First of all, who are the elect? There are at least 18 times in the New Testament where God has addressed and defined the “elect.” In Matthew 24:24, the Apostle Matthew was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write: For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. So, those who are deceived and follow false teaching are not the elect. In Romans 11:7, Paul wrote: What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks, but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded. Therefore, the Jews and those blind to the truth are not the elect. In II Timothy 2:10, Paul writes: Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. Now we come to the truth: The “elect” are those who have obtained salvation through Christ Jesus. That happens ONLY to those who are obedient to God’s commands and who have NOT adulterated God’s Word with the ideas of men. If you are among the “elect,” you have committed yourself to study God’s Word with an open mind, to determine what that Word says, and to live your life with the Word which gives us all things which pertain to life and godliness. (II Peter 1:3)
1. Now that we have established who the elect are, we need to look at the question of their fellowship with the religious world. Jesus, Himself, said, in Matthew 12:30, He who is not with me is against me. But the Scriptures go on to tell us that we are to have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them (Ephesians 5:11) because, as John says, in I John 1:6, if we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.
In Matthew 16:6 and Matthew 16:11, Matthew writes, Then Jesus said to them, “Take heed and beware the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.” In Matthew 16:12, we are told that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and the Sadducees. Finally, in Galatians 5:9, we can read that a little leaven leavens the whole lump. That is, if we allow even the slightest change in the doctrine of the New Testament, we have introduced that which, over time, will totally corrupt the Truth.
Putting this all together, what do we learn about the original question? Why should the elect not fellowship the religious world? The elect are those who follow the Word of God, without any additions and/or deletions. They are warned that anything which changes God’s Word puts them out of fellowship with God. Finally, the elect are warned that religious fellowship with those in error can cause
them to accept the erroneous teaching of the errors. As Paul wrote to the Corinthians in II Corinthians 6:14, Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? Or, as John warns us in II John 1:10-11, If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him, for he who greets him shares him in his evil deeds.
The final answer is this, dear reader. You are among the elect if you are obedient in all things. If you fellowship, in a religious sense, those who are not obedient in all things, but who are following some doctrine of man, you are not only sinning in that act, but also leave yourself open to having them corrupt your faith by persuading you to follow their errors.