Being Chosen Requires Discernment

Most do not understand the Scriptures as though it were in a foreign language

14 But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.

1Co 2:14 (NLT)

No matter what I write, someone is going to not like what I write. That is a given.  It is also a shame.  Some people really cannot handle the truth, and the Bible backs me up on that.

It is funny when people want to claim that I disrespect Herbert W Armstrong (HWA).  Yet, he was right much more often than he was wrong.  Of course, saying that means others will claim I put him on a pedestal.

You want to know something?  HWA is dead.  HWA has not yet been resurrected.  He was a man.  Get over it.  If you cannot examine what he said and critically compare it against the Bible, then you are lost and are not saved.  Period.  He is not your savior.  He did not die for you or I.  He did a lot of good and restored a lot of truths, but we should be thanking God that such a man was sent for the times when needed.

For example, we often say not many are called now.  Is that true?  Well, yes and no.  It is a matter of perspective.

14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.”

Mt 22:14 (NLT)

You know, “many” does not mean “most”, yet I’ve actually heard people argue this verse as if that were so.

According to Google, there were just over 7 billion people in the world in 2013.  About one third claim to be Christian.  That’s hardly a majority.  About 1.2 billion people are Catholic.  It is pretty much a given that they do not seriously study the Bible, which leaves about 1 billion, or 1/7th of the world’s population.

Are all these people called now?  I see no evidence of that.  How many of them have had their mind opened to even the seventh day Sabbath?

Pinning down the number of Sabbatarians is even trickier.  Apparently, the Seventh-Day Adventist Church has about 18 million baptized members.  It is the largest body of Christian Sabbath keepers, but there are over 500 other churches of various denominations that are Sabbatarian.

Still, are there a million Sabbatarians besides the SDAs?  Some people think so.  Even if there were 2 million, that makes 20 million Sabbath keepers that arguably could be getting called right now.

That is less than 0.03% of the world’s population.

“Many” is a subjective term, and it is highly relative.  Still, a few million isn’t a bad pool, when you think about it.

It gets worse, though.

24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:

25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.

26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.

27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?

28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?

29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.

30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

Mt 13:24-30

In order for this to have been effective, there must have been about as many tares planted as wheat.  There are verses that could be read as half of believers not making it, such as the Parable of the Ten Virgins (Bridesmaids).

And yet, when HWA boomed out, “Half of you just don’t get it!”, I believe he was being overly optimistic, and I think history since his death has proven that.

Part of what is disturbing is that in the end the tares get burnt up in the oven.

Many are called, but few are chosen.

This should be sobering, and it should wake us up!

What can we do?  How do we stay faithful and true?  Did Christ leave us any instructions that could help us collectively and individually to stay true?

Actually, there are.  There are several NT passages that could keep us on track.  Certainly, Jesus’ parables should all be sober reminders of our obligations as Christians as well as means to give us hope.  Paul’s extensive writings are filled with practical instructions for various situations, not to mention solid theology that ties together Judaism with what Christianity was meant to be.  Galatians 5 and 2 Corinthians 13 are guides to right and wrong attitudes which ultimately drive behavior.

However, after all of that, what was important enough to specifically address to the Church down through the ages?  What was important enough to address to all the Churches down through the ages?  What about the letters to the church congregations in Revelation 2 and 3?

22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches (plural).

Rev 3:22

We can get all caught up in eras and which churches are praised and which are not, but are we doing what Christ instructed and listening to all of the messages to the churches?

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