THE ELECT of Matthew 24
Who are the
elect ones (chosen) in Matthew 24:22, 24, 31 and Mark 13:20, 22, 27?
The word elect in the bible is a loose transliteration from the Greek verb
eklegomai; the adjective eklektos; and the noun eklogā.
The use of the term elect and election is a theological designation and does
not need to be employed in translating the eklegomai word group.
The adjective means chosen; the verb means to choose; and the noun means
choice or a choosing.
There are three sources we can use to determine the identity of the chosen
ones in Matthew 24.
1. The use of the word group in the gospels.
2. The use of the world group in the Epistles.
3. The Old Testament. See study on Israel: God's
The adjective is eklektos in the plural. This word occurs 3 (6) times within
the Olivet discourse and 3 times elsewhere in the gospels.
Mat. 22:14 and Luke 18:7 both refer to believers and not Israel.
The first time it is used in the gospels is at Mat. 22:14. (It occurs at
Mat. 20:16 in the KJV, but its occurrence there is not in the best or oldest
See commentary: Matthew 22:1-14
At Mat. 22:14, after teaching a salvation parable, Jesus stated, "For many
are called (klātos) but few are chosen (eklektos).
This adjective klātos is used to describe those who received an invitation
to the wedding feast only after the original invitees rejected it. "many are
Israel will reject Jesus (Mat. 22:7-8) and the kingdom of God will be taken
away from them and given to a new nation. Mat. 21:43.
The wedding feast represents the kingdom of God during the church age.
The ones gathered from the streets are the Gentiles who are invited into the
kingdom of God. But not all accept the invitation.
"Called" is set up in contrast to "few are chosen," which is the adjective
eklektos. The contrast is to show that although many are invited, not all
are qualified to enter into the kingdom; even though they may try. To be
qualified you need to have on the right clothing; you need to be clothed
with God's righteousness.
Only those who trust in Christ are clothed with God's righteousness.
Or as Jesus told Nicodemus, unless a man is born again, he cannot enter the
kingdom of God. John 3:3-5.
All are invited. All are DRAWN by God. He reaches out to all mankind.
But only those who trust in Christ of their own free will, will be accepted
(chosen); forgiven their sins, and given eternal life with God.
Chosen, in the context clearly refers to someone who has been accepted by
God, and of course, this is only through faith in Christ.
See Topic: The Drawing of God
Eklektos occurs three (six) times in the Olivet discourse. Mat. 24:22, 24,
31; and Mark 13:20, 22, 27.
At Mat. 24:31 and Mark 13:27, "HIS chosen ones" refers to Christ's chosen
At Mat. 24:22, 24, and Mark 13:22 it is simply "the chosen ones."
At Mark 13:20, "for the sake of the chosen ones whom He chose."
There is no basis for saying that it means anything other than how it was
used at Mat. 22:14; that is, the CHOSEN ONES who have been accepted by God
because of their faith in Christ. In fact, at verse 31, they are designated
as HIS (Christ's) chosen ones.
Luke uses it only one time for believers (Luke 18:7) and one time when the
Jewish rulers were mocking Jesus at Luke 23:35.
Who are these chosen ones (elect) at Luke 18:7?
This seems to have been taught by Jesus prior to His arrival in Jerusalem
and thus, prior to the Olivet discourse.
V. 18:1, "Now He was telling THEM (the disciples, whom of course He had
chosen) a parable of the necessity for them at all times to pray and not to
The parable is in verses 2-5, and Jesus makes application to THEM (the
disciples) at verse 7.
They are specifically the disciples, and in general God's people who trust
If the unrighteous judge can be so moved to eventually help the widow, how
much more -
"Shall not God bring about justice for His chosen ones, who cry to Him night
and day, and be strongly impassioned (patient) toward them?"
This is referring to chosen individuals, not the nation of Israel. And not
to believers as citizens of the NATION but to believers as those who have
trusted in Christ and become "children of God."
This sets the pattern for how to view THE CHOSEN (elect) in the teachings of
Thus when He refers to THE CHOSEN (elect) in the Olivet Discourse, He has in
mind those individuals who have accepted Him as Savior and go to God in
prayer in times of distress.
The application of this promise extends from the time of Jesus into the
church age and applies to all believers up to the actual second coming of
Jesus as seen in the context of Mat. 10:16-23 and 24:9-14; Luke 21:12-19.
The CHOSEN ones thus refers to INDIVIDUALS who accepted the salvation
"Many ones are called (invited, klātos, plural ) but few are chosen (eklektos,
plural)." Matthew 22:14.
The chosen ones of the Olivet discourse are believers in Jesus (HIS chosen
ones, Mat. 24:31).
It is spoken to the disciples as the foundation layers of the church (Mat.
16:18-19) and therefore representatives of all believers who come after them
(principle of John 17:20).
In the chronological context of the discourse, the chosen ones are believers
during the church age.
These are the ones who will be bringing the gospel throughout the world
(Mat. 24:14) and specifically to the cities of Israel "UNTIL THE SON OF MAN
COMES" (Mat. 10:23), and until the end of the age (Mat. 28:20).
These are the ones who will be given relief from the tribulation and
delivered from it "at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with His
mighty angels in flaming fire." Mat. 24:22; 2Thes. 1:7; Rev. 7:14 (9-17).
These are the ones who might possibly be deceived concerning the timing of
Christ's return. Mat. 24:4-5, 24; 2 Thes. 2:1-3; 1Thes. 5:6.
These are the ones who are gathered "out from the farthest end of the earth
TO the farthest end of heaven." Mark. 13:27; 1Thes. 4:14-17.