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