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Who and What are the Elect ?
In Mt.24:31 we read the following Scripture: "And He will send His angels with a loud trumpet call and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other." NIV.
First of all, for those who want to review a study of Conditional Election as compared to Unconditional election, a good source for both can be found in the following:
For Conditional election: http://www.gotquestions.org/conditional-election.html
For Unconditional election: http://www.gotquestions.org/unconditional-election.html
IMO, in order for us to become one of God's elect, we must first come to a believing faith in Jesus Christ, who is the reconciling factor of God justifying us as one of His elect, according to Rom.5:9-11. Who all then become members of the one body of Christ, both Jew and Gentile, His Church, according to 1 Cor.12:12-13. Since God knows the end from the beginning of all things, He knew this before the foundation of the world, according to Isa.46:10. "...not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." according to 2 Pet.3:9.
A review of Job 2:1-6 is what appears to be an exact duplication of what has and still is going on between God and Satan for the very souls of mankind. With the bottom line being, Job is the one who made his decision for God, who then richly rewarded him for it in the end.
So what about Israel, who rejected Jesus as their Messiah during His first advent? In Isa.45:4 the following is written: "For Jacob, my servant's sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by name; I have surnamed thee, though though hast not known me." KJV. However, Israel does not come to know Him, i.e. Jesus, as their Messiah until the 70th and final Week of Dan.9:27/the seven year tribulation is nearly over, as recorded in Zech.12:10, as related to Jesus second advent, seen in Zech.14:4-5. When "All [A remnant of only one third of them according to Zech.13:8] of Israel will be saved." fulfilling Rom.11:26.
Something seen in Zech.14:5, raises the next issue with the following statement: "...Then the Lord my God will come with all His holy ones with Him." What that means can be better illuminated in Rev.19:14, where the following is recorded: "The armies of heaven were following Him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean," who are the saints, the one body of Christ, His Church. So how did the Church get into heaven? It pertains to the time when the one body of Christ, His Church will be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the sky, according to 1 Thes.4:16-17, known and called, the rapture of the Church. Which will take place before the 70th Week/seven year tribulation begins, according to 2 Thes.2:1-8. As Jesus taught in Jn.14:2-4 and 28 and noted by Paul in 1 Thes.4:15, where he wrote: "According to the Lord's own word..." Meaning the Church is seen returning with Jesus and His angels when He returns to the earth in His second advent, When Mt.24:31 and Rev.19:14 are combined.
Back to Mt.24:31 for a closer look at the interpretation of who the elect are: "And He will send His angels with a loud trumpet call and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other." IMO, the angels are gathering the elect of Israel who have at this point recognized Jesus as their Messiah, according to Zech.12:10, and are being gathered from the four winds.
Who then are those being gathered from one end of the heavens to the other? They are the elect saints, the one body of Christ, both Jews and Gentiles, His Church, being gathered in heaven, to return with Him to the earth according to Zech.14:4-5 and Rev.19:14. Where they will be after being caught up to be with the Lord Jesus and our Father in heaven according to Jn.14:2-4, 28; 1 Thes.4:16-17 and 2 Thes.2:1-8, before the seven year tribulation begins.
So we have found the ELECT, according to the Scriptures, are all those who receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior with the Church being the first, from Pentecost to the present day, followed by all Israel near the end of the coming seven year tribulation, when they finally recognize Jesus as their Messiah. From where both will enter into Jesus Millennial kingdom here on the earth, fulfilling Jesus prophecy in Jn.10:16, when there will be one fold with one Shepherd.