Understanding God's Plan of Universal Reconciliation for All
Understanding God's Plan of Universal Reconciliation for All
THE TRUTH OF GOD’S ELECT - THE BRIDE OF CHRIST
The people that God chooses to be saved by the gift of faith in this life, before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, are called His Elect. All people fall into one of two categories, Elect or Non-Elect. However, Non-Elect are not condemned to a hell of eternal torture, as believed by Calvinism. Ultimately in God’s time and in His order, all people, without a single exception, are destined to be saved and reconciled to God through the work of the cross.
The Bible uses various names when referring to God’s Elect: the Saints, the Church, Believers, the Firstfruits, the Bride of Christ, the Lamb’s Wife, the Holy City and New Jerusalem. A key focus of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation is the story of God’s Elect.
Abel was the first of God’s Elect mentioned in the Bible. Let us now consider the story of Abel and Cain and learn the very important truth of the doctrine of Election right from the dawn of man’s history.
The true religion of Abel and the false religion of Cain
2 Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. 3 And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the LORD. 4 Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, 5 but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.
Abel and Cain were two brothers, sons of Adam and Eve. Why did God accept Abel’s offering of the firstborn of his flock of sheep, but reject Cain’s offering of the fruit of the ground?
By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.
In this verse, God says that by faith Abel was righteous. Abel had the gift of God’s saving faith and the covering of God’s Righteousness. This is why God accepted Abel’s offering but rejected Cain’s offering. Abel’s offering of the firstborn of his flock of sheep represented Abel’s faith in the sacrificial offering on the cross of God’s only begotten Son, His Firstborn, who is Jesus Christ the Lamb of God. Cain’s offering represented his own self-righteous human faith, which was unacceptable to God. Abel was God’s Elect but Cain was not.
Abel and Cain represent two religions, true religion and false religion. There are only two religions in this world: religion of human self-righteous faith, and religion of God given God righteous faith. All of man’s religions are false religions based on human faith with self-righteous works, which do not please God. However, true religion is based on God given faith with God righteous works, which do please God.
It is impossible to please God through human self-righteous faith and effort, no matter how sincere people might be. The Bible says that without faith (true God given faith) it is impossible to please God.
But without faith it is impossible to please Him…
The only way to please God is by God given faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. The Bible says that the Gospel was preached to the men of faith in the Old Testament, such as Abraham and Moses (Galatians 3:8, Hebrews 11:26). Like Abraham and Moses, Abel had the gift of faith.
The same is true for all of the people of faith in the Old Testament like Noah, Sarah, Lot, King David, Samson and others mentioned in Hebrews Chapter 11. None of God’s Elect was righteous by himself or herself. All of God’s Elect in the Old Testament sinned in a number of ways, as God’s Elect are also capable of doing so today. However, God’s Elect are forgiven and sinless in God’s eyes because they are covered with God’s Righteousness by the gift of faith.
It is important to understand that the faith to believe is a gift from God.
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Jesus Christ Himself is the Author and Finisher of our faith.
The faith to believe in the true Gospel of Jesus Christ is indeed the gift of the same faith that God granted to Abraham 'when he believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness'. This same ‘Abrahamic faith’ is granted to God’s Elect who are blessed along with believing Abraham.
6 just as Abraham "believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." 7 Therefore know that [only] those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. 8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, [saying], "In you all the nations shall be blessed." 9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.
The Abrahamic Covenant is nothing less than the true Gospel of Jesus Christ and His coming Kingdom. It reveals the truth of God's Plan to bless (save) all Israel and all the nations of the world through the Seed of Abraham, who is Jesus Christ Himself. A person who believes in hell or annihilation does not believe the Gospel that God preached to Abraham, ‘In you all the nations shall be blessed’.
God’s Elect from the nation of Israel
Israel is God’s chosen nation. However, the majority of Israelites die as unbelievers. Paul says in Romans Chapters 9-11 that it was never God’s purpose to save all Israelites before they die, except for God’s Elect from the nation of Israel, who are called the remnant of Israel.
5 Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. 6 And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work. 7 What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded.
Only a remnant of Israelites, God’s Elect, the Firstfruits, will be resurrected in their saved, immortal and glorified bodies to enter the Millennial Kingdom of God with Jesus Christ on His return to earth.
Revelation 7:1-8 refers to one hundred and forty-four thousand Israelites who will be sealed (saved) during the period of the Great Tribulation, before the return of Jesus Christ. There is no doubt that these one hundred and forty-four thousand Israelites form part of the Jewish Elect remnant.
The Jewish Elect remnant will rise in the First Resurrection with the Gentile Elect, who together are the Firstfruits, the Bride of Christ, and they will enter Christ’s Millennial Kingdom on earth to rule and reign with Him (Revelation 14:1-4).
God’s Elect from the Gentile nations
In God’s Plan for the salvation of all, God has purposely blinded all of Israel, except for the Jewish Elect remnant, until He has first called and chosen all of His Gentile Elect.
For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.
During this age, a part (the majority) of Israelites have been blinded to the Gospel because God’s present focus is on calling and choosing His Elect from the Gentile nations until their full number has come in (been saved).
Jesus says that no one can come to Him except those whom the Father draws to Him, and all that the Father gives to Jesus will come to Him.
No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.
All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.
Only God's Elect, His Sheep, can hear God's voice and are capable of following Him.
26 But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. 27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand.
Who does the choosing? Do you choose Christ or does Christ choose you? Consider what Jesus Christ has to say in the following verse.
You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.
This one biblical verse is sufficient, in and of itself, to totally destroy the whole of Arminian theology that says that man’s free will has the ultimate power to choose to either accept or reject God’s salvation. Note that the scripture above tells us that we don’t choose God, but God chooses us. Without God first choosing us and empowering us with the gift of faith to believe, we are unable to respond by freely accepting His salvation.
Please refer to the previous chapter, Chapter 8, to understand that Father God Himself must first reveal the truth of the Son of God to us, before we come to know the Father through the Son, who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
The Bible is clear that God’s Elect are chosen and predestined for salvation from the foundation of the world.
4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.
2 Thessalonians 2:13-14
13 But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, 14 to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God has a special purpose and a special salvation for His Elect.
1 Timothy 4:9-11
9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance. 10 For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. 11 These things command and teach.
God is not desperately trying to save the whole world in this age, and Satan is not winning hands down by taking hundreds of thousands of unbelievers, who die every day, to hell. Yes, God is indeed the Saviour of all men as the scripture above declares, but He gives a special salvation to His Elect who will have the privilege of rising in the First Resurrection for a special purpose. Let us now understand the special purpose of God’s Elect.
The glorious purpose of God’s Elect - the Bride of Christ
The relationship between Christ and His Church (God’s Elect) is a marriage relationship described in the Bible as a great mystery.
31 "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
Why is the relationship between Christ and the Church described as a great mystery? What is so mysterious or secret about it? Here is an amazing and glorious revelation about God’s true Church, His Bride, who is God’s Elect from Israel and the Gentile nations.
Jesus Christ will marry His Bride in His Millennial Kingdom, which Jesus will establish when He returns to this earth.
7 “Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” 8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
So, what is the purpose of the marriage of the Lamb and His Bride? Christ and His Bride are the Firstfruits. Jesus Christ is the First of the Firstfruits because He was the first to be resurrected from the dead.
1 Corinthians 15:22-23
22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming.
All true believers, God’s Elect, are the Firstfruits with Jesus Christ because they will rise in the First Resurrection.
Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.
The glorious purpose of God’s Elect, the Firstfruits, His Bride, is that after Jesus Christ marries her, there will be the Great Harvest of more fruits to follow, birthed from this marriage (Matthew 9:35-38).
After His Second Coming, the union of Jesus Christ with His Bride will bear multiple billions of spiritual children born into the Kingdom of God. These spiritual children are none other than the rest of humanity who will rise in the Second Resurrection at the end of Christ’s Millennial Kingdom. Ultimately, all of these spiritual children, without a single exception, are destined to enter the Eternal Kingdom of God of the New Heaven and the New Earth.
We cover the subject of salvation for the rest of humanity in detail in Chapter 12, The Lake of Fire Judgement Age - Part 1.
How can you be sure that you are one of God’s Elect?
Ultimately, only God knows who His Elect are. However, we know from Scripture that God’s Elect, before they die, will have the revelation of who the true Son of God is, and come to believe the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, which we have clearly explained in the previous chapter, Chapter 8.
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