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Why Are Many Called But Few Chosen?

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Why Are Many Called But Few Chosen?

Post by Harry on Sat Oct 27, 2018 3:26 pm

Why Are Many Called But Few Chosen?

October 26, 2018 by Jack Wellman

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The Bible says that not many mighty or noble are called, but why does Jesus say many are called, but few are chosen?

Many are Called

In referring to the Parable of the Wedding Feast, which is about who will be and who won’t be in the kingdom, Jesus said that “many are called, but few are chosen” (Matt 22:14). This is why Christ taught that we must “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many” (Matt 7:13). Notice the way that is easy leads to destruction, and it’s the major six-lane interstate that many are driving down, but as for the narrow gate, it’s narrow because not many are entering into it. This is because it’s single-file, or one at a time, since “the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Matt 7:14). What’s surprising isn’t that many are going the wrong way and only a few are entering by the narrow gate, but what’s surprising is that anyone is saved all, since we all fall infinitely short of God’s glory (Rom 3:23). We do not get what we deserve (Rom 6:23a) but what we need (Rom 6:23b) when we trust in Christ. It’s not the wages of eternal death but the free gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ, so it is only “To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out” (John 10:3). The fact that He knows them all by name indicates He has a personal relationship with them…a personal relationship with the few, not the many.
Not Many Mighty
If God only called the qualified or the rich, powerful, or famous, most of us wouldn’t stand a chance, but God’s ways are contrary to the ways of the world. Of course God has called some who are considered rich or “mighty” in the eyes of the world, but the Apostle Paul wanted the church to recognize the truly amazing grace that God provides. He writes, “For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth” (1 Cor 1:26). That includes most of us…and I say, “us,” meaning me, so “God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are” (1 Cor 1:27-28), but why? It was “so that no human being might boast in the presence of God” (1 Cor 1:29). If we can boast about anything, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord” (1 Cor 1:31). For certain, God “does not regard any who are wise in their own conceit” (Job 37:24).
Hidden from the Wise
The Jewish leaders, as intelligent as they were, and “righteous” as they thought they were, just didn’t get it. That’s because “None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Cor 2:Cool, but this is just what God had planned, using evil for good (Gen 50:20; John 3:16), and why Jesus prayed to the Father, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children” (Matt 11:25). Trusting in Christ is not a matter of intellectual knowledge or achievement, but humbling oneself before Almighty God. There is no reason to boast at all, for it only by grace we are saved; not by knowledge or trying to become righteous or by doing good works (Eph 2:8-9), although the saved will do works, if they are indeed saved, however these things are not discovered by empirical knowledge but “these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God” (1 Cor 2:10).
Opposed to the Proud
James writes that “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6), and submission to God takes humility (James 4:7). Jesus Christ always submitted to the Father’s will during His earthly ministry (John 5:19, 6:38, 8:29), and we know God’s will is that He is “not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (1 Pet 3:9). God’s will for us is the same as it was for Israel, and that is that we should repent and be saved, for He takes “no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways” (Ezk 33:11). You cannot turn to God until you turn away from evil, and today, God commands everyone to repent (Acts 17:30), but thankfully, it is God Who grants repentance (Acts 5:31, 11:18; 2 Tim 2:24-26). Given that fact, I don’t believe He will grant repentance to a stubborn, prideful heart. Jesus warned that “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matt 7:21), so even though they declared they had a relationship with the Lord (Matt 7:22), Jesus will “declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness” (Matt 7:23). This matches up with what Jesus had often said that many are called, but only a few are chosen. Many will believe they are saved (Matt 7:22) but Jesus said that those same “many” will be turned away (Matt 25:40). The many are shut out of the kingdom while the few are able to enter in through Jesus’ Christ’s atoning work on the cross (2 Cor 5:21), but that’s because they humbled themselves before God.
Conclusion
Many are called but few are chosen because many refuse to repent of their sins and be saved. Having one foot in the world and the other in the kingdom just doesn’t work. They may have had some works that looked good to the world (Matt 7:21), but they failed to follow Christ’s imperative commands (Matt 25:35-36, 28:19-20) as doing it unto Him (Matt 25:40). The ramifications for doing nothing for Him are disastrous (Matt 25:41-46). The many who think they are saved outnumber the few, but that’s expected as even our Lord said we should not uproot the weeds, saying “lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them” (Matt 13:29). Only God knows the heart (1 Sam 2:3, 16:7; 1 Kings 8:39; Luke 16:15), so we must allow the weeds to grow up with the wheat, and at the harvest, the Lord Jesus Christ will sort them out, and in time, “the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the end of the age” (Matt 13:40). Daniel the Prophet writes of this time, saying “many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever” (Dan 12:2-3). Brothers and sisters, this is ample reason to “be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall” (2 Pet 1:10), because many are called, but few are chosen.
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is a writer at Christian Quotes and also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.

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