(Predestination, Elected, Chosen, Called)




A "truth Series" Ministry of Hickory Hammock Baptist Church, Carl Gallups, Pastor.


A History of the "Calvinism - Arminianism" Debate

A Biblical and Contextual Understanding of the Topic of PREDESTINATION

This booklet is written to help you understand the basics of a very controversial topic in the Christian community. I have not attempted to do an exhaustive analysis of Calvinism and ALL its surrounding issues.

There are entire libraries filled with books about the subject of Calvinism and the theologies and doctrines that it encompasses. I do not wish, nor do I have the expertise, to attempt to add to that library. Rather, I am writing in laymen's terms, to laymen, in a format that will hopefully bring an intelligent, Biblical and fair understanding of this potentially confusing subject.

Also, this booklet may answer the basic questions one may have as they desire to unite with this church under my ministry of preaching and teaching. I think it is only fair that you have from me, in writing, where I stand in this matter.

First a little basic history, the theological debate known as Calvinism has been raging in varying degrees in the Christian community for hundreds of years. This is not a new or modern issue by any means. This debate has divided homes, families, churches and communities. Indeed, it has spawned wars, deaths, and national divisions. Some of these national divisions exist to this very day in various parts of the world.

For the purposes of this booklet, I will describe this debate in laymen's terms and then I will explain the position that I have taken thus far in my journey with the Lord and His word.


Fundamentally, the debate centers around two huge theological issues; the Sovereignty of God and the Free Will of Man. From and around these issues spring a myriad of other important, related issues concerning salvation, God's grace, Jesus' death on the cross, evangelism, etc. We will deal with some of these issues in attempting to understand the debate, however, most of our thought will focus on the fundamentals of Sovereignty and Free Will.

For hundreds of years there have been at least two major schools of thought that have collided theologically concerning God, man, and salvation and how they all react and inter-react. Both of these schools of thought attempt to explain the Biblical concepts and terms of Elect, Election, Predestined and Chosen.
The two schools are commonly called Calvinism after the theologian John Calvin, and, Arminianism after theologian Arminius. These men lived and wrote in the late 1500's to early 1600's. Actually, "Arminius" is the Latin name of the actual name of Jacob Hermann, a Dutch theologian.

Very simply put, (in laymen's terms) John Calvin wrote extensively on his understanding of the scriptures concerning the absolute Sovereignty of God. That is, God never has said "oops" or "I didn't know that." God has absolute dominion and control of every power and authority. Nothing is out of His control or beyond His control. God has a plan of the ages that He alone began, directs, controls and will bring to an end. The end will come in God's way, God's time and according to God's pre-ordained or predestined time, regardless of man's desires or efforts.

According to the Calvinistic understanding, this sovereignty includes man's life and man's salvation. God knew or knows planned, elected or "predestined" that certain people would be saved and live with Him forever in paradise and God knows or "predestined" that certain people would not be saved and would not live with him forever and would, in fact, be separated from Him forever.

Calvin went on to say that man CANNOT be saved apart from the TOTAL work of God. Man is dead in his sin and nothing dead can bring life, especially new life, to itself. This is why Jesus declares, "you must be born again." Something entirely spiritual has to happen for a person to be saved and only God can do anything entirely spiritual.

Calvin further expressed that man is incapable of "choosing" God through Jesus unless God initiates, directs and empowers the "choosing". He would point to John 6:37 and 6:34, where Jesus declares no one can come to Him unless the father draws them. He would also point to Eph. 2:8-10, where Paul declares that salvation is not of man's works and in fact, even the "faith" with which man responds to God is also God's gift to man.

Therefore, salvation is God's total work and all who were supposed to come to God according to His plan MUST come to Him and therefore man has absolutely no boast in his salvation. This view is known as the Calvinist doctrine of ELECTION or PREDESTINATION. These two terms are often used interchangeably for Calvinism.

Fundamentally, Arminius took the position that God, in His sovereignty, has voluntarily limited himself, especially in regard to man's ability to choose God or reject God. Basically the Arminianist view believes that God does not know what a man will do until he does it and God does not know what a man will choose until he chooses. This "not knowing" is a voluntary relinquishing of sovereignty of God's part.

The Arminianist would vehemently argue that man DOES have the capability to make an intelligent decision to choose or reject God based upon his understanding of the Gospel as well as the interjection on God's wooing through his Holy Spirit, the church, a faithful witness, the preached Word, etc.

He would argue that mankind's "fall" into sin did not bring TOTAL depravity, but only PARTIAL depravity, in that, man's mental and spiritual ability to chose or reject God is still intact and God holds man responsible for that ability to choose.

The Arminianist would say that man has this capability because he has free exercise of this "will". This Free Will is the special gift that God gave to humans that separates them from everything else in creating and makes them distinctively "created in God's image".

So, the Arminianst would argue that the Calvinist has relegated man to a puppet on a string or a computer with a button on his back that has been "pre-programmed". The Calvinist would argue that the Arminianst has emasculated a sovereign God and makes him out to be "purposely" ignorant, and has elevated man to the supreme authority of man's won destiny.

The Calvinist would declares, that a Calvinistic understanding of the scriptures actually gives MORE impetus to evangelism and missions because it guarantees the success of missionary endeavors since those that must be saved, WILL be saved. Therefore, the sincere Calvinist would take very seriously the Great Commission and point to the fact that many of the world's greatest missionaries and missionary movements have been strictly Calvinist in theology.

Further, the Calvinists would point to the scripture's frequent use of the words; elected, predestined, chosen, called, etc, and declared these words are self-descriptive and indisputable. The Arminianist could answer by saying that these words point to the "foreknowledge" of God and NOT His "preprogramming of people and events.

To further complicate the matter, among traditional Calvinists, there are those known as hyper-Calvinists (a name generally given to them by anti-Calvinist). This is a vein of Calvinism that generally does NOT believe in missionary efforts and believes in an almost totally fatalistic view of life.

In other words, God has planned every detail of life and man's movements so that whatever is going to happen is going to happen and there is nothing anyone can do about it. Those going to hell were "designed" to go to hell and there is nothing that any man can do, in any way, about it. Man and the vents of his life HAVE been "pre-programmed".

Generally, when someone who doesn't clearly understand the orthodox teachings of Calvinism, says that they are against Calvinism, they are usually reacting against "hyper-Calvinism", rather than a purely traditional Calvinistic understanding of the Scriptures.

To be totally fair in the matter, there are varying theologies of Calvinists that express different components of Calvinistic teaching in different ways. In other words, even the Calvinists do not agree totally as to their theology. There are also various degrees of Arminianism expressed in different theological bets.

John Calvin himself wrote numerous volumes of work on his theological stance. I find it interesting when someone declares proudly, "I am a Calvinist!" to ask them, - oh really? And which ones of the SCORES of volumes that John Calvin wrote, have you personally READ and studied?" I have yet to speak to ANYONE, some Calvinist preachers included, who have read ALL (or even many – some have read NONE) of John Calvin's words. Yet, they still vehemently declare themselves to be a follower of a man of whom they have not completely read or understand.

Most Calvinists do not know, for example, that John Calvin himself gave his readers a STRONG WORD OF CAUTION concerning dogmatism of this significantly debatable theological approach to the Scriptures.

Listen to CALVIN'S words: "Human curiosity renders the discussion of predestination, already somewhat difficult of it back from wandering in forbidden bypaths and thrusting upward to the heights. If allowed, it will leave no secret to God that it will not search out and unravel. Know this, that, the moment we exceed the bounds of the Word, our course is outside the pathway and in darkness, and that there we must repeatedly wander, slip and stumble. Let this, therefore, first of all be before our eyes; to seek any other knowledge of predestination than what the Word of God discloses is not less insane than if one should purpose to walk in a pathless waste, or to see in darkness. And let us not be ashamed to be ignorant of something in this matter, wherein there is a certain learned ignorance." (INSTITUTES, III.)

I refer to the above example of the question I often ask of self declared Calvinists, as well as John Calvin's own warning, as a word of caution toward dogmatish, unless one truly KNOWS why and what they believe in an intelligent, contextual, Biblical, logical, studied manner.

The issue gets much more complicated than all of this, as if this wasn't complicated enough! However, you can see how this controversy would NOT be an easy one to resolve and why it has sparked so much debate!

Another distinguishing and extremely important characteristic of the Calvinist stance is what is commonly called the TULIP principle. Actually, the word TULIP is used as an acrostic to remember a discuss the 5 main points of traditional Calvinism. Sometimes you will hear the declaration, "I am a 5 point Calvinist." This declaration is referring to the 5 basic tenants for understanding the teachings of traditional Calvinism. They are as follows (briefly):

    1. Total Depravity of Man – Man is dead in his sin and cannot come to God apart from the total work of God. Man is totally incapable of choosing God apart from God intervening and empowering man to choose Him.
    2. Unconditional Election – God has chosen a group of people as His own before the foundation of the world. He chose them on the basis of His will alone and nothing that He saw or sees in the people.
    3. Limited Atonement – Jesus' death on the cross was necessary as a blood covering for sins of the elect. But, Jesus' death was ONLY for the elect since those not predestined would have no benefit of His death and atoning work.
    4. Irresistible Grace – When God deals with one of the elect in order to call or choose that person, that person MUST respond to God's call of grace BECAUSE they are the elect. They cannot resist His grace any more than a suffocating man could "resist" a lifesaving breath of air.
    5. Perseverance of the Saints – Since salvation is the total work of God, then a truly save, elect, chosen person will not and cannot lose their salvation. A truly elect person will persevere to the end, thus proving their election.

The ARMINIANIST would respond to the TULIP foundations of Calvinism as follows:

  1. Total Depravity of Man – Man is definitely a sinner . Sin hurts and hinders a man's perception of God, but man does have the capability of distinguishing his need for God without God "making" him do anything. God has given man this ability so that all men are without excuse. Sin did not TOTALLY deprive man of his ability to think about God and choose God.
  2. Unconditional Election – God's salvation is not arbitrary but graciously held out to all, although not all will choose Him. God's decrees are based on His foreknowledge, NOT on His preprogramming or predecision.
  3. Limited Atonement – Jesus' atoning death was for the "whole world", (whosoever will) even though it is understood that the whole world will not choose Him.
  4. Irresistible Grace – God's grace can be and is resisted. Men choose freely to reject God's offer of life and salvation.
  5. Perseverance of the Saints – God is indeed active in man's salvation and is perfectly "able" to keep one saved, provided that man "chooses" to persevere in his following of God. God will not force anyone to be saved or to continue to follow Him from grace and lose his salvation. Complete assurance of salvation is not possible in this life.


In addition to the two very specific schools of theological thought called Calvinism and Arminianism there is another catagory of understanding in this seemingly complex issue. I call it, LET THE BIBLE SPEAK FOR ITSELF...IN CONTEXT!

In the following study, I have attempted to do this very thing. When the scriptures are examined in their proper historical, inter-Testamental and theological context, this issue becomes much less complex.

First, we must deal with the fact that the Bible DOES speak of predestination, choosing, election, calling - and so forth. These actual words are used in the scriptures. But here is the key, we must also deal with the fact that many of the biblical statements using these words (in my opinion, MOST if not ALL of these statements) deal SOLELY with the nation of ISRAEL and God's election of THEM to be His special people for His special purpose for a sign and a witness to the world, particularly and beginning with THEIR specific time of the beginning of the New Testament period.


A Biblical and Contextual Understanding

If one will do a thorough, contextual, passage by passage exegesis of the scriptures dealing specifically with the words and concepts of "predestined", "elect" and "chosen", it is my belief that the proper interpretation of this subject becomes much clearer and much easier to understand.

The words "predestined" and "elect" only occur a handful of times each, so the study is not that hard. These are the words that are particularly associated with the "Calvinism" or the "Predestination" or "Reformed Church" movements so popular today.

The word "chosen" is, of course, a more predominately used word in common language in general and must be especially interpreted in light of its immediate context. However, sometimes the English word "chosen" is translated directly from the Greek word, "eklekton". In these cases especially, more emphasis would be given to the idea of "election".

With this in mind, I have found that far and away the predominate theme and proper context of the words "elect" and "predestined" have to do most specifically with the Jews (however, some Gentiles are included as well, as is explained below). More specifically these words apply to the those Jews in New Testament times who understood that they were a part of the remnant of Israel, promised in the Old Testament, but fulfilled in the immediate New Testament days through Jesus Christ and his blood.

They were the ones that God had "reserved" for himself to burst forth the New Testament Covenant and Gospel. (See Rom. 11:1-8, see especially verse 5 the words, "at the PRESENT time there is a remnant chosen by grace.")

Note Paul's emphasis of the present time and his use of the illustration of Elijah and the seven thousand that God had "reserved for myself…who have not bowed the knee to Baal." Paul understood that in this PRESENT time, (Paul's immediate day –the beginning of the New Testament) in order to spread the Gospel and fulfill all prophecy and promises concerning the Messiah, that God had reserved for himself in this PRESENT time, through election, people who would serve Him through Jesus Christ. The nation of Israel as a whole would reject Jesus, but not the ELECT, those PREDESTINED to bring forth the gospel truth to the entire world.

INTERESTINGLY – Paul also understood that in the beginning days of the New Testament that the "elect" would also include some Gentiles of his day! (See Romans 9:22-29) In this passage Paul clearly states that the predominance of the ELECT have to do with Israel, but also to elect Gentiles of that day as well. God would do this, simply to bring his word to fruition…that is, he would make sure that his promise would be fulfilled that even those from the Gentile nations would serve Him and be a part of His people.

This would be especially important in the early New Testament days, because even a cursory reading of the first 15 Chapters of Acts reveals that the early New Testament Church, at first made up almost entirely of converted Jews, had a tough time believing the God would save Gentiles. They had a particularly hard time with Paul's ministry to the Gentiles and the church at Antioch's outreach to the Gentiles.

Never doubt, however, that Paul clearly understood that the primary way people (Jews and Gentiles) were to be saved from this point forward was through the clearly preached gospel of Jesus Christ! (See Romans 1:16-17, Romans 3:21-23, Romans 10:9-17)

Paul never set forth ELECTION or PREDESTINATION as the way or the only way in which all are saved for all of eternity. He merely expresses the awesome sovereignty of God, Who is accomplishing His purpose of salvation through Jesus Christ in these last days by "reserving" unto Himself "at this present time" those who are the ELECT to take forth the Gospel and usher in the New Testament days.

Peter and Paul, the only writers to speak of election and predestination, understood that they were somehow a part of God's sovereign plan. They understood that they were a part of the "elect" of God, having been "predestined" to belong to and serve the Lord Jesus Christ in the beginning of the New Testament days.

Peter understood that his primary ministry was to the Jews, although he would also minister the Gospel to Gentiles. Paul understood that his ministry was primarily to the Gentiles, although he would always carry a burning desire for his fellow Jews to be saved as well and often preached to Jewish audiences in the synagogues when he first entered a town.

This subject of election would not have been a difficult subject at all for Paul and Peter to talk about since having a thoroughly Jewish, Old Testament background, they understood entirely that God had elected and predestined the Jews and the nation of ISRAEL from ancient days to be a nation unto God.

They understood that God had his hand upon their forefathers and directed and guided history for the direct fulfillment of His covenants and promises. God's ability to PREDESTIN or ELECT was not even a question to them. It was not a point of theology that they would even begin to argue. From the covenant given to Abraham to the deliverance through Moses and the Red Sea and the establishing of David's throne, they had seen His predestinating hand over and over again in their national history.

Peter understood this as he remembered how the Lord Jesus "chose" him on the shores of Lake Galilee. He had been a fisherman and started as a reluctant follower of the Lord Jesus.

Peter would remember Jesus' words to the original 12 disciples, "You did not chose me, I chose you." (John 15:16) After Pentecost, he was the first to preach to the "God fearing Jews from every nation under heaven"(Acts 2:5, 14) and then continued for the rest of his life preaching Jesus to all, but primarily to the Jews.

Peter was the Pastor of the first Christian Church born at Pentecost in downtown Jerusalem. This church was at first made up primarily of Jews who had become Christians. Peter understood that they were a part of God's elect and predestined to serve Jesus in these last days as a part of the prophecy of the "Remnant" of Israel.

Paul certainly understood the concept that he had been "elected" as he was on his way to kill Christians and destroy more churches when Jesus confronted him, blinded him and incapacitated him for three days. After which he understood that his ministry – predestined by God – was to preach the Gospel primarily to the Gentiles.

Paul, being a Jew, still had a burning desire that his fellow Israelites would be saved (Romans 9:1-3 and 10:1-3) and often took his message first to the synagogues. Paul passionately expressed his overwhelming disbelief that God would chose him, the "chiefest of sinners" to serve Him and minister the Gospel of Jesus.

Since Peter and Paul are the ONLY writers and speakers (other than Jesus) to use the terms "elect" and "predestined", I think that it is extremely important that we understand this background and context in order to properly interpret what they write and speak. Paul uses both words in his writings, Peter uses only the word elect. He never uses the word – predestined.

Romans, Chapters 8,9,10 and 11, (written by Paul) is the only actual theological "treatise" of the subject of election and predestination in the Bible. It is not the only place in the New Testament where these words are mentioned but is the only place where the concept and context of the usage of these words are EXPLAINED.

Clearly, when one reads these chapters, it quickly becomes evident that Paul is explaining this concept of the elected and predestined remnant of Israel, chosen in Jesus Christ, at that present time, by the Grace of God. He also explains how the Gentiles are "grafted" into Israel, through this same Jesus, some apparently by election, but primarily through the preaching of the Gospel! (To which Paul had been appointed the chief messenger.)

He speaks of God's Sovereign choice in Chapter nine, clearly speaking of the Jews and the "remnant" (verse 27) of Israel. In Chapter ten, verses 12 and 13, Paul emphatically states that there is "no difference between Jew and Gentile-the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.""

Then, in verse 16, he says, "But not all the Israelites accepted the good news…" This segues into Chapter 11 concerning the Remnant that God would elect in spite of Israel's national rejection of the Messiah. Verses one through seven make it CRYSTAL CLEAR that Paul is speaking of ISRAEL and the Remnant, specifically, that they are saved, by grace, through ELECTION.

In Chapter eleven beginning with verse 11 and going through verse 24, Paul explains how the Gentiles were "grafted" into the "vine" of Israel in these last days. Verse 26 declares that "all Israel" (referring to the REMNANT and the INGRAFTED GENTILES – in other words - the true believers, the CHURCH, of the last days!) will be saved.

So, you see, God's SOVEREIGNTY applies to ALL of history. It applies to ALL of salvation. I do not discount the power or sovereignty of God in saving a man's soul. I understand that even the faith that we must exercise in order to be saved is a GIFT of God! (Eph. 2:8ff).

I understand that in the beginning of the New Testament days, by this sovereignty, God "reserved" for himself a "remnant" to burst forth the New Testament Church and carry the Gospel world wide. I also understand that this remnant was reserved by election. They were predestined by God's Sovereign choice to fulfill his Word, promises and prophecy. I further understand that this "remnant" elected by God was primarily Jews and included some Gentiles as well, all as fulfillment of the Prophet's declarations and the promises of God's Word.

But to apply the terms "elect" and "predestined" to ALL believers, Jew or Gentile, of ALL ages in ALL churches, as an understanding that God "choses" some over others for salvation, in my opinion, simply is not contextual in any sense of the proper interpretation of this subject.

Certainly, generally speaking, there is a sense in which ANY born again Christian can speak of being a part of the "elect" of God. That is to say, that when hearing the Gospel (God's elect way) and responding to Jesus (God's elect Son) and surrendering to Him as Lord (God's elect plan) by faith (God's elect vehicle of salvation), that one truly is a part of the ELECT whether Jew or Gentile!

But, again, to speak of being a part of the "elect" in the sense that the strict Calvinist would speak ("I was chosen by God through "Irresistible Grace" and I had no part or choice in it") simply is not Biblically correct. Certainly God's Grace has been resisted and rejected by men, both Jew and Gentile, since the beginning of time. The Bible records such truth. We understand that is the reason there is a Hell and a Final Judgment.

However, The strict usage of the word elect and predestined applies specifically to the REMNANT, primarily JEWS elected by God Grace in Jesus Christ in the beginning of the New Testament days.

This whole concept is relatively easy for Paul to talk about and explain, yet the profound nature of it is overwhelming to Paul as he considers the Sovereignty of God. Paul expresses this in Chapter eleven verses 33-36, known as the "doxology" to the treatise of chapters 8, 9, 10 and 11 on the subject of election and predestination.

IN SHORT – the words elect and predestined and often, the word chosen, refer most specifically to the remnant of Jews in the last days, particularly in New Testament times. They were chosen in Christ Jesus, by God's gracious, sovereign choice. This fulfills God's promises of the Old Covenant and puts the exclamation point on the New Covenant.

Where the words elect and predestined are used elsewhere in scripture, it is my opinion that they must be interpreted in light of the way they are defined in Romans 8-11, since this is the ONLY place in scripture where the meaning of them is defined.

Any Christian can speak generally about being a part of God's elect if he is truly born again, however, he can not use these words to indicate that he was "chosen" in any particular sense over and above any one else who may be perceived as "not one of the chosen". (As pure Calvinism does). In my opinion, the contextual interpretation of the scripture, especially Romans 9-11, simply does not support this vein of theology.



    1. Romans 11:7 (Paul is the Author)– This passage is dealing specifically with ISRAEL. (See verse 1-10)

    2. II Tim 2:10 (Paul is the Author)– "for the sake of the elect" – again, you hear the passion of Paul and his desires for his fellow Israelites to come to Jesus and be saved. (Reflections from Rom. 9:3-5.) You can tell that he is speaking primarily of the Jews again here by the way that he describes Jesus as the one who "Descended from David" – a strictly Jewish understanding of the lineage of the Messiah.

    3. Titus 1:1 -(Paul is the Author)– Paul is introducing himself as, among other things, one who has been appointed an apostle "for the faith of God's elect". - Again, Paul has clearly told us who he thinks that "God's elect" are in Romans Chapters 9-11. They are the last-days remnant of Israel who now belong to God, by election, through Jesus Christ. He is simply using this as an element of his ministry as he is introducing himself in the letter, nothing more.

    4. I Peter 1:1 – (Peter is the Author)- "to God's elect" – Peter was the first Pastor of the first Christian Church born at Pentecost. Almost all of the first Christians were Jews. Peter's ministry of the Gospel was primarily to the Jews and he apparently had a problem with the concept that God would even extend his salvation to the Gentiles.

You can read of this problem in Acts 10 and Galatians 2:11ff, and, in fact, we read that Paul even opposed Peter's apparent hypocrisy in this matter. God's elect, very clearly to Peter were the remnant Jews. He certainly would have not referred to Gentiles as God's ELECT!

The letter, called First Peter, was an early circular letter written by Peter to the early church that had already been scattered, probably in connection with Stephen's stoning (See Acts 8:1). We know that he is talking to Jews here, primarily because in verse18 he refers to the "empty way of life handed down by your forefathers". (A phrase very nearly the same as what Jesus continually used concerning the Jewish legalistic system, especially employed by the Pharisees.) This is a clear reference to the Jews and their empty legalistic system that blinded them to the true gospel of Jesus.

Also, Peter, as mentioned above, opens his letter to the "scattered" – referring to the early church scattered in response to Stephen's persecution, primarily made up of Messianic Jews. It would not be until the church scattered and began to spring up in other areas of the empire, and particularly the church at Antioch, (Acts 11:19ff) that the early church began to actively reach out to Gentiles with the Gospel.

Acts records that the church at Jerusalem, pastored by Peter, was vehemently opposed to them reaching out to the Gentiles and sent several "envoys" to check out the situation. (Acts 15:1ff)

Peter eventually offered the leadership that the church, should indeed, reach out to the Gentiles.

  1. I Peter 2:9 – "But you are a chosen (eklekton) people…" Here is an example of the word – chosen – used in the English interpretation that is from the original Greek word –eklekton – from which we can also get the word elect.

Again, the English word, chosen, is a bit more common and has several usages as opposed to the more specific word, elect. Context is very important when this word is used in scripture. So how do we interpret this verse and the use of the word "elect"?

The proper context here is from all we said before about Peter, his background, his understanding concerning this subject and the immediate context of the book of I Peter as defined in Chapter One verses 1 and 18.

He is speaking to remnant Jews. (To whom this book was largely and firstly written.) These were Jews who had come to Christ through election in the New Testament days.

Look at the strictly Jewish terms used in verse 9; "Royal Priesthood", "a holy nation", and "a people belonging to God." These were ALL phrases that would have had very special meaning to the Christian Jews to whom Peter was primarily writing, to help them understand their special elected place in history and in the forming of the early New Testament Church.

By the time this letter had circulated to all the early New Testament churches and most certainly by the canonization of the New Testament, this word was understood to mean specifically the elect remnant, (Messianic Jews) but, also, generally ALL who were a part of the New Testament Church (God's elect body of influence in the world) through the Gospel (God's elect power unto salvation) of Jesus Christ (God's elect Son).


  1. Romans 9:11 –"in order that God's purpose in election might stand". – Here the clear reference is to God's election of Israel as a nation through the son Jacob rather than the son Esau.
  2. Romans 11:28 –"but as far as election is concerned they are loved on account of the patriarchs." Here also is a clear reference to Israel. The "they" spoken of in this passage are the Jews! Those who are decendents of the patriarchs.

  3. II Peter 1:10 –"be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure." – This passage does NOT have to do with one losing their salvation as so many mistakenly interpret it. If one will read verse 3 through verse 11, it is discovered that Peter is talking about making sure that your salvation is "effective and productive" and that your calling and election are clearly evident to the world around you. The "falling" Peter is speaking of is not "falling from salvation", which is impossible, but "falling into Satan's traps, or falling into areas of sin that would hinder your usefulness for God's work.

The word election here is certainly used, at least, in the general sense of ALL of those who are born again through God's elect way, a relationship with Jesus Christ, and belong to God's elect body, the church.

However, Peter is still clearly writing to the same audience (See II Peter 3:1-2) that he was writing to in I Peter. That is "to God's elect, strangers in the world, scattered…" In other words, He is still primarily writing to the earliest of Christians, Messianic Jews.


Found recorded only in the books of Matthew and Mark. Both of these gospels records are of the same instance of Jesus using the word elect. They are found in:
1. Matthew 24: 22, and Matthew 24:31
2. Mark 13:20, and Mark 22:27

They all refer to the "deceiving of the elect" or the "gathering of the elect" in the last days just before and at Jesus' return to earth.

Jesus does not go into a theological treatise on the meaning of these words. His immediate audience was his disciples, who were Jews. They would have understood this to simply mean those that belonged to Jesus.


There are only four passages of scripture where the word predestined is used. All are written by PAUL and they are found in only two books, Romans and Ephesians. Let us look at each.

ROMANS 8:29-30 –"for those God foreknew he also predestined…and those he predestined…" These two places in Romans, the word predestined is used. Who was Paul writing to? The answer is found all the way back in Romans 2:17…"Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the law and brag about your relationship to God…" And in Romans 7:1 where Paul confirms that he is still talking to "those who are familiar with the Law." Paul is talking to the Jews!

He never breaks from this audience all the way through chapters 3-8 especially because he is dealing with the issue of the Judiazers or the Jews who claimed to be Christians but held that one still had to come to God through the Law. Many of them also held that only a Jew could be saved, because of their special relationship to God!

Paul spends seven chapters straightening these false beliefs out that apparently existed in the Roman church among Jewish believers. In Chapter 8, he brings up the issue of predestination by God's foreknowledge to explain how God had reserved for himself, among the Jews, those who would preach and live the Gospel in its truth.

EPHESIANS 1:3-12. Here Paul twice uses the word predestined as well as the concepts of choosing. Here it cannot be any more crystal clear that he is talking of New Testament Jews, like himself, who had been chosen and reserved by God to take the Gospel worldwide.

Chapter 1:12 – He identifies himself and his first audience of Ephesians as "We who were the first to hope in Christ…" THOSE WERE JEWS!

Chapter 1:13 – " You, however, were included…" His audience shifts! Now he is talking to the Gentile believers and identifies that the way they were saved and included in the church was through hearing and responding to the Gospel!

Chapter 2:11 – you can still see that his audience since 1:13 is Gentiles! The shift is so clear… In Chapter 1:3-12 – he speaks of Jews who were chosen and predestined, then in Chapter 1:13 and following he speaks of Gentiles coming to Christ through hearing the preached gospel of Jesus and responding by faith!


The words elect, election, predestined and often, the word chosen, refer most specifically to the remnant of Jews in the last days, particularly in New Testament times.

They were chosen in Christ Jesus, by God's gracious, sovereign choice. They were chosen to carry forth the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which was God's power unto salvation. They were to carry this message to the entire world, Jew and Gentile. Those who heard, believed and responded by faith would be saved. This fulfills God's promises of the Old Covenant and puts the exclamation point on the New Covenant.

Where the words elect and predestined are used anywhere in scripture, it is my opinion that they must be interpreted in light of the way they are defined in Romans 8-11, since this is the ONLY place in scripture where the meaning of them is defined.

Any Christian can speak generally about being a part of God's elect if he is truly born again, however, he can not use these words to indicate that he was "chosen" in any particular sense over and above any one else who may be perceived as "not one of the chosen". (As pure Calvinism does). In my opinion, the contextual interpretation of the scripture, especially Romans 9-11, simply does not support this vein of theology.

It is my prayer that this booklet has done several things for you on this controversial issue:

    1. Educated you as to the history and nature of the conflict.
    2. Familiarized you with terminology that you may have heard and not previously understood.
    3. Familiarized you with the fundamentals of the theology involved.
    4. Helped you to have a clear picture of where my preaching comes from regarding this issue.
    5. Put the scriptures into their proper CONTEXT and understanding regarding this topic.
    6. Brought you to a deeper awe of a BIG GOD!

A humble servant of His Majesty, Jesus

Carl Gallups, Pastor


A "truth Series" Ministry of Hickory Hammock Baptist Church, Carl Gallups, Pastor.