The UK Bible Students Website
Christian Biblical Studies
ELECTION AND FREE GRACE
All Scripture references are to the New International Version, UK edition of 1984
Question: Will only the elect Church be saved?
Answer: Many Christians believe that only Christ’s Church will be saved and that unbelieving mankind have no hope. The Bible does teach the salvation of the Church, but it also holds out the hope of salvation for the world of mankind.
We will use 1 Timothy 4: 9, 10 as the basis for the answer:
9 This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance 10 (and for this we labour and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, and especially of those who believe.
Here we see that God’s Plan of Salvation includes two groups —
1. A heavenly, elect class, the Church, referred to by the words, ʻespecially of those who believeʼ; and
2. An earthly, non-elect class, the whole of humanity, referred to by the words, ʻall menʼ.
The Contrasting Benefits
The Bible contrasts the blessings of the Church and World:
The Church’s call is by the election of individuals, qualified by their faith. The world is to receive unmerited free grace – the general outpouring of God’s mercy, designed to coach them to faith.
The Church has been called, developed, and delivered during the Gospel Age — an age of faith. The world will be called, developed, and delivered during the Millennial Age — the Kingdom of Christ, intended to save them.
The Church is promised the reward of the Divine spirit nature, with heaven as their eternal home. The world is promised the reward of human perfection, with earth as their eternal home.
From the beginning God determined that a single class would become sharers with Christ as His ʻBrideʼ, and that every individual member of this select group would possess certain characteristics and qualities(Rom. 8: 28, 29):
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
During the Gospel Age, God selected the individuals who would make up the Church (Rev. 17: 14):
They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings — and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.
Free Grace, on the other hand, refers to the comprehensive offer of salvation for all mankind (the non-elect), which will take place during the Millennial Age, also known as the Judgement Day, during Jesus’ Second Advent. This is yet future.
The Elect to Bless the Non-Elect
Why did God plan both an elective and a free grace salvation? He determined that the Church would be selected first, having proven themselves faithful through trials, sufferings, and persecutions. They will be employed as His agent in blessing the world of mankind during the Millennial Age, when Christ reigns (Rom. 8: 19):
The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.
All vs Most
There is a wide difference between universalism and universal salvation. Universalism says that Christ’s ransom sacrifice on Calvary’s cross guarantees the eternal salvation for everyone. But the Bible teaches that those who prove incorrigibly wicked will be destroyed, suggested by the following references.
Deuteronomy 30: 19:
This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live . . . .
Romans 6: 23:
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Copyright Jan. 2014 ukbiblestudents.co.uk. You may freely reproduce this article, but please let us know if you do so.