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Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Many Are Called But Few Are Chosen

Have you heard how religions go around saying to people “have you accepted Jesus Christ in your heart”? It is right to have an accepting heart that wants to learn and follow from the teachings of Jesus Christ. But Jesus didn’t go around soliciting like these religions of Christendom are doing. In fact, Jesus said in John 15:16 “You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you…”. Jesus Christ chooses those who have the heart condition of meekness and humility. The wrong attitude is choosing Jesus without any responsibility to learn who Jesus is. It is arrogant to think we can choose Jesus despite any of our actions.

Remember how Paul (Saul) the Apostle was chosen by Jesus Christ? Paul was going about persecuting Christians unknowing what he was actually doing. However, Jesus Christ knocked Paul on the road and showed him the truth. Paul would become the Apostle to the Gentiles because he had the right heart condition and Jesus chose him. “And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;” Acts 26:14-16, see also Acts 26:1-20.

Not all of those who claim to have accepted Jesus Christ are his disciples. “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:21-23. A disciple must be doing or learning the will of Jesus’ Father, Jehovah who is in heaven in order for them to be chosen by Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ explains in an analogy that he is a vine and those that are his people are the branches of the vine. If anyone follows Jesus Christ and does the will of His Father, that branch will continue to grow. If anyone does not the will of his Father, that branch is cut off. It is up to Jesus Christ and His Father to determine who are the branches that remain and who is to be cut off. We do not select ourselves as being one of the branches. No one can do anything of his own, it is Jesus Christ who chooses. “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” John 15:4-6.

Those who are chosen by Jesus Christ have been given help from the Holy Spirit to know that Jesus is the Son of the living God, who is His Father Jehovah. It was Jesus who revealed His Father to them. “All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.” Matthew 11:27.

How do we make sure we are chosen by Jesus Christ? Jesus said in John 15 to abide in him and in Matthew 7 to do the will of His Father. Acts 3:20-23 says to listen to the words of Jesus Christ “And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you..” Christendom will not listen to the words of Jesus Christ, but instead they form religious statements that are designed to solicit people into their churches.

The next time someone approaches you and asks “Have you accepted Jesus in your heart?”, maybe you could say in return that it is up to Jesus to choose. Jesus has revealed his Father to those who have been chosen by him. Not many people are willing to change and conform to Jesus’ words and therefore many are called but few are chosen, Matthew 22:14.
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