This question arises if one is observant of the references made to Christ’s body of believers throughout scripture. Whether this view of those believers has any impact on your understanding of the work God and his Christ are engaged in depends greatly on what presuppositions you hold. For example, if one believes that God is working to save the entire world before Christ’s second advent, or that this period before Christ’s return is the only day of salvation, the idea of a called, chosen, and faithful body of believers becomes a mute point.
Our goal in understanding needs to be defined by God’s word rather than man’s tradition. Specifically on this topic, I can think of one seldom-referenced scripture that will always challenge those sincerely committed to following our Lord and Savior.
Fourth Gospel(1) 17:33 – And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
The context for this verse is first framed within the prayer of our Lord as he approaches his death on the cross. This is the focus of chapter 17. Taken together with chapter 16, Christ gives a thorough description of his underlying purpose and methods involved in fulfilling the will of the Father for the world’s redemption.
Notice that in verse three alone Christ frames one of God’s underlying goals for the work he’s been called to do – that they know you, the only true God. It’s not by accident that the author of Hebrews refers to the Son of God as the express image of the Father (Hebrews 1:3/NKJV). Repeatedly Christ refers to the connection between the Father and the Son, their oneness of mind and their unity of purpose. Notice also that his focus of importance is on knowing the only true God. This is in contrast to Israel’s and humanity’s trend to worship created entities and things which were not the true God. They are referred to as false gods for good reason.
If the idea or process of knowing God wasn’t challenging enough, Christ begins by hinging the whole concept on the hopes of all humanity; immortality, eternal life. What he makes clear, here and throughout the gospels, is that the pathway to eternal life only comes through knowing him who is the source of it, that is the Son of God (Fourth Gospel 14:6-7).
Let’s broaden the context of verse three a little further to see a broader scope of purpose.
Fourth Gospel 17:1b-3
1b Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, 2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
The hour that has come is clearly Christ’s upcoming sentencing, torture, death, buriel, and, most importantly, his resurrection. Christ is well aware of what awaits him. Yet he trusts completely in the Father to complete his work in him. It is God who will raise the Son. It is the Son, then, who is given all authority and power to give that same eternal life to whomever the Father chooses. And to whom will he give it? To all whom the Father has given to the Son.
So let’s continue to review Christ’s prayer as he outlines the distinction between those who’ve been given to him and those in the world.
Fourth Gospel 17:6-19
- The apostles and disciples of Christ were given to him by the Father
- They received the word of God from Christ and believed
- Because they know Jesus Christ came from the Father, they know the Father
- This knowledge came by the word of God, spoken of by Christ, revealed in the scriptures, and opened up to them by the will of God and the working of the Holy Spirit
- Christ distinguished between those whom the Father has given him and those in the world
- Christ kept them in God’s name, and desires that they be kept that way
- He guarded them and desires that the Father continue to guard them
- He doesn’t ask that they be taken out of the world, but that they be kept from the evil one
- Having a part with God, they are no longer of the world, just as Christ, being one with the Father, is not from the world.
- As the Father sent the Son into the world, so the Son sends these into the world
This should raise a few thoughts in our minds:
- What did the Father send the Son into the world to do?
- How long does this distinction between those given by God to Christ and those in the world apply?
- If Christ came and died for the sins of the world, doesn’t that imply his intent is to save the world?
- The implication that God chooses whom he wills.
There isn’t space in this article to address all of these. Yet I challenge each reader to look into these further and discover what God’s word and the Holy Spirit will reveal.
The Source of Our Faith
The first question of what the Father sent the Son into the world to do is partly answered by Christ himself, here in verse six of chapter seventeen; I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me . . .
When one steps back to observe the vast scope of work that Christ accomplished and that which was fulfilled in him, it seems very accurate to say that he manifested not only God’s name, but his will, purpose, and very character and nature. It was because of Christ that they have received the word of God and believed.
The author of Hebrews takes this one step further.
. . . looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (NKJV)
The basis for our belief or faith is Yeshua, the Christ, the creator of all things – seen and unseen.
- He is the author of our faith
- He is the finisher of our faith
- He is the author of the covenant of faith established with Abraham
- He is the finisher of that faith in blessing the nations of the world
Ephesians 2:8 – It is by grace we have been saved, through faith, not of our own doing – it is the gift of God. He extends the grace necessary to redeem and reconcile his creation to himself (Ephesians 4:7); it starts with him.
And the faith? That too is obtained through the righteousness of our Lord and Savior.
2 Peter 1:1 – . . . to those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:
Philippians 2:12-13 – . . . work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
It is God who works in you both to will and to do for his good pleasure. It is by the Spirit of God that;
- We’re lead to the word (Act 11:16-18; Romans 2:3-5)
- It is given for some to hear the word of the Lord (Luke 8:8-10)
- We live in the righteousness of Christ (Romans 5:17; 1 Corinthians 1:28-31; Philippians 3:8-11)
- We can please God (Colossians 1:19-23; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12)
- We can be the children of God (Romans 8:12-17)
- We are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:16-21)
The implications of Christ’s prayer in the garden brings us back to the distinction he was making between those given to him by the Father and those in the world. What’s important to note is that this distinction continues into the future. Even at the point where Christ descends with his army to battle the nations gathered at a place called Armageddon (Revelation 19:11-21; 16:14,16), he clarifies and distinguishes those who are with him. Those who accompany him in this monumental event are called and chosen and faithful (Revelation 17:9-14).
Who Are The Called?
Let’s look to scripture to determine who the called refer to. The specific adjective we’re referring to in the Greek is klétos, and it’s worth looking at the noun form klésis also. Each occurs multiple times in the New Testament.
Strong’s Concordance:  called, invited, summoned by God to an office or to salvation.
Helps Word-Studies:  literally, “called”; (“divinely called”) focuses on God’s general call
Matthew 22:14 – For many are called, and few are chosen.
Romans 1:1 – Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,
Paul, although an Israelite of the tribe of Benjamin and under the first covenant, sees a distinction in his calling in Christ.
Romans 1:6-7 – including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ; to all those in Rome, who are beloved by God, and called to be saints: . . .
He further clarifies the distinction it holds for us who are called out of the world from among all nations for the sake of God’s name (vs 5).
Romans 8:28-30 – We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.
God’s intention is that:
- We would be conformed into the image of his son
- That in him we are called (reconciled), justified (sanctified), and glorified
1 Corinthians 1:1-2 – Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and our brother Sosthenes, To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:
Like Paul, we too are called to be sanctified in Christ, set apart for Godly purpose. (Matthew 11:27)
1 Corinthians 1:23-24 – but we preach Christ crucified, . . . but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.
God’s calling in Christ extends beyond Israel and the Jews to include those of the Gentile nations also. This is part of the mystery of God.
For more details on the Mystery of God, see this series of articles. Discover more.
Jude 1:1-2 – Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James, to those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ; May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.
Let’s look at the verb form kaléō  “to call”. What we’ll see is that God has always called his priests and prophets, including Yeshua the high priest (Hebrews 5:1-5,10). In fact, according to Helps Word Studies, the Greek ekklésia  which is translated as the church throughout the New Testament, has at its root ek  “out from and to” and kaléō  “to call” – people called out from the world and to God.
2 Timothy 1:8-10
8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, 9 who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, 10 and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,
Our invitation and calling is a holy calling, given to us in Christ and established in him before the foundations of the world. (Ephesians 1:3-6)
- Why? Not because of our works but because of his purpose and his own grace, given in Christ.
- Who? Those invited into Christ, whether Jew or Greek (Gentile), slave or free, men or women.
- How? By Christ and his gospel – bringing to light the abolishment of death and the hope of immortality (Romans 6). It is this testimony by which we stand.
- God has not given us a spirit of fear; (vs 7) but of power, and love, and of a sound mind.
Ephesians 1:12 – We’ve been called first – the first to hope in Christ (2 Thessalonians 2:13-14; Hebrews 12:22-24; James 1:17-18)
- To the praise, glory, and honor of his name
- It’s part of his plan and purpose
Consider that those who are called the first should not be thought of as the only.
1 Corinthians 1:9 – God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
In that calling, collectively (vs 4-9);
- We’ve received God’s grace poured out for us in Christ, his beloved son
- We are enriched in all knowledge and in all speech
- Christ’s gospel and testimony are confirmed in us and in our lives
- We lack nothing, but abound in the blessings of God and the gifts of the Holy Spirit
- Christ will sustain us to the end as we wait for his appearing
- In him we stand guiltless and blameless in the day of judgement
- We are fellow priests with the high priest – the Son of God
1 Corinthians 1:26-31 – Since you are called to be a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9-10), consider your calling:
- Not many wise, by worldly standards, are called
- Not many powerful or of noble birth
God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise. He chose what is low and despised to bring to nothing those that are high and proud. Yet even we cannot boast – except in Christ. Our wisdom is from God – righteousness, sanctification, and reconciliation.
1 Corinthians 7:17-24 – God calls us to him in whatever condition we’re in for his purpose. Paul encourages us to remain in that condition. Do not be compelled by men to change that condition – only remain with God and his purpose.
22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory – 24 even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? 25 As indeed he says in Hosea, “Those who were not my people I will call ‘my people,’ and her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved.’”
It is God who calls (vs 21-24). He makes one vessel for honor and another for dishonor. He has, in fact, consigned all to disobedience – that he may pour out mercy on all. (Romans 5:15-21; Romans 11:32)
Hebrews 9:15, 27-28 – Christ is the mediator of the new covenant of grace and mercy
- So that those who are called may receive a greater promise – an eternal inheritance
- When he comes again, it’s not to deal with sin. All that remains is to lead the world into obedience to God.
2 Peter 1:3 – His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,
God has called us into his own glory and virtue. By his power he grants all to us, through the knowledge of him (vs 3-4);
- All things pertaining to life and godliness
- Precious and very great promises
- By which, we may become partakers of the divine nature
1 Peter 5:10 – And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
Remember that Christ is the finisher of our faith. He will complete the creation he has started in us (vs 6-10).
- Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God (1 Thessalonians 2:11-12)
- That at the proper time he may exalt you
- By his grace you are called to his eternal glory in Christ
- He will restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you
Luke 5:29-32 – Christ, the good shepherd came to call sinners to repentance with the gospel of reconciliation. (Matthew 9:12-13)
Fourth Gospel 10:1-18 – The good shepherd calls his sheep and leads them out.
- Christ calls to his sheep (Israel) and some hear his voice and follow
- He has sheep of another fold (Gentiles)
- They too will hear his voice
- There will be one flock, one shepherd
Acts 19:8-10 – Not all who hear continue in belief. Some continue in unbelief.
Who Are The Chosen?
Next, we’ll review scripture to see who the elect/chosen are. Again, we’ll look at the Greek adjective eklektos used throughout the new testament.
Strong’s Concordance:  chosen, elect, choice, select
Helps Word-Studies:  selected (chosen from, out of), especially as a deeply personal choice
Matthew 22:14 – For many are called, but few are chosen.
Matthew 24:22 – If those days hadn’t been shortened, no one would survive. But for the sake of the elect, those days will be shortened. (NIV)
Matthew 24:24 – For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.
Matthew 24:31 – And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Mark 13:20 – If the Lord had not shortened those days, no one would survive. But for the sake of the elect whom he has chosen , he has shortened those days. (NIV)
 eklegó (verb) – to select; I pick out for myself, choose, elect
Mark 13:27 – And then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.
These references in Matthew 24 and Mark 13 refer specifically to Christ’s faithful followers present in the world prior to his appearance.
For more details about Christ’s return, see my book: The Rapture Question – An Unfiltered View
Luke 23:35 – And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!”
Romans 8:33 – Who shall bring any charge against God’s chosen ones? It is God who justifies.
Romans 16:13 – Greet Rufus, chosen in our Lord, and his mother who is also a mother to me.
Colossians 3:12-13 – Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
The fruits and evidence of God’s chosen are enumerated here and in Galatians 5:22-23.
1 Timothy 5:21 – In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels I charge you to keep these rules without prejudging, doing nothing from partiality.
2 Timothy 2:10 – Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
1 Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, 2 in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began 3 and at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior;
Paul sums up the work that God is doing in Christ Jesus.
- God is faithful to keep his promises
- It was established before the ages began
- But is manifested now
1 Peter 1:1-2 – Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect . . ., according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you.
Again we see a greeting to the elect of God and the basis by which they are called:
- God knows in advance whom he will call
- They are set apart by the Holy Spirit
- To lead them to obedience to Jesus Christ
- Under whose blood they are purified and cleansed
1 Peter 2:4-5 – As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 2:9-10 – But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
Luke 9:35 – And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!”
Christ is the cornerstone upon which God is building his spiritual temple (house). Those in Christ are called and chosen as Christ was chosen. (Luke 9:34-36; 1 Peter 2:4-5,9-10)
- They follow, as priests, their high priest – Yeshua
- Offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God
- A people to claim the faithfulness of him who called them out of darkness
Note also that, although Christ had power to save himself, it was not within the will of God that he should do so (Fourth Gospel 10:17-18).
Aside from those few verses that use Eklektos for other nouns, like our Lord and angels, is there any doubt who the other scriptures are referring to? One could answer this clearly just from 1 Peter 2. It’s fitting that those who believe in him who is approved are likewise approved and part of the body of believers – the church.
It’s also worth looking at a few examples of the verb form of the elect; eklegó 
Fourth Gospel 15:16 – You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.
Christ chose us and calls us friends because he makes known to us what his father does (vs 12-17).
2 Thessalonians 1:4, 11-12 – To be chosen is to be made worthy of the calling ;
- So that the name of our Lord Yeshua may be glorified in you! (vs 10)
- And you in him!
1 Thessalonians 1:4-5 – For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction.
The evidence of their election (having been chosen) is seen in their fruit and in their works (vs 2-10);
- Which they do in the Holy Spirit, in power and conviction
- They were imitators of our Lord
- An example to all believers
- Turning from idols to God
- Awaiting the Son from heaven and the resurrection to life eternal (1 Thessalonians 3:13; 4:13-18)
2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 – But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
And regarding that hope of eternal life, we are chosen to be the firstfruits to be saved.
- To this we are called through the gospel of reconciliation
- To be called the first infers there are many to follow. No one is called the first if they are the only.
And we Gentiles are not alone in our election, for there remains a remnant in Israel, called and chosen by grace (Romans 11:1-7).
- As a whole, the nation of Israel stumbled and failed to obtain what it sought
- But the elect (chosen in faith) in Israel did obtain it
Who Are The Faithful?
The testaments, both old and new, are full of teaching in various forms on the value of being loyal to God and trustworthy servants – what we call faithful. Here we’ll primarily look at the Greek word pistos, an adjective, to see who it is that are described as such. I’ll comment on each and in a few verses reference the noun form pistis  when it is used.
Strong’s Concordance:  trustworthy, faithful, believing
Helps Word-Studies:  faithful; typically, of believing the faith God imparts
Matthew 25:23 – His master said to him, Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.
In the parable of the talents, the master invites those who are faithful servants into his joy. They applied their belief in ways that produced growth, represented by the talents. They received praise from their master – well done and greater responsibility. He that succumbed to fear did not grow. What he had was taken away and he was cast out of the master’s presence.
Fourth Gospel 20:27 (NIV) – Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless (apistos ) any longer. Believe!”
Thomas is limiting his trust in what God is doing to only what he can see. In rejecting what the other disciples proclaimed – we have seen the Lord, he also rejects what Christ himself taught them – destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up again. We are called to trust what God and Christ are doing and what they have promised to do for us.
13 And on the Sabbath day we went outside the gate to the riverside, where we supposed there was a place of prayer, and we sat down and spoke to the women who had come together. 14 One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul. 15 And after she was baptized, and her household as well, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” And she prevailed upon us.
Those like Lydia, faithful to the Lord, have their heart opened to hear his word. These are believers and worshippers of God.
1 Corinthians 1:4-9 – God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
God shows that he too is trustworthy, who calls you into fellowship with his son, Yeshua, so that he may;
- Sustain you until the end
- Keep you guiltless
- Not lacking in any gift of character by grace
- Enriching your speech of him
- Enriching your knowledge of him
- Trust God
2 Corinthians 6:14-16
14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever (apisto )? 16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; . . .
Here the contrast between opposing fellowships is drawn; what portion does a believer (the faithful) share with an unbeliever (not faithful). Paul goes on to exclaim that we faithful are the temple of the living God.
7 Know then that it is those of faith (pistis ) who are the sons of Abraham. 8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith (pistis ), preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” 9 So then, those who are of faith (pistis ) are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.
The gospel New Testament Christians claim so exclusively, isn’t. Its foundation is faith and has continued since Abraham, the father of the faithful (Romans 10:16-21). The inclusion of the Gentiles is additive, not exclusive as many suggest (Joel 2:30-32; Romans 11).
1 Timothy 4:10 – For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Saviour of all people, specially of them that believe.
1 Peter 1:20-21 – He (the Christ) was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith (pistis ) and hope are in God.
This Christ and Messiah was manifested for all who believe and trust in God. These are God’s holy people – faithful followers of Christ Jesus (Ephesians 1:1) called saints and faithful brethren in Christ (Colossians 1:2). Even in tribulation and trouble they are called to remain faithful unto death (Revelation 2:10).
Romans 6:12-14, 21-23 – Our choice is to live for God or live for sin
- We, like Paul, seek to be united with Christ in the resurrection to life
- We are freed from sin. Why remain a slave to it?
- Present yourselves and your members to God as instruments to righteousness
- The fruit we bear leads to sanctification, and in the end, eternal life
2 Peter 1:5-11 – It is in bearing fruit that the faithful make their calling  and election  sure. (Galatians 5:22-23)
- Add to virtue, knowledge
- Add to knowledge, self-control
- Add to self-control, steadfastness
- Add to steadfastness, godliness (devotion)
- Add to godliness, brotherly love (Philia)
- Add to brotherly love, godly love (Agape’)
Colossians 1:9-10, 23
9 . . . that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; . . . 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.
We are encouraged to continue in the knowledge of Christ, who is preeminent in all things.
- Continue in what you’ve learned and be equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:14-17; James 1)
- Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord (2 Peter 3:18)
- This is eternal life (Fourth Gospel 17:3)
Philippians 3:12-21 – Strive for the goal – our transformation in Christ
- Forget what lies behind
- Press onward for the prize of the upward call from God
That upward call is to his throne and to his temple – the dwelling place of his priests – which we are.
- God’s house is built upon the faithful (Hebrews 3:5-6)
- We are his temple (1 Corinthians 3:16-17; 6:19-20; 2 Corinthians 6:14-16; Ephesians 2:18-22)
Revelation 3:11-12 – to those who endure and overcome, Christ will make him a pillar in the temple of God.
Looking for that day, we seek the glory of the Lord at his appearing. And we are not merely the recipients of glory but we too glorify Christ. All by the grace of God and the Lamb.
2 Thessalonians 1:10-12
- When Christ comes to be glorified in his saints
- God will complete the work (the new creation) he has started in you
- And the name of Yeshua will be glorified in you
- And you will be glorified in him
1 Peter 1:3-9
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith – more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire – may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
The genuineness of our faith and trust in Christ is more precious than gold.
- Even though it comes with much struggle – internal and external
- It results in praise, glory, and honor to our God
- When? At the revelation of Christ to the world
- At which time we’ll receive the salvation of our souls (lives)
Where then should the fullness of our trust be placed but in him who makes our calling and election, and his faithful work, a certainty.
19 Therefore brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Yeshua – 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great (high) priest over the house of God,
22 Let us draw near with a pure heart in fullness of faith (pistis ),
With our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience
And our bodies washed with pure water,
23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering
For he who promised is faithful!
And What of Those Who Now Remain in Unbelief?
So faithful is he that completes his work in us now, he will complete his work for all humanity. Remember, we are only the first; the first of others to follow (Romans 8:23, 29; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; James 1:18; Ephesians 1:11-13).
Revelation 20:4-6 – Are not we, the called, chosen, and faithful, given authority to rule with Christ for 1000 years in his earthly kingdom?
- These faithful were given authority and thrones from which to judge
- These faithful were resurrected to eternal life. Over them the second death has no power.
- These faithful are the priests of God and his Christ
- These faithful reign with Christ for 1000 years
And who shall these faithful rule alongside with Christ for 1000 years? Those who dwell still in unbelief. (Romans 11:23-26; 1 Corinthians 6:1-3; 15:22-26)
And how is it that some remain in unbelief? It is according to the will of God.
Fourth Gospel 12:37-43, 44-50
- He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart
- Christ came to save the world, not to condemn it
- Those who don’t believe have a judge – the same judge by which we are judged
The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.
- They are judged by the very same gospel of Christ in which we, who are now called, are judged daily.
- And the commandment the Father has given Christ? And I know that his commandment is eternal life.
2 Corinthians 4:3-4 – Satan, the source of deception, also blinds them.
Yet recall that in Christ’s future kingdom on earth, the deceiver will be removed so that all can come to the knowledge of the Lord (Revelation 20:1-3).
It was never the Fathers purpose or Christ’s intention to call the world, especially all of Israel, to him in this age. Their opportunity for the new covenant comes in the future. (Isaiah 6:10; 44:18; Jeremiah 31:31-34; Mark 4:12; Fourth Gospel 12:40; 15:21)
Matthew 13:10-15, Romans 1:19-22
- seeing they do not see
- and hearing they do not hear
- nor do they understand
Luke 8:9-10 – The meaning of Christ’s message is intended for those who are called, and not for the others.
Hebrews 9:27 – Their judgement is yet future, after death.
The nature of that judgement will be the righteous judgement of Christ our Lord. Just as in the case of Israel and those now called into Christ, their deception and disobedience will be the instrument of their redemption. This will occur for unbelievers when they are finally confronted with the Lord of Righteousness just as we have been.
So rejoice you who are
- a chosen race
- a royal priesthood
- a holy nation
- a people for his own possession,
- that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
Within the role of leadership that Christ bestows upon his faithful firstfruits in his coming kingdom, together they will lead the world into obedience to God.
- Due to the dispute over the authorship of the fourth gospel, typically attributed to John the brother of James and author of the Book of Revelation of Jesus Christ, I have concluded on the side of such authors as J. Phillips (ISBN13: 978-0-9702687-3-0) who has shown conclusively John could not be the sole author and instead attribute primary authorship to Lazarus – the disciple whom Christ loved. I will therefore refer to the book as the Fourth Gospel.
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