and make disciples of all the nations...teaching them to observe
all that I commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, even to
the end of the age" (Matt. 28:19-20).
January 28, 2018
1) "Many Are Called, But Few Are Chosen" (Tom Edwards)
2) False Standards (Andrew Mitchell)
3) News & Notes
"Many Are Called, But Few Are Chosen"
In His parable of a king giving a wedding feast for his son, in
which many individuals had been invited, but turned down the offer,
the Lord then concluded by saying, “For many are called, but few are
chosen” (Matt. 22:14).
The parable reminds us of the many in real life whom God desires to
come to salvation – but they are unwilling and reject His gracious
invitation! For “The Lord is...not wishing for any to perish but for
all to come to repentance" (2 Pet. 3:9). And Paul speaks of the Lord
as being One “who desires all men to be saved...” (1 Tim. 2:4); and
through Isaiah, God had implored people to “Turn to Me and be saved,
all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other”
(Isa. 45:22). Even to that wicked one called “Jezebel” in
Revelation 2:20-21, who was leading God's “bond-servants astray so
that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to
idols,” the Lord declares, “I gave her time to repent...” (v. 21).
But He also goes on to point out that “she does not want to repent
of her immorality.” And think of all the people in Noah’s day
whose minds were only on evil continually (Gen. 6:5), yet God was
also patient in giving them time to repent (Gen. 6:3; 1 Pet. 3:20; 2
In thinking how his life had been prior to his conversion, the
apostle Paul referred to himself as being the “chief” of sinners
because of his persecution toward the church and even consenting
toward the death of Christians. But he also cites himself as
an example of the mercy of God. For if the Lord could pardon Paul of
all his past sins,
then the Lord can pardon anyone who will meet His conditions -- for
“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners...” (1 Tim.
1:15-16). And “whosoever will” may come (Rev. 22:17). So, yes, many
are called because God does not want anyone to be lost; but, sad to
say, many will be lost for rejecting the call of the Lord. And all
who reject Him will also have to be rejected by Him (cf. Matt.
10:33; Luke 9:26).
But for those of us who have accepted the Lord's gracious
invitation, we can know that God “has saved us, and called us with a
holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own
purpose and grace, which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all
eternity, but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior
Christ Jesus, who abolished death, and brought life and immortality
to light through the gospel" (2 Tim. 1:9-10).
This does not mean that every saved person was arbitrarily chosen to
be saved before the world began, and apart from any necessary belief
and obedience on the individual's part. For salvation has always
been based on meeting certain conditions that no one – not even God
– can do for us.
Paul makes this calling clear. He explains: “But we should always
give thanks to God for you, brethren, beloved by the Lord, because
God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through
sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. And it was for
this he called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory
of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thess. 2:13-14).
Again, we see of the desire God has had from the very beginning
toward saving the lost. Yet, we also see in this passage that one's
salvation involves not only the Lord, but also the individual's
response toward God. So, according to this passage, one's salvation
was not totally brought about before the world began or prior to the
birth of that individual. But, rather, it was the plan of salvation
that was prior. And that plan would involve the need to hear God's
word to acquire faith (cf. Rom. 10:17), to believe in Christ (Jn.
8:24), to repent of sins (Luke 13:5), to acknowledge faith in Jesus
(Acts 8:36-38; Rom. 10:9-10), to be baptized in water (Acts 2:38;
22:16; Rom. 6:3,4; 1 Pet. 3:21), and to continue in the faith (Rev.
2:10). In other words, these steps can be clearly seen as that which
we are each to make in faithfully responding to God's plan of
salvation and benefiting from it. For look again at 2 Thessalonians
2:13: We must not only be sanctified by the Spirit, but also have
faith in the truth in order to be saved, which indicates our
responsibility in that. So our salvation is not totally up to God --
though without His love, His grace, and His mercy, all the
believing, repenting, and meeting other conditions on our part would
be to no avail.
The need for our involvement in our calling can also be inferred
from 2 Peter 1:10. For here Peter exhorts, “...give diligence to
make your calling and election sure.” Such exhortation would be
unnecessary, if one's calling were totally up to God and separate
from any necessary action on the believer's part. But living a life
unto the Lord is part of God's purpose for His people – and that
which He had planned from all eternity (cf. 2 Tim. 1:9). For Jesus
“died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for
themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf” (2
Cor. 5:15). “For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity,
but in sanctification” (1 Thess. 4:7). The King James Version
renders “sanctification” in this passage as “holiness.”
So our calling from God leads to a new way of life. As Paul
instructs: “Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to
walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been
called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing
tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the
unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:1-3).
And the importance of living this new life can be seen in Hebrews
12:14-15: “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no
man shall see the Lord: looking diligently lest any man fail of the
grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you,
and thereby many be defiled.”
And when does that new life begin for the penitent believer who has
confessed his faith in Christ? “Or do you not know that all of us
who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His
death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into
death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory
of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life” (Rom.
6:3-4). So baptism is in order that “we too might walk in
newness of life.” Compare also the following: “For all of you
who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ”
(Gal. 3:27). “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new
creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come”
(2 Cor. 5:17). Again, we see baptism in connection with
receiving the new life.
Yes, Christians are “called to be saints” (1 Cor. 1:2); and, as the
term denotes, a “saint” is one who is “made holy” and “set apart”
for a special service unto God. May all of us who are Christians
ever live to carry out our calling from the Lord. For by meeting His
conditions of salvation, that were in His mind before the world even
began, He is then able to accept us as His chosen ones who are on
that narrow road that leads to eternal life, though few there be
that find it (cf. Matt. 7:13-14).
So, yes, many are called, but few are chosen. And as we have
seen in all this, the choice is really up to us. For God wants
us to be saved, to be one of His chosen -- for He loves us more than
we can fully realize and wants no one to be lost. But in order
to be one of His chosen, we must accept the Lord Jesus Christ by
submitting to His plan of salvation (as mentioned above).
God is lovingly calling through His gospel message -- but we must
obediently respond to that gracious call.
(All Scripture from the NASB unless otherwise indicated.)
I often hear people trying to establish right and wrong based on the
wrong standard. Here are some examples:
Our Parents (Mt. 10:21,34-37). As much as we
should love and respect our parents, we cannot establish right and
wrong on the basis of our parents alone.
Our Conscience (Ac. 23:1; 26:9-11; 1 Tim. 1:12-13).
Even though our conscience can be useful, we may still be wrong even
though our conscience doesn't bother us. Paul had followed his
conscience even when he was a persecutor.
Emotions & Feelings (Pr. 14:12; 28:26; Jer. 10:23).
Just because something "feels" right to you, that doesn't
necessarily make it right. Sin can even "feel" right.
The Majority (Mt. 7:13-14). Don't ever think that
something is right simply because most believe it. The majority is
headed to destruction.
Preachers & Religious Leaders (2 Cor. 11:13-15; 2 Pet.
2:1-3). Your preacher may be a great guy, but that doesn't mean he
Tradition (Mt. 15:1-9; Col. 2:8). Truth is not
established by how long something has been around. Sin has been
around a long time, too.
The Good End (Rom. 3:8). The end doesn't always justify the
means. Something is not right just because we may think it is
What is the "RIGHT" way to tell right from wrong? God's WORD, and
HIS word ALONE (Jn. 12:48).
- via the bulletin of the Collegevue church of Christ, July
News & Notes
Folks to be praying for:
Charles Crosby will be having surgery on his knee this Friday
(February 2). It is the same knee which had been completely replaced
back in January 2017. Since then, however, he has been having much
trouble with it, due to infection and swelling, and had been back in
the hospital a couple times for it (in February and August). We are
glad that recently they discovered the specific type of infection
that has been causing the problem, which they now can deal with
accurately. The knee will again be totally replaced, following a few
weeks of making sure that all the infection is eliminated.
Michelle Rittenhouse will be having surgery next Tuesday
(February 6) on her neck. Four spinal discs will be fused, and four
spurs will be removed. She has often suffered from severe headaches
lasting a long time.
Ronnie and Melotine Davis have both been having some back
Mikaela Jones appears to be coming down with the flu.
Let us continue to also remember in prayer those with poor health or
other ailments: Jim Lively, A.J. & Pat Joyner, Shirley
Davis, Jason Thornton, Cedell Fletcher, Meadern Anderson, Mary
Rogers, Belinda Medlock, James Green, Bennie Medlock, Judy
Daugherty, Misty Thornton, Rachael Gerbing, Jarvis Williams, and
Mary Vandevander in the nursing home.
WordPress version of this week's bulletin:
The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation
1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith comes
(Rom. 10:17; John 20:30,31).
2) Believe in the deity of Christ (John 8:24;
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9,10; Acts
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of
sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3,4; Gal. 3:26,27; 1
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord;
for, if not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA 31501
Sunday services: 9:00 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m.
& 5 p.m. (worship)
Tuesday: 7 p.m. (Ladies’ Bible class)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 614-8593
(Gospel Observer website with pictures in WordPress)
(Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but
back to March 1990)