Winning God’s Election

ONE OF THE admonitions 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,” seems to especially commend itself to our attention because the Lord testified in the Scriptures that preparatory to the establishment of the kingdom of Christ on earth that he would send forth his angels to gather his elect from the four winds of heaven. This elect class will become joint-heirs with his beloved Son, Jesus, in this grand and glorious future kingdom, designed to bless all the families of the earth.—Matt. 24:31; Rom. 8:17

In this study we would like to compare a few of the similarities, and some of the differences between the election of a president, and our winning God’s election. This position of becoming co-laborers with our beloved Master in the kingdom is undeniably the most wonderful privilege ever offered to anyone in the universe, and is indeed the greatest election to be imagined! When we think upon the so great salvation to which we have been called, it should assist us to realize what an extraordinary privilege has been offered to us, greater than anything ever offered prior to the Gospel Age, and never to be repeated again. We have been offered the opportunity to help restore the dominion lost in Adam, long ago in the Garden of Eden. Therefore, 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

We would also like to suggest some of the things which we might do to ensure that ultimately we will become members of this elect class, described as the “called, chosen, and faithful,” by the Revelator.—Rev. 17:14

When political parties of this country hold their national conventions, they presume that after all the deliberations are over, and the podium has been removed from the convention hall, and all the banners and balloons have been removed, that the delegates will go forth throughout the length and breadth of the land and will capitalize on the momentum and excitement which was 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.

We too join together in conventions. Although for us these are not times for frivolity, but serious times of spiritual refreshment. As we are gathered together to drink deeply from the wellsprings of truth which have been provided for us from the very throne of God, we are strengthened, fortified, and assisted toward the successful completion of our heavenly race. As we join together on these occasions we find them greatly exciting as we rejoice together as a family, basking in the most precious words of truth and enjoying holy fellowship with one another—receiving divine instruction—being immersed in spirituality! These gatherings are a most vital consideration in our lives! The joys we derive from assembling together exceed a thousand-fold more any pleasure that man might find afforded them when they get caught up in the excitement of selecting a candidate for the presidency!

Let us pose a few queries to help us contrast the distinction between these two elections—the election of an earthly head of government—the president—and the elect class that will be “born in Zion,” and who will be associated with our Head and Master, Jesus Christ.

The first question for purposes of contrast and comparison is, “How was the intention to run in the race announced?” The answer is very simple for the political aspirant. Great fanfare takes place at the time that the candidate’s name is announced to the news media. It is necessary to keep the nominee’s name in the news and to maintain a high profile so that people will become familiar with his interests and aims. Engagements are arranged on TV and radio programs, where his statements and attitudes can be studied. Eventually a press conference is held so that all the world, all the nation hears his statement, “I formally declare for the highest office of the land.”

Our decision to enter the spiritual race is quite different. Our desire to run for this high calling is based upon our desire to seek after righteousness because of our dissatisfaction with our present state. We felt a lack of ease with our sinful condition, and turned to the Lord for assistance. We began a reverential study of God’s Holy Word. In our studies we found that the Biblical truths satisfied our hearts as nothing else could do. We were receiving God’s call to run for the great prize!

Next we ask: “Who is the opposition?” The political candidate has many opponents. Everyone and anyone who will stand in the way of his attaining the presidency is the opposition. Initially the focus is upon eliminating all the contenders within his own particular party. But 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 the world, the flesh, and the Adversary. Speaking of our foe the world, 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

With regard to the “flesh” as our foe, we are encouraged by the same apostle, by his example, when 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 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 make theirs sure also! The presidential hopeful, on the other hand, has no thought of assisting anyone—only himself!

Question number three: “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 have been established by a network of supporters, in an attempt to persuade the people of that region to vote for their candidate on election day.

But we, as a “little flock” (Luke 12:32) of Jesus’ followers, are desirous of walking in Jesus’ footsteps, and of following his example. 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 have our service toward God to perform in connection with holiness and spiritual things, nevertheless we have this treasure in an earthen vessel. So daily we are in contact with the things of the world which would defile us. But if we are faithful in carrying out our sacrificial course, resisting the world’s influence even though these actions bring reproach upon ourselves, then that will be pleasing to the Heavenly Father. Our sacrifice and devotion in 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 course. And yet we know that the same reproaches which fell upon the Master are to fall upon us if we are faithful—in the same manner, and for the same reasons.

Question four: “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 when we may run for the high calling. Of course, however, we are limited to the time span of our own life. It is during this period that we may seek to make our calling and election sure as joint-sacrificers, joint-participants, with his beloved Son, who first walked this way nearly two thousand years ago. Just as he was spoken of prophetically by Isaiah, we too are anointed by God’s Holy Spirit: “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

We believe that once this opportunity ends, it will never be repeated again. “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 this office. 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

Question number five: “What are the qualifications for entering this race?” Would-be aspirants to the presidency must be 35 years of age, at least. They must be natural-born citizens of our country, and should have been a resident here for fourteen years. Requirements as candidates to the high calling are also very specific. They are very demanding. Not, however, along the lines of age, race, creed, social standing, or any other earthly designation 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) This electoral race ends only with the cessation of our last breath. Hear the words of Jesus: “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

Question number six: “What will be the reward for the successful completion of this race?” We know that the candidate who is selected as the 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 universe! He will be sought out from across the globe for his counsel and wisdom, as individuals from every quarter seek solutions to the many perplexing problems which beset this planet. It will be demonstrated, however, that the president, as a member of the fallen human race, just as his predecessors, does not have power to improve the world scene, because this present evil order is under the dominion of the “god of this world,” and no real, lasting solution for the problems which afflict mankind can be found without God’s help. Therefore, we will find that as long as this arrangement continues, in another four years a new aspirant will step up and declare what he will do to solve the still-continuing, ever-increasing problems of mankind.

We read this about the portion of 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 indeed be our portion if we remain faithful! And the glorious results of the new government are vividly described by the Revelator—he tells of a “new heavens and a new earth” (Rev. 21:1-3) 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.” The wonderful privilege of administering and controlling this grand government with our Lord Jesus Christ is what 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)—which includes the wisdom and ability to guide an administration such as this!

“Who will assist in carrying out the mandates of the new administration?”—question number seven. We know that the new president has a vice-president to assist him, as well as various individuals with talents in different fields, whom he will select as his cabinet to administer key functions of his government. 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 have a part in the administration of the government which will minister, guide, direct, assist, and lift mankind back to perfection.

Question eight: “What strategy will be used to gain the victory?” The successful presidential candidate must speak and proclaim those things which sound good to the ear so he can convince the widest spectrum of the electorate that there is something in his ideas that will benefit them. His desire is to have the electoral college give him the largest number of votes in order that he may have enough to become president when the ballots are cast. However, he quite often 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 clean 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) So we see that the development of purity and all the graces of the Spirit, is essential if we are to gain this victory: “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee the crown of life.”—Rev. 2:10

Number nine: “What will be the portion of those who cease to run for this office?” In the case of the presidential candidate, no harm is done. In fact this is a common occurrence. The reason is given, “This is not my year; I will try again in four years.” But the church must persevere in the race despite trials, persecutions, hardships. It is a difficult, strait and narrow pathway we follow, but Paul said, “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 grace, because “if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.” (Heb. 10:38) However, the following verse is strengthening and encouraging to read: “We are not of them who draw back unto perdition [Second Death]: but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.”

Question number ten: “How does the candidate respond to vilification and attacks by others?” As has been the case in the past, almost universally, the presidential candidate generally responds in kind, to portray his opponent in an unfavorable light. He will do almost anything he deems is necessary to gain the victory, stopping at nothing to effect his goal. Publicly he might indicate that he will not stoop to the level of his opposition, but he may give tacit approval to his advisors who are adept at developing demeaning advertisements to portray a negative image of the other candidate. He might allow them to develop what are called—interestingly enough—“truth squads.” ‘Truth squads’, as they are defined, are teams which follow the opposing candidate to his lecturing appointments, and as soon as he is finished speaking, the ‘truth squad’ informs the press that everything which has been said is false.

How do we as members of the New Creation act? We must 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.” Therefore, as the footstep followers of Jesus we must do the same. 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), because his robe of righteousness has covered our defects and blemishes. We need never 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 of the progress attained at various intervals. In this way we can make further plans, and 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 see how well we are succeeding in carrying out the principles of truth which we have embraced. Each morning, in order for our prayers, our review of our morning resolve, our devotional studies, our reading of the Daily Heavenly Manna, and our discussions of the truth, to have their 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 we pose a few additional queries, with no answers offered, for us to ask ourselves—to determine whether or not we are moving in the right direction, standing still, or, possibly experiencing retrogression which will require immediate attention and remedy? We might put these questions into a time frame, and consider in what direction, and how far we have progressed during the past year. This kind of introspection is something we should do regularly, continuously, so that we can determine whether or not we are on a proper course. This sort of review allows us to nip bad habits in the bud, rather than to tolerate them, or allow them to accumulate. Here are the questions:

If we can give an affirmative answer to these questions we can feel certain that we are on the proper course, and that our campaign has a firm and proper platform! With faith in God, and our hand in his as we walk down this Christian pathway, we will surely win God’s election, and have the privilege, with our Lord and Master, Christ Jesus, of inaugurating an everlasting government of peace, health, life, joy, and righteousness to the blessing of all people, and to the glory of our great God! To him be praise forever and forever. Amen!

Dawn Bible Students Association
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