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How do you know if you are of the elect? If God is not willing for any to perish, does this mean we are all of the elect?
Thank you for your question about election and God saving people.
This topic can be quite sensitive and can be a controversial one, so it is important that we look at what the Bible says on this matter.
The short answer is that God, in his glorious wisdom and grace, has chosen people since before the foundation of the earth (Ephesians 1:3-10). It is these people, through the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, that has given us the ability to be adopted as sons, according to his will.
We are not able to know whether or not a person has been elected by God for salvation. It would be very useful to have a tool or device by which Christians could use to witness only to the elect, but this is not the case. Rather, Christians are told by Jesus to "Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned" (Mark 16:15-16). The preaching of God's word happens every day throughout the world, with many accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.
Bible believing Christians do not believe that every human being will be saved. It is clear from the scriptures that if you want to have eternity in the new heaven and earth, then you need to believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, that God the Father punished Jesus in your place on the cross, that he was buried, and that he rose again to give new life to all who truly believe. Jesus himself makes it clear when he says "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6).
This is an exclusive statement: Jesus is the only way that you can get to heaven. If you have not gone to Jesus, then you can't get to heaven.
God does not want anyone to perish. We can read this for ourselves: The Lord is not slow to fulfil his promise as some count slowness, but is patient towards you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance (2 Peter 3:9). God sent Jesus on a rescue mission for people to repent of their sin and follow Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. It is our honour and joy, in return, to preach the gospel to everyone who will receive it.
Perhaps you are asking this question because you are wondering whether you need to commit to following Jesus or you can just hope that he will accept you when you die. I hope this answer makes it clear: you must turn from your sinful ways to follow Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. Only then will you be saved.
In summary, God has chosen people to be saved, and this decision has been made since before the foundation of the world. We are saved through Jesus Christ alone, and any person who knows him as their Lord and Saviour are adopted into the family of God.
I hope this answer helps you to find peace with God through Jesus Christ. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: Watch the video
I encourage you to attend a local Bible believing church and speak to the leader about your question. If you want to find a local church, our Church Finder may help you: Find a Church
Please feel free to submit a question to us or to read our answer database: Ask a Question
*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise
*If anything in this answer affects you directly, then please feel free to call our confidential prayer line in the UK on 0845 4567729, where trained Christian volunteers will take your call and pray both for you and with you. If you are outside of the UK then you may submit your request for prayer on line at www.ucb.co.uk/prayerline
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