Matt 24:29-31 29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 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.”
Today I want us to pause and reflect for a moment on what it really means to adopt a bridal perspective on matters of the end times. We know from church history, that there has been much controversy and disagreement over matters of the future, at times aggressive even leading to denominational splits within the Body of Christ. Was this ever the Lord’s intention to leave us in a quandary over such things, was He not always clear in His teaching? Even when using parables so “they may be ever hearing but never understanding” Luke 8:10 He would then explain the meaning to His disciples, and the Gospel writers would give us the interpretation. The problem over Matt 24 would never arise if the Lord didn’t use the term ‘the elect’ as He does in verse 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.” If only the Lord had said ‘the angels will gather the tribes of Israel’, then there would be little doubt what He meant. Similarly, if He had said ‘the angels will gather the church’, then we would also be clear. The debate hangs on the identification of who Jesus meant when He said the Elect. We have no record of the disciples asking Jesus about this, I strongly suspect they knew exactly who the Elect were. The Greek word for Elect is ‘eklektos’ (ek-lek-tos) and means ‘chosen by God’. Certainly, there are no shortage of Old Testament passages which refer to Israel as the Chosen (or Elect) of God. For example:
Deut 7:6 For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. He has chosen you to be his people, prized above all others on the face of the earth.
Ps 135:4 For the LORD has chosen Jacob for himself, Israel as his own possession.
These and many verses tell us Israel are the Elect of God, furthermore Paul writes in Rom 11:1 I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew.
What are we to make of this? The answer comes when we understand the Elect to be the bride! Had Jesus said ‘the angels will gather Israel’ or ‘the angels with gather the church’ we would have taken it to be mutually exclusive as we do today, and argue depending upon whether we are ‘pre-trib’ or ‘post-trib’, for the Elect to be either Israel or the church but not both. As though there were two plans of salvation, one for Israel and one for the church, two covenants, one for Israel and one for the church, or even two Elects or two Chosen Peoples with two different gatherings. But this is not true. There has only been and will ever be One Chosen People, One Elect and One Covenant. There has only been and will ever be One plan of Salvation for both Jew and Gentile. The Bridal mind cannot separate Jew from Gentile, she has been healed in Christ to think from a One New Man perspective. When we take a side, we are not seeing as the Bride should. She is indelibly changed to think differently, to think as her Bridegroom thinks and see how He sees, and what He sees is His Bride. All the promises the church has received have come to her through the Covenant God made with Israel, the New Covenant is made with Israel (see Quick Bite 19), whatever blessing we have is only because we have been grafted into the Olive Tree. The Promise of Salvation, for a Messiah was made to Israel, the promise to be Gathered was made to Israel, what promise did God ever make separately to the church for her to raptured in a way that would tear her apart from the tree. He has one plan of Salvation, one resurrection of the righteous, and one gathering of the Elect, His bride! Now that we are grated in, are we to be torn away, and leave the Bride upon the Earth? By no means, we are not the Bride on our own, but corporately together. When He comes for His Bride, He will not take her one member at a time, but as a whole. Now I’ve just made some pretty radical points, so let me back this up with a scripture that we’ll find in Matthew 22. I’m sure you’ll remember the parable of the wedding banquet, when the imposter was thrown outside because he didn’t have the wedding garments on, well Jesus concluded His teaching in verse 14 saying “For many are called, but few are chosen.” And what was the word for chosen? It is the exact same word as the Elect.