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Sabbath: The Elect — 8 Comments

  1. Is the author saying that election is related *only* to choosing evangelists, and the evangelists turned out to be Jews first, and Gentiles/Nations later?
    God chose/elected Abraham’s “children of the flesh” as His people, naming them His firstborn son: “… Israel is My son, My firstborn.”(Ex 4:22) See Jer 31:9; Hos 11:1; Rom 9:4. Scripture details their privileges - their adoption, the glory, the covenants, the promises (Rom 9:4,5). When Christ established the gospel of salvation He commissioned: “Do not go in the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter any city of the Samaritans, but rather go to the *lost sheep* of the house of Israel. As you go, preach saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Christ specified: LOST SHEEP of the house of Israel, not all the sheep of Israel.
    Wherever Gentiles or nations are mentioned it is as enemies of God, sinners, or saved through the mercy of God, never as chosen as evangelists instead of some other people. When there was a turn to the Gentiles it was for their Salvation: “…Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said, “It was *necessary* that the word of God be spoken to you(Jews) *first*; since you repudiate it and judged yourself unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles. For so the Lord has commanded us, “I have placed You as a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the end of the earth.’” When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been *appointed* to eternal life believed (Acts 13:45-48).
    James describes this turn to the Gentiles at the Jerusalem Council: “Brethren, listen to me. Simeon has related how God first concerned Himself about taking *from among the Gentiles* a *people for His name*(Acts 15:14). He then quotes Amos 9:11,12 which prophesied the rebuilding of David’s fallen tabernacle and it ends thus: “So that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord and all the Gentiles upon whom My name is called” (Acts 15:17). Amos 9:12 actually says: “That they may possess the *remnant* of Edom and all the nations/Gentiles who are called by My name.” This is all about Salvation: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew *first* and also to the Greek (Rom 1:16).
    Before Christ was born the angel declared: “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save *His people* from their sins(Matt 1:21). “I am the good shepherd, and I *know* My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father, and I lay down My Life *for the sheep*. I have *other sheep*(from Gentiles/nations), which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one Shepherd. For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again (Jn 10:14:17). “Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “The Lord KNOWS those who are His and everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness (2 Ti 2:19). Christ did not die to save every being in the world. There are those that are God’s. Christ said: “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out” (Jn 6:37). “I have manifested your name to the men whom You gave Me *out of the world*; *they were Yours* and you gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. I ask on their behalf, I do NOT ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom you have given Me, for they *are Yours*(Jn 17:6,9)
    Jn 17:2 “Even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give *eternal life*.” Those are the children that were promised to Christ, the children of God, the elect. Rom 9:8; 11:7; Heb. 2:12,13; Isa 53:10,11. They were chosen before the foundation of the world “out of the world*; just like He chose the firstborn of Israel as His before He took them out of Egypt(Ex 13:2).

    • Kenny, you quote a lot of texts and I am not sure that I see the connection between all of them. I think at the heart of your comment is the issue about the role of Israel and their relationship to the gentiles. And mixed up with this is the issue of “calling” and “election”

      Here are some responses that you may like to consider:

      1. Jesus’ command not to go to the gentiles - Matt 10

      To put this in context, Jesus was sending the disciples out on their first missionary journey and he wanted them to concentrate a familiar environment. It was a simple practical instruction to novice missionaries.

      We have to add to this the example of Paul who in his speech to Agrippa made the observation:
      Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance. Acts 26: 19,10

      2. The Gentiles are called to salvation but not as evangelists.

      I find this distinction as artificial. Anybody who comes to Christ is (or should be) a witness to the love of Christ in their lives. There is no differentiation between Jew or Gentile in that respect. In fact Paul goes to some length to make the point that Jews and Gentiles are all in the same situation as far as their relationship with Christ is concerned.

      And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. Rom 9: 23-25

      And in the context of Spiritual Gifts that included evangelism and teaching: For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. 1 Cor 12:13

      When Jesus was commissioning the disciples to preach the gospel, he started an iterative process. The new disciples were to carry on the work irrespective of the Jewish or gentile background.
      Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Matt 28:19,20

    • Kenny,

      Very interesting and very appropriate. Our understanding is not derived from our mere reason. Reason must be under the authority of scripture. Your point is: Israel is the elect of God. Our reason asks, "how can/do Gentiles have a portion with Israel in election?" The scripture answers: "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved" The King of Israel becomes my King when I believe. Through Him I have a portion in Israel.

      Adventists would do well to follow your example of letting the scripture speak for them. I deeply appreciate your hermeneutic. You and Paul don't want any misunderstandings about the Sovereignty of God. He is the one doing the choosing.

      I have a question for you. What did Jesus mean when he said, "I did not come to judge the world but to save it?"

  2. Greetings,
    Kenny, I admire your courage in stating truth by Scripture. When a Gentile is grafted in, He BECOMES the Israel of God, the “spiritual Israel”.
    (Gal 6:16)Jesus’ desire WASQ to save the world, not judge and condemn it. This can only be done through “coming to Him”. The Spirit draws to ALL. JN 12:32
    “Whoever comes to me, I will in no wise cast out”. The offer is to all, but only a few will truly come, leaving organized religion that is supported by money behind.


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