There is an Election Unto Salvation
There is an election of men unto salvation. That is, there are some, a certain remnant that will be saved; and this by virtue of election.
There are many passages in the Scriptures that tell us this is true but it is most notably and clearly stated in Romans 9:23, "And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory." Also, there is Rom. 11:7, "What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for, but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded." Nothing could be more clear to those with eyes to read and hearts to understand. People need to study the words as they read and not just skip quickly over them as if they have no meaning. Words have meanings, determine what that meaning is.
Here the word "election" is used to indicate the elect; they have obtained that which Israel has been and is still seeking, -eternal life.
Again in Acts 2:47 we read, "...And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved." Not "all who might wish to be saved" but "such as should be saved". In Acts 13:48 Luke tells us, "And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed." "Ordained" according to my dictionary still means "to appoint and consecrate" also, "to establish by law or decree". God has decreed that such as are of the elect should be saved, they are appointed to salvation, granted eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Rom. 11:5 says, "Even so then at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace". And 1 Thess. 5:9, "For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ". Remember that the word "appointed" has to do with being "ordained" and so God hath not "ordained” us to wrath, etc. His elect are not appointed to the fury of God's wrath, but He has appointed His elect to salvation, that is, eternal life.
2 Thess. 2:13, "...God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth", this passage is so explicit, so clear. "Chosen," that is, elected, from the beginning, that is, from whenever the beginning was, the only beginning man knows is the creation so at least chosen from the creation. But in my mind it goes beyond that. Chosen to salvation, eternal life. How? Through the "sanctification of the Spirit". Again my dictionary says "sanctification" is "to make pure as from sin". So the chosen ones are made "pure as from sin", not only sanctified by the Holy Spirit but because they also believed the truth. Who and what is the truth? Jesus said in the book of John, "I am the way the truth and the life," and so the elect are chosen to salvation not only by being made pure but also they believed the record of Jesus the Christ as given in the Bible, believed that which was given by God as His testimony of His son. In the book of John, Jesus states the He is the way, the truth and the life, and He also said "No man cometh unto the Father but by me". There is no other way but the way of truth, there is no other way but through Jesus Christ. There is only one way to the Father, Jesus Christ. And the Father has testified of this by giving us His Word.
Referring back to 2 Thess. 2:13, the words "chosen you" is election or the party of the "elect ones"; as the circumcised are called the "circumcision": and the angels that stood are distinguished from those that fell, by the title of "elect angels". The elect are to be "chosen vessels," this in Acts 9:15, "vessels of mercy," in Rom. 9:23 as those that are left are called "vessels of wrath" in Rom. 9:22. The Scripture still identifies both groups with distinguishing characteristics.
The elect are a party separate from the world for in John 15:19 we read the words of Christ, "I have chosen you out of the world;" and in John 17:9 Christ says, "I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me:". And He continues in this vein in John 17:16, "And they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." Mark 4:11 continues our line of thought, "Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but unto them without all things are done in parables". Some of the teachings of the Bible are given in parables so that not all men can understand, just the chosen ones.
Jacob and Esau were evident types of this separation for in the Scriptures it was said to Rebekah in Gen. 25:21, "Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people", and then in Numbers 23:9 we read, "The people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations," and "This people," says God in Isa. 43:21, "have I formed for myself." Also, in Isa. 63:18, Isaiah refers to God's people as "The people of thy holiness," and refers to all others as "our adversaries."
And, finally in 2 Peter 2:9, we read that, "The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:". We are told that the chosen ones of God He delivers from sin but that the lost, the non-elect, are reserved for the Day of Judgment.
And so there are two peoples in this world, the Elect of God and the lost. Two nations, so to speak. The one a godly nation, the other a nation of adversaries against God and His people. The elect are a party separate from this world.
The elect are as men of another race, or family and seem to even spring from another root. 1 John 5:19, "And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness." Of the others we read John 8:47, "He that is of god, heareth God's words; ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God."
There is another verse that identifies both parties. 1 Thess. 5:5 says, "Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness." One party is said to be "children of light," the other "of the night," one the sons of God and the other are of the world. 1 John 4:4-6 is very explicit about these two peoples, "Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error."
Again John speaks to this subject of the two peoples, in the Gospel of John 8:23, "And he said unto them. Ye are from beneath; I am from above: Ye are of this world; I am not of this world." God is the Father of the one, the devil the father of the other, John 8:41, 42 and 44, "Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. Jesus said unto them. If God were your father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. ...Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."
The number of identifying characteristics of the two peoples are many and explicit and only those who question God and are, therefore, adversaries could in any way mistake these things. Yet man in his vain attempt to have what he wants, to be like God, wants man to be the decision maker.
We have investigated how the elect are a people or party separate from the word and that are as men of another race, or kindred, and are obviously from a different family background. Now let's see how the elect are a people subject to a different government or Head of government.
In Isa. 63:19 we read these words, "We are thine." These are the words of the people of God first the Jews and now the Church of the living God: "thou never barest rule over them; they were not called by thy name." The elect of God are called by the name of the Christ, they are called Christians.
Who has the rule over us? None but God and the Lord Jesus Christ who is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The Word is His law, the laws of His Kingdom that lives at present in our hearts but will one day be literal here on this earth when Jesus the Christ sits on the throne of David in Jerusalem.
It is true that we have a different King and are strangers here in a foreign land but we have a job here, for we are ambassadors, Paul tells us, and so we represent that foreign land and the King who rules it while we're here. And while we live and work in this land away from home we must obey the laws of this land unless the laws want to stop us from paying homage to our King in the way that He has taught us.
In John 6:37 Jesus says, "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me." And in John 10:27, "My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me." And John 10:5, "And a stranger they will not follow, but will flee from him:" Why is this? They know not His voice. He calls His sheep. His elect, and they are the only ones who hear His voice when He calls them by name, for the Scripture tells us that He calls His elect or His sheep, by name, John 10:3b, "...and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out." The elect are chosen by God, Jesus redeemed them from their sins by paying the price of their sins on the cross and the Holy Spirit now seeks them out at the appointed time and place and they hear the voice of their Lord and they follow Him. They can do nothing else for His is the only voice that they know. They will not follow another. Why? Matt. 23:8, the Lord tells us not to be title-seekers because "...for one is your Master, even Christ...."
What of other men? John 5:40, they want nothing to do with Him and He spoke this very thing in His own words, "And ye wilt not come to me, that ye might have life." And so we have one party that follows the Lamb and owes their allegiance to Him and to no other, and the other party that follows the prince of darkness, led captive by him at his will.
Just as the elect are subject to another head they belong to the world of that head. His kingdom. Jesus told parables concerning His Kingdom and one of them was the parable of the man who sowed good seed in his field and during the night his enemy came and sowed tares in the field with the wheat. Jesus interpreted this parable for the disciples in Matt. 13:38, "The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom, But the tares are the children of the wicked one,....". Once again we are, made to notice the fact that there are two kinds of people in the world, those who are the children of the kingdom and those who are the children of the wicked one.
We are always given distinguishing characteristics when God wants His word to show that there are two kinds of people, the people of God, the elect, and the children of the Devil. In Luke 20:35 we have the only place in Scripture which has anything to say of the elect and their election, "But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world...;" that is the world to come and He goes on to speak of that world. But remember that the use of the word "obtain" does not mean that the person obtains it by any goodness on his or her part or by works. It is only obtained at the good pleasure of our God, and that through the Lord Jesus Christ.
In Revelation 21:27 we find again material that tells us that there are two kinds of people in the world and that there will be two kinds in the hereafter, "And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life." So who is to be admitted into heaven, those whose names "are written in the Lamb's book of life." Now let's look back at Rev. 20:15, at who will not be admitted into heaven, "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire". Still two kinds of people, two peoples who are servants of two different kings. It is on this same account that Judas is said to have gone to his own place in Acts 1:25 when the apostles are talking about electing someone to take the place of Judas, "that he may take part of this ministry and apostleship from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place". If it was his place at his death then it was his place before his death, it was there waiting for him.
In Matt. 5:34 we have, what to me is, a very explicit statement that there is a place prepared for God's people and prepared for them from before the foundation of the world, therefore God knew them and prepared the place for them.
"Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world". Note please that those about whom he is speaking are called the "blessed of my Father" so it is obvious that they have been blessed of the Father and expected by the Father and so He prepared for them a Kingdom that they would one day inherit.
There is just one more argument concerning the fact that there is an election unto salvation and that is that the Word says in Isa. 1:9, "Except the Lord of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah."
What more is there to be said, if there were no election. If God did not save some for whatever reason pleases Him, then there would have been no one saved. All of mankind would have been condemned as sinners and sent to their place in the fires of hell.