...For many are called, but few are chosen (Matthew 22:14)
This is a statement made by our Lord that applies to the church as a whole... The calling to become part of the body of Christ began at the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the Apostles and people of Jerusalem as outlined in Acts 2 and will culminate in the chosen being taken in the rapture when Jesus returns.
Most of the readers here have answered the call to come to Christ by following the guidelines the Apostle Peter laid out in on the day of Pentecost or are in the process of doing so...
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Acts 2:38
The goal as Christians is not to just answer the call, but to be chosen of our Lord Jesus. The book of Revelation records that those that will be with Christ will be called, chosen and faithful...
These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful Revelation 17:14
I want to break down this whole process of the calling, becoming faithful, and being chosen of Christ... The bible gives us an old testament template of how this works... It is found in the book of Judges chapter 7 with a man named Gideon.
What happened is Gideon called the men of Israel to rise up and fight against the Midianites who were oppressing ancient Israel at the time. The nation of Israel had been in bondage due to sinning against God. So the Lord raised up Gideon to deliver them when they were ready to return to Him. God himself also did this for us. He delivered us from sin through his death, burial, and resurrection through Christ Jesus.
Gideon raised up an army of approximately 32,000 men. I'm sure all able body men were called to fight on behalf of the nation of Israel by Gideon...but only 32,000 answered the call... This is similar to the church in that the whole world is called to come to Christ, but not everyone will answer that calling. I am happy that those reading this have answered or are in the process of answering the call to come to Jesus and be part of the church.
So what does it take to be chosen by Jesus? this is our ultimate goal as Christians is that our Lord will choose us as we have chosen Him. Going back to Judges 7, of the approximately 32,000 than answered to call to fight, God only chose 300
And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me Judges 7:2
So what happened in the first round of cuts God made in Gideon's army? He told Gideon to have anyone that was afraid to go home and return to their family. Of the 32,0000....22,000 took up that offer and left. So how does this equate to the church??? I have been in church a long time and have seen a lot of people leave. This cut is those who walk away from the body of Christ of their own choice. Christ himself told us this would happen.
12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. Matthew 24:12
Life gets tough... it's not easy with or without Christ... Anyone who has lived on this earth understands this principle. For many who come to church, the trials and hardships of life become a dealbreaker. It causes them to walk away from Christ. The key to avoiding this cut is to keep our love for our Lord strong.
As a younger Christian, I had a pastor ask me, "Do you love the Lord?"
My answer was yes of course I do...
Then he asked, "are you keeping the commandments?"
My answer at the time was, not as well as i should...
Then he told me, "the Answer to the 2nd question is the same answer to the 1st"
Jesus said, " If ye love me, keep my commandments." John 14:15
It was a very sobering moment in life to understand that all that I do in life is a profession of my love for my Lord or a statement that i don't love....
so back to Matthew 24, Jesus tells us,
13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. Matthew 24:13
I can tell you keeping your love for God strong ties into the next cut as well. So Gideon was left with 10,000 men and God told him even that was too many. God put a trial on Gideon's army to choose who he wanted to be in His army and who would be victorious through Him.
5 So he brought down the people unto the water: and the LORD said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink. 6 And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water. 7 And the LORD said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the other people go every man unto his place. Judges 7:5-7
What does this cut mean to the church today??? It is SIN... this will sever us from God's body and not by choice if we persist in it. We can also avoid this if we learn of what God loves and of what God hates and become faithful in those things.
39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me John 5:39
Read your Bible: Learn about our Lord. God will show himself through his scripture.
Pray: Talk to Jesus and learn to listen to the spirit... Not only does this affect you but everyone you come in contact with in your world.
Fast: This is probably the most powerful thing a man can learn is to tell himself no...if we are to follow Christ, we are at times going to have to deny our will and accept His. If a man or woman can tell him or herself no on food, then he or she can tell himself or herself no on anything. There are other things we can fast besides food that one may fast, but i will not discuss further in this post.
24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. Matthew 16:24-25
If we as a Christian learn to do these things, then sin will have no power of us through the Spirit of God. This is how we will be chosen is by becoming faithful to God.
So Gideon took his 300 into battle with the army of Midian... How did it go? God delivered Midian into hands of Israel and Gideon. The 300 never had to lift the sword because the Victory is God's. It will be the same with us. God is preparing us for a battle in which the victory will be His. We must be faithful to our calling to be chosen. With this I leave you for now... Please let me know how you feel in the comments below.
Thank you for your time and consideration