“For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you,because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.” (1 Thess 1:4-5)
Thoughts from this passage
1) The only way to tell who is “elect” is from the response people have to the word of God. The implication is the word of God should be preached indiscriminately to all who will hear it.
2) When the elect respond to the word of God, they respond in “power” and with “full conviction”. This should bring great confidence to the enterprise of evangelism and missions. God is still in the business of changing lives.
3) The word of God is instrumental in the salvation process. Peter says it clearly:
1 Pe 1:23 since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;
Related to this, I recently heard a preacher once say- “Missions is a hunt for the elect.” That is a strange way of looking at things, but I think that hits home to what Jesus declared in John 10:
Jn 10:14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me,
Jn 10:15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.
Jn 10:16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.