Plainer Words since 1968
March 22, 2016
PLAINER WORDS …“FOR MANY ARE CALLED, BUT FEW ARE CHOSEN” (Matthew 22:14)
This is an addendum to PLAINER W0RDS… “The Race That Is Set Before Us.”
The Lord Jesus followed this line of truth throughout His Earthly Ministry, as witnessed by the Four Gospels, The Acts of the Apostles, and the Acts Period Epistles. But, the astute student will recognize that being “Chosen” is a step above being “Called.” To illustrate this truth, we will look at an event in His early ministry. Luke records this event of our Lord Jesus Christ.
“And it came to pass in those days, that [Jesus] went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, He CALLED unto Him His [many] disciples: and of them He CHOSE twelve, whom also He named Apostles” (Luke 6:12-13)
Those who became the Disciples of Jesus Christ answered His Call, such as—“28 Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).
It should be noted that those who answered His Call were promised that they would find rest, and they would bear His easy yoke and a light burden. Many who answered His Call did so out of a fleshy heart filled with emotion. But, those who truly received His Call answered the Spirit’s prompting. The emotionally excited ones heard there were a few conditions attached to this Call of Jesus Christ—notice these Disciples’ response when the Truth overcame their ecstatic state; “From that time many of His disciples [after second thought] went back, and walked no more with Him” (John 6:66). They realized Christ said there would be an “easy yoke” to bear, and a “light burden.” They hadn’t counted on a small price to pay because of answering His Call—Some of you will notice that the Bible reference in John Chapter 6 is “666” (i.e., 6:66) which is appropriate since the spirit of anti-christ was at work when the disciples “walked no more with Him.”
WHAT ABOUT THE TWELVE APOSTLES WHO WERE CHOSEN?
“Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?” (John 6:67).
68 Then Simon Peter answered Him, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. 69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. 70 Jesus answered them, Have not I CHOSEN you twelve, and one of you is a devil? 71 He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray Him, being one of the twelve. (John 6:67-71).
The Twelve were not QUALIFIED to be Apostles when they were Chosen. In fact, one of them was “a devil.” Is it significant that Judas Iscariot was the “Twelfth” one chosen? Matthew 10:4, Mark 3:19, and Luke 6:16 all report that Judas was the last man Christ Chose to qualify for the Apostleship. (To read of Judas’ demise, see Matthew 27:1-9).
The Twelve spent time on the Lord’s Obstacle Course qualifying as the Chosen Ones. The Four Gospels record the Twelve’s training as they were given different missions to carry out. Their Course was not an easy road to the Glory to be revealed during the Acts Period.
We are given another view of what happened on the day Christ came down from the mountain where He had spent the whole night in prayer to the Father. When it was day, He called all of His [many] Disciples, “and of them, He CHOSE twelve, whom also He named apostles …” (Luke 6:13). Furthermore, in Chapter Six, the Lord Jesus “Lifted up His eyes on His Disciples (those He had Called) and said, ‘Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the [Pre-Millennial] Kingdom of God …” (Luke 6:20).
The Gospel of Luke Chapter Six is somewhat comparable to His Sermon on the Mount as found in Matthew Chapter Five. The entire Chapter of Matthew Five presents the Lord Jesus as He teaches His true disciples the fundamentals of New Testament Faith.
The “True Disciple” is to know how to manage his lot in his natural life prior to the manifestation of his coming Hope—which will be in the Pre-Millennial Kingdom of God. A Disciple of Jesus Christ, who was Called during the Gospel Period, was to conduct his life as it would become the conversation of a True Disciple. (The “Gospel Period” covers the time of the Earthly ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. It, also, records the various training missions the Twelve are called upon to execute in order to become Qualified in their Apostleship).
The Lord said, as he looked over His Disciples in Luke 6:20; “Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the Kingdom of God. 21 Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh. 22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.
The many who were Called during the Pentecostal Period (Acts 2 to Acts 28) were not, automatically, members of the Church of God. The Church of God were those who were Chosen to be rulers of the Pentecostal Government of God. The Eccelsia [to wit, the Church] of God ruled over the Called, both of Israel, the “good olive tree,” as well as the Gentiles who were grafted in as wild olive branches, into the “good olive tree” (Romans 11:24).
In plainer words, the Called were “added to the Lord” as in Acts 5:14 and Acts 11:24. They were not added to the Church—those who were added to the Church were those who were Chosen as were the twelve Apostles.
Based upon the Disciple’s handling of his earthly life, he will earn a reward, or he will suffer loss. “Many are Called, but few are Chosen.”
GOD DOESN’T CHOOSE THE QUALIFIED, HE QUALIFIES THE CHOSEN
Those of us who have been Chosen in Christ to make-up the Ecclesia over which Christ Jesus is the Head were not Chosen because of our qualifications. Maybe one day, during the Day of Christ, we will learn WHY THE LORD CHOSE US.
In this Dispensation of the Grace of God, many have been Called since the close of “The Acts of the Apostles.” Even today, many are being Called. The local churches are filled with those who have been Called out of darkness, and who worship the Light of the World.
“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the Light of the World: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12).
They may even bear the label of being a Disciple of Jesus Christ. Many of us who are now members of the Church (Ecclesia) over which Christ Jesus is the Head, were part of the pool of those who were the Called. I, for one, moved from faith-to-faith—I went through the ranks of children in the Southern Baptist’s Sunday Schools as a child in Dallas, Texas. It was not until I really wanted to get serious that I was led to a local Acts 9 Church at Age 33 in Mobile, Alabama.
WAS THE HOLY SPIRIT STALKING ME?
The Truth of the matter, as I look back; I believe the Lord was “proding,” or goading me with His Spirit. Look at the usage of the word, “pricks,” in Acts 9:5 when the Lord spoke to Paul on the Road to Damascus:
“And as [Saul aka Paul] journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me [Jesus]? And [Paul] said, Who art Thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks [stings, prods or goads]” (Acts 9:3-5).
The NT word for “pricks” is “kentron” which is used as a “goad for urging on an ox.” Believe me, I don’t compare myself with Paul. Paul was fighting back against the goading of the Holy Spirit. But, in contrast, I was going from church to church, looking for life changing words from the Bible. At the time, I didn’t realize it was the goading of the Lord Jesus Christ. The goads of the Lord drove me to the right place at the right time as you will see.
I finally got the message by the Holy Spirit’s proding. I wanted to visit a church that would use the Bible to give me the assurance of being saved. It was probably in 1962 that Gloria and I started our search for a church. We would take our two little boys, Tod and Scot. We would check out the Sunday School Classes and the morning Church Services. We were not impressed with the venues we visited which were several Methodist Churches and three or four Southern Baptist Churches. I felt they all were serving-up pabulum to the congregation—not the “strong meat of the Word.”
“For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:13-14).
It was decided I would start visiting Sunday Night services. My thinking was, on Sunday nights, the preachers might really “cut loose and do some hard preaching.” I thought that’s what I needed—some HARD PREACHING! I wanted to have the Gospel drummed into my ears (little did I know that was how Faith comes – by “hearing” (Romans 10:17). I wanted some life-changing TRUTH! I may have been thinking of a message with some Hell-Fire and Brimstone. I went to one of the Methodist Churches, and when I walked in, I was handed the “Sunday’s Bulletin.” I thumbed through it before the sermon began. What caught my eye was a headline over a short article—MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. A PROPHET LIKE ISAIAH! It may not have been Isaiah, but it was one of the Major Prophets.
Immediately, I knew I was in the wrong place. The John Birch Society, in which I was a member, exposed him as attending all sorts of Communist Party activities. I’d “bet-cha” it was the same type of Communist action committees that our present Presidential Candidate, Bernie Sanders, was trained in a few years later. Bernie now calls himself a Progressive (another name for an anti-God screaming liberal Communist).
I went to a number of churches for their Sunday services. I carried the Bible my Mother had given me years ago. I felt out of place because very few Bibles were in the hands of the congregations. I heard no fiery sermon; at no time did I hear, “Turn in your Bibles to such and such Book and Chapter and Verse.”
I was, also, taking our two little boys to a Methodist Church on Sunday mornings because I didn’t know where else to take them. I’d leave them at Sunday School. I’d go to a Drug Store and look through the magazine rack for an hour and, then, go pick up the boys.
I was about to give up when one Thursday night at our local John Birch Society meeting, Manual Clakuss, our club leader, and I were talking. He knew I had been scouting out for a church for our family to attend. Manual was a Greek-Orthodox.
During a break in our meeting, He asked me if I had I ever gone to Henry Grube’s Church? I said, “No, I had never even heard of Henry Grube.” We had only been in Mobile for about two years. At this time, I was the Vice-President and General Manager of the Royal Crown Bottling Company of Mobile.
Manual gave me the background of Pastor Grube. He was a native of Mobile. He was the most prominent Conservative pastor in Mobile. Grube was even writing some sermons for Billy Graham. He held a number of Christian Conservative Rallies at his church—‘The Mobile Gospel Tabernacle”—each year. Momentarily, I was hung-up on the name of his church.
I asked Manual; “Is that a Holly Roller Church?” He laughed and said it was definitely not a Holly Roller Church. Henry Grube was a Graduate of Bob Jones University in South Carolina—he was Dr. Henry Grube.
The next Sunday night, I walked into the “Gospel Tabernacle” Church and was greeted by several men. I was introduced to a few others and stood with them while they talked among themselves. I noted, quickly, that they were talking about the “Lord.” They didn’t refer to Him as “The Good Lord,” or God, or Jesus Christ. These people were talking about “the Lord” as if they knew Him personally. I never heard such casual talk that involved the Lord Jesus Christ. I was awed that they were so comfortable using His Title - the Lord.
Within fifteen minutes, I was “blown-away,” not with “Hell-Fire and Brimstone” preaching, but with the simplicity of Bible Study. Everyone I saw was carrying a Bible.
When Dr. Grube walked to the podium, he opened his Bible and said, “Our study, tonight, will cover Ephesians 2:8, 9 and 10. Open your Bible to Ephesians 2:8.”
I had forgotten all of the Sunday School Sword Drills I had been in as a youngster. I couldn’t find Ephesians in my Bible. I was embarrassed because I had to go the Table of Contents to find the page number for Ephesians. Dr. Grube was a soft-spoken Southern Gentleman. His style, I later learned, was to “let the Word do God’s work.” He was a master at doing just that.
I knew, right away, I was in the right church. I had never read, nor, had I ever heard of being saved by grace through faith, and that not of yourself, it is the GIFT OF GOD—not of works lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:8-10).
I really had a spring in my step after the Service as I walked to my car. I had the assurance of my salvation. Dr. Grube said Ephesians 2:8, 9 and 10 was our assurance of salvation. His study was profound. God’s Word certainly did God’s work in my heart. The Lord set me on a pathway to Glory, NOT because of my Qualification, but to Qualify me as one Chosen by Him.
(At the time, The Mobile Gospel Tabernacle had built a new Church and K thru12 School in a newer part of town. It was named Greystone Bible Church and Christian School. Seven years or so later, I was honored by being selected to be on the Board of Deacons for the Church and Board of Directors for the School).
FOR MANY ARE CALLED, BUT FEW ARE CHOSEN
GOD DOESN’T CHOOSE THE QUALIFIED, HE QUALIFIES THE CHOSEN
Copyright© 2016 by Thomas L. Ballinger
Tom l. Ballinger
1031 Wilson Road
Lancaster, TX 75146
From Plainer Words
For many are called, but few are chosen
Posted in: 2016
By Tom L. Ballinger
Mar 28, 2016 - 12:00:24 PM
Mar 28, 2016 - 12:00:24 PM
© Copyright 2016 by Plainer Words