The elect are those few individuals that God has chosen to save out of the masses of people born into the world. The Bible first mentions them in the Old Testament:
Isaiah 65:17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. 19 And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. 21 And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. 22 They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
In the context of God creating the new heavens and new earth, we read of God’s elect long enjoying that glorious future of eternal life. The elect are also mentioned numerous times in the New Testament:
Matthew 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Romans 8:33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
The Greek word translated as “elect” is ekletos (#1588) and is also translated as chosen. It is the word used in this verse:Matthew 20:16 So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen (#1588/elect).
The elect (chosen) of God are called as such because before the foundation of the world God chose to save them (and not others). These verses explain God’s choice to save certain ones:
Ephesians 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
1 Peter 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
God’s salvation program is really a program of election (or of choice). God chose individuals to save before they were born, or even before this world was created. This is what the Lord explains in:
Romans 9:10 And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; 11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) 12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. 13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
As the above passage declares, before the birth of twin brothers Jacob and Esau God chose to love one (Jacob) and to hate the other (Esau). This choice of God was made in order the purpose of God’s election program might stand. The churches today teach that salvation is accomplished based upon choice, or a decision. That part they have right. However, these churches also say that salvation comes because of the choice that man makes to accept Christ. This is a horrendous error that turns God’s true gospel into a false gospel. When it comes to salvation, the Bible is clear, that the choice as to whom becomes saved or does not become saved, is ALWAYS GOD’S CHOICE and NEVER MAN’S:
John 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, ...
John 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Romans 9:15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
The awful truth is, in our day, the churches and congregations of the world have been filled up with multitudes of people that have exercised their ‘choice’ to become a Christian. And yet, these same multitudes have NOT been chosen to salvation by God. They are not elect. They are therefore like Esau, hated of God. Here and there, though, in the world, outside of the churches, there are numbers of people that are God’s elect. The true chosen people of God.