This blog series follows my “Teachings of Jesus Class”
where we examined the words of Jesus recorded in the gospels.
For in those days there will be suffering, such as has not been from the beginning of the creation that God created until now, no, and never will be… False messiahs and false prophets will appear and produce signs and omens, to lead astray…in those days, after that suffering, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in clouds’ with great power and glory. (Mar 13:19-26 NRS)
Most progressive Christians, like myself, skip waaaaay over these teachings of Jesus. It’s not good news. It messes with my hope that in the end God has a plan to redeem all of humanity. But I can’t skip over the fact that Jesus talked a lot about The End Times. In those verses in Mark (of which I chose only a few), the only hope Jesus offers is to those he called the eklectous. Its translated “the chosen” or the “elect.”
<God> will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven. (Mar 13:27 NRS)
Who are the chosen of God? Who are the eklectous? My Greek morphology says it refers to “outstanding Christians.” Calvin would say it meant whomever the sovereign God chose regardless of anything that person did or believed. Southern Baptists would say it means those who have prayed the prayer of salvation – asking Jesus to forgive their sins. There’s not a lot of agreement.
But in 1 Peter 2, Peter writes about the elect. It would seem Jesus is the elect – the only one worthy of that title. But that Jesus is busy transforming the rest of us into a new race of elected or chosen people.
You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (1Pe 2:9-10 NRS)
My take away from this is that I can trust in God’s great unbounded love for everyone of us knowing that God will do all God can do to show mercy to all of the people of the earth. And that I should do the same.