Many years ago, we read a passage that forever changed how we viewed and accepted those facts surrounding the one everyone claims to know and worship.
For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect (Matthew 24:24).
According to what we have just read, we see that false Christs will rise up and the false prophets will rise up as well. We see that these false Christs and false prophets will show great signs and do wonderful miracles. In doing these great signs and wonderful miracles, which will be so realistic that if it were possible, they, the false Christs and the false prophets would deceived, tricked, or even seduced the very elect. This means that whatever these great signs and wonderful miracles be, they be good enough to fool the very elect, if that were possible. And since that is not possible, then what is possible is for these great signs and wonderful miracles to deceived, tricked, or even seduced everyone who is not one of the very elect.
So the question that you have to ask yourself is; Are you, by definition, one of the very elect? We suggest that you think very carefully before you answer this question, because this could be a matter of life and death.
While we cannot speak for anyone else, for us, we do not believe ourselves to be among the very elect. We have examined the scriptures, examined biblical references, biblical commentaries, and the like, but we have yet to find a definition that we are comfortable with, much less, one we believe to be the correct definition for us. We are aware that many of you probably have your own definition for what the very elect means, and if that works for you, then go with it, but the possibility of the very elect being deceived was enough motivation for us to seek the truth and not accept just any old definition.
In our interpretation of this passage, the wording, if it were possible they shall deceive the very elect meant that the strength of the delusion was such that many shall be deceived or carried away, even those that were thought to stand fast. The wording, if it were possible meant the same to us as it was not possible, but the wording, they shall deceive the very elect meant that we were in serious trouble. Anyone who was not the very elect, however one chooses to define the term, was in trouble of being deceived. Couple this revelation with the words of Paul to those saints and faithful brethren in Christ at Colossae concerning the truth about the gospel of Jesus the Christ according to the revelation of the mystery (Colossians 4:3-4), we have began re-evaluating and questioning the foundation of our believe system.
To further understand this passage, we needed to examine the definition of the very elect. According to the Webster’s New World Dictionary, the elect is defined as persons belonging to a specially privileged group or those chosen by God for salvation and eternal life. According to Strong’s Concordance with Hebrew and Greek Lexicon, the definition includes picked out; chosen or chosen by God to obtain salvation through Christ; Christians are called chosen or elect of God; the Messiah is called elect, as appointed by God to the most exalted office conceivable; choice, select, (i.e. the best of its kind or class), excellence preeminent; or applied to certain individual Christians. Before deciding which definition is best suited for you, you should consider another possibility definition. Most would agree that there are two groups of people; the believers and the nonbelievers. But what if there is a third group, a third classification, or a third class?
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).
This passage, taken from the more popular used translations, speaks to the fact that there appears to be two groups, even though it only mentions one of them. The passage mentions there are those who are in Christ Jesus. And from this, we can naturally accept the premise that there would be those who are not in Christ Jesus as well, thus creating the second group. But what if there be another group, a third classification?
Imagine if you could, placing all the people in the world on a finite line with two extreme endpoints; the extreme far right would be for them which are in Christ Jesus and the extreme far left would be for them which are not in Christ Jesus. Everyone else would fall somewhere in between these two extreme points, depending on their association and relationship to the two extremes. Now of the two extremes, which group do you believe Satan would focus all of his attention and all of his efforts? Yes, you got it. Satan would go after them toward the extreme far right; them who be in Christ Jesus because them toward the extreme far left have already committed themselves to him according to Paul. But before we attempt to locate this other group, let us look at something that appears to be rooted in the scriptures but is a little misleading as it pertains to the passage we found in Romans.
Based on this passage, which was taken from the more popular translations, many have been led to believe that once they are in Christ Jesus, that meaning they are saved, there is therefore no condemnation waiting for them. They have been taught that once they have been saved, they are given eternal life by Christ and they will never perish. They have been taught that once they have been saved, they cannot lose their salvation because nothing can pluck them from the hand of Christ (John 10:28).
Based on how these passages have been intertwined, it would appear that once a person is in Christ Jesus or saved, there is nothing the person can do to lose that salvation and be plucked from the hand of Christ. And because Christ has given them eternal life, then there is nothing the person could ever do to lose it because all they have to do is get on their knees and confess their sins, then God is faithful and just to forgive them of their sins (I John 1:9). Throw in this passage and it appears that a person can ask for forgiveness for any and every thing that they do and they will be forgiven. Many have been led to believe that they can live any lifestyle of their choosing and regardless of what they do; they will always be forgiven because they are in Christ and once they are Christ nothing can pluck them from his hand. But the question that you have to ask yourself, is this the correct interpretation of these passages or could there be another one? ….to be continued.
Enjoy your blessings - KW