Winning God’s Election

ONE ADMONITION FREQUENTLY given to the New Creation in the Scriptures is that we are not to love the things of this present world. If any man love the world, we are told, the love of the Father is not in him. (I John 2:15) These are strong words—powerful words—given by our Heavenly Father and penned by the Apostle John. They have been preserved In the Holy Scriptures throughout the Gospel Age for the Christian’s admonition. These words are important guidelines of instruction along our pilgrim way, urging us to center our lives upon the doing of God’s will.

Our subject, “Winning God’s Election,” especially commends itself to our attention since the Bible’s testimony is that before the establishment of the kingdom of Christ on earth God would send forth his angels to gather his elect. This elect class will become joint-heirs with his beloved Son, Jesus, in the grand and glorious kingdom, designed to bless all the families of the earth.—Matt. 24:31; Rom. 8:17

We will compare a few similarities, and some differences, between the election of a United States’ president, and a Christian’s winning God’s election. Becoming co-laborers with our beloved Master in the kingdom will undeniably be the most wonderful privilege ever offered to anyone in the universe! It is indeed the greatest election to be won which can be imagined!

When we think of the great salvation to which we have been called, we should realize what an extraordinary privilege has been offered to us. Nothing greater has ever been offered prior to the Gospel Age; and never will this invitation be repeated again. We have been nominated to help restore Adam’s lost dominion, taken from him when he fell from grace so long ago in the Garden of Eden. Since we have received this great honor, we must “lay aside every weight and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and run with patience the race that is set before us.”—Heb. 12:1

What are some of the measures we must take to ensure that ultimately we will become members of this elect class? How can we win our election to the class described as the “called, the chosen, and faithful,” by the Revelator? (Rev. 17:14) Let us see what we can learn from the analogy we have chosen.

When political parties of this country hold national conventions to nominate candidates, they presume that after all the deliberations are over and the podium has been removed from the convention hall—when all the banners and balloons have been removed—that the delegates will go throughout the lengths and breadths of the land to capitation on the momentum and excitement which had been generated during the sessions of the convention. It is their desire and hope that what they planned together will assist them to gain the coveted prize: victory in November when the election is held.

Bible Students also come together in conventions. These gatherings are not designed for frivolity, but are serious times of spiritual refreshment. As we drink deeply from the wellsprings of truth provided by God, we are strengthened, fortified, and assisted toward the successful completion of our heavenly race. We find these assemblages very exciting as we rejoice together as members of God’s family, basking in the most precious words of truth, and enjoying holy fellowship with one another. As we receive divine instruction we are immersed in spirituality! Our joy exceeds a thousandfold any pleasure men find in being caught up in the selection of a candidate to serve as their president.

Let us pose a few queries to help in contrasting the distinction between these two elections—the election of an earthly head of government chosen to serve in that office for four years, and the election of the class which will be “born in Zion,” to be associated with Jesus Christ in the work of his kingdom, and to reign with him forever.

1. How was the intention to run in the race announced?

For the political aspirant, great fanfare takes place at the time that his name is given to the news media. A press conference is held so that all the world, particularly his own nation, can hear his statement: “I formally declare for the highest office of the land.” And from that time until the election occurs, it is necessary to keep the nominee’s name in the news in a positive way. He must maintain a high profile so that people will become familiar with his interests and aims. Spots are arranged on TV and radio programs in order that his attitudes can be set forth for study.

The Christian’s decision to enter the spiritual race is quite different. We have been called to run for this high office based on our desire to seek after righteousness. We are dissatisfied with our present state. We feel a lack of ease with our sinful condition, and we turn to the Lord for help. We begin a reverential study of God’s Holy Word. And we find that the Biblical truths satisfy our hearts as nothing else can do! We have received God’s call to run for the great prize, and we then testify to our consecration to serve God by water immersion, as a demonstration to all other believers that we are now part of the lass who seek the heavenly way.

2. Who is our ‘opposition’?

The political candidate has many opponents. Everyone and anyone who would stand in the way of his attaining the presidency is the opposition. Initially the focus is on eliminating all the contenders within his own particular party. Once that has been accomplished, energy is devoted to defeating the standard-bearer of the opposing party.

The opponents of the Lord’s people are dearly defined in the Bible. They are the world, the flesh, and the Adversary. Paul admonishes us not to be “conformed to this world,” but rather to be “transformed” by the renewing of our minds, that we may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.—Rom. 12:2

We are encouraged by the same apostle, by his words and by his example, to war against our foe, the flesh. He stated: “I keep my body under, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”—I Cor. 9:27

And the Apostle Peter indicated that the Adversary is our most formidable opponent. He uses both the world and the flesh as his tools. Peter told us that “your Adversary, the Devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” We must never underestimate this wily and crafty foe, for unless we trust in God’s almighty help, he will conquer us; for we are no match for him.

As the New Creature battles against the world, the flesh, and the Adversary, unlike the presidential candidate who sees as his chief opponent other candidates running for the same office, we have the major task of keeping our own new will in a position of ascendancy, and our old will dead. We are to mortify the deeds of the flesh. We are to prevent the old man from resurrecting itself, and of controlling us. Parenthetically, one of the unique features of our running for this race is that we are assisted in making our calling and election sure by helping others to make their calling sure also! The presidential hopeful, on the other hand, has no thought of assisting anyone—only himself!

3. Where does the battle occur?

The presidential candidate’s battleground is the length and breadth of our nation. The organizational plan is that he might visit as many places in the nation as possible, to reach and influence as many people as possible in the short period of the electoral race. In the cities where he cannot visit, headquarters are established by a network of supporters, to persuade the people of that region to vote for their candidate on election day.

But we, as a “little flock” of Jesus’ followers, are anxious to follow his example and to walk in his footsteps. We read, “Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.”—Heb. 13:12,13

We are still in this world, but we are not of this world. We recognize that although we must perform our service to God in connection with spiritual things, nevertheless we have this treasure in an earthen vessel. So daily we are in contact with things of the world which would defile us. If we are faithful in carrying out our sacrificial course, resisting the world’s influence, then we will be pleasing to the Heavenly Father.

Our sacrifice and devotion may bring reproach upon us. Laying down life itself in God’s service will not be appreciated by the world of mankind. Often men think that ours is a foolish, wasteful life. And yet we know that these same reproaches fell upon the Master, in the same manner, and for the same reasons.

4. When may one enter the race?

The candidate for the presidency may declare his intent every four years within a specified time limit governed by the laws of our nation. In contrast to this, the Christian is told that the entire Gospel Age is the ‘acceptable year’ to run the race for the high calling. Of course we are limited to the span of our own lifetime. It is during this period that we may seek to make our calling and election sure as joint-sacrificers with his beloved Son, who first walked this way nearly two thousand years ago.

Just as Jesus was spoken of prophetically by Isaiah, we too are anointed by God’s Holy Spirit. It was said of Jesus, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”—Isa. 61:1,2

Once this feature of God’s plan comes to a conclusion, it will never be repeated. “They that were ready went in with him, … and the door was shut.” (Matt. 25:10) This signals the end of any possibility of running for candidacy for the office of the high calling. We are, therefore, spurred on to greater fervency and zeal in the doing of God’s will, so that we will not lose this marvelous opportunity.—Jer. 8:20

5. What are the qualifications for candidacy?

Would-be aspirants to the presidency have very specific requirements. They must be at least 35-years-of age. They must be natural-born citizens of our country, and they should have been a resident in the United States for 14 years.

Requirements as candidates to the high calling are specific. They are demanding. Not, however, along the lines of age, race, creed, place of birth or residency—concepts so important to men. The church has been “redeemed … to God by [Christ’s] blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.” (Rev. 5:9) Hear the words of Jesus concerning the conditions of candidacy: “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Matt. 16:24-26) These requirements must continue to be met throughout our entire lifetime since this electoral race ends only with the cessation of our last breath.

6. What will be the reward for the successful completion of this race?

We know the candidate who is selected as president of the United States receives great honor from men. He will be the leader of the free world. He will be the head of the mightiest nation in the world! He will be sought out from around the globe for his counsel and wisdom, as leaders in every aspect of government seek solutions to the many perplexing problems which beset our planet. In some cases he is even called upon for military support to calm world crises, as is occurring at the present time in the Middle East.

But it will be demonstrated that any new president, as a member of the fallen human race just as his predecessors were, does not have power to improve the world scene to an appreciable degree. The present evil order is under the domination of the “god of this world,” and no real, lasting solutions can be found for the problems which afflict mankind without God’s help. Therefore, we will find that as long as Satan continues as the prince of this world, and although every four years a new aspirant will step up and declare that he will solve the still-continuing, ever-increasing problems of mankind, that no true and lasting solutions are forthcoming.

We read about the overcoming saints: “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” This will be the portion of the candidates who make their election sure. And the glorious results of the new government are vividly described by the revelator. He tells about a “new heavens and a new earth” which will be the real solution to world problems. “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes: and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”—Rev. 21:1-4

The wonderful privilege of administering and controlling this grand government in conjunction with our Lord Jesus Christ will be our reward if we are faithful unto death. “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee the crown of life!” (Rev. 2:10) The ‘crown’ of life includes the wisdom to guide an administration such as the kingdom of Christ, as well as the power to enforce the changes necessary to accomplish the goals of our platform as outlined in Revelation 21:1-4.

7. Who will assist in carrying out the mandates of the new administration?

A new president has a vice-president and a cabinet to assist him to administer the government. Individuals with peculiar talents in varied fields are placed in key positions, to expedite reforms, and carry out day-to-day functions.

In the case of our beloved Head, Jesus, who will be the chief executive in this new order, it will be similar. We read in Psalm 45:13-16, “The king’s daughter [the church class in glory] is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold. She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework: the virgins her companions [the Great Company] that follow her shall be brought unto thee. With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought: they shall enter into the king’s palace. Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children, whom thou mayest make princes [Ancient Worthies] in all the earth.”—Ps. 45:13-16

The Great Company, the “companions” of the church class, as well as the “princes in all the earth,” the Ancient Worthies, will not be idle during the thousand-year reign of Christ. They will share a part in the administration of the government which will minister, guide, direct, assist, and lift mankind back to perfection.

8. What strategy will gain the victory?

The successful presidential candidate must speak and proclaim those things which sound good to the ear. He must convince the widest spectrum of the electorate that there is something in his ideas that will benefit them personally. The electoral college must be appealed to so it will give him the largest number of votes. When the ballots are cast the candidate must have earned enough electoral votes to insure that he will become president. However, quite often he does not feel compelled to actually carry out the promises upon which he based his platform, once he is elected to office.

With the church, it is different. “Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? Who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath dean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.” (Ps. 24:3-5) The development of purity and all the graces of the Spirit is essential if we are to gain the victory. “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee the crown of life.”—Rev. 2:10

9. What will be the portion of those who cease to run for office?

In the case of the presidential candidate, no harm is done. In fact, this is a common occurrence. The reason is often given: “This is not my year; I will try again in four years.”

But the church must persevere in the race despite all odds, through persecution, hardship or trial. It is a difficult, strait, and narrow pathway we follow. The Apostle Paul avowed, however, “I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord”!—Rom. 8:38,39

Knowing this, we are not to cast away our confidence in his saving power, because “if any man draw back, my soul hath no pleasure in him.” But, Paul continues, “we are not of them who draw back unto perdition [Second Death]: but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.”—Heb. 10:38,39

10. How does the candidate respond to vilification or attack?

Almost universally, the presidential candidate responds in kind. The attempt is made to portray his opponent in a still more unfavorable light. Actually, he will do almost anything he deems necessary to gain the victory, stopping at practically nothing to effect his goal. Publicly he might indicate that he would not stoop to the level of his opposition. But, secretly he gives tacit approval to his advisors who are also adept at developing demeaning advertisements to draw a negative image of his opposition. “Truth squads” might be organized. These are defined as being teams which follow the opposing candidate to his lecturing appointments. As soon as he has finished speaking, the “truth squad” informs the press that much of which has been said is false!

How do members of the New Creation conduct themselves in their race for the prize? They follow the Master’s example. We read of Jesus that “no guile was found in his mouth: who, when he was reviled, reviled not again: when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to Him that judgeth righteously.” As the footstep followers of Jesus, this must be our course. We must not—cannot—speak evil of any man. We recognize that “there is … no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.” (Rom. 8:1) All are covered with the robe of Christ’s righteousness, which hides defects and blemishes. We never need to respond to any accusation made against us, because “who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth?”—vss. 33,34

As we draw to the close of this study, we must remember that the accomplishment of any earthly goal requires an evaluation at regular intervals of the progress attained thus far. In this way we can alter those plans which need altering, so that our ultimate goal will be attained. How important this is to the Israel of God! It is necessary for us to take inventory of our status, to determine how well we are succeeding in carrying out the principles of truth and righteousness which we have embraced.

Each morning, in order for our devotions to have maximum benefit, we need to assess how much spiritual growth is taking place in. our lives. The truth is not a “talking” religion, it is a “doing” religion! And so, before we offer our prayers to God, read our Daily Heavenly Manna or other devotional studies, and discuss the truth with others, we must take stock of our hearts and minds to determine the direction we are going and the progress we are making along the way.

We offer a few questions for which we must provide our own answers. Are we moving in the right direction, standing still, or are we possibly experiencing retrogression? This sort of introspection allows to bring our course in life more into line with what would be pleasing to our Heavenly Father.

If our answers are affirmative, we can feel certain that we are on the right course. Our campaign has a firm and good platform! With faith in God, and our hands in his, we will surely win our election. If we continue to trust in him to the end, we will surely have the privilege—with our Lord and Master, Christ Jesus—of inaugurating an everlasting government of peace, health, life, joy, and righteousness. His kingdom will bring blessings to all people, and glory to our great God. To him be praise forever and forever. Amen!

Dawn Bible Students Association
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