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Matthew and Mark

Elect of God: NT

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New Testament

Matthew and Mark

[dropcap class="article-dropcap"]O[/dropcap]ur survey of the New Testament use of G1588 is nearly complete, missing only the passages in Matthew and Mark which contain the Lord's prophetic statements regarding His return.  Both Gospels record the Lord as having used G1588 three times in His prophecy regarding end times.  We will look at both passages simultaneously, as they are nearly identical to each other.

Keep in mind that Matthew’s Gospel set the prophecy only two chapters after the parable of the wedding feast.  The proximity of these passages would typically lead us to assume the definition of G1588 at the parable would have carried through to the prophecy, especially since there was no clear indication otherwise.  From the earlier discussion of the parable, we recall that the Lord used the term to speak of those who responded to the invitation and came in the proper attire, referring to them as the true people of God.

As you read the following verses, take note of how the Lord used G1588 to see if He provided any clarifying remarks on the meaning of the word, or whether He used it in passing.

“For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.  And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.
“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it.  For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.  See, I have told you beforehand.  (Matthew 24:21-25)

“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.  Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.  And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”  (Matthew 24:29-31)

"For in those days there will be tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the creation which God created until this time, nor ever shall be.  And unless the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake, whom He chose, He shortened the days.
“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘Look, He is there!’ do not believe it.  For false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.  But take heed; see, I have told you all things beforehand.
“But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars of heaven will fall, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.  Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.  And then He will send His angels, and gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven.  (Mark 13:19-27)

[dropcap class="article-dropcap"]S[/dropcap]urely it is clear that the Lord used G1588 in these passages without explaining whether He meant 'people chosen for salvation' or 'chosen (and choice) people.'  What should our conclusion be?  Should we assume that He used ‘elect’ in the sense of people chosen for salvation, contrary to how the rest of Scripture used the term?