The elect in the Bible refers to God’s chosen people. This term is used in both the Old Testament and the New Testament.
In the Old Testament, the elect were those who would be saved from sin and enter into heaven after death. In this sense, they were chosen by God before they were born and had committed no sins. Those who were not elect were left behind on earth after death.
In the New Testament, the elect are those who have been saved by Jesus Christ through his death on the cross; however, not all Christians are considered elect because there are many people who do not believe in Jesus Christ or his teachings.
13 Facts About God’s Elect in the Bible
The New Testament contains 23 different references to the word “elect.”
In the Greek, the word translated as “elect” is “eklektos” meaning to be chosen, or selected, for God’s divine purposes.
Below are 13 facts about God’s elect taken directly from the New Testament.
1. MANY ARE CALLED, BUT FEW ARE ELECT (CHOSEN)
Jesus utters this cryptic phrase twice in the Gospel of Matthew.
“So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.” (Matthew 20:16)
“For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:14)
>> God desires all of His children to repent and follow after His commands, but the number of those who do is relatively small.
2. THE GREAT TRIBULATION WILL BE CUT SHORT FOR THE SAKE OF THE ELECT
In his Olivet Discourse, a sermon focused specifically on the events preceding His Second Coming, Jesus explains that the time period just prior to His return, known as the Great Tribulation, would be so difficult that no human life would be saved without His merciful intervention.
“And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.” (Matthew 24:22)
“Unless the Lord had shortened those days, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect, whom He chose, He shortened the days. (Mark 13:20)
>> Jesus reveals that the world’s darkest hours will be shortened for the sake of the elect.
3. SATAN TARGETS THE ELECT WITH DECEPTION
Demonic deception just prior to Jesus’ Second Coming will become so great, even the elect would be deceived if it were possible.
“For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.” (Matthew 24:24)
This prophetic truth appears once again, in almost identical fashion, in the book of Mark.
“For false Christs and false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order to lead astray, if possible, the elect.” (Mark 13:22)
>> Satan targets the elect with “false Christs” and “false prophets,” who come in God’s name. And the spiritual deception is complete with signs and wonders designed to fool even God’s elect in order to “lead them astray” — if possible.
4. THE ELECT WILL BE GATHERED TOGETHER AND KEPT FROM HARM JUST PRIOR TO THE FINAL OUTPOURING OF GOD’S WRATH UPON THE EARTH
“And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (Matthew 24:31)
“And then He will send forth the angels, and will gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest end of the earth to the farthest end of heaven.” (Mark 13:27)
5. GOD WILL VINDICATE THE ELECT
“Now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly.” (Luke 18:7)
6. JESUS CHRIST IS GOD’S ELECT
“And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One.” (Luke 23:25)
The word used for “Chosen” in this verse is the word “elect.” As the firstborn of all creation, Jesus Christ was the first “elect” or chosen of God.
“For this is contained in Scripture: “BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A CHOICE STONE, A PRECIOUS CORNER stone, AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.” (1 Peter 2:6)
The word used for “choice” in this verse is the word “elect.” Again, the Bible refers to Jesus as “elect.” He is our example and provides the pattern for the Christian life.
7. THE ELECT ARE JUSTIFIED BY GOD AND FREE FROM SPIRITUAL ACCUSATION BY MEN
“Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies;” (Romans 8:33)
The elect can rest in the knowledge that their faith in Jesus has redeemed them from eternal damnation, regardless of what men think or say.
8. THE ELECT ARE INSTRUCTED TO CLOTHE THEMSELVES WITH NINE THINGS: COMPASSION, KINDNESS, HUMILITY, GENTLENESS, PATIENCE, FORGIVENESS, LOVE, PEACE, AND GRATEFULNESS
“So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things [put on] love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.” (Colossians 3:12-15)
The elect are known by their meek and gentle lifestyle and their spiritual fruit is abundant.
9. GOD HAS ANGELS WHO ARE ELECT
“I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of His chosen angels, to maintain these principles without bias, doing nothing in a spirit of partiality.” (1 Timothy 5:21)
10. PAUL’S MINISTRY WAS DEDICATED TO ENSURING THE SALVATION OF THE ELECT
“For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory.” (2 Timothy 2:10)
“Paul, a bond-servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the faith of those chosen of God and the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness,” (Titus 1:1)
The apostle Paul was certain that God had “chosen” certain people as His own. Paul spent the final days of his life and ministry in an attempt to reach and minister to God’s elect.
11. THE ELECT ARE CHOSEN BY THE FOREKNOWLEDGE OF GOD AND BY THE SANCTIFYING WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood:” (1 Peter 1:1,2)
All who have been chosen by God have been foreknown by Him and have been sanctified by the power of God’s Spirit. The elect are known for their obedience to the commands of Jesus and their sins are covered in His blood.
12. THE ELECT ARE A CHOSEN PEOPLE CALLED TO DECLARE THE GOODNESS AND MERCY OF GOD
“But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY.” (1 Peter 2:9,10)
13. THE ELECT WILL ACCOMPANY JESUS CHRIST IN HIS DEFEAT OF THOSE WHO WAGE WAR AGAINST HIM
“These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful.” (Revelation 17:14)