Mark Has Some Good News, Part 59, Election
The Abomination of Desolation
14 "But when you see the abomination of desolation standing where he ought not to be (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 15 Let the one who is on the housetop not go down, nor enter his house, to take anything out, 16 and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. 17 And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! 18 Pray that it may not happen in winter. 19 For in those days there will be such tribulation as has not been from the beginning of the creation that God created until now, and never will be. 20 And if the Lord had not cut short the days, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he shortened the days. 21 And then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or 'Look, there he is!' do not believe it. 22 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. 23 But be on guard; I have told you all things beforehand.
The Coming of the Son of Man
24 "But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, 25 and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 26 And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 And then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.
Verse 22 is troubling isn't it? I mean we can handle plagues and earthquakes and darkness and bloody moons but verse 22 is something else.
The first question I was asked as a pastor was from a very concerned mother about a Catholic boy in the youth group. She loved him and wanted to know what I thought about his salvation and how we could know if he was saved. I remember reflecting the question with some response about fruits of the spirit and told her that really we can't know for sure if someone is saved or not.
But there is one person who does know. Who's written our names in the book of life? Who's told us in his Father's scripture that he knows who's saved and who's not and that same person just said you can lose your salvation. That person is Jesus.
It stand to reason that if salvation was certain that the word possible wouldn't have left Jesus lips and entered marks ears. But it didn't. As much as I want the doctrine of election I can't reconcile that with God saying false Christ's have the possibility of luring future Christians away.
But that there is a mention of the elect strains the other point of view that our free will can deviate from God's election.
This debate of where we and God's sovereignty stand has split churches and fellowships. And all because we miss the point of the passage. There is only one Jesus. People will come claiming to be him but only He is him. Getting to know how he taught, what he taught, how he lives with us and intercedes for us are what will destroy whatever possibility of us straying from his flock. He teaches elsewhere in the gospels that his sheep know him. If we wander to another lesser shepherd, we don't know him as we ought.