Many Called; Few Chosen

Matthew 20:16 So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.

It should be obvious that there are various levels of spirituality among Christians. All are not equally dedicated to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. God is not a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34). The same provisions are available to all, but some desire more of the Lord than others, so they appropriate more. Some repent and receive forgiveness for their sins and are satisfied to remain on that level. Others are not satisfied there, so they press on in God for the eradication of their sinful nature. They are willing to die to self in order for the Lord Jesus to live in them (II Corinthians 4:10). So which group will the Lord choose to dwell in and move through to accomplish His will in the earth (II Corinthians 6:16)? It will be the latter, of course, those who have left all to follow the Lord. The first group, while having received forgiveness for sins committed, has not totally made their lives subject to the Lord. They are Christians, but they are led and directed mostly by their own carnal wisdom. Consequently, the Lord does not have free course through them. The majority of Christianity falls in the first group. Only a few really desire to be saved to the uttermost (Hebrews 7:25). Many are called, but few are chosen.

The story of Gideon is a good example of the remnant that God chooses to defeat the enemy. The Midianites had oppressed Israel for seven years (Judges 6:1). When the Israelites cried unto the Lord (Judges 6:7), He chose Gideon to smite the Midianites (Judges 6:16). Thirty-two thousand Israelites gathered unto Gideon, but the Lord said they were too many, that Gideon should send home all those who were fearful, and twenty-two thousand left, leaving ten thousand in Gideonís army. The Lord again said there were too many, and after testing them He rejected all but three hundred (Judges 7:1-7). Many were called, but few were chosen. The thirty-one thousand and seven hundred men that were rejected were still Israelites, and they would benefit from the defeat of the Midianites the same as everyone else, but they were not the quality of men that God could use. The three hundred were prepared and dedicated.

The Lord is choosing a people today, too. A people will rule and reign with Him (II Timothy 2:12; Revelation 2:26-27) as He destroys the works of darkness and creates His dwelling place among men (Revelation 21:3). He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords (I Timothy 6:15), but all Christians are not among the kings and lords that He is King and Lord over. Many are called, but few are chosen.

Now the question arises: What determines who the Lord will choose? You could say that the Lord chooses those who choose to be chosen, and those who choose to be chosen take the initiative to meet the criteria. For example, Paul speaks of the Lord Jesus coming to be glorified and admired in His saints (II Thessalonians 1:10). And John says that there is a criterion to be met if we have the hope of Him appearing within us. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that hath this hope in Him purifies himself, even as He is pure. I John 3:2-3.

Jesus said, Whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant (Matthew 20:26-27). If you want to be among those whom the Lord chooses, the route is humility. Be clothed with humility: for God resists the proud, and gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves (you do it; you take the initiative) therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time. I Peter 5:5-6. The way up is down. When you bring yourself low with a humble and contrite spirit, that place of humility is also the high and holy place where God chooses to dwell. For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabits eternity, whose name is holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. Isaiah 57:15.

The more you crucify your flesh nature, the greater the capacity you have for the presence of the Lord. The weaker you are, the stronger the Lord is in you (II Corinthians 12:10). The Lordís chosen ones have no confidence in the flesh (Philippians 3:3). His army is made up of the weak and foolish. God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: that no flesh should glory in His presence. I Corinthians 1:27-29.

There is a unique quality of spirit about the weak and foolish ones that God chooses; they wrestle with the Lord like Jacob did (Genesis 32:24-29). The meek inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5), and they inherit it by conquering it as Israel did the land of Canaan. Godís chosen meek ones are not door mats to be walked on. They are more than conquerors in the Lord (Romans 8:37). It is the chosen ones who rule and reign with the Lord (II Timothy 2:12). They are the Kingdom of the Lord, a Kingdom of priests unto Him (Revelation 1:6 NASB). They are a warring people, intensely and violently they possess the Kingdom. They take it by force, the force of their spirit, violently submitting to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and appropriating His promises and provisions. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the Kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. Matthew 11:12. Do you understand what that means? God chooses those who refuse to be left out. They force their way into the Kingdom by violently and unmercifully putting the sword of the Lord to their flesh nature. One does not leisurely walk into the Kingdom; he presses his way into it. The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the Kingdom of God is preached, and every man presses into it. Luke 16:16. Many are called, but few are chosen.

Copyright © 1997 by Henry DuBose

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