THE ELECTION – 1 Thessalonians 1

knowing, brethren beloved of God, your election,

1 Thessalonians 1:4 ASV


Here, as elsewhere, election derives from God’s love.

Election to damnation is not found in the New Testament.

Such views as this derive from the failure to understand that God’s election works both ways, both to eternal life and to eternal death.

Who are they who are “Elected”?

The Elect are people who will love God and choose to serve him are “the elect” foreordained before all time to inherit eternal salvation.

Whereas, those who will not love God and who choose to disobey him are “elected” to eternal death.

Some have believed that in the New Testament election concerns individuals; but the conviction maintained here is that God never “elected” any individual either to eternal life or eternal death, apart from the individual’s choice of the kind of election he desired.

The scholarly editor of the Firm Foundation, in a splendid editorial, “Hope for Calvinism,” June 7,1977, has given timely and concise comment regarding the fact of many Calvinists moving away from the straitjacket conception regarding election.

Nobody is predestined to be saved, except as he chooses, of his own free will, to repent of sin and trust Christ for salvation.

In the same vein, Wendell Eaves, chancellor of Hyles-Anderson College, wrote a book, Predestined to Hell? No!

It is not individuals who are predestined (except in the one sense that all people were intended and created for the purpose of being God’s children).

Nobody will be lost eternally except those who exercise their free will in the rejection of God and his message to people through Christ.

“Brethren” was a favorite word with Paul. Paul used this word twenty-one times in the two Thessalonian epistles; and, coming from a formerly devout Pharisee like Paul, and especially when applied to Gentile idol-worshipers turned Christian, the word has epic overtones in this context.

In view of the many loose modern ideas regarding the “brotherhood of man” it is worth noting that the New Testament concept of brotherhood is specifically a brotherhood in Christian bonds.

Here it is linked with being loved by God and with election. Both are significant.

Who shall bring any charge against God’s ELECT?

It is God who justifies; who is to condemn?

Is it Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us? Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?

Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, “For thy sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

Romans 8:33‭-‬36 RSV

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