Gathering the Elect

Matthew 24:31, “And He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”

The Lord of the Rings, Battle of the Pelennor Fields

Have you ever been to a concert? Whether it’s an orchestra, a worship band, or your favourite rock band? I have. Whether it’s a professional orchestra or a worship band, each crowd is enormous. The largest crowd I’ve ever been a part of was over 30,000 youth at a large Christian event called Acquire the Fire. I’ve never been around so many people in my life, and I’m not a gregarious person at all. Remember that scene from The Lord of the Rings that depicted the Battle of the Pelennor fields? If not, I provided an image of it from the movie above. That’s a massive army, right? Well, guess what? The multitude of saints—God’s elect—is going to be more massive than this army or any concert we’ve ever participated in.

This number is so enormous that John couldn’t estimate it. He does give the number 144,000, but it’s a symbolic number representing the perfect number of all spiritual Israel (12,000 from each tribe of Israel equalling 144,000). Then he describes the resurrected saints as “a great multitude” (Revelation 7:9). The number of God’s elect cannot be counted. We often think of Revelation as a scary book to read, but if you’re a Christian, what do you have to fear? You have nothing to fear because as one of God’s chosen, you’re among the great multitude! Revelation was written as a book of encouragement for God’s people not just to endure through persecution, but also as a hope to look forward to the day of Christ’s return. It was not meant to scare God’s people. The Bible is God’s Word to us, and He does not speak to His people to inflict fear, but rather to inflict hope, grace, and mercy. Furthermore, the book of Revelation is a book of hope for His people, not a book of fear. His return is a great day for us; it is not so great, however, for our enemies. Unless you’re an enemy of God, you have nothing to fear!

Paul said, “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by His life” (Romans 5:10). God’s elect will be gathered not because they are better than anyone else, but because they have been reconciled to God by receiving the free gift of faith in Christ. If Christ is the Lord of your life and you have been baptised into Him, you have nothing to fear, for you are no longer God’s enemy but have been reconciled to Him through Christ by the free gift of faith He has given to us. Since God has reconciled you to Himself while you were His enemy, then much more shall you be saved as His child.

While we await His return, we gather every Sabbath day to worship Him as a foretaste of the greater gathering to come.

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