The Bible teaches that those who are truly saved are called The Elect. Now, for someone to be called Elect, that means that someone had to CHOOSE them for something. Right now, we’re in the midst of our presidential election season and millions of Americans are going to the polls to choose which person they want to see in the White House. So, the person that makes it to that position will be called an ELECTED official because someone other than themselves put them there. We call the person who governs over a city the “mayor-elect” because that was who the majority wanted to see take that position. Then you have Governor-Elect, President-Elect, and so on. All these officials were CHOSEN by the people to take office. They did not assert authority and put themselves there. It was done by someone else.
Ephesians 1:4 states that God chose us (Believers) in Christ Jesus “before the foundation of the world.” This means that before one star, one planet, and one living creature were EVER brought into existence, God already had in mind whom He would save. The idea that God choosing specific people for salvation and not others doesn’t set well with some and the arguments against this teaching are many.
Some argue that if God already knows who will be saved, why bother preaching and, certainly, why bother praying for the lost? It’s called the Great Commission. Just before Jesus ascended into heaven He gave the command that we are to go into all the world and preach the gospel. Why is this so important? Well, because we have no clue who the Elect are. God’s Chosen doesn’t have a specific physical “birth mark” that we can see that tells us, “here is one of God’s Elect. Witness to him/her.” Another reason why their argument is invalid is because God called some to be pastors, teachers, and evangelists (Ephesians 4:11). Why? So that the gospel can go out to everyone. The gospel is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16), so if there is no one to witness and preach and teach, how can the gospel go out?
When Jesus called His disciples, He told them that He would make them “fishers of men”. Some of his disciples were actually fishermen by trade, and back in that time, they would go out in their boat and cast their nets into the water. At times they caught a few, at times they caught many, and at other times they came up empty. But, I say this because I want to use the analogy of the fisherman and his nets. As I stated previously, we don’t know who the Elect of God are until they are truly converted. It is only after they respond to the gospel and surrender their lives to Christ that we see that they ARE the Elect. Imagine a pastor/teacher/evangelist standing in front of a crowd of unbelievers sharing the gospel of Christ. Now imagine him in the context of a fisherman. He has cast his net (preached the gospel) into the water (congregation) and as he’s pulling in his net (making a plea for them to surrender to Christ), he finds several “fish” in that net (they surrender their lives to Christ). Why did they respond? Because the Holy Spirit illuminated their hearts and minds to understand. He opened their eyes and ears to receive the gospel and their cold, dead, stony heart was replaced with a soft heart of flesh. They went from being dead in spirit, to being made alive in Christ.
God doesn’t make us privy to who the Elect are before conversion. He commands us to go out into all the world and preach the gospel. Only when someone is truly saved and believes on Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sin can we know that they are God’s Elect.