(Article for publication week of 12-8-2010 AD)
“For many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14).
The Lord Jesus Christ has commissioned His ministers in every age to preach the gospel to the whole world (Mark 16:15; Matthew 28:19). All men are commanded to repent (Acts 17:30). There is a genuine invitation preached externally to everyone that the Lord Jesus Christ is able and willing to save the chief of sinners. This is the general call of the gospel. Thus many are called externally and generally. This general call of the gospel leaves sinners without excuse. Every one of you who are reading this article are being called by the general call of the gospel, and if you refuse to repent and believe in Christ, ye shall die in your sins (John 8:24).
However there is another call that is internal, special, and effectual. This call is given by the Holy Spirit Himself and is given only to those that God chose for salvation. So our Lord says in John 6:37, “all that the Father giveth me shall come to me.” While God’s true ministers are calling the whole world to repentance and faith, God’s Holy Spirit enters into the hearts of His elect and effectually calls them to salvation. This is not only an effectual call, but also an irresistible one. Thus few, comparatively are chosen to salvation and effectually called by the Lord.
The general call of the gospel to the whole world and the special call of the Holy Spirit limited to God’s elect may be shown by the following illustration attributed to a black minister of a by gone day. He said, “brethren, you know how when the train is at the station ready to depart for the next station and a great crowd has gathered in town, and then the conductor steps up and says, ‘ all aboard’. Brethren, when the conductor says ‘all aboard’, everybody in town doesn’t get on the train- just the ones with tickets”! I’ve never heard it illustrated better. The conductor’s call is sincere. But not everyone in town is interested in that call, just the ones with tickets. So it is with the preacher’s call to repent and believe in Christ. But not everyone is interested in our message, just those who have come to mourn over their sins and feel the burden of sin and the terror of the law. Only God’s elect, His chosen few are interested in our call and hear it for their salvation.
Does it offend you that only a comparative few are saved? Friend don’t be offended for I have given you the truth of God’s word. I know the popular preachers today will tell you that about everybody is saved, but that is not what the Bible says. “Many are called, but few are chosen.” Now the question for you my friends, and neighbors and kindred is, “are you one of the few?”