Dear Brethren and Friends,
We are called “the elect.” Take a moment and consider what that means. God has chosen to call us in this lifetime; He has made our salvation possible by sacrificing His Son, Jesus Christ, for our redemption; He has resurrected our Savior and given us His Holy Spirit, which is our promise and guarantee of eternal life!
In a world that is devoid of truth and which now faces the stark consequences of its own rebellious ways, we have this reassurance from God through Jesus: “‘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’” (Matthew 24:21-22).
The “elect” spoken of here literally means the “chosen ones.” We are special to God, because we are the sons of God—begotten by His Holy Spirit but not yet born of that Spirit.
For now, God is not calling everyone to understand His plan for mankind. Rather, we see that it is the few—and we few are certainly not the ones this world would choose (Read the first two chapters of 1 Corinthians to see why we are among the elect of God).
Jesus Christ is also spoken of as God’s Chosen One: “‘Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him…’” (Isaiah 42:1).
Being the elect of God places us in the position to be among the firstborn in God’s Family—to become brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ in the everlasting Kingdom of God. This is outlined in the book of Romans: “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified” (Romans 8:29-30).
Understand that just as God bound Himself to Abraham and his descendants (compare Hebrews 6:13-20), so has He committed His unbreakable promise to us—His chosen ones. Here is how Paul addresses this assurance we have: “Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began” (Titus 1:1-2).
But God’s promise to us is CONDITIONAL. God will not break His promise, as long as we do OUR PART. You, brethren, are God’s elect! You are in the company of those called, chosen and faithful of God, who are recorded in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews.
These men and women were faithful in what God asked of them. They persevered with unyielding faith, because they looked to the future—to eternal life and not just to the temporary goals of this lifetime (Compare Hebrews 11:35). And so it must be with each of us!
Our hearts, our priorities, our very lives must be centered on pleasing God. You might ask yourself whether your life is focused on that goal. If there is something that causes you to stumble, face it squarely. Take it to God! You see, being the elect of God, we also have access to Him. We can go to God through Jesus Christ, our High Priest, Who can help on our behalf (compare Hebrews 4:14-16; 8:1; 9:12-14, 24).
Finally, as the people of God—as His elect, remember to stay grounded in the love of God. Here is a reminder from one of the apostles concerning how the elect should conduct themselves: “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 John 4:10-11).
Now, for some exciting developments in our mutual work: Our newest booklet, The Mysteries of the Bible, by Norbert Link, has been included with this mailing to those in Canada and the United States. This booklet will serve as the basis for our first Public Bible Lecture for this year, which is being conducted in Fort Collins, Colorado, on May 21, 2006. Evangelist Norbert Link will present the theme of this booklet to an open audience.
In addition, we are sending new Holy Day calendars (Also available on our web page: eternalgod.org)
A stirring new introduction has been created for the StandingWatch program (standingwatch.org). This video program is now being featured on Google Video, and we anticipate that these presentations will lead people to want to learn more about the message they are hearing and seeing.
Brethren, remember that God hears His people, His elect—pray earnestly for the Church of God. Pray for God’s help as we seek to reach out with His message of hope. Pray for the return of Jesus Christ and for God’s Kingdom! Pray for one another.
In Christ’s Service,
David J. Harris