Elect? Very Elect? What’s the difference? Who belongs to which group? Does it matter in the final analysis? The answers to these questions reveal the difference between spiritual success and spiritual failure. In simple terms: ONE WILL MAKE THE SPIRITUAL CUT, THE OTHER WILL NOT. Let us turn to Matthew 24:24 to begin to understand that though the groups share the same general title–“Elect”–they are two diametrically opposite entities operating under two diametrically opposite rules of engagement and headed in diametrically opposite directions. Ironically, each group believes itself to be headed in the right direction while its counterpart heads in the wrong direction.
Matthew 24:4,5,24,31; 25:31-34,46 explain God’s attitude and treatment of the two groups. Here we find Jesus Christ speaking to His disciples after they asked Him about what would take place during the days leading up to His return: “Take heed that no man deceive you; for many will come in My name confessing that I am the Christ and will deceive many …. For there will arise false Christs and false prophets who will perform great signs and wonders so that if (it were) possible, they will deceive the Very Elect.” The words “it were” are not found in any of the early manuscripts. The words make it sound as if it would not be possible for the Very Elect to be deceived. As Jesus goes on to say in this and other passages, anyone, even the Very Elect (including the apostles), are subject to deception and failure. In verse 31 He makes it clear that He will gather only His Elect initially–at the first resurrection. He will send His angels to the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. This has caused many to believe that He was referring to the dead who had supposedly gone to heaven following their deaths and those who had gone to heaven during the supposed “rapture.” However, as Jeremiah tells us in 4:25, birds fly in heaven. Also, there is no wind above earth’s heaven (atmosphere) where man lives. HEAVEN IS EVERYTHING ABOVE THE EARTH’S SURFACE. EARTH’S HEAVEN EXTENDS TO APPROXIMATELY 10,000 FEET ABOVE ITS SURFACE.
In chapter 25 verses 31-34,46 we find Jesus saying: “When the Son of man comes in His glory and all the holy angels with Him …. And before Him will be gathered (His Elect from) all nations, and He will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates his sheep from his goats. And He shall set His sheep on His right hand and His goats on His left. Then shall the King say to them (the sheep) on His right hand, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you ….'” Then in verse 46 He says that the (SINNING) goats will go into everlasting punishment but the RIGHTEOUS (sheep) into everlasting life in the Kingdom of God. L.J.