Who does God call and how does He call them?
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When we are looking for employment we don’t expect a managing director to call us personally on the telephone out of the blue; we read advertisements about job vacancies, see if they are what we want and follow the instructions on how to apply.
God calls you when you read (or hear) the gospel.
1 Corinthians 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
Romans 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?... 17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
The Bible contains the gospel in written form. We can read the gospel preached by the apostles for ourselves. If we understand it, believe it, are baptised and live our lives by the commandments of Christ we shall be saved. The problem is that many are called but few are chosen. This is because people respond differently when they hear the Gospel. We each have free choice to accept or reject it.
Matthew 22:14 "For many are called, but few are chosen."
Jesus’ parable of the sower describes how different people react to the gospel.
Luke 8:5 A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. 6 And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. 7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. 8 And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. 9 And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be? 10 And He said, "To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables, that ‘Seeing they may not see, And hearing they may not understand.’11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
The seed scattered upon the field represents the word of God (the gospel) preached among the people.
Luke 8:12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
The people represented by the way side hear the gospel but the ‘devil’ prevents it being lodged in their understanding so they cannot believe and be saved. We are not to suppose this ‘devil’ to be the fallen angel of Christian mythology who robs these unfortunates of salvation through no fault of their own and that God is happy to allow this. If we recognise the illogicality of such a situation we will perhaps look at the parallel verse in Matthew where additional information is given.
Matthew 13:19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one (literally ‘evil’ there is no ‘one’ in the Greek), and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.
It is the initial inability to understand the gospel which results in the ‘devil’ or ‘evil’ removing it from his mind. If we grasp that the ‘devil’ or ‘evil’ is in fact the propensity to sin which is resident in human beings because of our nature, we will understand that the problem is within us and not external to us. The evil comes from within.
Mark 7:21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: 23 All these evil (things) (same word as Matthew 13:19 there is no ‘things’ in the Greek) come from within, and defile the man.
The people represented by the way side hear the gospel and do not initially understand it. They are not interested in pursuing it or trying to understand it because they prefer to live their lives in their own way without God’s restraints. They reject the gospel out of hand.
Luke 8:13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.
The people represented by the thin layer of soil on a rock initially believe the gospel and receive it with joy, but when they encounter trials because of the gospel they cease to live by it.
Luke 8:14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
The people represented by the soil among thorns initially believe the gospel but their ambitions and aspirations for wealth and pleasure in this life prevent them obeying the gospel in a way which is acceptable to God.
Luke 8:15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.
The people represented by the good soil believe the gospel, obey it and live their lives in a way that is acceptable to God. The words of the Bible were written by inspiration of God. It is the Bible itself which is able to make you wise unto salvation.
2 Timothy 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2 Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
If we want to learn to drive we obtain and read the Highway Code. If we want eternal life we obtain and read the Bible. If we believe it, are baptised and live our lives by the commandments of Christ we shall be saved. If we do not believe we are condemned, not to eternal fiery torment (another fiction of Christian mythology), but to eternal death.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
I hope this helps.