2. Cf. Gen 18:19.↩
3. NRS Wisdom 3:9 Those who trust in him will understand truth, and the faithful will abide with him in love, because grace and mercy are upon his holy ones, and he watches over his elect. NRS Wisdom 4:15 Yet the peoples saw and did not understand, or take such a thing to heart, that God’s grace and mercy are with his elect, and that he watches over his holy ones. NRS Sirach 47:22 But the Lord will never give up his mercy, or cause any of his works to perish; he will never blot out the descendants of his chosen one, or destroy the family line of him who loved him. So he gave a remnant to Jacob, and to David a root from his own family.↩
4. YLT 1 Peter 1:1-2 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the choice sojourners of the dispersion of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, according to a foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, to obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied!↩
5. Think: Does being among the “elect” or “chosen” assure that one will obtain salvation? If so, then why would Paul endure all things for their sake?↩