1Thessalonians 1:4 Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.
‘Election of God’ – Another Gentile group called the elect of God (Luke 18:7). No unconditional, eternal or personal election is meant here. It simply refers to the rejection of Israel as the gospel representatives and to the election of the Gentiles to take their place (Matt. 21:43; 23:37-39; Rom. 11:11-29). In neither case was the election absolute. All was conditional, as far as final salvation was concerned. Nothing was by personal merit. All were called to blessings, which, if properly used, would lead them to personal and eternal salvation. That these blessings and even the calling and election of either class could be abused, finally becoming useless and forfeited by them, is clear from the state of the Jews who, after being elected for 2,300 years, were now rejected and reprobate (Rom. 11:1-36).
In Scripture, there is not the slightest reference to an election of God whereby one person is chosen to be saved and another is not. There is no teaching that a man is saved because of God’s choice alone; there must also be the choice of the individual to meet God’s terms of salvation. It is the plan of God that is elected, chosen, foreknown, and predestined – not the individual or national choice of man to conform to that plan. The plan is the same for all alike, and everyone without exception is invited, chosen, elected, foreknown, and predestined to salvation, on the sole basis of the individual’s choice and total conformity to the gospel to the end of one’s life. Otherwise, one will be lost, and there can there be no exception to this divine plan. God’s part in salvation for all men has been completed, and whoever meets His terms will be saved. The whole program of salvation is simply that of becoming born again – becoming a new creature in Christ (Matt. 18:3; John 3:1-8, 14-18; 2Cor. 5:17-18) – and of living soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world ever afterwards (Gal. 5:18-21, 24; Tit. 2:11-14; 1Jn. 1:7; 2:29; 3:5-10; 5:1-4, 18). If one sins after becoming born again he must repent and turn from sin again or he incurs the death penalty like all other rebels (1Jn. 1:9; 2:1-2). No man who lives or dies in sin will be saved (Matt. 7:19-21; Rom. 1:29-32; 8:1-13; 1Cor. 6:9-11; Gal. 5:19-21; Col. 3:5-10).
To be continued…