Who Are The Chosen And The Called?
 

 A  lot of confusion comes from the words used in preaching  about those  who  are chosen, those who called, and those who  are  the elect. Jude addressed the believers in his letter in the  following  manner: "Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and  brother  of James,  to them that are sanctified by God the Father,  and  preserved in Jesus Christ, [and] called: Mercy unto you, and peace, and  love, be multiplied." (Jude 1:1,2) Jude, as well  as  James, were brothers of Jesus (I should say, half brothers, because  the Holy Spirit (God) is the father of Jesus and Joseph fathered Jude and  James). All three grew up together in the same family  under Mary's supervision. Jude counted  himself  as  a servant  of Jesus Christ, because he knew Jesus was  telling  the truth. Jude addressed the believers as being sanctified and  preserved in Jesus Christ.

What does being sanctified and  preserved mean?  In studying the word sanctified in the Lexical Aid in  the Hebrew and Greek Study Bible, the Greek word is `hagiazo' derived
from  `hagios' stands in contrast with and `koinos'  meaning  defiled and common. Sanctification cannot be accomplished without a person who is to be sanctified, separating himself or withdrawing from  fellowship  (withdrawing support of this  world system  in which  Lucifer  is  operating) with the world  by  first  gaining fellowship  with  God.

Since we have to live and  work  in  this world,  what  is this referring to? By first  gaining fellowship with  God,  means to study the Scriptures. To me it  has  been  a guide  as to God's principles which have nothing to do  with  the ten  commandments. The ten commandments are not to be  neglected, because  they  serve  to preserve us from  social and  spiritual failure.  The universe is built on absolute laws and the laws  go into  effect automatically. We need God's mercy, forgiveness  and protection to function under these laws.

When we trespass, we get hit.  In example if we murder we have to pay the consequences in society.  God forgives but society does not. This does  not  mean that God does not care if we do or don't murder. Murder is not an issue  in God's existence. He is love. Principles are  found  in studying  not only the teachings of Jesus Christ, but also  God's interactions with men of the Old Testament.

To  withdraw from fellowshipping with the world, that  ridicules any attempt of `Bible thumping', gives us an opportunity to fellowship with God in the privacy of our own life. To gain trust in  God's plan, we have to learn from Him first, how to live  and move in this world, to insure preservation for eternity. That is what being sanctified means. Following Jesus, means following His teachings.  It  is a possibility in spite of everything,  but  it takes our  will to make ourselves do it. The body is  under  the world  system and it is at war with God. The body is ordained  to die and wants to experience its agenda on experiences that satisfy our vanity. Disciplining the body into activity that is conducive to spiritual reservation is a must. The  body cannot be allowed to run its  agenda  when it wants to do things which are not in line with God's Word. God agrees that we need to labor for our bread and butter.

Going back to Jude 1:1, Jude addressed the believers as  not only being sanctified by God, but also preserved in Jesus  Christ and   called.  The  word  preserved  in  Greek  is `tereo':  to keep,..with  the possibility of either deliverance or  execution, or  to maintain as opposed to leaving. Preserved in Jesus  Christ means preserved in the Word. see  John 1:14  and Revelation  19:13,16:  "And the Word was made  flesh,  and  dwelt among  us,  (and we beheld his glory, the glory as  of  the  only begotten  of the Father,) full of grace and truth."  (John  1:14) "And  he  [was] clothed with a vesture dipped in blood:  and  his name  is called The Word of God."

" And he hath on  [his]  vesture and  on  his  thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS,  AND  LORD  OF LORDS." (Revelation 19:13,16)

In Jude's salute to the believers ,them that are preserved  in Jesus Christ and called. The Greek word is `kletos'; from  kaleo, to call. Called, invited, welcomed or appointed. The called  ones are  those  who have received the divine  call  (klesis),  having conformed  to God's saving purpose. "Paul, a  servant  of  Jesus Christ,  called [to be] an apostle, separated unto the gospel  of God."  (Romans  1:1) Paul had an encounter with God on the road to Damascus:

"As  he  neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly  a  light  from heaven  flashed  around him. He fell to the ground  and  heard  a voice say to him, `Saul, Saul, why do you ersecute me?' `Who are you,  Lord?' Saul asked. `I am Jesus, whom you are  persecuting,' he replied.  `Now get up and go into the city, and you  will  be told  what  you must do." (Acts 9:3-6 NIV)

"`Lord,'  Ananias  answered,  `I  have heard many reports about this man and  all the harm  he  has done to your saints in Jerusalem. And he  has  come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.' But the Lord said to Ananias, `Go! This man is  my chosen instrument (the call) to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. I will show  him how  much  he  must suffer for my name." (Acts  9:13-16  NIV)  

In Matthew  20:16 `the called' are discussed in great detail  giving me a new understanding of the called and chosen. "So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many  be called, but few chosen. (Matthew 20:16) Jesus used a parable to explain what he meant by that statement. "For the kingdom of heaven is like a  landowner (Jesus)  who went out early in the morning to hire  men  (Israel, Jacob's 12 sons (12 tribes)) to work in his vineyard. He agreed to pay  them  a denarius (a specific sum of money) for the  day  (12 hour  day) and sent them into his vineyard. About the third  hour he  went  out and saw others (Gentiles) standing in  the  market-place  doing nothing. He told them, `You also go and work  in  my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.' So they went. He went  out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour  and  did the  same  thing. About the eleventh hour he went out  and  found still  others standing around.

He asked them, `Why have you  been standing  here all day long doing nothing?' `Because no-one  has hired us,' they answered. He said to them, `You also go and  work in  my vineyard.' When evening came, the owner of  the  vineyard said to his foreman, `Call the workers and pay them their  wages, beginning with the last ones hired (the Gentiles) and going on to the first (the Jews).'The workers who were hired about the  eleventh hour came and each received a denarius. So when those  came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of  them  also received a denarius. When they received  it,  they began to grumble against the landowner.

`These men who were hired last  worked only one hour,' they said, `and you have  made  them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the  day (speaking of all the persecution they endured).' But  he answered  one  of them, `Friend, I am not being  unfair  to  you. Didn't you agree (the work all on a voluntary basis) to work  for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who  was hired last the same as I gave you. Don't I have the right to  do what  I want with my own money? Or are you envious because  I  am generous?  `So the last will be first (could well be a  reference to the rapture of the Gentiles), and the first (the 144,000  Jews are sealed to Jesus after the exposure of the Antichrist) will be last."  (Matthew 20:1-16 NIV)

The New International Version  left out what we were discussing: "So the last shall be first, and the first  last: for many be called, but few chosen. (Matthew  20:16 KJV) Any clue, who is called and who is chosen? All Gentiles  are called and the Jews were chosen. God wants the Gospel preached to the whole world before He comes back which is just about done. "Simon  has  described  to us how God at  first  showed  his concern  by taking  from the Gentiles a people  for  himself  (a people is speaking of Abraham, who was a Gentile until God sought him  out).

The words of the prophets are in agreement with  this, as  it is written: `After this I will return and rebuild  David's fallen tent (talking about the temple). Its ruins I will rebuild, and  I  will restore it, that the remnant of men (the  Jews)  may seek  the Lord, and all the Gentiles who bear my name,  says  the Lord, who does these things that have been known for ages. `It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult  for the Gentiles who  are turning to God (indicates  that they turn to God by  their  own volition).  (Acts 15:15-19 NIV) ".., until the times of the  Gentiles be fulfilled." (Luke 21:24)

The  parable was in answer to Peter who said to Jesus:  "Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, `Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the  Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit  upon twelve  thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.  And  every one  that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters,  or  father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for  my  name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.  But  many  [that are] first shall be last;  and  the  last [shall  be]  first.  (Matthew 19:27-30) The  inheritance  of  the eternal  kingdom is the same for all who are regenerated  (saved, sealed,  delivered in Christ Jesus), Jews and Gentiles,  but rewards differ depending on our dedication to Him.Regeneration in Greek is `palgenesia'; from `palin' again,  and  ginomai,  to become. Recovery, renovation,  a  new birth.  In Matthew 19:28 it refers to the coming state  of  the whole creation, equivalent to the restoration of all things (Acts 3:21),  which  will occur when the Son of Man shall come  in His glory.

What begins to stick out like a sore thumb is  the  suffrage  of the Jews. It is prolonged because of the times  of  the Gentiles  and God's mercy to try and get them to  understand the truth, so they don't miss out. The importance of our sharing what we  understand with as many as possible, because Luke  shares  in 18:7,8:  "And shall not God avenge his own elect (eklektos;  chosen), which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long  with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily.  Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth."

From  this passage the Hebrew, Greek Key Study Bible  refers us  to the following passage and a note to help us get the  meaning. "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus  Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure  of  his will."  (Ephesians 1:4,5) Note: The real dilemma in this passage is  determining how a person can know if he is one of the  elect, or even if he can be given that kind of knowledge. There are  two words  in this passage that must be examined in order to  explain the  much debated subject of God's election  and  predestination.

The  first is found in verse four, `he has chosen', referring  to the  Greek  word  `exelexato' meaning `chosen out  of.'  In  this context, this word means that at one particular time in the past, God chose individuals for salvation. The second verb in verse five is `proorisas', `to determine beforehand  or  predestinate'... It is interesting to  note  that Peter referred to the concept of predestination in his sermon  on the  day of Pentecost. He said (speaking of Christ), `Him,  being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have  taken,  and by wicked hands have crucified and  slain.'  In this  verse,  one can note the evidence of the concept  of  man's free choice coupled with the responsibility for his actions.  God delivered  up His Son, and man was given the choice of what  they would  do  with Christ. They chose to crucify Him,  leaving  them with the responsibility for their act.

Furthermore, the teaching of Scripture is clear: Christ died for all. In 1 John 2:2 the writer states, "And he is the propitiation for our sins, (i.e., believers) and not for ours only,  but
also for [the sins of] the whole world." Therefore, the ministry of Christ that He did on the cross was intended for all.  Repeatedly,  God  says  that `Whosoever believeth in  Him' can obtain salvation (John 3:16-18,36; Acts 10:43). To come to Christ is  an invitation  to all, and all who hear the gospel  are  responsible and  without  excuse to either accept or reject Christ.

If  one perishes  in  his  sin, he is condemned as a result  of  his  own choice (Titus 3:10,11). As one reflects on the salvation  experience of  the believer, he should note that God alone knows  the point at which a person receives Christ for salvation. It is also evident  that the believer is fulfilling God's purposes  for  his life, resulting in him becoming one of God's elect. Jude's advice in Jude 1:3 "Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort [you] that ye should earnestly contend for the  faith which was once delivered unto the saints."


To  come  back to the purpose of this study:  "So  the  last shall  be first, and the first last: for many be called, but  few chosen."  (Matthew  20:16) This Scripture does not mean  what it seems to mean, that only few are chosen to make it. It means that there  are  many more Gentiles than Jews, many  more  are  called because  of that. Few `chosen' means that there is only  a  small group of Jews compared to Gentiles. All have an equal chance  for the  life to come in Christ Jesus. There is no  excuse  for  not coming into the Body of Christ Jesus and allowing Him to be  your shepherd instead of the world.

 

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