The Elect

Jesus referred to “the elect” several places:

If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. ... For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible. ... And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other (Matthew 24:22,24,31).
Peter wrote to “God’s elect,”
who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood:  Grace and peace be yours in abundance (1 Peter 1:1,2).
Peter also wrote to those who, through their faith in God, possess godly qualities, thus keeping them effective and productive in their knowledge of Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:1-8):
Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure.  For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:10,11).
This is an indication that “the elect” includes, but is not limited to, those who know Jesus and have been saved by His blood atonement.  Their “election” will enable them to “receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

Paul, writing to believers in Colosse, said this:

Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.  Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience (Colossians 3:11,12).
These believers in Colosse, both Gentiles and Jews, were chosen by God.  That is, they all  had been elected or predestined by God to receive eternal salvation, through Jesus Christ.

In addition, Paul stated that God has not rejected His people, Israel (Romans 11:1,2a).  There will be a “remnant [of Israel] chosen by grace” (11:5).  Speaking of “the elect” remnant of Israel, he wrote,

What then?  What Israel sought so earnestly it did not obtain, but the elect did.  The others were hardened (Romans 11:7).
“Israel” does not consist merely of bloodline Israelites, though.  The splendor of Israel has been likened to that of an “olive tree” (Hosea 14:5,6).  There are Gentiles and literal Israelites, respectively, who have been “grafted and re-grafted” into this “olive tree,” Israel.

In Romans 11:17,18, Paul explained that while some of the natural “branches” (bloodline Israelites) have been “broken off” of their “olive tree” (due to unbelief), other unnatural “wild olive shoots” (Gentiles) have been “grafted in” to the “olive tree” of Israel, which supports them (due to faith in Jesus).  Some bloodline Israelite “branches,” coming to a faith that Jesus is their Messiah, have been “re-grafted” back into their “olive tree” (11:23,24); and together with Gentiles who share the same faith, they all  have become God’s “elect.”

Many of the elect of literal Israel will be those who flee to the desert wilderness, following the midpoint of the 70th Week.  They will be protected supernaturally by God for 1,260 days or 3½ years (Revelation 12:6,14).

I believe it also is probable that a significant portion of that group of elect Jews, from Judea (Matthew 24:16), will acknowledge, accept, and embrace Jesus as Messiah and Savior during the Great Tribulation period.  If so, they will be caught up in the Pre-Wrath Rapture, to take place following the opening of the Sixth Seal.

The “elect,” then, are both Gentiles and literal Jews/Israelites who have known, now know, or will know Jesus as Lord, Savior, and Messiah.  They will enter, and become integral members of, His eternal Kingdom when He comes again—whether at the primary Rapture, when He returns in the clouds, or else at the end of the 70th Week when He returns physically to earth to rule and reign.

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