16-05-16 - WHO ARE
THE ELECT TODAY?
By John Aldworth
2 Chron. 16:9: For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth to shew Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is perfect towards Him.
Job 1: 8: And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in earth, a perfect and upright man, one that feareth God and escheweth evil?
2 Sam. 15:25: And the king (David) said unto Zadok, Carry back the ark of God into the city: if I shall find favour in the eyes of the Lord, He will bring me again, and shew me both it and his habitation.
Titus 2:11-14: For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared unto all men, teaching us (that is, the 'chosen') that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.
There are two powerful spiritual beings who 'run to and fro' throughout the earth, the Lord and Satan. But while the 'eyes of the Lord' seek out those to whom He may do good, Satan, 'as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour' (1 Peter 5:8).
Do God's eyes still run to and fro in the whole earth today? Yes they do. What's more 'the Lord knoweth them that are his' (2 Tim. 2:19). How does He distinguish in the 'great house' of thosethat name the name of Jesus those that are 'vessels unto honour' (that is those
He sees as fit to serve Him) from those who are the 'called' but not 'chosen'(2 Tim. 19-21)?
Answer: by choosing those who have purged themselves from those who do not hold to the truth and their many'vessels' (i.e. outward religious structures). There is then in grace today a chosen, select company of those who are' sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work'.
You, see in every dispensation the Lord has always had his specially chosen ones. As He said, 'Many are called but few are chosen'. In Noah's day of the billions then living on earth that choice came down to eight people - Noah and his family. 'But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord' (Gen. 6:8). And in Romans 11:5, the Apostle Paul said that of the millions ofIsraelites living in his lifetime there was only 'a emnant according to the election by grace'.
There is a difference between the 'called' and the 'chosen', and also between those who are 'saved' and those who become 'disciples'. Notice to whom Jesus is speaking in both Luke 6:20 and Matt. 5:5:1- when He teaches the beatitudes, the principles of kingdom living. He shared these truths only with the 'disciples', not the 'multitude' that followed Him. It's the same in the Book of Acts where again scripture distinguishes between two classes of believers. They are:
1) The comparatively few added by the Lord to the church (Acts 2:41-42, 47). They are the 'elect', or chosen ones.
2) The 'multitudes' added to the Lord (Acts 5:14, 11:24). They are the 'called'.
Notice that the 'chosen' 'continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine'. They went on to become the elders and rulers of the Acts period churches. The 'called', however, became their congregations and, going by the epistles of both Peter and Paul, for the most part failed to 'continue stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine'. In their epistles both apostles clearly struggle to establish the multitudes in right
doctrine. For example, Peter pleads with called Jews to 'make their calling and election sure' (2 Peter 1:10). While Paul had to rebuke the Corinthians for idolatry and fornication (2 Cor. 6:16, 17 and 12:21).
Now, in the gospels it is clear that Jesus was often at pains to get away from the 'multitude' so that He could privately teach his disciples (the 'chosen') the beatitudes and life principles by which they should live their natural lives preparing for his entry into his glory and kingdom (compare Acts 24:26, 2 Tim. 4:1, Titus 2:13). Similarly, today we should be making ourselves ready for his appearing. And much of what Jesus said in the Beatitudes also applies to us for we too are seeking the 'kingdom to come'.
We should understand that that glory, that appearing, which is the pre-millennial kingdom, could have come upon earth in the Acts period had Israel, the 'vessel' then called to be the vehicle for its entry, accepted the word of her King from heaven. But she did not. As Paul and Barnabas told the Jews at Antioch in Pisidia (Acts 13:46):
It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.
Israel's time of probation as the chosen vessel ceased in Acts 28:28 when Paul announced, 'The salvation of Godis sent to the Gentiles, and they will hear it'. Today we are also 'on probation' in these, the 'last days' of grace and truly upon us the 'perilous times' (2 Tim. 3:1-8) have come. Fact is, the end of this dispensation of the grace of God is imminent and we should be looking as never before for the Lord's appearing.
Why? Because in these 'perilous times' we need to keep the light of our 'blessed hope', which is his appearing, burning brightly. Christianity, as we know it, Phil, is fast fading away.Thousands of churches and assemblies are shutting their doors. The world no
longer wants to hear the name of Jesus and today it seems very few are being saved. Our hope therefore must be, not in what we can do to stem this world's nosedive into darkness - for all we can is to be 'holding forth the word of life' (Phil. 2:16) - but rather in what only Christ can do at his 'glorious appearing', which means his appearing in glory (Titus 2:13).
Now, just as the Acts period believers were urged to 'make their calling and election sure', so we grace saved believers also are urged to 'walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye have been called' (Eph. 4:1). Even one of the chosen, Timothy, was urged by Paul to 'Take heed unto thyself and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee'.
So, are we up for the challenge, up to the task? All of us, I think, would have to admit that at present, in oneway or another, we are not. But that is not the end of the story, because, as Tom Ballinger, of the website Plainer Words, says:
GOD DOESN'T CHOOSE THE QUALIFIED.
HE QUALIFIES THE CHOSEN.
That is why in Eph. 5:25-26 we learn that 'Christ loved the church (that's us) and gave Himself for it that He might sanctify and cleanse it, with the washing of the water by the word'. Thank God, we don't have to do our own washing up, so to speak, but rather we
can trust and rely on the Lord to make us what we should be, vessels fit for the Master's use in the kingdom of his glory.
Because, if truth be known, in our natural life we all 'blow it' sooner or later. King David, for example, came a real 'gutser' in the matter of his adultery with Bathsheba and murder of her husband Uriah. As 1 Ki. 3:5 puts it:
David that which was right in the eyes of the Lord and turned not aside from anything He commanded, all the days of his life, save
in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.
David's sin cost him the throne and some. His son Absolom rebelled against him, even openly 'went in unto' his father's concubines on the palace rooftop for all to see. David had to flee Jerusalem weeping and wearing sackcloth while his enemies hurled stones and insults at him (2 Sam. 15 and 16). What a come down for a chosen man of God! But notice in this, his day of humiliation, his complete submission to the Lord, his hope of grace, and of restored glory:
When Shimei cursed and threw stones at him David stayed the hand of his followers who would have slain him, saying:
Behold my son (Absolom) which came forth out of my bowels seeketh my life: how much more may
this Benjamite do it? Let him alone, and let him curse; for the Lord hath bidden him. It may be the Lord will look upon my affliction; and that the Lord will requite me good for his cursing this day.
In his hour of shame David did not try to hold on to the glory of God - the ark - which had been taken with
him on the flight. Rather, he told Zadok (2 Sam. 15:25):
Carry back the ark of God into the city (Jerusalem): if I shall find favour (i.e. grace) in
the eyes of the Lord, He will bring me again and shew me both it (the ark, his glory) and his habitation (Jerusalem).
May I ask, have you found grace in the eyes of the Lord, especially when you are 'in time of trouble'? Are you among those chosen to a higher calling? Are you looking for his appearing in glory (Titus 2:13)? Seek it with all your heart and the Lord will be sure to clean you up and make sure you become qualified to get it.